LeBron James and the Miami Heat lead the NBA Finals 2-1 over Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Through those three games James is averaging 30 points per game, 10 rebounds, four assists and almost two steals per game on 46% shooting. James has been great defensively and shut down Durant in the fourth quarter of game three. The demons that haunted James in last year’s finals against Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks seem to have been exercised. James persistence to get to the basket has also put Durant in foul trouble the past two games and Dwyane Wade seems to have found his stride again. However, despite James’ performance in clutch situations throughout the 2012 NBA playoffs, the haters continue to hate. This begs the question; will the LeBron haters continue their attack on the King if he finally wins a championship this season?
The LeBron haters have even found flaws in his performance throughout the first three games of these finals series. The loudest argument came after game two when he came in contact with Durant on his last second shot attempt. The LeBron haters blamed the referees for the Thunder loss instead of the Thunder’s seven missed free throws and bad interior defense. In the mind of a LeBron hater, when the Thunder won game one it was because of the stellar play. However, when the Heat won games two and three it because of the preferential treatment they received from the officials.
But the LeBron hate goes way beyond this finals series. For some reason adults have a hard time understanding why someone would leave Cleveland for Miami. The geographical factors are reason alone. James played his heart out for the Cleveland Cavaliers every night for seven seasons and even took them to the NBA finals while leading a team full of Tito Jacksons. The large mistake James made during his move to South Beach was having an hour-long ESPN special to make the announcement. Even though the event’s proceeds went to charity, it was an arrogant, self centered and self-serving move that disappointed NBA fans around the world. However, I have always wondered if New Yorkers would feel different about the special if James would have chosen to be a Knick, or if Cleveland fans would have felt different if he had announced he was staying with the Cavs.
It seems as if LeBron Haters might be as selfish as they accuse James of being. Unlike a lot of our favorite athletes and celebrities, James has kept his name of the tabloids and off of TMZ. James has been charitable, a seemingly model family man and has never thrown his teammates under the bus (I’m looking at you Kobe & Shaq). I could even understand LeBron hate if he was a ball hog or engaged in unsportsmanlike conduct, but neither has ever occurred. The most laughable product of LeBron hate is the way haters have painted the James vs. Durant battle as a battle between good and evil. Instead of what is really is, the two best players in the world fighting for the biggest prize in basketball.
Real NBA fans acknowledge the fact that this is a series featuring a great veteran NBA warrior who has suffered numerous playoff failures against an up and coming team with a great core on the biggest stage for the first time. My money is on the vet, but I am sure the LeBron Haters will have an excuse when he lifts the Larry O’Brien trophy (66 game season, refs, etc.).
From 1861 to 1865 America was engaged in a Civil War between the North and the South. In the presidential election of 1860 Abraham Lincoln campaigned against the expansion of slavery beyond current slave states. In response southern slave states seceded from the United States and formed the Confederacy. The remaining 25 states supported Lincoln and formed the Union. The confederacy, led by General Robert E. Lee, and the Union, led by Ulysses S. Grant, fought for about 4 years before the Confederacy surrendered and slavery was abolished by President Lincoln in the United States.
As we hop in our Delorean and fast-forward to 2012, New York hip-hop radio is engaged in its own Civil War. On one side is Hot 97 FM and on the other is Power 105 FM. The fight started about two weeks ago when Power 105’s Morning Show commented on the controversy involving Nicki Minaj at Hot 97’s Summer Jam concert. DJ Envy, Angela Yee & Charlemagne of Power’s morning show declared Hot 97 DJ Funkmaster Flex their “Donkey of the Day” for reacting to Minaj’s absence at Summer Jam.The next day Flex did what Flex does. He hit the airwaves at 7 PM and unleashed one of his famous rants that any normal person would need a cough drop to complete. Flex’s retaliation to Power’s morning show was long, loud and lasted for about a week while Power took shots at Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg and his morning show mates.
The war between Power 105 and Hot 97 is not a fight that will determine the fate of a young burgeoning country, but instead a fight between an old bitter neighbor that hates the loud rock and roll his next-door neighbor blasts from his bedroom. Hot 97 has run New York hip hop radio since the late 80s and did not have an ounce of competition until Power was born in 2002.
It seems as if the tension between the two stations began immediately. Hot 97 employees who pursued opportunities were instantly alienated and seen as the enemy. In any New York business or venue competition trumps everything else. The genuine feeling of pride for your peer’s success does not exist. Disdain and envy usually follow the promotion or departure of someone you once worked closely with. The ironic thing about this occurring between two New York hip-hop stations is that New York is the birthplace of a genre that has progressed rapidly since the Sugar Hill Gang first performed Rappers Delight. And while hip hop has its roots in trying to one up your opponent in the most clever way possible, these are DJs. Disk jockeys and radio talk show hosts are beefing over… I will let you know when I figure it out.
Like the Civil War, each side of this radio war is fighting for themselves and not the greater good. They each share the blame equally and should both just take a step back and do what they do best. Keep New York City dancing and rapping along to their favorite hits, instead of arguing back and forth like Basketball Wives.