As the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Gold State Warriors finish the Semi’s of the NBA playoffs with sweeps I cannot help but find myself agreeing with Stephen A. Smith. There is a little too much arrogance going around. So both teams are holding summer clinics in the playoffs. Still at some point it could just bite them. Yes, both teams want to fast forward to the finals. But Com’on what’s the NBA motto! THIS IS WHY WE PLAY? Or is it?
I’ve grown tired of the banter of who is better, the Crystal Ball analysis and the Warriors will win the finals all before the conference finals have even begun.
How about the conversation about LeBron James vs Michael Jordan. Let me end it for you.
Every generation has the once in a life time player. Jordan was special. 6 NBA Championships and holds umteen records that James is zeroing on but the Championship wins. Look Jordan is Jordan! Done! James is James! Done!
If LeBron wants to take on Jordan then bring the passion with it. That’s right bring the passion! Most may know what I mean. The guy we saw swipe a beer. Smiling at the crowd and giving the love when he dunks. James wants a challenge then stop treating these games like a job. Yes he puts a lot into his excellence as did many of the greats. How about the emotion, and the chalk dust in the air. The wryly smile when he got away with a hold or bump.
Now we can see his disappointment when not enough is being done by his supporting cast. Jordan just shrugged it off or said his peace. Now where does LeBron excell-simple his basketball high IQ! This may be questioned by some. Yet, LeBron’s knowledge and lighting fast numbers of recall on stats makes every mathematician and engineers drool! For the casual fan um no.
Jordan believed basketball was his love. He was never the highest paid player. What he didn’t get paid for on the court he earned in endorsements from hotdogs to underwear. That was what he call his business.
So what did that mean for him?
He never worried about a contract, he knew his teammates were going to get paid because there wasn’t an issue with salary cap. Jordan didn’t have to demonstrate his knowledge he understood the primary reason he was doing all the things he dreamed of. He remembered what it was like to be cut from his highschool team when all he wanted to do was play ball. That right there came out everyday of his professional career. James didn’t have that setback.
Look it’s simple James is the best right now! And those of us, who watched Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird thought nothing was going to top them- well Michael Jordan came along and after a long slump when it seemed no one great would come along -Kobe arrive and on his heels came the King. But NBA also became a very serious business. Maybe that’s why every sport analyst wants to quote stats and figures of days gone by because it wasn’t as serious. It also wasn’t Harlem Globetrotters fun either but it wasn’t as serious as it is now.
I love watching milestones being reached, records being broken and heart pounding action. THIS WHY WE WATCH. However if you are a Cleveland sports fan you truly want a blow out because there isn’t enough anxiety medication available. I know because I have been a Cleveland fan since birth. Breathing during a nail bitter is a luxury. I have witness too many oh so close but yet so far moments until last year.
But arrogance is not a replacement for the passion.
At that looks a little like:
Jumping out of bed racing to practice earlier, the smell of disinfectant before the lockeroom is filled with aroma of sweat from a hard work out. The incredible sensation as the first drops of water hit you from the shower as you wash off the days work. It’s taking those practices to the thundering sound of the fans as you leave the tunnel and the feeling as that lastest tweak on your jumper takes hold with the louder still sound of swoosh that comes with nothing but net. And that modest smile that sums up all your hard work as the buzzer sounds and you swept your opponents to move on.
Don’t take it for granted. LeBron said himself -in Northeast Ohio nothing is given. So be like Mike and take it to heart.