The Sabres Observer
by @DaveDavisHockey on 06/13/11 at 05:24 PM ET
It was no more than five minutes after I’d pinched myself, for admitting that I actually enjoyed watching an NBA playoff series, when the most talented player and supposed representative of the sport opened his mouth and put my newfound positive feelings about the league on ice.
For those of you that try to avoid the NBA like a Matt Cooke elbow to the head, and how could I blame you, here is the gem from LeBron James after his deer-in-the-headlights performance that ensured an NBA Championship for the Dallas Mavericks:
reporter: Does it bother you that so many people are happy to see you fail?
LeBron: Absolutely not. Because at the end of the day, all the people that was rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that. They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal, but they have to get back to the real world at some point.
My first thought while listening to this condescending dribble was about Sidney Crosby. How would the poster boy for the NHL have answered this question?
Hey, maybe he feels the same way as James but just isn’t dumb enough to say it. Sid The Kid does have a Finals loss of his own on the record, and for all I know maybe at the time he was actually asked that question. Forgive my lack of journalistic due diligence, but I’m just going to assume that Crosby didn’t tell his haters to go back to their pathetic lives.
It’s this kind of stuff that turns people off the NBA. LeBron can spend the summer hanging out with his entourage and counting his lucky stars for not being one of the poor, hard life everyday people. Crosby, meanwhile, just might play street hockey with a few of them.
Yes, it’s true that we want athletes to cut out the clichés and tell us how they honestly feel. If Roberto Luongo really thinks that Tim Thomas is foolish for spending too much time out of the paint, personally I think it’s refreshing that he comes out in the media and says it. Let’s not portray our hockey heroes as choirboys who are above a little dose of occasional trash talking.
But slam dunking your fans the way James did takes it to a really bad place. And don’t tell me his comments were just a response to his critics. Try telling me with a straight face that the
Frozen One thinks that his haters are the only Average Joe NBA fans that had their generic lives and personal problems to wake up to today.
Sure, there are things about Crosby that irk me. When a great player has a Stanley Cup ring and your team doesn’t, it’s easy to find flaws. But at least he represents the NHL with some semblance of class and professionalism.
As the face of the league and the sport, last night was proof that you can certainly do much worse.
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About The Sabres Observer
Dave Davis has covered the Buffalo Sabres for various NHL accredited websites and newspapers since 2003. He was the senior writer and Sabres correspondent for The Fourth Period, covered hockey for Western New York Sports and Leisure Magazine, and has had articles featured on NHL.com, FOX Sports, Yahoo Sports and in New York Sportscene. Sabres news and notes can be found on his Twitter page.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: [@DaveDavisHockey]