Invites for Frost
I don't like what I'm hearing. Not from LeBron, who has boldly asserted that he could win the scoring title every year, but from the rest of us. No, it's not the case that any other player could top LeBron if both gunned all-out, Gervin/Thompson-style, each day of the night. You know why? Because unlike Durant or Melo, James has way more at his disposal. He could work the post, or just run up the court and through all defenders on every possession. Yes, it was a matter-of-fact statement, calm and hardly with the lurch of a braggart. At the same time, LeBron is differentiating himself from his peers. Hey, everybody, he has untapped potential still. He knows it, and if he totally broke out of a team system to go for numbers—which, incidentally, he is less likely to do than anyone on this short-list—amazing thing would happen. We used to know it, and now he's slipping it in himself. Going after him for it seems a waste of time, but at the same time, there is something chilling about this off-hand press release. Forget at your own peril.
I am about to say two things involving NBC's Pro Basketball Talk, both of which involve folks I consider e-pals. So no one think this is a mix-tape war. Kurt lead the "is this news?" charge on the LeBron front; to him, I say yes and no. In what order, I'm not sure. No, in that we should knew, but yes, in that he reminds us? Or yes, in that it he reminds us (and himself) what's still buried inside him, and no, after that it's a no-brainer. Let's move on. Krolik, whom some of you may remember from his contributions to this site, took poor Monta Ellis to task the same day for calling himself the third-best player in the league. First, I would like to thank John for bringing to my attention Rolling Stone's embrace of Durant. Of course, it all makes sense—KD, and the Thunder in general, are the most indie rock-friendly team in the league. They even took that from the Sonics' storied past. El ouch. As for the meat of the story, look, shouldn't Ellis be ignored even more forcefully than James? Let him have his fun. If you think he's the problem with the Warriors, you must have an undue amount of faith in the D-League.
Ellis isn't perfect, and his career is at loggerheads. But if an obviously talented, frustrated, and aimless still-young guard on a team built out of nonsense brags to a generally indifferent media, is he really going to war? Not to neglect my role as a member of the media, but come on, let's give Ellis a break. At least until we're all convinced that he's being given a chance to screw up convincingly. Neither his non "right way" play (either caps or quotations all the time, I thought), nor his inflated ego are tethered to reality. I don't know, maybe I'm underestimating all these call-ups. But this is a man floating through trauma. Do we really want to hold him accountable in the same way—even less so, maybe—than the game's best player? Ellis may deserve more grief than James, and is certainly empirically wrong in a slew of ways, but it's only LeBron James whose words have any meaning past the narrow context of "punk spews crap" headline.
Oh, and Amare hates T-Mac. Pass it on.