Yoru Brain Gets Warm

In case you missed it, this Kobe-on-the-greats segment was amazing. Not just NBA amazing, like exactly what I personally want to see from Bryant.

Also, it has made me completely change course on LeBron James. Or at least lose patience with him. For the moment, I can't stand him and think he is on the path to hell. HERE IT ALL IS.

Finally, I have a message from myself. I am sorry there's not so much writing on here lately. I know some of you are loathe to venture on FanHouse. But dudes, I am doing almost exactly the same thing, minus the silly pictures and nonsense titles. I can email those to you if you want. If you only want to read me, here's my author page, along with feed. Seriously though, anyone complaining that FD has dried up should at least read the daily thousand word posts I'm writing for my paying job.

Your friend,


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At 6/04/2010 2:53 PM, Blogger Bhel Atlantic said...

This felt like an episode of LOST, where after knowing a character for years, we suddenly get some mind-bending revelation about the guy's backstory that would've been useful to know back around 2004 or so.

At 6/04/2010 6:58 PM, Blogger tray said...

Wait, what are these terrible things LeBron is saying? The Larry interview? I didn't see what was so objectionable in it. I just still find the Boston implosion kind of shocking. Great players have bad games in big games, but to look like you're barely trying out there... I mean, Allen Iverson, for all his flaws, never played a playoff game remotely like LeBron's Game 5. (Or even Game 6.) The guy was always going to put up his 40-odd shots and get to the line a gajillion times and roll around on the floor after loose balls and do that ear-cupping thing, or if he wasn't winning look really forlorn about it. I don't see LeBron as some kind of choker or mental midget, but he does have this sort of "it's just a game, I'm bigger than the league, I'll win a championship eventually, why the rush" attitude. It's more of a choice than some kind of actual failing.

At 6/05/2010 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dude it's not the same... sorry

At 6/05/2010 1:23 PM, Blogger Tom Deal said...

fuck LOST and that simmons ish.

dude ainge resigned. the question is how could lebron stay in CLE after this? new coach, new GM, no guarantees of a good team. he's just as good off anywhere else, but maybe the cleveland ownership's tactic is to make it feel brand new all over again, so bron bron wants to stay.

i have for a while been souring on james for similar reasons. i don't think he cares more about his product than his game, but i do think basketball takes certain types of mental fortitude. lebron lacks whatever that is. sure he can playact at it (like he does in the regular season gettin all heated and talkin shit), but when confronted with real hard motherfuckers i don't think he measures up. this is one of the reasons i believe kobe has been better than him for the last 2 yrs and is still better than him. kobe quits sometimes, but you can't say he's scared of the hard dudes, he performed excellently against battle hardened and in some cases down right nasty teams both in the earlier part of this decade and in the past years. people forget how awful the lakers were and how kobe singlehandedly marched them through games. lebron is capable of astronomical stat-piling. i would not be surprised if he managed to end his career top 10 all time in at least points assists and rebounds, much less blocks and steals. shoals claims wilt as precedence, but i don't really think we have an exact precedence for someone like lebron. wilt was assured of at least one title based on the semi-lack of competition. lebron is not guaranteed anything. he could end his career with 3+ mvps and huge statistical numbers and no rings. i don't know if this hurts his legacy, or enhances his marketing mystique. but i definitely think that there is a part of lebron that doesn't care about basketball with the insentity of some others.

At 6/05/2010 2:10 PM, Blogger Jacob said...

"this is one of the reasons i believe kobe has been better than him for the last 2 yrs and is still better than him. kobe quits sometimes, but you can't say he's scared of the hard dudes"

Yes, forgot about any actual evidence. Kobe is clearly better because he's not scared of 'hard dudes,' whatever the shit that means. I mean, when there are no numbers to back up an assertion, this is the exact type of nonsense spewed.

At 6/05/2010 2:13 PM, Blogger Jacob said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6/05/2010 2:16 PM, Blogger Jacob said...

One question, and one question only needs to be asked: what team has LBJ played on that SHOULD have won a championship? The answer is none. People were saying LeBron couldn't get it done last year, and he averaged a 38/8/8 while shooting 53% against the Magic. His second best player this year against the Celtics was who? Any answer would be laughable.

The way people discuss championships is maddening. Charles Barkley is some type of failure because he never won a ring. What team did Charles play on that should have won? The best team he ever played on got within 2 games. And lost to a better TEAM. That's the way it works.

Defending LBJ gets old, and he'll have to win a ring or two before he retires, but some of the criticisms are beyond ridiculous. Does anyone think for a second that LBJ wouldn't have 4 rings if he had played on every team Kobe has won with? No one with a brain believes that so why do we keep acting like rings rule everything when comparing individual players?

At 6/05/2010 2:38 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

I am sure LBJ will get rings, have always thought his teams overrated, etc. I also don't really measure players by championships. It's just hard to like the guy right now, not from a traditional sports perspective, but because the whole FA thing went from revolutionary to gaudy and icky really fast. And it makes me regret how hard I've tried to defend him in the past.

Trouc, you know, this site has changed a lot too over five years. Have you been around since 2005? My writing's changed tons. People have come and gone. I can tell you, when I sit down these days to write for FH, I just start typing. Same as here. If you think something's missing here, or there, well, go start your own shit to recapture whatever vintage of FD you prefer. I've moved on.

At 6/05/2010 6:55 PM, Blogger spanish bombs said...

I am willing to say that the Cavs should have beat the Celtics this year, and it should not really have been close.

P.S. I also prefer back in the day FD, but there is a Firefox widget that translates pages into another language. So I pick a language at random, and then switch it back to English. Just avoid Asian languages because the Engrish really is as bad as advertised! You're welcome.

At 6/05/2010 6:59 PM, Blogger spanish bombs said...

Shoals, I am curious as to your thoughts on Kobe's appreciation of past players versus Rondo's complete ignorance of them.

At 6/05/2010 7:28 PM, Blogger mr.ak said...

for the record, I have always loved those "silly pictures and nonsense titles", with all of my heart.

At 6/05/2010 7:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 6/05/2010 9:22 PM, Blogger Jacob said...

"I am willing to say that the Cavs should have beat the Celtics this year, and it should not really have been close."

Fair assertion, maybe, but what are you basing it on? The only way that would seem possible is if we were just going off the way those two teams played in the regular season. It was clear that Celtics were the better team in that series. LBJ did not have a great series, but there is no other player on his team that can come close to winning a game for them. Mo Williams was the second best Cav in that series, and outside of about two halves, he was AWFUL. Really awful. Even if James had a series like he did the year before against the Magic, I still don't see them winning against the Celtics with the way they were playing.

At 6/05/2010 9:32 PM, Blogger Tom Deal said...

bron shouldn't have won a title thus far, but he could have. that's the point i think a lot of people are trying to make. his cavs teams have never been very good (despite the hype) and really getting rid of ferry only helps the cavs bargaining position with him if he understands that those teams were misbuilt. he on the other hand, with enough work/will could have a title by now based on his talent level. the difficulty is that time and time again basketball proves that very very few players are up to the task of making a good situation rather than ending up in one/becoming a part of team with enough talent to overcome their weaknesses. time and time again you see one lone gunner fall against a team, no matter how good the gunner. perhaps lebron's personality complex is in some ways even more insidious, in the sense that based on his hype it would be a humiliation or acknowledgment for him to share star billing. kobe was forced to share star billing with shaq at first, and still struggles wih his top-dog aspirations.

on hard dudes and evidence: spurs, blazers, twolves, kings, suns all gave LA no quarter and were ultimately defeated earlier in this decade. the last two years have been a case of no one in the west getting it together to challenge the lakers. so yes they've creampuffed lately.

At 6/06/2010 4:38 AM, Blogger Kaifa said...

In my opinion LeBron's teams are made out to be worse than they actually are, especially this year's squad. The talent gap between Kobe/Gasol is of course much smaller than between LeBron/whoever's the second best teammate on that night. But the current Cavs are built specifically around James and are good players in their own right.

At PG a guy who is great at playing off the ball and a dead-eye shooter. Of course there are several better PGs in the NBA, but most of these need the ball in their hands a lot to create, which James does in Cleveland.

They have an All-Star PF who stretches the floor to open up LeBron's drives. They have a still solid stretch-5 that they didn't play nearly enough because of Shaq in my opinion (I think Z works way better with Lebron).

They have Varejao to fill in the gaps and clean up, also a bunch of swingmen who are solid defenders and bring various degrees of either proficient 3-point-shooting or athleticism to finish LeBron's passes (Parker, West, Moon).

This team is deep, versatile, solid defensively. The top 9-10 can really play, there's no Smush Parkers or Kwame Browns among them.

Now obviously in the play-offs the Cavs haven't always performed up to the high standards they set in the regular season. Other teams have stepped-up, this year again those with the no-nonsense leaders.

So my point of criticism would be this:

LeBron does set an atmosphere of playfulness and levity (plus a good touch of arrogance) with all these pre-game routines etc. that comes back to bite the Cavs when the other teams get from serious to really serious. Kobe overdoes it by taking the "I'm really focussed and serious" act over the top, but still, I think you can sense the difference of urgency on his team or the Celtics with KG as their spiritual leader.

LeBron always wins any "making players around him better" argument because he creates easy shots for his fellow Cavs. He's great at setting up players to just having to finish plays that he created. No criticism for that, he's probably the best in the NBA right now at balancing his own dominance with keeping his teammates involved.

But contrast that with KG, who made Big Baby cry until he was ready to step up for them in the play-offs. Or Kobe, who got Gasol to toughen up to make the jump from very good to great. In these cases it's as much about taking on the mentality of the leader as it is about actually performing on court.

It could be that LeBron's teammates just can't handle the pressure, it might be the offense that Cleveland runs that is just too predictable over a play-off series that even an unstoppable supernova like James can be slowed down just enough. But my feeling is that the way LeBron goes about his business is responsible for not elevating the other players with him.

(If you can't tell, I'm not a huge stats guy. So if the stats show that Jamison, Parker, Moon etc are all better on the Cavs, especially in clutch situations, then I'll retract my overly long comment immediately)

At 6/06/2010 1:57 PM, Blogger MookieDC said...

LeBron assumes greatness, Kobe expects - nay, DEMANDS - greatness. Plain and simple. Don't over-complicate the process of determining this by looking at numbers, awards and championships, which are just as much a result of circumstance as ability.

At 6/06/2010 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

shoals, i don't really have anything to disagree with in your paragraph to me. i've been reading since 2005 yeah, and things've changed, people move on. i don't fault you for that, but i will object if you act like there's no difference between now and then or here and there. for a while you tapped into some great shit, had an urgency in your writing that was unique and pretty beautiful, so... i can be disappointed when shit changes.

i don't want to start something silly here, but fd has meant a lot to me and so it'd be shameful to say nothing when i'm missing it. this is pretty late... as you made your choices a long time ago... but whatever. i wish you luck dude, and i'm not trying to be personal. you had some moments and should be proud of them. but don't grief me for thinking you artificially capped yourself well below your limits.

At 6/06/2010 5:40 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

It's not really an argument thing. You're sad, and it makes me kind of sad. I couldn't keep doing the same thing forever, and as it turns out, I'm also in a position to make a living off of this.

All I meant was that I'm fine with what I'm writing now, everywhere, and don't see that much of a difference. And while you see me as "capped," I also feel like the old stuff was unsustainable. Maybe even untenable. I guess I'm saying, if I sold out, I'm just fine with the way it happens. It doesn't feel like an unnatural progression to me.

That said, who I have no idea what would happen if I were suddenly paid a salary to do FD, on FD.

At 6/07/2010 2:14 PM, Blogger dunces said...

I've been reading since the start too, and while your style has changed, Shoals, let's face it, everything changes. Basketball has changed. The last decade felt like modernity approaching and that the future was wide-open. The present is a post-modern mess full of potential and gross pollution in equal measure.

People aren't exempt. I'm growing and changing; my relationship to basketball isn't static, and I can hardly assume yours is. To me, that's been valuable, because as time goes on and flashes of brilliance in younger players reflect off of my own life in a different way, I can see another trajectory in your writing that keeps me from becoming dogmatic in mining truth from my own experiences.

So for what it's worth Shoals, I'm really digging your new shit at FanHouse, and I can say it's as personally relevant to me.

At 6/14/2010 3:01 PM, Blogger T.A.N. said...

Shoals, you're one of the greats (and rest of FD massive). I guess the book deal would count as a ring on this playground. So you got your ring(s), some linkable highlights, nice stout resume. Heads have to game plan for Shoals/FD or risk being exposed in the halfcourt. Anyone who has played the game respects the FD hustle. Readers, fans, consumers everywhere are spoiled. Lucky them and us, I guess...



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