Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Simmons on LeBron

From the Sports Guy's excellent All-Star weekend recap:
To LeBron James, who coasted through the Skills Challenge on All-Star Saturday and played the All-Star Game with the uplifting, charismatic intensity of a female porn star trying to break one of those "most male partners in one afternoon" records. Could we end up putting him in the "Too Much, Too Soon" Pantheon some day? Will he become the basketball version of Eddie Murphy, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson and every other celeb who became famous too quickly and eventually burned out?

Here's what I know. I had four conversations with connected NBA people over the weekend that centered around the same themes: LeBron isn't playing nearly as hard as he did last season; it looks like his only goal right now is to get his coach fired; he's regressing as a basketball player (especially his passing skills and his shot selection); he made a huge mistake firing his agent and turning his career over to his buddies back home (all of whom are in over their heads); he was a much bigger problem during the Olympics than anyone realized; he doesn't seem to be enjoying himself anymore; he has an overrated sense of his own worth and his own impact in the sports world (as witnessed by the ESPN interview last week when he answered the "What are your goals?" question with two words: "Global icon"); he's been protected by magazine fluff pieces and buddy-buddy TV interviews for far too long; he doesn't have the same relentless drive to keep dominating everyone like Wade and Kobe have; and basically, we're much closer to LeBron re-enacting the career arc of Martina Hingis, Eric Lindros and Junior Griffey than anyone realizes. This will evolve into THE dominant NBA story of the next two months. You watch.
I'll have more to say on this later.


LargeBill said...

I hope LeBron reads this crap and gets fired up.

Erik said...

I think Bill Simmons is a Cleveland-hating bastard. I can't stand the guy. Everybody tells me I'm way off-base and should just read his columns for the humor value.

Am I taking what Simmons says too seriously? Because it's to the point where I really can't stand reading what he writes anymore.

I used to think Simmons was funny, that he sympathized with fan bases like Cleveland where if you didn't laugh, you'd cry.

But then the Patriots won three Super Bowls. Then Simmons moved out to L.A. and began hobnobbing with celebrities. Then the Cavs drafted the anointed "Chosen One." Then, the piece de resistance, the Red Sox won the World Series.

It all seems to be a perfect storm. Because his teams are winning and he's a big star in Tinseltown, Simmons has lost any sense of humility and instead of humorous observations, he's now passing judgment.

Cleveland gets a really famous basketball player that Simmons can't help but have strong opinions about, and Cleveland fans, being as touchy as we are, send Simmons loads hate mail when he writes anything even remotely critical of LeBron or the Cavs.

(That's where you get the "Cleveland fans are like women" reference from last year.)

It's a vicious cycle. Simmons writes something critical of Cleveland, fans write him hate mail, which causes him to be even more critical, etc. That's why I think Simmons basically hates Cleveland, and it's going to be a long time before you see him write anything positive about this city again.

Anonymous said...

It is all jealousy. Simmons probably thinks Paul Pierce is better. What a douchebag!

POJO_Risin said...

You know...I absolutely think that Simmons is a douchebag...

I concur Erik...with everything that you said.

I also, however, don't buy that it's just "tired" that's got Lebron on the ropes at times.

I do, however, think it's a bit more chemistry on the team...and Brown's lack of experience...

as opposed to Lebron playing like a bitch...

Simmons is just plain full of shit..

can't wait to see your take on it Ben...

BW said...

Bill Simmons should look in the mirror when talking about someone who overvalues their own worth. The guy is a pompous, uninformed Boston homer who simply cant write an objective column without mentioning Boston sports lore or his beloved season tickets to the other team in LA. He has absolutely no clue when it comes to the actual dynamic and gameplay of sports ala he didnt think Nash deserved the MVP because he was surrounded by all-stars with an all-world coach (this lil excerpt is from a retort of Bill Simmons on Anyone who read Bill's Steve bashing was thinking the same thing as the guys at basketbawful. What a douchebag.)

I used to read Simmons in college but his quality as declined over the last 2 years. Erik might be right about us taking him too seriously, but i doubt that is the case based on how he writes his articles. He makes too much effort gathering stats and taking examples NOT to be serious about it. This topic, much like Bill's writing, is exhausted and assinine. Ill take Easterbrooks TMQ or Peter Kings MMQ any day of the week.