Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


April 25, 2014

Phillips: Get out of the way, here comes LeBron

Corsicana — Ron Morgan is on vacation in the Caribbean so I’m pinch-hitting.

It’s that time of year for me to get steaming mad. It happens every  time I watch LeBron James play, but it’s worse in the playoffs.

He’s a bully, but the worst part is the NBA allows him to be a bully.

Do you really think the Heat had a better team than San Antonio last year? Seriously, Ray Allen doesn’t get the miracle shot if the Final had been called with any semblance of basketball.

The Spurs would have been up by 10, or possibly ended the series in five games.

James is allowed to knock down anyone in his path and NBA announcers applaud him for it.

If NBA officials had any courage James would foul out before the fourth quarter in every game he plays.

It was bad last year in the Spurs series, but even worse two years ago against Oklahoma City.

People complained about the NFL’s replacement refs, but they were not nearly as embarrassing as the guys who called the Finals in the OKC series with the Heat.

I watched a couple of those games with Heat fans, and they even admitted how ridiculous it is to allow James to just bulldoze his way to the basket.

Don’t even start with any talk of best ever with this guy. It’s not even a discussion. He’s not the best player in the game today — forget all-time.

I would have loved to have seen James face those 1990s Bad Boy teams from Detroit. If he came bulldozing in against the Bad Boys, they would have put him in the hospital.

I know, all stars are given the benefit of the doubt. I get that, but no player in my lifetime has been allowed to just knock you down over and over and over again and get away with it.

As far as the NBA is concerned, James is untouchable.

James could take a bag of explosives and blow up a vacant building in downtown Dallas, and if there were any NBA officials in the area they would call a foul on the building.

Look, he’s a very good player who does two things: He dunks dramatically and he has a great outside shot for a big man.

But everybody dunks. James just beats his chest more and throws down dunks when he is all alone. As far as a big man with a great outside shot, Dirk Nowitzki has a better one, and in the long run is probably a better player.

There are a list of guys who I would rather have on my team than James.

Think about it, if Nowitzki or Kobe or Kevin Durant or a log list of other players had been added to the Heat instead of James, the Heat (with what they already had) would be a contender to make the Finals every year.

James didn’t make the Heat, the Heat made James, who never won in Cleveland.

And he made his disgusting exit which still leaves a stench in Ohio, where  he didn’t make THE DECISION, as much as he made THE BETRAYAL.

Free agency is killing pro sports and the James episode is the worst example of selfish athletes who have no regard for where they play or the fans who cheer them.

James spit on Cleveland and then beats his chest in Miami.

I was a Heat fan until he showed up, and it’s hard to watch him get away with manslaughter on the court during the playoffs.

One of the reasons we love the NBA is because the athletes are so magnificent. They defy logic and gravity. Dr. J. Kobe, Michael Jordan and others could hang in the air for a lifetime and somehow avoid opponents as they floated to the basket.

Larry Bird and Magic Johnson  took our breath away with a style of play that saved the NBA. They were inspiring.

James doesn’t defy gravity. He never floats in the air to the basket. He just lowers his shoulder and knocks the down anyone in his way.

If you want to compare him to fullbacks or linebackers, that’s OK.

Just don’t ever compare him to the great players who made the game so much fun to watch.

Watching James in the Finals won’t be any fun at all.


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