LeBron… But He’s ‘Our’ Villain
The Miami Heat may very well win the 2011 NBA Finals, but regardless of triumph or defeat, LeBron will still be the villain. It’s OK.
Washington Wizards fans almost like to gloat that they were amongst the first to whom LeBron exposed himself to — the epitome of privilege that always asks for more and will resort to less-than-savory tactics to get what it wants. So what.
LeBron is a villain, and I’ve spent a lot of pixels communicating this. And I will continue to do so. LeBron is a fact of life.
Of course he’s making you love him as a basketball player, passing exuberantly, rebounding above all, defending with no restraint, astounding with power that compresses rim paint to the point of cracking. He’s no basketball dummy. The only thing that really dwarfs his instinct for the game is what he can do with that freak of a Karl Malone-sized body that he’s in.
Yes, we know LeBron seemingly “checked out” of game four, according to DeShawn Stevenson at least, but does that mean all other memories of amazing are stricken from the record? In a contribution regarding LeBron on HoopSpeak.com (last entry at the bottom), I essentially opined that the hubbub over game four might be a tad premature. But if the Heat don’t win the championship, memories of LeBron’s basketball excellence will certainly be vastly muted.
LeBron is a villain and that’s OK. Sports needs villains. Maybe life does. Maybe all of this is just natural. The fact that LeBron, of all people, is a fan of the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys isn’t a coincidence. It’s indicative of his front-running nature, and what should make us more comfortable is that LeBron is a too-good-to-be-true story that’s already been written, nay, a movie. But whatever the case, we are getting to watch it unfold in real time. Lucky us. And by ‘too-good-to-be-true,’ I mean, ‘Hollywood unreal’.
“They’re great, great actors and they sell it,” Stevenson also said about both LeBron and Dwyane Wade in recent days. Yes, they flop, and it’s disgusting because of the advantages they already have.
Maybe the rightly-so stigma surrounding acting/flopping and the NBA, as it has become, is the root of this particular complaint, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that LeBron, and by default, Wade, will do whatever it takes to win.
Flopping, whining, crying, politicking, whatever (as villains are wont to do). Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to shade the hypocrites on all the other teams who do the same thing. They may be villains too, but they aren’t the best villains. LeBron is.
Beautiful to watch and easy to dislike, and in some cases the former makes it harder to do the latter unless the former leads to a championship, which certainly could bring the latter back to the forefront, i.e., you know Miami is having a gaudy and gluttonous parade if they win.
We get caught up with the amount of silliness and zest at which the media might go at LeBron because he scored eight points and took one fourth quarter shot in game four. The thought of the furor whets out appetite more than the paltry numbers themselves (while not circumventing the fact that the Heat losing allows this to happen).
With so much of today’s media narrative resulting in creamed pants over comeback stories, while the steady, straight and narrow gets no credit, maybe we should rest assured in the fact that some villains are here stay, and they just might win every once in a while. And they just might have fans who are oblivious to their villainy.
Rooting for the defeat of a villain brings balance to life, as unrealized as that may be due to a potentially changing NBA landscape, to the detriment of fair sports, which was likely contributed to by said villain.
“In a comic, you know how you can tell who the arch-villain’s going to be? He’s the exact opposite of the hero. And most times they’re friends, like you and me!,” -Elijah Price, played by Samuel L. Jackson in the movie Unbreakable
I don’t read comic books and movies don’t always take with me, in that I know they are scripted, but this quote adds nothing wrong to seeing this world as a general place of equilibrium that can slightly sway in either direction for an undetermined amount of time. Sports is not scripted (for the most part, we hope), and I love it. Love. It. To the point where I snobbinlgy hold sports superior to the movies and reality shows that we all must “tolerate” because our girlfriends (or whomever/significant other) are entertained by them just as we are sports. It’s different I tell them, but they don’t understand.
Rooting against the villain isn’t hating, it’s simply experiencing a different tingle of excitement by taking an interest in an act opposite to our inherent comfort zones, rooting for the hero.
Win or lose, LeBron is our villain, and that’s OK.