Posts Tagged ‘The Decision’

Lakers Need to Hire PJax … Again

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — They botched this one from the start, ignoring Phil Jackson‘s advice and passing over Brian Shaw for Mike Brown.

But we’ll get back to that in a minute.

The firing of Brown today, the third fastest ouster of a coach in league history and the first under five games in a season in some 40 years, was more than just an admission of guilt on the part of the powers that be at Lakers’ headquarters. It was the latest in a long list of slip-ups by a once proud franchise that seems to have lost its way here recently.

Two straight earlier-than-expected playoff exits (one in Jackson’s final season and one in Brown’s first) were followed up with the biggest player acquisition splash the league has seen since The Decision.

And yet, here we are, five games into what was supposed to be a championship season in Los Angeles, and the Lakers are reeling again. An organization that prides itself on being about titles first and foremost ignored the sound advice from the only coach they’ve had that’s won anything since the Showtime Lakers era ended.

Nearing the end of another era, the Kobe Bryant era, the Lakers are at a crossroads. Do they backtrack and scramble to replace Brown with Jackson, the one coach we know Bryant respects? Or do they roll the dice again on trying to replace Phil and the championship zen that comes along with him?

For all of the names you’ll hear tossed around as potential replacements for Brown — from Mike D’Antoni to Nate McMillan to Mike Krzyzewski to Jerry Sloan — Jackson, 67, is the only one that comes with the sort of track record that lends itself to dealing with not only Bryant but the championship expectations of Lakers die-hards and a city that doesn’t get excited for much else.

With Brown at the helm the Lakers were just trying to stay relevant in a Western Conference that had been overtaken by those young upstarts in Oklahoma City. They’d even fallen behind the rival Spurs in the pecking order the past two years, not to mention fending off their Staples Center and city rivals, the Clippers.

There’s a simple solution to all of this for the Lakers. And it’s the same solution they ignored last time. TNT’s David Aldridge is reporting that the Lakers are not seriously considering Jackson. But they should. They need to make the call and do whatever it takes to lure Jackson out of semi-retirement and get back to the business at hand.

If Kobe wants to give serious chase to title No. 6, and Dwight Howard and Steve Nash want to get their hands on No. 1, the best way to do it is with the man who helped guide Kobe to those first five.

Someone in Los Angeles needs to swallow some pride and hire Phil Jackson … again.

The Decision (The EJ Remix)

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS —  In case you missed it, TNT’s Ernie Johnson took it to another level last night with this remix of The Decision with LeBron James:

LeBron Done Playing The Villain

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – The last 17 months of his professional life have probably taught LeBron James a few lessons we wouldn’t wish on anyone.

It can’t be easy waking up the villain after years of being the beloved, homegrown son and the star of stars in a league filled with them. But after “The Decision” and all of the negativity that followed his televised declaration to divorce himself from the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in free agency, James has a firm understanding on the whirlwind that his life has been since then.

When we saw him opening up about it to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols this morning, we were more than a bit taken aback by his tone. The defiant posture that we saw from him during the Heat’s playoff run last season had vanished. It’s been replaced by a man who — dare we say it — looks to have been humbled by his experiences of the past year and a half.

His words probably won’t heal many wounds in Northeast Ohio, where James remains entrenched with the likes of former Cleveland browns owner Art Modell as one of the most despised sports figures in recent memory. There is no statute of limitations on coming around and making peace. And James strikes us as a man in need of making that peace, if with no one else other than himself.

As he told Nichols, he “used to let his game do all talking and I got away from that.”

It’s clear the hate got to him and got to his game. He bought into the villain role and it changed him, mentally. But a mea culpa about not only “The Decision” and his failings in the playoffs sound sincere.

We can’t be mad at him for that. So what if he was oblivious to the fallout of his initial decision? So what if he wrestled half the season with how he would operate in his new role as the dude wearing the black hat? It’s never too late …

*** CLICK HERE to see the full interview ***

The World LeBron Made For Himself

OK, maybe it’s me. Yes, I’m sure it’s me, Mr. Out Of Touch. But here goes, anyway:

Why is there such an over-reaction to anything LeBron James says or does?

I’m not speaking about a reaction; in this digital age, where everyone has an opinion, I guess that’s natural. No, the issue here is over-reaction. As in, ohmigoddidyouhearwhathesaidthistime?

That over-reaction.

LeBron simply made what I thought was an innocuous tweet regarding karma, and the sports world caved. Weeks earlier, he mentioned something about the NBA being too watered down, which has been said many times by many people beforehand, and again, armeggedon.

Of course, we can even go back to his silly show, which is where this began, and the mountain of hate (yes, hate) that followed then and follows him now from arena to arena.

Look, if you believe LeBron is a spoiled egomaniac, then that makes him quite common in the sports world, as much as you may not want to believe. Put it this way: Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens are angry they didn’t think of “The Decision” first. And I can certainly understand the angst of the average sports fan who is easily irritated by such athletes. But I’ve been covering sports now for a few decades, and the degree of hate directed toward LeBron is far greater (based on the volume) than any directed at athletes who have driven while drunk, robbed homes, hit their women, left their kids without financial or parental support or got arrested and charged with a serious crime (O.J. Simpson excepted).

That’s what I don’t understand. The degree. Not the hate; that I get. The degree. That I don’t. And why “the punishment” for him doesn’t fit the “crimes” done by others.

Anyone care to explain? Have at it.

Blogtable: Reaction to LeBron in Cleveland

We know how Clevelanders will react Thursday night: not well. Is that OK with you?

David Aldridge: To paraphrase Emma Greenway in Terms of Endearment: I think moving a thousand miles and uprooting a city’s collective psyche without its consent is worth a pout, don’t you? (Yeah, I know. Chick flick. But it was a good chick flick.) As long as there is no attempted violence and/or vulgarity involved in their signs or actions, I think it’s okay if LeBron gets a few boos and chants tossed his way. He’s a big guy. He can handle it.

Steve Aschburner: I’m going to be in the building, and this is one of the few times I’ll be grateful that media seating at most NBA arenas has gotten lousier – that is, higher from the court – in recent years. That should keep me out of the line of fire compared to the old courtside days. But it would really be nice if the Cavs fans, since everyone is expecting them to zig, could instead zag by doing something clever and/or unexpected. Like going mum for anything that has to do with LeBron. Or serenading him with silly sing-a-long songs — “Hit The Road, Jack!” or “You’re So Vain” for starters – as opposed to simple booing, cruder language or dangerous projectiles.

Art Garcia: Fans voicing their displeasure with the opposition is nothing new. It’s an accepted and celebrated part of games. Would Philly fans still be Philly fans if they didn’t boo? A-Rod went through this the first time he returned to Seattle, but something tells the Cleveland faithful will crank Bang-a-Bron to 11. Whether it’s right or wrong, it’s coming Thursday and I suspect it’s gonna keep coming for years.

Fran Blinebury: I operate under the “Mother Rule.” If you wouldn’t say it, wear it or hold it up on a sign with your mother  sitting next to you, then it’s out of bounds.  Anything else goes.  And if I were 20,000 Clevelanders trying to sound my displeasure, I have one word:  vuvuzelas.

Scott Howard-Cooper: It’s not just about Clevelanders. Ninety percent of the NBA fans in the world would pack themselves into The Q to be not well with LeBron. As long as it’s not well within the limits of the law and good decorum — there are certain words kids do not need to hear yet — people not only will understand. They will be cheering on the Cleveland fans.

Shaun Powell: Within the limits of good taste and safety, anything is fair game. Unfortunately for LeBron, the Browns aren’t having a great year, so Clevelanders will take some of that out on him, too. While they’re at it, they’ll just shovel some of that archived anger from “the Fumble” and “the Drive” and the 1997 World Series loss as well. Bring ear plugs, LeBron. And his teammates might wanna treat LeBron like a fire engine and stay back at least 500 feet.

John Schuhmann: As long as they don’t interfere with the game or make it uncomfortable for people who bring their kids to The Q. Hopefully, most of the crowd’s energy is expended in support of the Cavs, but boos, whistles and (PG-13) signs are fine with me.

Sekou Smith: Having witnessed the Malice at the Palace in person (from right behind the Pacers’ bench), I would urge any and all fans in attendance to think long and hard before doing anything other than booing until they lose their voice. If they really wanted to stick it to LeBron James they could give him the silent treatment. And I mean complete silence. How crazy would it be if no one made a sound whenever he touches the ball and then the crowd just goes nuts whenever the home team does anything? This game might have needed an age-limit rule as well. “No one under the age of 21 allowed,” for fear of what they might hear.


HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — You’d think we’d be tired of this by now, these parodies and spoofs of “The Decision.”

Hasn’t there been enough fun made of LeBron James already? Probably, but we enjoy the effort of so many to have a little light-hearted fun at the expense of others.

Maybe we need to start our own film festival dedicated to shorts and commercials focused on James and his decision. The first entry is here: