You know what I want you to do? Will you do something for me? Do me a favor. Just kick my ass, okay? Kick this ass for a man, that’s all. Kick my ass. Enjoy. Come on. I’m not asking, I’m telling with this. Kick my ass.
— Artie Fufkin (Paul Shearer), “This Is Spinal Tap”
I was wrong.
I was wrong about LeBronBron James. About what would happen when he made “THE DECISION.” About what would happen when James joined the estimable Dwyane Wade and the more than a journeyman Chris Bosh on South Beach.
I thought there’d be more than the smoke machine-infused, glitzy intros, the feasts at Joe’s Stone Crab, clubbing at LIV in the hip again Fountainebleau.
I thought — like Michael & Scottie, Magic & Kareem, Russell & Cousy, Bird & The Chief — that LBJ & D Wade would conquer.
Despite early season woes, they jelled and it was inevitable. So I wrote.
Instead they folded like a t-shirt at the Wash-A-Rama.
Then, when it mattered, when their reps — especially the Anointed One’s — were on the line, they showed up with all the angst of a pimpled 13 year old at his first middle school cotillion.
I was wrong.
So, do me a favor. Kick my ass. Enjoy. Come on. I’m telling. Kick my ass.
* * * * *
Here’s what I love about the Mavs W.
How Jason Terry played. How Jason Terry handled himself in victory.
Like a Man in Full.
11/ 16 from the field, including 3/ 7 from beyond the arc. A few steals, a few assists. Steady. So so steady. Steely resolve to not lose this title to the Heat, because he was there when the Mavs lost their last title op to the Heat.
How the Dallas supporting cast played when Dirk’s shots wouldn’t drop last night. Nowitzki had a +/- of -4. Brian Cardinal and Shawn Marion were +18. So too Jason Kidd.
And, as bad a shooting game as MVP Dirk had, he was there at crunch time, sealing the deal.
* * * * *
Mark Cuban. Hats off to you.
You curbed your tongue and let the players you assembled do the talking.
And, hey, now that you’ve got a trophy, it’s okay not to dress like a computer geek to the games. You don’t have to go Jerry Jones bespoke. But a shirt with a collar would be nice. Make your mother smile.
* * * * *
Even in defeat, he’s the story, right?
Well, it’s hard to tell. I swear it looked like he simply didn’t want to be there last night. Carpe diem certainly wasn’t part of his vocabulary.
At the post game presser, he was game, if chastened. He duly praised Dallas. But without his posse of homie sycophants pumping him up, he looked shell shocked.
He looked like a fellow who had never considered he’d lose. As if a title was ordained. As if all the praise, all the articles, all the endorsements, all his native athletic talent added up to a sure thing.
But he showed no will.
All night, LeBronBron stood fidgeting, reticent and nervous by the side of the dance floor in his bow tie and watched Dirk and JJ and Tyson swoop in on the object of his pubescent desire. Like Charles (Riley Griffiths), the nascent movie maker in “Super 8,” he longed for sweet Alice Dainard (Elle Fanning), but watched as Joe (Joel Courtney) won her heart.
LBJ has a long way to go. Athletic talent he has. Basketball skills he has. But basketball talent alone does not make a transcendent basketball player.
So, LeBron, why don’t you join me. Bend over with me. Let ‘em kick our ass and get it over with.
– Seedy K