LeBron James' valiant effort to carry a severely depleted roster may have fell short, but how that has seemingly made him a bad guy in the story of basketball makes about as much sense as if Vince Russo wrote it himself.
Yes, it's frustrating when NBA players insist on acting like reasonable people and sign the richest possible deals as free agents, context be damned. But there is a time and place for taking a discount. These particular examples are not at all examples of that, but still.
LeBron James and the Heat are great enough to win multiple NBA Championships. But greatness isn't the most important thing, and it will take more than that to continue dominating a rapidly changing game.
All basketball players work in the same medium, with something like the same tools. This doesn't mean they're all the same type of artist, though. We know the greatest players not just by the new things they create, but by how they create them.
Neil Gaiman once wrote that writers are liars. I respectfully disagree. Writers, like most people, are salesmen. Michael Jordan certainly is. He sold the idea that winning could bring happiness, that work was art and mattered more than life itself. The problem is he bought his own sales pitch. We all did.
Another consideration of an outsized, fantastical world shot through with feuds, intrigue, power struggles and occasional acts of violence. But we write about the NBA all the time, so here's how the league relates to "Game of Thrones."
Before Chicago ended it, the Miami Heat's winning streak created enough excitement that ESPN picked up an Orlando Magic game. In March. So why does it seem like we weren't particularly impressed, or worse, just don't care?
Some may say that athletes make too much money. While there are certainly players that help support that argument, in the case of players like LeBron James, this couldn't be more wrong. So, why does the NBA restrict how much he can be paid?