Americans love villains. It was a very famous movie villain, A Few Good Men’s Col. Nathan Jessup, who said “Deep down in places we don’t talk about at parties you want me on that wall! You need me on that wall!” Well, you’re wrong Col. Jessup. We don’t mind talking about it at all.
I think James loves being the bad guy. This is the man who grew up in Akron but wore a Yankees cap and rooted for the Dallas Cowboys. He also dumped four other NBA teams that night with such a level of skill and efficiency that I thought I was watching The Batchelor.
The origin of this country is made up of people “sticking it to the man”. It is built into our DNA to want to be the antagonist. If this were biblical times, we would root for Goliath.
For all the romance of Cinderella in the NCAA Tournament, we want the Final Four to be Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, and UCLA. Whether it’s the Raiders, John McEnroe, Ray Lewis, The U, or the Michigan Fab Five, we can’t get enough of the renegade.
So when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh rose out of the American Airlines Arena floor on Friday night in a cloud of smoke, we witnessed the formation of basketball’s New World Order. They had the swagger and confidence of just knowing they were better than you or anyone else. They didn’t mind telling you and confidently set a goal of winning 4-6 NBA championships. Hulk Hogan would have been proud.
So between this upcoming November and May, you can look forward to the Miami NWO strolling into your city, doing what they want, when they want, and burning your arena down. They will win 68-73 games by an average margin of victory of 15-20 points. LeBron will continue to do his chalk clap, dance, take fake pictures, play imaginary baseball, windmill dunks, watch the Cleveland fans burn his jersey, and gladly leave a path of devastation in his wake. And we will not be able not to watch.
You see, we love excellence more than we hate arrogance. We love Goliath.
I have another picture in mind. This is one of LeBron walking out onto his South Beach multi-million dollar high-rise balcony on an 75 degree morning in February. He will think of the fans back in Cleveland suffering in miserable sub-zero rainy weather and laugh. LeBron will overlook the ocean, inhale the sea breeze, think of the team they beat by 30 the previous evening, and then proudly declare “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.”
And we will love every minute of it.