LeBron’s losing debut shows us why he’ll be a great villain

LeBron James is a great player. He’ll make an even better villain.

I haven’t much cared for the Celtics since Bill Russell retired, but I have to admit: I was pulling for them last night. And when LeBron and his South Beach-based talents and his Super Friends managed to muster all of nine points in the first quarter of the first game of the NBA season … well, I laughed out loud.

The NBA built itself on hyping players, but massive overload of the Summer of LeBron and his ESPN-aired Decision and the sheer wrong-headedness of a player this gifted feeling the need to cherry-pick both a new team and an NBA title at the ridiculously young age of 25 left a lot of folks cold. I know. I’m one.

When even commissioner David Stern, who never met a PR campaign he couldn’t embrace, called “The Decision” “ill-conceived,” you know something went bad somewhere. But let’s give the NBA credit: It knows how to play catch-up ball. So Night 1 of the Endless Season began with TNT bringing us the Miami Heat against the Boston Celtics. And the Celtics won. And the Heat looked bad. And I said, “Hooray.”

LeBron had 31 points. (He is, as noted, a great player.) He also had eight turnovers. His new best buddy Dwyane Wade had 13 points and six turnovers. Their new wingman Chris Bosh had eight points and one turnover. Not one made half his shots.

But — and here’s the greater point — the Heat fell way behind early but managed to keep it interesting. And that made it even better. It would be no fun rooting against a demonstrably lousy team, and that’s why LeBron will make such a splendid meanie. Because he’s so good he’ll render every game fascinating, and when ultimately he loses it will be instructive to see what he says then.

Because you just know whatever LeBron and his Super Friends do, they won’t do it quietly. ESPN will see to that.

75 comments Add your comment

All I'm Saying Is...

October 27th, 2010
9:03 am

Not first and don’t care

All I'm Saying Is...

October 27th, 2010
9:07 am

Just as it takes at least four games in the NFL before you know what kind of team you have, we’ll know more definitively after 30 games or so with respect to the Heat and their capabilities but as for last night, it was the “same story different team” for LeBron: he scored plenty of points and received zero support from the rest of the squad especially Bosh who apparently left his game either in Miami or Toronto. And, for the record, I still don’t think the Heat are the best team in Florida let alone in the East.

LET’S GO HAWKS!

Mark Bradley

October 27th, 2010
9:07 am

Should I give kudos where none are claimed? Such a dilemma.

All I'm Saying Is...

October 27th, 2010
9:09 am

A dilemma wrapped in a riddle surrounded by a paradox. Either way, guess its just you and me, Marky Mark!

[...] & Red Sox Players — Game for Celtics/Heat ClashPeace FM OnlineKhabrein -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Fiintall 2,945 news [...]

WreckIt

October 27th, 2010
9:09 am

Zzzzz. I’d rather you talk about how bad Tech is than waste breath on the king and his court jesters.

Brock

October 27th, 2010
9:13 am

but i thought this team was suppose to be the super team of all teams. this team can’t be beat. this team is the greatest team ever put together.

they will not be able to play as a team and in the end they will lose as individuals.

i just want to say team one more time……team.

[...] & Red Sox Players — Game for Celtics/Heat ClashPeace FM OnlineKhabrein -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Fiintall 2,864 news [...]

SmyrnaMan

October 27th, 2010
9:16 am

Charles Barkley certainly enjoyed the show. I wonder how much $$ he had on the celtics?

Mike

October 27th, 2010
9:17 am

People still care about the NBA??

Barkin'Dog

October 27th, 2010
9:19 am

Couldn’t find the game on the tube, but checked online occasionally to see the results. I, too, chuckled along the way. Hope tonight’s Hawks game proves they’re ready – preseason was disappointing.

Johnny DangerDawg

October 27th, 2010
9:20 am

Mark Bradley,
When LeBron was eliminated from the playoffs last year, he was pretty quiet. Don’t you expect the same this year?

Ted M

October 27th, 2010
9:29 am

“It would be no fun rooting against a demonstrably lousy team”

It would if its the Heat. Anyway do you think that is actually a possibility?

[...] LeBron's losing debut shows us why he'll be a great villainAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)It would be no fun rooting against a demonstrably lousy team, and that's why LeBron will make such a splendid meanie. Because he's so good he'll render …and more » [...]

Paul in RDU

October 27th, 2010
9:32 am

Mark – ESPN is not the only one who’ll be making a lot of noise about LeBron. His friends from Nike are also trying to protect their investment.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdtejCR413c
From the same people who brought us the Tiger ad.

Sunraynews | Top US news

October 27th, 2010
9:40 am

[...] LeBron's losing debut shows us why he'll be a great villainAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)So Night 1 of the Endless Season began with TNT bringing us the Miami Heat against the Boston Celtics. And the Celtics won. And the Heat looked bad. …Feschuk: Chris Bosh's debut on big stage a bustToronto Starall 2,945 news articles » [...]

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Bradley, Sweets P. Sweets P said: RT @MarkBradleyAJC: #LeBron's losing debut shows us why he'll make such a great villain. http://bit.ly/bxI8K0 <Kobe's somewhere grinning [...]

[...] the original post here: LeBron’s losing debut shows us why he’ll be a great villain – Atlanta Journal Cons… Tags: against-the-boston · atlanta-journal · boston · celtics · [...]

Gary O

October 27th, 2010
9:45 am

I like the picture and the caption.

I’m sure the Heat wont get too down though. The Big 2 and 1/2 only played 3 minutes together over the preseason, so they are still adjusting to each other.

Also, we saw that without a shooter, they will struggle against good defensive teams. So they are really going to miss Miller.

But I’m glad they lost.

The Bron

October 27th, 2010
9:49 am

Mike Smith

October 27th, 2010
10:19 am

Mark, I say get over it. I’m no Heat fan, but Lebron and his crew were free agents and can choose where to go. My question to Cleveland is, why didnt they position themselves to make a run at Wade or Bosh or one of the other big free agents like the Heat and other teams did? They knew this year was coming, but instead capped themselves out on players around Lebron that disappear during playoff time.

As for the Decision, it put $2 million or so into charity, so its not a total travesty. Lebron and the Heat have played together for a couple of games, the Celts for 3 years. I sort of expected this loss. The Heat will make the playoffs and very likely find their chemistry long before then. I suspect you will not have too many more opportunities to cheer against your new villain.

Just sayin

October 27th, 2010
10:21 am

Agree with Mike Smith. I just don’t get all of the venom directed toward LeBron. He wants to play with other good/great players and maximize his chances of winning a championship. What’s wrong with that?

The fact that you have to make LeBron a villain says more about you than it does about him.

BirdDirty

October 27th, 2010
10:22 am

I don’t see the problem with Lebron, Wade, and Bosh conspiring to create a potentially great team. Remember Pippen, Rodman, and Jordan being brought together to win 3 rings? What about Magic, Worthy, Kareem, Cooper, and Scott in the 80’s? The Celtics had their own big three on two separate occassions (Bird, McHale, Parrish + D.Johson and recently Garnett, Pierce, Allen + Rondo). All of these teams were built by power broker GMs. Maybe the real problem is that the people that once controlled the player movement system in the NBA are threatened by the new power brokers who just happen to be young, black, rich athletes. How dare they? Who do they think they are? LOL!!!

zeeee Nachos aka the "Living Legend"

October 27th, 2010
10:22 am

I freaking hate Lebron James. Guy is the most OVER-RATED athlete of our time. Lots of hype, tattoos, and kids…… yet NO RINGS. Thanks for taking a huge dump on the fine city of Cleveland, I hope you break your arm Andrew Bogut style.

The End

Fresh

October 27th, 2010
10:29 am

zeeee Nachos aka the “Living Legend,”

You do realize that you just probably left the stupidest comment known to all of mankind right?

Congrats idiot!

Curious George

October 27th, 2010
10:33 am

After the ESPN broadcast of his decision live, how long do you think it will take LeBron to eventually admit “taking [his] talents to ‘Souf’ Beach” was a mistake?

NBA Executive

October 27th, 2010
10:33 am

Who taught these players how to think for themselves and be so business savvy? They are supposed to just run, jump, and dunk and leave the wheeling and dealing to us. We mandated a few years ago that they wear suits, look/act more professional, and act as if they were representing a Fortune 500 corporation. We didn’t really think they would take it to heart and actually do it. We’ve created monsters now. First Lebron, now Carmelo. What is we going to do now? We better not let them get into the ear of new golden goose (Kevin Durant)!

Fresh

October 27th, 2010
10:34 am

Also hating Lebron want somehow make your life better kid…after all of the hate you’ve wasted your time spreading, he’ll still be Lebron and you’ll still be whomever you are. Pitful SMH.

juice sourcer

October 27th, 2010
10:38 am

Texas Pete

October 27th, 2010
10:40 am

Cleveland a fine city? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Cleveland is just mad that it’s Cleveland. Everyone share in their misery.

Detroit > Hell > Cleveland

samuel may

October 27th, 2010
10:40 am

I was impressed ! you basicly got Lebron to play Wade and let Wade try to feel out where he belongs in this offense, game 1 with no experience together !, went down to the wire !, against eastern conference champions !, with no post up offense at all!, Are you mad!!! talk to me after game 20 when there blowing everybody out by 35 points !!! stop the hate !!

Peachtree Pete

October 27th, 2010
10:45 am

I’m sure there are people out there who like pro basketball, just as there are people who like to cut grass and clean gutters. I just ain’t one of them.

zeeee Nachos aka the "Living Legend"

October 27th, 2010
10:45 am

Fresh – get a job …. boy

BlahBlahBlah

October 27th, 2010
10:47 am

I think they’ll still win 62-65 games and be the #1 seed. Boston #2 seed. Orlando #3. Chicago #4. Atlanta #5.

5150 P.O.A.D

October 27th, 2010
10:55 am

Is it true LeBron James is trying to buy the REAL Darth Vader Costume?

bwell

October 27th, 2010
10:56 am

Great piece Mark!!! I agree 100% I loved every minute watching them fight to win, but hey its only one game and I’m sure they will gel later in the season and be a beast in the east.

5150 P.O.A.D

October 27th, 2010
10:57 am

Mark Bradley don’t give him Kudos offer tickets to either the UGA v Idaho St or GT v Duke game tickets.

Arthur Blank

October 27th, 2010
10:58 am

LeBron James should do well this season, if he doesn’t eat too much fried chicken.

mike

October 27th, 2010
10:59 am

LeBron and Wade certain Hall of Famers in the future. Plus with the salaries and endorsements I can understand those who hate on them because they are just jealous. They were all free agents and Cleveland did nothing to keep Lebron. So he will always be a villain in the eyes of you haters. So when you have nothing else to do or write about, just bring up Lebron and continue the hate. The three of those guys don’t know you exist so waste your time if you want.

Get Over IT

October 27th, 2010
11:02 am

You “media” people are crazy!!!
You only want Lebron to be the villian so that you can have siomething to talk about.
He was not a villian prior to him making his decision to leave Cleveland.
Let the man play and GET OVER IT !!!!!
MOOOOOOOVVVVEEEEE OOOONNNNNN !!!!!

Thogwummpy

October 27th, 2010
11:02 am

I do business up in Cleveland, and when up there this summer…I was told another reason why the Cav fans are furious with LeBron. Evidently, because he didn’t want to drive to their practice facility, the taxpayers built a $100 million facility near Independence Ohio at Lebron’s insistence; just to accomodate His Magesty. So, ka-boom…the spend that kind of money simply to ease LeBron’s commute….and he bolts. No matter how great a player he is, he has NO HONOR!

Ted M

October 27th, 2010
11:02 am

Mark,

Aren’t you going to have an NBA prediction blog? Or Hawks prediction Blog?

I say Hawks win 47 and go out in the first round as a 5 or 6 seed.

Ted M

October 27th, 2010
11:04 am

Oh if the Dawgs win Saturday will you declare the curse is dead? lol

So What!

October 27th, 2010
11:07 am

It was the first game people.
Are you all that simple minded ????
Get over your hate with lebron.
Some of you probably have never been to a basketball game and probably ddo not know how many people are on a team.
SO WHAT !!!!!!!

Ahnald

October 27th, 2010
11:13 am

Miami will win a championship this year—> NO WAY !!…Hard to imagine LeBron and Wade sharing the ball, and Bosh is decent but not an impact player…the surronding cast is marginal at best…last night LeBron started to gun and hog the ball, no syngery or anything, so I guess they will have harmony soon and everything will be fine…NO WAY

52-30 ….behind Magic and Celts

Lebron Fan

October 27th, 2010
11:25 am

Lebron is a businessman. You can say what you want about ‘The Decision,’ but I’ll bet half of the country tuned in. Call him arrogant or whatever, you can never deny his skills and his marketablility. I mean damn, the young man had a show to make an annoucement, that lots of big name products jumped on board to sponsor, (because they knew everyone would be watching) and all of the money went to The Boys and Girls Club. Its not like he’s out here raping college girls or sexting… He could have been very arrogant and selfish and kept all of the money. If you look at it, Lebron did the same thing Brett Farve has been doing forever. Every year he announces his retirement, because he knows the story will get tons of airtime. Brett’s just not as interesting as Lebron to get a show. Maybe back in the day, but not today. You can say whatever you want about Lebron, but he has handled himself very well. He’s been a celebrity since high school and yet he’s still a very humble, hardworking, giving young man.

Bryan

October 27th, 2010
11:27 am

the sour grapes by the mostly middle aged white media is hilarious…i liked lebron b4 the decision and still do…gimmie a break w/this nonsense…first it was he’ll be a 2nd fiddle..now that we see that was STUPID…u really think they’ll be many nights like last night? Who cares what Stern says or the media..the KID DID WHAT HE WANTED TO DO…not what you guys wanted nor how you wanted it…damn gimmie a break already..he’s done everything right for 7 yrs except win a ring..cut him damn slack for finally being who he wants to be, doing it his way, and getting A LOT CLOSER to a ring!

gdg73

October 27th, 2010
11:37 am

Thugwummpy,

I guess to sensationalize your little factoid you used a construction cost of $100 million instead of the actual cost of the practice facility, which was $25 million which by the way came from the team not taxpayers. And I think it would be safe to say that the franchise had $25 million to spend because of Lebron. The team built the facility because the practice facility at the Quicken Loan Center was too small and out-dated. It was also the franchise’s intent to use the new facility as a pawn in attracting future free agent. So much for that, lol!

Texas Pete

October 27th, 2010
11:38 am

Thogwummpy,

That only proves that the majority of people in the area are not so bright. Who approves a $100 million dollar practice facility with tax payer money for a player? Mo-rons!

Lebron Fan

October 27th, 2010
11:44 am

@ Mark Bradley- You’re a typical “southern gentleman.” The real reason why you hate Lebron is because he made more money from ‘The Decision’ than you have made your whole life. I can’t believe you people hate this kid because of a show. Are you serious? Cleveland should be kissing his feet because of all the money he brought into that so-called city. He completed his commitment to Cleveland and left. I don’t think he owed them any explanation, because if they were getting rid of him, they wouldn’t give him one.