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:
 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 Beyonc√© 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.

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