I saw this excerpt on LinkedIn and spotted that my good friend Andrew Miller wrote a piece that took the thoughts right out of my head as far as the current state of LeBron James [Angry LeBron James]. He’s currently in an entirely different mode especially now that the 2015 NBA Finals is up for grabs and he’s hungry. This piece really captivated my interest especially since I’m currently in San Francisco getting eye stares and having blistering conversations with die-hard Warrior fans as I cruise the Bay area wearing my wine and gold Cavaliers gear proudly to say “I’ll always be a LeBron James fan and support who and whatever I believe in; and at this moment I believe that LeBron James can lead his team to victory to bring the first NBA Championship to Cleveland, Ohio.” Check out Andrew’s story and perspective below.
I’ve been a LeBron James fan since ESPN started showing his games when he was still in high school. He was clearly special from the beginning and has done a hell of a job living up to the unprecedented hype.
But from an old-school, basketball snob perspective, there has always been this lingering knock that LeBron doesn’t have ‘that killer instinct.’ LeBron’s critics have always looked for an MJ-esque snarl or a Kobe fire-breathing dragon face. But instead LeBron usually opts for a huge grin and an elaborate handshake with a teammate.
From a basketball aesthetic point of view, LeBron has mostly approached the game like he was playing in summer league. Wanting to be buds with both locker rooms. Setting himself up to have a kind of benevolent dominance that bodes well for global marketing campaigns.
But last night in game two of the Finals against the Warriors, we saw a different shade of LeBron: “Angry LeBron”. He’s the LeBron we’ve all been waiting for. The guy who puts his head down and attacks to the hoop. The guy who spikes the basketball off the jumbotron after securing an OT victory. The guy who howls to the rafters just because.
Last night, LeBron went mental. He went angry and primal. And through his effort he was able to take the depleted, spare-change roster of the Cleveland Cavs and will them to victory. It was one of those rare moments in team sport where a single individual controlled the destiny of the match. We were accustomed to feeling that with MJ. But right now, LeBron is getting his chance to match that lone-wolf play-style.
And LeBron should be angry the way the Warriors are hacking every part of his body and getting away with flagrant fouls. It brings back images of the Bad Boy Pistons laying wood on his Airness. I hope the Warriors keep up the approach, because they have poked the dragon that is LeBron James. And we are being treated to a rarefied dimension of an already legendary basketball player.
You’re really gonna like him when he’s angry.
Words by Andrew Miller