Friday, July 9, 2010

Lebron & the Heat Check

As sour grapes as possible and as a fan who (if you don't root for LA or MIA or BOS or maybe OKC and ORL) thinks the NBA just got less engaging, it's my job to make Charlie T's uber-happy life a little more miserable. So, I thought I'd revisit some of Charlie's anti-Lebron rants from TBC posts past. After all, Charlie T was more of a LeHater than I was from the start. Needless to say, that ended last night around 7:04 MST.

I was actually surprised by Charlie T's turnaround. I thought I would dig up dirt and throw it in his ecstatic face. But the results were mixed and Charlie was actually turning towards LeBron long before I'd anticipated. So here it is, in reverse chronological order, with Charlie T's posts in italics:


JAN 17, 2009
A big sarcastic jab that I can't really cut/paste without making this cross over into the 1,000,000 wordcount range. One highlight of Charlie T's translations of TV announcer fawning:
"Watch LeBron here as he takes over in the fourth quarter with a steal and a thunderous slam"
Translation: LeBron just ripped the ball out of Delonte West's hand, took a hesitation dribble just past half court and took 4 steps before dunking on the camera crew. For those who haven't seen professional basketball in a while, the rules have been changed to allow two extra steps if you take a hesitation dribble. Whatever that is.

FEB 10, 2009
Wah, wah, Cleveland.
That said, (Coach Brown) congratulations on sticking up for LeBron and Co. Your team has been so picked on. And it's nice to hear a little harmony with the sad tunes our dear martyr, St. BronBron of Our Lady Of Cleveland, has been singing lately.
FEB 12, 2009
We paired NBA players together in a fictional 2-on-2 tournament, one of many overambitious TBC Concept Series. They were usually paired for reasons of similarity or intertwining stories (Nash/Nowitzki, CP3/D-Will). Note how Charlie T emphasizes the utter fiction of this pairing.
Team Name: Unstoppable
Team Members: LeBron James and Dwayne[sic] Wade

Let's be realistic. This is the only way you will ever see these two play together in the NBA. You know full well that neither will take the paycut necessary to play on the same NBA team together. It just won't happen. That said, for this tournament, they have a lot going for them. (Pushing aside the obvious fact that they are two of the four legitimate MVP candidates this season,) They have some size (James) and both are super quick. Quicker than you might ever imagine. Trying to stop either of them in the lane is futile. Also, like all 2-on-2, this tournament will be Call Your Own Fouls. So, LeBron will be calling fouls on every play, assuring a lot of easy points for his team (because, come on, has there ever been a play in which LeBron wasn't fouled?)...

Feb 27, 2009
An open letter to LeBron. And not a nice one. I believe he calls LeBron "pathetic." Luckily South Beach is known for blurry memories. I do have to give it to Charlie T for skewering both Kobe and LeBron in the same post. I'll miss that. Oh, and Charlie T's soothsaying was only half right about Shaq. He came, but delivered no title.
Dear LeBron,

I know you spent a lot of time with Kobe over the summer. And I know you think he is soooo cool. But this is really a new low in emulation. You had ZERO ASSISTS last night against the Houston Rockets. I can excuse the Kobe-esque 33% shooting, the Black Mamba-ish one-on-five with everyone standing around watching you, even the post-dunk scowl. But for Mr. I'm Gonna Average A Triple Double For My Career? This was inexcusable. Even Ben "I Broke My Leg and Didn't Know It" Wallace had more assists and rebounds than you in half the time.

Keep this up and you'll never escape the curse of being the next Kobe Bryant. Except that Shaq won't be coming to give you a title.

Charlie T. Hustle Jr.

P.S. One rebound was pretty pathetic too. Correction, Really pathetic.
March 20, 2009
The turning begins.

It's no secret that there is a lack of butt kissing for LeBron here at TBC as opposed to the rest of the televisioned world. But I'm finding it harder and harder to find the holes in anything he does lately. In March, thus far, he is averaging 30 pts. 9 assists 9 rebounds nearly 2 steals and shooting 48%. Plus his team has only lost to Boston this month. So keep playing hard in the regular season, boys. I'm sure you'll give me plenty of chances in the playoffs to be critical.
Nov 13, 2009
The soothsaying, crystal balling Charlie T emerges. Was he precognitive or just really hopeful?
Now that we have established that Miami has retired the number 23, let's bring Mr. James back into the picture and add this theory to the long list of "Where will LeBron go in 2010" theories.

LeBron won't be able to have #23 when he goes to Miami next season. If he can't have it then nobody can. Nobody.
Jan 26, 2010
More saying of sooth.
LeBron becomes a little tougher to pin down (we all know the lack of income tax in Florida has got to be alluring) but there isn't as much mystery around it as there once was.
Feb 9, 2010
The Official Pro-LBJ post.
Here at TBC, we've been mostly down on LeBron James . Not because he is a bad basketball player, but mostly because we didn't like being force fed hearty helpings of King James everywhere we looked. We, or maybe just me, felt that the hype was vastly over done for a guy so young and relatively unaccomplished. This season, I'm starting to have a change of heart. I have seen quite a few Cavs games and James has definitely taken his game to another level. It's not only affecting his game, but the rest of his team looks phenomenal. He makes JJ Hickson look like the second coming of Scottie Pippen (which he isn't...Hickson will be out of the league a year after he stops playing with LeBron) and he makes Shaq (at least for 5 possessions a game) look like Lew Alcindor out there. Nobody else could do that I am convinced. Kobe would chew those guys out to the point that they wouldn't even show up to practice. Wade (as much as it pains me to say this) would get his 20 and then take the rest of the game off. ... And that is why I now buy into LeBron. And the Cavaliers.
March 2, 2010
Charlie posts his theories on why LBJ changed his uni #. Truly soothsaying, this one. People in NYC wish he were just a little more accurate.
Theory 3: He is going to play for the Miami Heat next year and the number 23 is retired there (Michael Jordan). Likelihood: 15% (he could have whatever number he wanted upon changing teams)
Theory 7: Number 6 is LeBron's Team USA number and he wants to recreate Team USA in New York with Wade and Bosh. This is the first step. Likelihood: 45% (Bosh and Wade could just change their numbers upon switching teams)
May 10, 2010
Charlie types a post about how players' value/legacies/perception hinge on how their playoff performances shake out. He put LeBron in a category of players who have "done very little to help themselves" in the 2010 playoffs. I'm not sure if Charlie is saying that LeBron's best has to be better or that the sinking ship could use a more valiant effort by its doomed captain. This was just 2 months ago.
(LeBron) is doing exactly what everybody knows he is capable of, except he has to do it every moment of every game. How does this not (improve) our view of him and shouldn't it be more about his teammates? Yes, they are to blame for their disappearing act but consider this: if a home-schooled child never learns to read, is it his fault or his parents'? LeBron is the parent in this case and his teammates are the illiterate children. Any sign of trouble and LeBron immediately takes over. He can't sit back idly while his teammates struggle through words like "rebound", "defense" or "make an open shot." Of course, we enjoy watching him dominate and I can only imagine Mo Williams does too. He has just become too accustomed to it happening. Same for Side-Show Bob, Grand Theft West, Sheldon Williams's brother-in-law and ABC's in-studio analyst for the 2010-2011 season Mike Brown.
And finally, in the midst of the playoffs and after a post that quickly mocked LeBron's elbow, Charlie T tired of hyperbolic and sycophantic journalists and announcers. We all did. Sarcastically and fed up, he posted this:
LeBron James is the greatest athlete in the history of the game. Wherever LeBron goes will turn that franchise around. You have to say something nice about Early Exit LeBron but both those comments are way off base. Great Athlete? Yes. Franchise Player? Yes. Beyond that? Let's leave it open for debate.
Well, the debate has started. We all know how Dan Gilbert feels. And in Comic Sans no less.

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