The LeBron James hate is real and I’ve seen it with my own eyes. As a hoops junkie I’m obligated to watch every second of the on-going playoffs and soon to start Finals even though my beloved Lake Show was sent fishing weeks ago. As a result I find myself hitting various happy hours across this great city of Los Angeles in order to commiserate with my fellow Laker faithful over IPAs and playoff basketball.
Recently I’ve encountered a phenomenon sure to inspire a Morgan Spurlock documentary: Laker fans pulling for the Celtics just so LeBron James and the Miami Heat will further suffer at the hands of their own arrogance.
I sat in amazement as the normal jeers for the C’s turned into cheers when Paul Pierce delivered that Game 5 dagger right in the self-proclaimed King’s mug. At first I tried to play it off as an L.A. crowd cheering for one of their own. Like a few other patrons at the Culver City bar where I watched the game we remember Pierce from his Inglewood days.
But that theory got blown out of the water when the entire bar erupted the moment the game ended and the James gang filed off, tails between legs amid the infamous “good job, good effort” cheers of a child.
Unable to wrap my head around what had happened in Game 5 I returned to the same place to watch Game 6. This time the crowd was larger and even more involved. At least for the first half. LeBron’s unreal performance last night left the new-found Celtic supporters at a loss for words. Still, the energy was the same. Loud cheers for the C’s. Louder jeers for the Heat.
I’m not sure if I want to go back for Game 7. I’m no fan of LeBron but I respect his game. Don’t like how he handles his business and for my taste I’ll take guys that go hard for a full 48 minutes instead of only 45…but that’s just me. No matter how you King James apologists spin it all-time greats gain that status not by highlights and stats but by coming up big in crucial moments.
But we’re getting off course.
What I’m wondering is if the mutual respect shared between Boston and L.A. has created this craze or if the LeBron hate is that real?
When the folks in Boston chanted MVP for Kobe I said to myself an L.A. crowd would never do that for a Celtic. Now we’ve got something almost as blasphemous occurring right here in our city limits.
Again I ask is the LeBron hate that strong that it can unite Lakers and Celtic fans for a common cause? Forgive the anachronistic analogy but this would be like the North and South putting aside their differences mid Civil War to fight the Nazis. This is the Hatfields and McCoys ending their squabble to takedown the Kardashians.
It’s illogical and I can’t believe I’m living it. I mean, I’m not a hater…right?
I’ll say this much. No matter what I might think of LeBron the only way to truly quiet any hate is to win. Kobe went through it. People tend to forget that Bryant was once in the LeBron seat. What ended it? To quote Charlie Sheen, “Winning!”
LeBron gets a ring and the hate will persist but those that spew venom will have to admit to their own issues being the culprit. Being a champion gives you a quick argument ender in the form of a ring.
So the real question is should we Angelenos turn to supporting LeBron so our universe can return to balance? Naw! Since when do we need a reason to keep hating Boston? That is one tradition that will always live on even if it takes an occasional hiatus now and then.