Make Them Love The Situation

Can we talk about LeBron James and his affinity for busting a move while on and sometimes off of the court? The Paints Dudes have touched on this subject numerous times and will again be discussing it on the upcoming podcast.

This issue was brought to national prominence once again when LeBron decided to “bring it” when the Cavaliers matched up with the Chicago Bulls a few weeks ago, and the wonder that is Joakim Noah didn’t take kindly to the dancing. Was it appropriate for LeBron to do a little ditty while on the bench when a teammate made a play? Probably not, but the issue is more than LeBron shaking his shoulders and celebrating with his teammates (talking to you Danny Green). Is LeBron’s showboating too much?

In the particular case of the Chicago Bulls and Joakim Noah, I would favor LeBron. If Noah doesn’t like it then he should stop the Cavs from playing and succeeding. Take a page from the Pistons playbook back when they were truly the “Bad Boys” and give LeBron or one of his teammates a little extra when they come barreling down the lane. Now, this sounds a little harsh and worthy of a flagrant foul, but maybe that is what the Bulls need at this point to break them out of this existential funk. I am not condoning violence or trying to hurt anybody on the basketball court, but there is nothing wrong with a hard foul as long as the player can still get up. Basketball was not meant to be played by adult men who can’t take a little punishment, that is the inherit risk of driving into the lane full of full grown men who are equipped with two forearms that were made for clotheslines.

But the larger issue still persists about LeBron and his apparent cockiness. Is LeBron cocky? Yes, without question he is. However, if you or I were as talented as LeBron is then we would have trouble containing our unabashed glee about our incalculable talents. Still, a little humility on the court isn’t too much to ask for seeing as he is one of the most humble students of the game off of it. The dance moves during pregame warm-ups and introductions is more than fine, I expect nothing less than a still young man who is playing a game. Even after a game, if he feels it necessary to not just stand there and bust a move, then that is tremendous. But during a game, if he doesn’t make a tremendous play like a dunk over a 7-footer or a monstrous block after chasing down someone on a fast break, then what is the point of doing a jig?

I don’t think I would have a problem with this if LeBron wasn’t as talented and as good as he is. To me, LeBron is above this. He has already accomplished more in his nubile career than most players will do in their entire careers. I am all for celebrating as a team and a jubilant attitude that spreads throughout the entire team. After all, that was a huge part of the Boston Celtics’ run a couple of seasons ago when they finally won that illusory championship. Still, I just have this feeling that the truly great teams act like it is their destiny to win games, especially against teams that are at best mediocre.

This may seem like a referendum against cocky athletes, but it isn’t meant to be so. All professional athletes are cocky; some just display it more than others. Very few elite athletes display any semblance of humility; the only one that comes to mind is Marvin Harrison. Nobody thinks that Kobe Bryant believes anything else than the fact that he is the best in the league. But he isn’t out there “showing up” his opponents when a play is made. He knows, as do the opponents, that he is better than they are. The same is true with LeBron and is mostly true with Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade whenever they aren’t playing any of the above-mentioned superstars.

And this is a little off topic, but Carmelo Anthony has been the most impressive player in the league to me thus far. He is the best scorer, or at least makes scoring look the easiest. LeBron scores with ease at times but it looks like a physical struggle when he scores in the lane because, well, it is. Carmelo looks so smooth and he is a far better shooter than LeBron is and might ever be. I can’t believe I overlooked Carmelo earlier in the season and that is my fault, but he has got to be the MVP so far in the season. Well, maybe not. I still have hope that Steve Nash can keep this up and keep this unbelievable play going deep into the season.

Back to the point. LeBron is a grown man and there is no way that I would ever attempt to tell him how to run his life, but I just wish that he would just ease up on the excessive celebrations. Have fun, have lots of it, but keep it within reason.

Can we talk about “Jersey Shore”? It is obviously the best show on television right now so there is no point of talking about its merits. However, the “punch” episode was supposed to be this week and that is something to talk about. Yet, MTV has cut the most infamous scene of the show because of the controversy it has stirred up.

Maybe I am really stupid and/or uneducated, but how is this a controversy? Is it because it is a man sucker punching a woman? I see how that makes a lot of people uncomfortable because the idea that a muscular dude like that would rather settle his issues with his fists than walk away. That is inexcusable and he, I believe, was arrested and he should get the maximum penalty.

However, Snookie (the self appointed queen of the guidettes) was talking trash to this guy for who knows how long and this muscle head, who in all likelihood is taking some sort of human growth supplement, snapped or had his fuse explode. While she didn’t deserve to be hit, I don’t feel that she isn’t deserving of some sort of retribution, not physically but just something to let her know that she is an idiot. Perhaps a sign would have been more apropos.

But why cut the scene? Everyone already has seen it or knows that it happened if they have any interest in the show at all. It was really the only reason to watch the upcoming episode aside from watching a bunch of narcissistic idiots who are riddled with insecurities fight about meaningless topics, sometimes physically and sometimes verbally. The physical fights are usually better at expressing their points.

Seriously, the scene is on the internet so MTV isn’t shielding innocent eyes from this who really want to see this. If the guy is brought to justice, I really don’t see the harm in showing this horrific deed. I understand that this might be construed as promoting violence against women, although those men who aren’t living on the Jersey Shore won’t view this as a teaching lesson and will see it for what it really is: infantile and prehistoric behavior that should be eradicated as soon as possible.

But above all else, I just want to see it. I have been looking forward to this since the show’s inception. Why else suffer through all of the hair gel and shirtless guidos who disguise their insecurities with muscles and false bravado? Oh, and hair gel. The women aren’t even that attractive so there is no fallback if there isn’t entertaining action on the screen like a Real World might have.

Speaking of the Real World, the Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Ruins had its finale last week and guess who won. That’s right, the Champions (Gasp). The team that had four men and one woman beat the team with only two women. What a shocking defeat, if by shocking you mean expected and disappointing.

I have heard this suggested and I agree with this wholeheartedly: have two team captains and let them pick the teams. This way you can ensure that the teams are fair and balanced and each week has more drama on the field of play than off of it. Or at least have close to the same amount of drama on and off of the competition.

For a couple of seasons now it seems that there have been slow and drawn out blowouts where the team that has Evan, Johnny, and Kenny wins eventually much to the chagrin of everyone involved. Speaking of Kenny, why do I feel that he would fit in perfectly on Jersey Shore?


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