Overtime: LeBron James Doesn’t Owe Us Anything

By Melva N. Lloyd

About a year ago NBA fans nationwide went into a frenzy when they got word that The Chosen One, LeBron James, might take to the court as a competitor in the 2010 Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.  Within the past two weeks since the contestants were announced and LBJ’s name was nowhere to be found, the league’s reigning MVP has been called everything from a coward to a let-down.  But it’s obvious that fans don’t understand what the word preliminary means.

In an interview with Cheryl Miller during last year’s competition, James remained on the fence about his involvement in the traditional Saturday night festivities.  His answer comes at about the 22 second mark; and remember, the key word is preliminary, although his usage of the word should be questioned.

So what’s all the fuss about people?  The man didn’t sign a blood oath promising that he would throw down a few fancy dunks just so he could wait for a panel of judges to score him on a scale of 1-10.  Besides, he puts his acrobatics on display practically every night he suits up for a regular season game.

Naturally, any fan of professional basketball would love to see the six-time All-Star leap from behind the backboard, complete a perfect 360 degree spin while covering his eyes with his right hand and palming the basketball with his left, bringing the crowd to its feet.  (I’m exaggerating, but you get the point.)  But if it’s one thing that our mothers have always taught us it’s we don’t always get what he want.  So we may have to wait another year to see James’ high-flying moves; what difference does it make?

So for everyone out there complaining that LeBron didn’t hold up his end of the bargain, or that pulling this stunt will never put him on Kobe’s level, remember this: the numbers that he’s putting up this season prove that he’s one of the best in the league today; probably second only to Kobe.  A dunk contest won’t make or break him and if you’re that anxious to see him compete, pick up NBA 2K10 or NBA Live and have him dunk at your every heart’s desire.

Video courtesy of www.youtube.com

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