LeBron James: King of Fantasyland
The comments spewing from the mouth of LeBron James recently have certainly been head-scratchers to say the least. First he decides to make the claim that there are no rivalries in the East. Now he decides to call a number of ex-Celtics hypocrites.
Bold statements, King James. Time for your crowning as King of Fantasyland.
First of all, to even suggest that there are no rivalries in the Eastern Conference is outrageous. Clearly LeBron has completely forgotten about the Chicago Bulls and all of the lovely times he has had with their squad as of late, even without Derrick Rose. After all, the Bulls may or may not have ended the second longest win streak in NBA history this past season. Oh and there was that playoff series back in May of this year. The Bulls won the first game of that series… in South Beach. (Side Note: The Heat lost only four games out of 41 in Miami during the regular season.)
Granted the Heat did win the next four games to close out the Bulls, but not without some major fireworks. Game 2 saw nine technicals, one flagrant, and two ejections. Joakim Noah was one of the two players ejected and while Noah was heading to the locker room there was of course the lovely woman in the stands who thrust a certain finger in his face. I smell rivalry.
LeBron must also have forgotten about the series right after the one against the Bulls. The Heat played the Pacers, traded games right through Game 7, and were by no means pals during the series (e.g. “Birdman” Chris Andersen attacking Tyler Hansbrough).
I just wonder how LeBron can be a part of all this and still be so blind. However, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he must be having some sort of out-of-body experience during games.
So, assuming LeBron keeps track of the rest of the NBA as he suggests in his statement, let’s look at the “BROOOOOOOOOOOOOK-LYN” Nets and the New York Knicks. If this isn’t an in-state/city rivalry, I truly don’t know what is. Last season the rivalry started to heat up again as a result of the Nets’ move to Brooklyn and some of their big acquisitions, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s now steamier than ever. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry are now suiting up for the Nets after a blockbuster summer deal that adds a number of explosive ingredients to the mix.
For the folks out there who have been taking a Rip Van Winkle type nap or are just coming out of a multi-year coma, let me pass along a now very well-known fact. Carmelo Anthony is NOT a fan of Kevin Garnett. Ever since KG supposedly told Melo that a certain someone tastes like a heart-healthy cereal we all know and love, they haven’t exactly been buds. As if that isn’t enough to make someone start shouting “rivalry!” when it comes to the Nets and Knicks, what about Jason Terry’s dealings with the Knicks? Let me think… Oh yeah! In Game 4 of the first round of the 2013 playoffs, Knicks’ guard JR Smith hit Terry with a ‘bow right in the face, proceeded to act as if he didn’t know who Jason Terry was, and then was suspended for Game 5.
You’re right, LeBron. No rivalries.
Moving right along, let’s look at the most recent LeBron comments about Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce being hypocrites.
LeBron claims that they are hypocrites because they left Boston after ripping apart Ray Allen for leaving the team last year. I’m sorry, LeBron. You are either missing some details, trying to get under their skin, or have a few wires in your head that are simply not connected properly.
Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce were traded. T-r-a-d-e-d. TRADED.
Ray Allen left Boston in free agency. He decided to leave his teammates in Boston and join their most hated rivals. That was called a decision, LeBron. A “decision” is something you know a little something about, don’t you? Yes, you can relate.
Yes, Kevin Garnett did have to waive his no-trade clause to be traded to Brooklyn, but he was obviously no longer wanted by Danny Ainge and the Boston front office. The Celtics want to start rebuilding and Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce are not part of those plans.
As for Paul Pierce, he was nothing short of devastated by the trade. He wanted to be a Celtic for life. He wanted to hang up his jersey for the last time and have it be green. Now he’s in black and white and in my humble opinion, it doesn’t look right. All I know is Boston better retire number 34 as soon as possible.
So Kevin Garnett, even though Ray Allen has always been my favorite basketball player of all time, I’m fine with you “losing” his number. Paul Pierce, you don’t have to forgive him. We all know the blood in your veins is green and you are as loyal as they come.
Finally, LeBron, enjoy your kingship in Fantasyland. I can’t think of anyone more fit to be King.
Kevin Kelly writes for WFUVSports.org.