Everyone loves LeBron James. He might have some haters who will be hatin' all the way, but it's not about being liked at all. It's about respect as a basketball player. LeBron is turning out to be a likely pioneer to a new age of basketball, and I am sure everybody realizes that, whether they love him or hate him.
I just wanted to clear that up, now on to the main issue: Should LeBron James be suspended?
LeBron James "inadvertently" elbowed Chris Webber right between the eyes and through the skull with his follow-through after rising over a couple of defenders to take a shot. Have a look see:
That is a funny scene to use as an example to describe the word "inadvertent". What's even funnier is LeBron James' follow-through. After watching it for the first two times, the only thing that entered my mind was if James did the elbow on purpose. When I slowly realized that he did do it on purpose and with much force, I couldn't help but find it hilarious. Damn that's got to hurt.
In your face Chris Webber!
I'm not supporting a gangster-type of basketball nor am I condemning LeBron James for his actions. For all we know, Chris Webber deserved every inch of that and more. But I am in no position to judge, and neither is everyone else: That hit was between LeBron James's elbow and Chris Webber's brain cells (if he had any, or have any left if he indeed had some in the past). Let's leave it at that. Let's go deeper into the situation.
But first, watch this:
Does everyone see the similarities of those sequences between Kobe and LeBron? No? They both flung the arm closest to the nearest defender and targeted it right on the tip of the defender's nose. It's brilliant. Kobe must be giving LeBron lessons, but as they say, the student will surpass the teacher in time and LeBron did. As you can see, Kobe's elbow missed on both occasions and had to settle for only a forearm-smash-to-your-damn-face for both Jaric and Ginobili. However, the third time's the charm, and LeBron did it right and crisp; a sign that LeBron will be greater than Kobe, he gets the job done.
Here's the main problem: Kobe was suspended for each of the elbow flings in the regular season. Now that LeBron has done the exact same action, plus much more effective results, why is he getting a pardon with only a flagrant foul 2 penalty? You gotta love LBJ, I'd hate to see him get suspended especially in this part of the season; but I can't help but be reminded of the Stoudemire and Diaw incident. Why has Stern, who has been so consistent in enforcing the rules and handing out suspensions mercilessly, gone soft and pardoned LeBron for the elbow? I'm suspecting that David Stern can't handle any more stress from the backlashes of suspending key players in the post season. Of course, another player-suspension issue would cause larger cracks in the NBA, but his inconsistencies prove much more damaging to his image as the NBA Commissioner. He might be trying to make up for the past suspension moves regarding Stoudemire and Diaw: Go ahead Stern, sweep it under the rug. Either Stern is the new league janitor, or all the conspiracies everyone have been theorizing lately have been true all along.
Conspiracy: The league is fixed! No, not fixed, but FIXED. I'm talking about the connotation of fix. Fix, one of the worst words in sports history. It disrespects sportsmanship and the integrity of the game. Despicable. Maybe Stern is actually afraid to suspend LeBron James. Since LeBron James is slowly becoming the face of the association, as opposed to Stoudemire, he fears punishing him severely and risk harming the worldwide fan-base. LeBron James is UNTOUCHABLE. Hypocrisy. LeBron James is hidden under Stern's right pocket. I know Kobe Bryant is old news and LeBron is your boy, but people aren't so stupid.
Of course, all of the conspiracy talk is just stupid. If you ask me seriously, David Stern just screwed up. He should be thankful that the worldwide interest and ratings of the Eastern Conference Finals has dropped far below being pitiful, that only a handful of people can notice this shortcoming. For a man that has been consistent in implementing the rules and suspending players without mercy or care for stardom, this hasn't been his brightest moment. If he suspends Kobe for throwing those elbows, he should suspend LeBron as well. If he suspends Stoudemire and Diaw despite the stupidity of the rule and the playoff situation, he should suspend LeBron as well. Come on, even if you combine Stoudemire and Diaw's offense with Kobe's offense, LeBron's offense still kicks them in the nuts from all angles; but I don't see LeBron being suspended.
This is just stupidity by David Stern. His inconsistencies in decision-making have led to a few million more possibly-true conspiracy theories. I'm turning off my TV for all the following NBA Games! I hope Stern gets the message when he sees a decrease of 1/5,843,732,493 in his ratings. Take that Stern!
"So depending upon what will put the most fans watching our games and the most money in our pockets, we should bend our rules," Stern said. "OK, I'll put that as a second point. Let me write that down."
We all thought he was sarcastic. It appears that he had us all fooled, he was dead serious.
Hypocrisy From the NBA and Stern, What Else is New?