Last night's Mavericks win gave America one more night to revel in LeBron James schadenfreude, and as you'd imagine, this morning brings a fresh mix of disses and criticism. (And also jokes: Did you hear the one about how today is National LeBron James Day? Everyone gets to leave work twelve minutes early. Rim shot!) Here's a sampling.
Jay Caspian Kang, Grantland:
Perhaps, the reason why nobody has ever answered the question "What is really going on with LeBron James?" isn't because we are all missing out on some vast, unplumbed psychological space of entitlement, insecurity, and self-destruction, but rather because the answer to the question is boring and self-evident. He is quickly becoming the problem nobody cares enough to solve, the bully whom you endure, not because you feel threatened, but because you've long since given up trying to reason with him. For the most part, the response to the coughing video wasn't outrage or even confusion, but rather a collective rolling of the eyes and a deeply felt, deeply annoyed sigh. That, more than anything else, was just LeBron being LeBron.
David Thorpe, in conversation with Henry Abbott, on TrueHoop:
The Decision ... that was a monumental mistake by a group of young men. Not just LeBron James, but the people around him. It potentially could drag him down forever.
Now that he has faded so dreadfully, he's destined for a dreadful, awkward summer of anguish and second-guessing his play. If that doesn't happen, he's just unbelievably arrogant, or a psychopath.
Dan Devine, Ball Don't Lie:
Throughout the Finals, Nowitzki's repeated fourth-quarter heroics made James himself seem all the smaller and his struggles all the more titanic. But at least Dirk's also an all-timer. The story became staggering when Terry — long known as a capable scorer and late-game performer, but never considered a superstar and certainly viewed as James' inferior in terms of talent and all-around play — began comfortably outpacing LeBron. No one doubts LeBron's gifts, but it's inarguable that in the series' final three games, he was routinely dusted by a sixth man, especially late. How do you square that?
And King Crab, as has been the case ever since The Decision, simply couldn't go down with class and dignity.
Said LeBron: "At the end of the day, all the people that was rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that. They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal, but they have to get back to the real world at some point."
That lone statement speaks volumes about who and what LeBron is at this point in his life. Things didn't go his way in Cleveland and so he fled to Miami. Now there's nowhere to run and he wants us lesser mortals to remember he lives a better life than we do. Totally douchebaggery.
Israel Gutierrez, Miami Herald:
James was playing the same game he had been playing since the series started: standing around the perimeter, whipping passes side to side, hoping offensive execution would mask the fact that he wanted no part of taking over games.
Think about this for a second: How many times this year did you get upset because James stalled the offense by standing in front of his man and waiting until the final seconds of the shot clock to put on a move? Regardless of what the result was, that was one of the most memorable and repetitive scenes we've seen in his first season in Miami.
Now, how many times do you remember him doing that in this series? Hard to remember even a couple.
Did he choose this series to suddenly perform within the offense at all times? If so, why?
No, these are the kind of inexplicable parts of LeBron James' performance in this series that will haunt him, will haunt this franchise, will linger with him for the entirety of next season.
Ryan Smith, an insulation installer from Mentor, Ohio, to Yahoo's Dan Wetzel:
[Expletive] LeBron James.
Update: More LeBron insults!
Drew Magary, Deadspin:
There's no such thing as going overboard when it comes to enjoying LeBron's failure. Now, if he were the kind of person to sit at the podium after losing a game and say, "I really thought we were the better team, but we lost and we're gonna have to go back and work on it until we get it right, and I wish I hadn't been such a dipshit before," all that fun would instantly go away, because LeBron would be behaving like a normal human being. It's not fun to keep poking fun at someone once they learn to take the heat. But LeBron possesses a certain social retardation that forbids him from coming to such obvious conclusions about himself. That's why people get so frustrated with James. Because he's constantly acting like an entitled fuckwit and you're constantly saying, "How? How can he not SEE that he's acting like an entitled fuckwit?" And he doesn't! He totally doesn't. It seems virtually impossible that someone could be so oblivious, and yet here we are. And NOTHING has changed about the man. If anything, he's gotten even worse.
Proclamation issued by Ohio governor John Kasich declaring the entire Dallas Mavericks team — the one that kept a certain son of Ohio from winning his first ring — honorary Ohioans:
Whereas, NBA Finals [MVP] Dirk Nowitzki chose to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks in the summer of 2010, forgoing free agency and keeping his talents in Dallas, remaining loyal to the team, city and fans for whom he played his entire career.
HEY LEBRON! HOW'S MY DIRK TASTE
And, if you can stand just a little bit more LeBron schadenfreude, here's a photo essay, courtesy of NPR, of Sad LeBron James.