LeBron James’ “The Decision” was a 1 hour televised pistol-whipping to the collectively miserable psyche of Cleveland sports fans. Last Tuesday, “King James” headed back to greet his former peons at Quicken Loans Arena.
It was the second time LeBron had taken his talents back to Cleveland since he left under heavy criticism. The first trip the Heat scorched the Cavs to the tune of a James-led curbstomping that sent the Cavs into a “Blackhawk Down” style, tailspinning nightmare which crash-landed them into the boneyard of all-time bad teams. The 2010-11 season saw Cleveland turn into the dirty rug of the league, constantly getting the dust beat out of them.
The Heat, heralded by some as a super team worthy of 70+ wins and by others as a whole lot more hyperbole than substance, have proven that both sides of the spectrum are right in one way or another. They’re inconsistent. In fact, they’re consistently inconsistent. They have Space Mountained their way through several tough losing streaks and a few impressive winning streaks as well.
While they’ve had well-documented trouble beating upper echelon opponents they have been decisively smoking patsies like the Cavaliers all year.
And then Tuesday happened.
Cleveland, woefully inadequate in both scoring and defensive stats, hadn’t won a game by 10 or more points all year.
And then Tuesday happened.
LeBron and the Heat headed to Cleveland feeling like rockstars. Calling themselves “The Heatles,” they landed their roadies, possies, and PR agents on the tarmac of LeBron’s former town feeling ready to deliver another defacto performance; to drive a #6 labeled stake into the hearts of the staggering undead that is the Cleveland franchise.
But in a city that houses the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame, “The Heatles” played more like an Air Supply cover band than a group worthy of any kind of enshrinement. Suffice it to say, LeBron was “All Out of Love.” (*Author’s Note: Shoot me. Seriously. I think that’s a new Burnpoetry record for lamest name drop of a song. Ever.)
LeBron’s troubles started early Tuesday evening. As the Heat’s team bus was pulling up to head into the arena, LeBron and his crew were attempting to sneak in in-coward-nito through the back parking garage. The LeBrontourage was spotted rolling in an Obama-worthy cavalcade of multiple SUV’s but were turned away by security.
I’m not saying that LeBron was scared to come in the front door. . .but LeBron was scared to come in the front door.
However, can you really blame him? If you were Benedict Arnold, would you want to pull your carriage up at the front gates of Mount Vernon or would you probably try to sneak around back to the slave quarters?
It got worse from there.
As the Heat prepared to have their team introductions read, and as they began to announce LeBron James’ height, weight, and high school “The Chosen One” chose to cop-out. With a rolling thunder of boos cascading down, vibrating through the arena like a chorus of tribal war drums, LeBron was nowhere to be found. Apparently Bron-Bron had to pee-pee.
When asked about his absence after the game LeBron said that he’d had to go to the bathroom. He was defiant about his choice to hit the John at the exact moment when he would be basking in the unabashed hatred of 20,562 people, asking inquisitive media members if they “had a problem with that?!?”
Of course they did, LeBron. At the moment when you were supposed to come out and rally your would-be bad boy image, show the icy contempt that made Jordan who he was and Kobe who he is, you copped out and popped a squat in your locker room.
Now, to be fair, maybe LeBron has a prostate issue. Maybe he’s got a hot new endorsement deal for Beta Prostate and will be starring in a commercial about untimely pee breaks.
I’m not sure why, if LBJ had to take a pee, he couldn’t just go on the court. He practically took a dump at center court last year when he completely gave up during the Cavs’ last playoff game in 2010.
The Cavs, however, came out motivated — they must have taken their bathroom breaks at the right time — and played with a ferocity and passion that has been sorely lacking since James’ departure.
The Cavs won their first game by more than 10 points all year. They exorcised a minor demon in the process, beating the man who beatdown the whole city last summer, and they allowed me to make a prostate joke in a sports post. Thanks, the Cavs.
The Heat continued to look severely flawed, having their porous bench get outscored by nearly 30 points by the Cavs’ bench and they lost the chance to move up a spot to third in the Eastern Conference standings.
Now? The playoffs loom large. The question remains, will LeBron and company show up and deliver in the face of mass amounts of “we’re going to win 7 titles” self-hype, or will their season end up in the toilet like their superstar?