LeBron James Finally Beloved by National Sports Media Once Again
Riptide has had ESPN on and off of mute all morning. The TV listings say it's just regular ol' SportsCenter, but as far as we can tell "The LeBron James Blow Job Marathon" would be just as apt a title. In fact, the TV talking heads, newspaper writers and bloggers have finally completed a total about face: they all love LeBron James once again. It's a new narrative that has been slowly emerging through out these playoffs, but it appears the rest of America has decided its finally OK to love LeBron James once again.
ESPN's hipster little web brother, Grantland, explained yesterday "Why You Should Root for LeBron." This morning, in the site's staff-wide Game 5 recap, write Shane Ryan struggled with this new narrative before accepting it. "It's not a debate that can be won or lost," he wrote. "I leave open the possibility that I'm mistaken -- that I wrongly associate winning with more intrinsic qualities -- yet I reserve my right to believe. I think I saw it in LeBron, that coming of age that someone like me is bound to crave."
The narrative even snuck into straight-forward game recaps.
"At that moment, James was no longer the antihero of 'The Decision,' or the faltering star who crumbled in the 2011 finals, or the solo act who could not deliver a title to Cleveland, his home state team," declared The New York Times. "He was, at long last, a champion, proving himself worthy of the label by averaging 28.6 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.4 assists in the Heat's five-game triumph."
"Best player in the game. Best team in the league," came over the AP wires. "And now, NBA champion."
LeBron has redeemed himself, goes the new story line. The King has his crown, and it's time everyone get over their irrational hate.
Then again, there are a few people out there who will still tell you he's a cocksucker. Can't please everybody.