In a world where even Dan Shaughnessy will hedge against his own stupidity, we desperately need a local newspaper columnist who isn't afraid to dish out the kind of moral rectitude and one-sentence KABOOM paragraphs that will put the sporting world back on the path to righteousness. We need a hero. We need the boldest, hottest take possible, issued without apology, and without ANY kind of self-awareness. We need Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla, who yesterday issued the Last Supper of hot takes, a rambling screed against LeBron James that surely had Mike Lupica pumping his shaft in triumph. Prepare yourself for a true masterpiece, starting with the headline itself…
LeBron can play but King Tim Duncan has a ring (or five) to it
Oh! Oh, the wordplay. I would pay $50 to see Sir Patrick Stewart read this headline aloud to a human skull. From now on, all headlines should be this transparently clumsy and stupid:
- For LeBron, all the world is a stage, but Prince Pop (and the Spurs) took the road not taken
- To his own self LeBron be true but (Real Man)u Ginobili has a nose for victory
- LEBRON CAN'T HANDLE THE (TRUE)TH
We're off to a blazing start here. But it gets better:
The NBA has a problem. His name is LeBron James.
That's the entirety of the first paragraph. Carve it in marble, gang. Kiszla isn't here to fuck around. He is upfront and he is right in Adam Silver's big vampire face: You got a problem, sir. You have a really talented player who exercised his contractual right to choose a new team. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO STOP THIS, SIR?
The league has sold its soul to the cult of King James.
Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi
LeBron is the cult of personality
The cult of personality
The cult of personali(Tim Duncan's five titles have a nice ring to them)
Remember when what happened on the court actually mattered in the NBA?
Why, yes! It's called "during the season".
Heck, you must be old, not to mention hopelessly out of touch.
O ho ho! I sense a stern lecture to all you YOUNGLINGS out there. You see, you might think Kiszla is some kind of BOOGERMAN who's hopelessly out of touch, but if having good ol' fashioned values is uncool, well then call him Mel Gibson.
Why is a silly little Twitter war about where James might play during the 2014-15 season far more nettlesome problem for the NBA than the fact cranky Donald Sterling won't agree to sell the Los Angeles Clippers without a very public spat with his wife?
It's not, but go on. Also, you forgot a word in there. However, a typo is excusable when Kiszla in the throes of HOT BREATHLESS ANTI-PASSION. Hey NBA, you got a problem. Its name is LeBrsdfk;gjhdfg;lksdfgsdfg/lkjdfgsI'MSOANGRY!
Well, the San Antonio Spurs won their fifth championship of the Tim Duncan era with some of the most beautiful basketball ever seen. But that's trivial stuff. The real news is: Have you downloaded the LeBron app to your smart phone yet?
Yeah! Have you?! You kids with your phones and your pants and your shoes with patterns on them. I guess the Spurs fifth title, which actually happened and most people were very much aware of, simply doesn't matter if you can't FaceSnap it. SMDH.
While the world of social media spins out of control 24/7…
GAHHHH STOP THIS SOCIAL MEDIA FOR IT IS ONLY BARELY CONTAINED WITHIN THIS PHONE WHICH I CAN TURN OFF ANY TIME I CHOOSE.
….one truth regarding sports remains the same, forever and always:
Tell me. I must know.
It's all about the scoreboard, baby.
BOOM. Truth. You can have your phones and your tablature devices and your InstaGrahams, but Kiszla is here to tell you that we've lost sight on one very important thing: WINNING. People forget that. Who won the title this year? Was it the Rockets? The Bobcats, who no longer exist? I simply don't know because I was too busy staring at this YouGoob video! Someone needs to look at the scoreboard and REMIND us. Otherwise…
When that ceases to be the case, we might as well be watching Miley Cyrus twerk.
OMG TWERK TWERK TWERK. You kids with your twerking and your Cyruses. What is the world coming to when we pay more attention to the Kardashiums than a well-executed bounce pass?
King James has no clothes.
Kiszla sees through you, LeBron. You may have four MVPs and two rings, but Kiszla knows that you're still a fraud. Those aren't REAL rings. You stole them while we were all watching Miley twerk.
And the NBA has been exposed as little more than his prop.
NBA: Here's the new collective bargaining agreement. We're gonna take away seven percent of all league revenue that used to go to you, and our franchise prices are gonna skyrocket by 400% per team. Also, we'll keep a salary ceiling so that LeBron makes as much money as Gordon Hayward.
PLAYER: Yeah, but can we have a few days of free agency?
NBA: WHOA HEY YOU'RE HOLDING US HOSTAGE SOMEONE CALL KISZLA
Oh, James is an impact player.
Oh, so everything you just said was pointless.
Heck, Nuggets president Josh Kroenke would give up half his inheritance and move the franchise to Akron, Ohio, if the King agreed to play alongside Ty Lawson.
There is your mandatory swipe at local sports figures to keep the column relevant to Denver issues. Hey folks, LeBron is pretty good, so good that our local DORK owner would probably do many things have him on the team. What a looooozer.
To be sure, the two NBA championships won by James are nothing to sniff at.
Thank you for setting me straight. All this time, I was like, "Pfft. Two rings? That's nothing. I can win two rings pissing in my oatmeal. Show me 19 rings and we got ourselves a discussion."
That gives the King one more ring than Dirk Nowitzki.
And one ring fewer than Brian Shaw earned as a player.
KABLAMMO. Brain Shaw, folks. What are you doing to keep up with Brian Shaw, LeBron? King Shaw's rings had a ring to them.
/throws down glove
But who's counting?
That's its own paragraph. Go ahead and take your time to count the rings. Again, LeBron has two. Dirk has one. And Brian Shaw has GRITFINITY RINGS. The math is ironclad. Chew on that for a bit.
It used to be cute when Carmelo Anthony took orders from his wife before making a basketball decision. Now, like some jealous little kid, Melo is afraid to announce whether he's staying in New York or joining the Lakers in the same news cycle as Decision 2.0 by James.
Can you believe that guy listens to a woman? What a fucking dipshit. Look people, this all used to be fun and games. But now it's serious. PEOPLE COULD DIE.
James broke the hearts of Cleveland when he took his talents to South Beach in 2010. What he's doing now is making a mockery of the games, all the flyover franchises and NBA stars groveling to be LeBron's wingman.
Okay, so I have personally had fun at LeBron James' expense in the past. LeBron carries himself like a head of state, but seemingly makes decisions based on Dwyane Wade showing up at the last minute and being like, "Dude, there are GIRLS in Miami." But in this instance, James opted for free agency, as was his right, and has officially taken three days to make a life decision. Three fucking days to decide which team will have the privilege of underpaying him? Seems fair. But no, call it a mockery. Your league is out of control, Silver! Lock these players in the basement and starve them to death!
I don't begrudge James his power.
WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE TALKING ABOUT THEN
More power to him.
I THOUGHT YOU JUST SAID HE HAD TOO MUCH POWER THIS TAKE IS SUDDENLY LUKEWARM YOU COWARD
James didn't write the rules of the collective bargaining agreement; he merely exploited them.
NBA: Here's your CBA. Forfeit hundreds of millions of dollars to us or we'll lock you out for eight decades.
PLAYER: Okay, but can I take a few days to decide if…
NBA: OMG EXPLOITATION!
But any league where the whim of one man is more important than the final score is dribbling down the wrong path.
That is not the SPURS WAY to dribble down the path like that. King James may be the straw that stirs the NBA's drink, but Tony Parker dribbled the path to drink (his) milkshake.
The King is great. Anybody, however, who tells you James is as great as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson…
Oh, you mean the Oscar Robertson who put his name to the anti-trust case that helped make NBA free agency possible and gave LeBron the contractual right to pick a different team? Yeah I bet Oscar is rolling in his grave.
…or Hall of Famers who relished competition instead of moving on to whatever's convenient fails to realize how hard a meaningful legacy is earned in sports.
So true. LeBron James, who has won a gold medal for the USA in the Olympics and played in four straight NBA Finals, playing virtually every minute for nearly 100 games every season for the past four seasons, clearly HATES competing. Total pussy. He clearly has no sense of legacy, which is an arbitrary term coined by sportswriters who use it bestow their worthless approval upon certain athletes.
James wins Twitter.
It's true! I checked the scoreboard, baby.
/dribbles down twerky path
Duncan wins rings.
Which LeBron does not, unless you count the two he won, which I don't.
You tell me who the real king is.
IT'S YOU, MARK KISZLA. You are the true King. Twerk Miley Skrillex smartphone underwear.
Photo via AP