LeBron James gave the Heat a performance to remember. And then paused to give a 7-year-old boy a gift he won’t soon forget. James walked off the court Monday night at the Prudential Center shoeless moments after scoring the Heat’s final 17 points in a 101-98 comeback win against the host Nets. He then took off his shoes, autographed them and handed them Daniel Julez Smith, the nephew of singer Beyoncé Knowles, who sat courtside with husband/rapper/Nets minority owner Jay-Z at the game. “Am I going to miss those shoes?” James said. “No, I got another pair. We came too far to take the foot off the gas. I looked at the scoreboard and didn’t know what I was doing individually. I knew I was making some plays though. I didn’t know I scored 17 straight.” The celebrity duo witnessed James’ fourth-quarter effort that salvaged an otherwise sloppy effort by the Heat, which won the second of back-to-back games. The victory in the Heat’s final game in New Jersey against the Nets, who will move to Brooklyn next season, was Miami’s third in a row.Directly between the word "Smith" and the word "the" this story goes from feel-good to groan inducing. If only the comma was a period we would be left thinking about how Lebron played a magical game, didn't choke, and made some kid's day. But it is a comma, and the second half let's us know that it wasn't just some lucky kid. It was a kid who already had an extraordinary amount of luck by being Beyonce's nephew. It morphs from some sort of real life Mean Joe Green moment to a type of weird offering to the rich and famous. Maybe Derrick Rose needs to talk to him about the folly of placing too much importance on rappers.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Losing Even When You Win
Lebron James has been taking quite a bit of antipathy from the public and media ever since he left Cleveland for South Beach. I don't know the guy, so I'm not sure what kind of person he is. But I do know that repairing your image requires precisely half of the following tale: