Monday, June 10, 2013

Nurse the Hate: Got Juice?

Yesterday I was walking the hounds lost in thought, as I normally am on a Sunday.  Sunday is often a day of reflection for me, and this Sunday was no different.  The hounds enjoyed chasing a snotty young buck and a small groundhog, and I enjoyed an unexpected field of daisies we came across like they had been placed there by a Hollywood film.  It is good to have time by yourself to try to come up with solutions to life’s great problems and mysteries.  Yet, as much as I try, I cannot come up with the solution to as why LeBron James now appears to have the physical strength of a comic book villain.

I watched the highlights of the NBA Finals last night with a passive interest.  I don’t like the NBA as there is about as much drama in the proceedings as there is in watching Jaws 2.  Most of the players seem like assholes.  The games are bad TV shows that never seem to end, and now one of the main characters (LeBron) has grown so large and muscular he makes Jose Canseco seem like a beanpole pussy.  Even if you don’t like the NBA, and I’m sure most of you reading this could care less, take a second and watch the highlight of the LeBron James block of the dunk in the fourth quarter of Game 2.  Can someone explain to me how a normal man without the aid of considerable pharmaceutical help can stop a ball being thrown down with as much force as a 6-11 240 pound man can muster as if it hit a brick wall?  How does one jump in the air, and not have their hand move more than an inch when facing that kind of force generated by another world class athlete?  Can somebody legitimately check this guy for steroids already?

I will go on the record and say that I dislike LeBron James as only a Clevelander can dislike this man.  I find his lack of character and sense of entitlement off putting to say the least.  I am happy when he fails.  I find his need to stack the deck to create a scenario where he can win the ultimate argument that ends discussion about his place in the pantheon of great basketball players.  Most ESPN talking heads will go on and on and on speculating about where LeBron ranks all time, how does he compare to Jordan, blah.  Let’s get some interesting talk going.  Is this guy on the juice?  How long has he been on the juice?

I think it is logical to think that a player that has shown a pattern of trying to gain unfair advantage of playing only on glorified All-Star teams would be very interested in stacking the deck any way possible.  I think it is also logical that a player that is under the huge amount of scrutiny that James is would want to gain any edge to live up to the insane standard that has been set for him.  I also believe that the NBA, and their culture of promoting “superstar players” over teams makes it impossible for them to effectively police the monster stars that they have created.  Why would the NBA teardown a player like James when they have spent so much effort to build him?  This is why no marquee players every test positive for anything.

I find it hard to fathom that the only NBA player to ever use steroids is Hedo Turkoglu.  Every other major sport has their biggest stars under the microscope and being found to have had help with their superhuman exploits.  The only exception is of course the NFL, which obviously every single guy in the league is on enough juice to kill a rhino.  We all know this, but we don’t care.  Let’s be honest.  However in our other sports, we want an even playing field.   So if Alex Rodriguez can’t shatter 75 years of baseball records, Roger Clemons isn’t a better pitcher for 15 years than Sandy Koufax in his prime, Lance Armstrong can’t win 37 Tour de France’s in a row, and NFL lineman can’t suddenly be 325 pounds and run 4.6 40-yard dashes, why does anyone look at the NBA and think, “Well, certainly there would be no reason to take steroids if you wanted to jump higher, be stronger, and run faster!  Why would you want to do that in the NBA?”  If you watch the NBA game, you see things that don’t make sense from a historical perspective.   

Maybe Lebron is a guy that really has been hitting the weight room.  Maybe we should just ignore the fact that announcers keep saying things like “he is doing things we have never seen before”.  Maybe I just haven’t seen a man jump in the air, and without leverage, stop another man his size in midair despite the obvious force that was created beforehand.  Maybe I just need to watch more NBA and buy into the myth.  Maybe I just need to pretend, just like everyone else, that it’s just another highlight and not a piece of evidence.


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