I suppose if half of your league's teams are losing ridiculous amounts of money, and things are even so bad that the league had to assume control of one franchise, considerable power could be transferred to the people who are still giving you a ton of cash. To be less vague, Nike and LeBron James run the NBA, not David Stern. At least that's what TNT commentator and NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley told the Miami Herald about why he has seemingly gone quiet on his concerns with the Miami Heat, as opposed to his earlier candidness.
“I don’t know if Dwyane’s upset with me, but I don’t sit around and worry about it.” He said LeBron James hasn’t said anything to him. “These athletes today are all wussified,” Barkley said. “I’ve been saying LeBron’s been the best player in the league for three years. And I say one thing criticizing The Decision, and I get a phone call from Nike saying why don’t I like LeBron? It’s interesting how this [expletive] works. These groups today, if you don’t say 100 percent positive about their guy or their team, they overreact.”
True or not, this is why people hate LeBron James, in case Dan LeBatard wants to stop complaining about the haters for a second and be realistic. Most people are over the Decision for the most part (with the exception of Barkley if you read the rest of that interview) but it's crap like this and confiscating video of Jordan Crawford dunking over James that make people think he's a spoiled brat diva. Nike has every right to protect its iconic global brand, so long as the brand, his handlers, his leeches, his teammates, and his media ass-kissers understand that this protection revokes their right to care that we think James is a little girl. Well, a little girl who is amazing at basketball.
Miami Heat 83, Chicago Bulls 80 (Series: 4-1 MIA)
The Bulls choked this one away. Again. Derrick Rose, the league's regular season MVP, missed 20 shots this time and was only 5-6 at the free throw line. About that lone missed FT, that would have tied the game and possibly forced overtime. But with seconds to go, MVP couldn't make his free throw. Rose is young, he has a long, plentiful career ahead of him, but it's after lessons like these that he should view his future as a crossroads and determine whether he should travel the path that makes him a stellar point guard, distributing the ball and igniting his team's offense, or a run-of-the-mill shooting guard, eventually drawing comparisons to Allen Iverson from more people than just me. Because after this series, he's already taken a few steps down the latter path.
It's also quite remarkable that Carlos Boozer is owed roughly $15 million per season for the next four years. Yet here we are heading into a lockout because the owners are pissed that so many crappy players are making max contract money. I can almost taste the irony, but it's behind me having non-consensual sex with me.
Meanwhile, the Bulls had a 12-point lead with 3 minutes to go in the game, and they obviously made a bet with the Oklahoma City Thunder to see who could blow a game better down the stretch, but many fans are jumping all over the refs for Miami's comeback last night. There were certainly some questionable calls late in the game, and they pissed enough people off to get "These Refs" trending on Twitter. After the jump, I've included a sample of the Tweet backlash.
(Image via the Miami Herald)