If you're not basking in the glory of the Miami Heat's loss in the NBA Finals, I don't know what to tell you. The superstar-laden Heat, who last summer were essentially handed the championship when LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwayne Wade in Miami in an overly dramatic half-hour special on ESPN, crashed and burned spectacularly.
The season went as expected -- the Heat finished second in the Eastern Conference -- but the finals did not. The Heat lost in six games to the Dallas Mavericks, and the lackluster play of James in particular came under heavy scrutiny.
As a native of Northeast Ohio, I couldn't be happier. When LeBron dashed from Cleveland to a God-mode superteam, we couldn't have dreamed of such a perfect end to their championship run. So let's extend my joy with a review of the best ridicule of my dear friend Bron-Bron.
Never forget: Only minutes after The Decision, the mockery started flowing. My favorite, just edging out Cleveland's response to a James Nike commercial, is LeBronJones.com. We'll never forget you, LeBron Jones.
Really, never forget: If you thought Cleveland fans might find some sympathy and pity in their hearts, Yahoo! Sports checked it out. Nope. You can almost feel the righteous pleasure they're getting from seeing James fail. I guess the Germans call it Schadenfreude. Cleveland fans call it "the only joy we find in sports."
In a pickle: Obviously, sports comedy websites got their shots in. None was as comprehensive as Sports Pickle's photo essay about James, "Looking back at LeBron's terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad year." It's a joke site, yeah, but the photos are real, aside from some obviously Photoshopped pictures. And no, the birthday cake isn't one.
Congrats to the champs: As if all the sarcastic "Hey, great job" and "Congrats on choking" tweets weren't enough, the Miami paper took mockery --mistaken mockery, but it counts -- of LeBron a step further. A Macy's ad congratulating the Heat was mistakenly printed in the following day's Miami Herald. But the Mavs won the series 4 games to 2, which means even if the Heat had won game 6 they couldn't have won the championship that night. Also, they didn't win. They lost.
Welcome to Ohio (like it or not): Most people in Ohio want to get out. I spent 22 years there and very, very rarely heard "I love this state!!" So it almost sounds like punishment that Ohio Governor John Kasich made Dallas Mavericks players, staff members and even fans honorary citizens of Ohio in a decree after the finals. Congrats, fellas! Have some celebratory gravy and we'll all do a polka.
In a recession: James' play on the court was bad. Really bad. But when you're done mocking his basketball, move on to his baldness. That's the idea behind a video made by radio host Bomani Jones, taking a closer look at James' tendency to wear a headband on the court. The fact that Jones and others are studying LeBron so closely only shows people want to find any reason at all to mock the King. Sounds good to me.
The emptiness of sports hatred: After all the joking and ripping on LeBron is done, we leave you on a sad note. SI.com's Joe Posnanski, writer of "Curiously Long Posts," chronicles his hatred-turned-pity for James and the Heat, as he watched James wilt under the pressure of the finals. Posnanski, one of the most thoughtful sportswriters in the business, says it wasn't worth his time to dislike the Heat, who ultimately just turned out hollow and sad. True enough. It's a good point. But I'm still with that Cleveland guy (OK, there were many) who said "Fuck LeBron James."
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