The Sports Daily > Hoops Manifesto
Deja Vu All Over Again

So LeBron James was named the 2009 NBA MVP today. Be still my beating heart. My apologies for going against the grain here, but there is nothing about LeBron James that interests me. That’s right – I find LeBron boring.

Now, before you all go and get your knickerbockers in a knot let me clarify myself here. I firmly believe that James is the best player on the planet and was pretty much a no-brain selection as the MVP this year. He no doubt will go down in history as one of the best to play Dr. Naismith’s creation. His combination of size, athleticism and skill are dreamlike. Its almost as if a mad scientist with a serious case of the basketball jones concocted him one dark and stormy night in his lab.

With all that said, I still find him boring. I’ve been spending time soul searching as to why this is the case. It could be that the man is as plain as vanilla ice cream off the court. No controversy. No interesting quotes. No serious trash talking. To think, the biggest scandal he’s been involved in is the choice of baseball hat that he wears.

Not that I really want the man to be out there raping and pillaging and acting like a NFL player. Just anything more interesting that the standard “Republicans buy sneakers too” shtick that Jordan made popular decades ago. Jordan is one of the main problems here. With all players after him following his script – on and off the court – there is not much room for originality. So whenever a player like Lebron or Kobe does something – once again, on or off the court – its a case of “been there, done that” for basketball fans. So while Jordan was brilliant and helped make the NBA the global brand that it is, he also helped ruin the game.

But I believe the main reason that LeBron doesn’t intrigue me is that everything he does seems to be pre-ordained (now I can’t remember if I can up with this theory myself or if it is something that I read on FreeDarko, so unless I get a strongly worded e-mail from their lawyer I’ll claim it as my own). Of course LeBron won the MVP award. Of course he is going to win a championship, if not this year then in the near future. Of course he is going to be one of the greatest of all-time. There was and is no struggle or mystery involved. With LeBron it was never a case of “if” but “when”.

Ever since he appeared materialized on the basketball scene as a youngster, this was all expected of him. He was a fully formed player practically out of the womb, with the game, muscles and tattoos all in place already. Where is the intrigue there, when all that was predicted about him years ago now is coming to pass? He had 25 points, 9 assists, 6 boards and 4 steals in his first NBA game. He averaged 21/6/6 his rookie year. No struggle – just consistent brilliancy. Even Jordan was a bit of a surprise when he hit the scene – hell, he wasn’t even the first or second pick in the draft. With LeBron, it is like reading a book that you already know the ending to. There is no ad libbing from the script.

While consistent brilliance is brilliant, it can also be boring.