Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. This notoriously untranslatable German word is used as a loanword
in English, and it perfectly encapsulates what American NBA fans are
feeling this morning now that the Dallas Mavericks have denied the Miami
Heat the league title.
I guess it's fitting the Finals MVP (Dirk Nowitzki) who did them in was a native of Wurzburg, Germany.
Schadenfreude is running rampant as the rest of the nation seems to have picked up the Cleveland vibe of hating/laughing at Lebron James
and his failure last night. Shortly after the final buzzer sounded "Lebron
James Fail" and "Miami Heat Fail" were trending in the search engines.
And there's plenty of good reason.
Winning 58 games and the Eastern
Conference title (as James and the Heat did) is a very successful
season. But given all the world-must-revolve-around-me hoopla and
preseason braggadocio that led into this season- anything short of
winning it all in Miami=epic failure..
It's hard not to bring up last July's one hour reality special "The
Decision," which was a plague on all of our houses. It's already regarded
as one of the worst PR moves of all time, and it led to EVERY single
person who was going to Miami for any possible reason to say "I'm taking
my talents to South Beach." Correction, any person who lacks
originality/personality and was headed to Miami would say the phrase.
Sometime around 2025, they'll make an ESPN "30 for 30" documentary about what a horrible catastrophe "The Decision" was.
Then there's the Heat's utterly stupid what-should-have-been-a-simple-press-conference-but-instead-became-an-absurdly pre-emptive and arrogant pseudo-championship rally.
Chicagoan Dwyane Wade is just as guilty as Lebron, because he said at
the rally they were: "arguably the greatest trio to ever play
My response to Dwyane's remark, to quote Barack Obama describing Kanye West after the Taylor Swift VMA incident: "well, he's a jackass."
It's not Key Lime, but instead humble pie that's being served in south Florida right now.
And then there's this attention-seeking douche.
(Yes, that is me pictured with the man in question and his girlfriend
who's way too hot for him). Two weeks after "The Decision," Sandusky,
Ohio native Matthew Bellamy wore a new Miami Heat LeBron James
jersey to a Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees game and this transpired. The Bellamy incident was to the long hot summer of NBA Free Agent Love what the Battle of Yorktown was to the American Revolution. ("The Decision" was was probably the Boston Massacre.)
That night Bellamy also established a new "become famous for 15
seconds because you acted like a complete jackass at a sporting event"
precedent. Cowboys Stadium Lap Dance Girl (video available here) also followed this rule of show-business.
And there's a whole cottage industry (obviously headquartered in
Cleveland and started by Cavaliers fans) that exists based on pure
anti-LBJ vitriol. You can buy a t-shirt to join in. Or this one, just hot off the presses.
The Twitterverse was alive with Anti-James sentiment last night. It's probably best encapsulated by the account CavsforMavs (nearly 7,000 followers)
Here's what bugs me about LeBron calling out his "haters". We
hate you because of what YOU did. You WERE loved, now you're not.
Your mistake was thinking that we were fans of YOU. We're fans
of the CAVS, when you left thinking your fans would just follow you...
you exhibited egomaniacal sociopathic behavior which alienated
all of your fans, and caused even people who didn't care before to hate
And this one made the Twitter rounds quickly, although I have no idea how to got started.
The City of Dallas just announced that tomorrow is Lebron James Day. Everyone gets to leave work 12 minutes early.
Indeed everyone who followed the NBA seemed to take pride in James
inability to do anything in the 4th quarter. He truly disappeared when
it mattered most during this series.
But above all, Lebron gets the last laugh, and he laughs best,
because we're the ones obsessing about him. You can tweet/blog all you
want that "you're a foul one, Mr. James. You heart is full unwashed
socks, your soul is full of gunk" and other statements in that vein, but in the end, what the hell is the point?
interviewed James at UIC when the Heat were practicing here for the
Eastern Conference Finals versus the Bulls. If 90% of communication is
non-verbal, then James' gestures, posture and mannerisms said a thousand
words about his inner psyche.
In my humble little opinion, he came off as
unsure and lacking in security as the man in the infamous Nike "What should I do?" ad.
I'm guessing that commercial is actually who he truly is underneath it
all- a person who's been overtaken by spin-masters and handlers, and
seems to either
a.) not truly know himself
b.) unable to handle the
responsibilities of the expectations heaped upon him
I know that seems like a broad sweeping generalization, so go here to read my theory laid out in detail.
No matter what James truly is, its probably time to let go of the backlash against him.
Filed under: NBA
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