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By Zak Kertesz

Sony Creative Software Inc.


the SportsComplainer presents Close the Gap!

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Feeble minds

Photo by Peter Cohen

----Envy is mischievous.  It can rip out your insides and splatter them upon a canvas.  It’s a relentless demon that resides inside of you.  Its survival is fed by insecurities.  Its freedom, granted by selfishness.  Many obtain it, but only the few, only the weak, prompt for its escape.


The weak, in this quandary, are those who failed to succeed in NBA free agency.  The weak, are those who failed to successfully recruit the Prince (LeBron James) and his noble men (Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh).  The weak, have allowed their envy to embarrass themselves and their once respected franchises.

But, why?  Why are these teams displaying such a desperate degree of unprofessional envy, when the end result was obvious from the onset?

There is only one LeBron James.  There are 30 teams in the league.  Not all parties involved, or even uninvolved, could end up as giddy as the Miami Heat currently are.  So, why all the backlash?  And why all the backlash from the supposed superiority of NBA owners and general managers?

Prior to James’ decision, teams drooled at the notion of possibly acquiring him.  Yet, now that he has chosen his destination, these same teams are constantly complaining.

But, why?  It’s not your job to complain, that’s my job.  It’s your job to build and maintain an NBA franchise.  It’s your job to win.  And it’s your job to act like a professional, not like a sour-faced fan:

Envious executives from at least five different teams have accused the Heat of tampering, in regards to their recruitment of James and Bosh.  Commissioner David Stern quickly refuted the allegation, “There is nothing here, at this time, that is causing us to launch an investigation.”

Dan Gilbert.  What a schmuck.  His pathetic antics have been globally mocked since his breakdown began.  But, I’ll get back to Dan in a bit, for he’s not the only one who has spoken out irrationally.

Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf stated, “We're a better team than Miami, assuming we get a shooting guard.”  Well, Jerry, assuming you’re out of your mind, I won’t even waste my time in entertaining such a sentiment.

Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith stated, “Unless we change the rules, we still play with five guys.”  Otis, you’re a funny guy.  But, I suspect the only one who is still laughing at this moment, is Pat Riley.  Wade plus James plus Bosh plus Udonis Haslem plus Mike Miller equals…drum roll…five.  It equals five!  I’m just as perplexed as you are Otis, I have no idea how Riley managed to count to five.  I have no idea how I just managed to count to five.

In reference to James, Smith stated, “[Kobe Bryant] proved he can do it on his own.''  Otis, you couldn’t be more incorrect.  Kobe actually did prove something over the span of his career.  Kobe proved he couldn’t do it on his own.  He couldn’t do it without Shaquille O’Neal, he couldn’t do it without Pau Gasol and he couldn’t do it without Phil Jackson.  Without those guys, Kobe never made it past the first round of the NBA Playoffs, Otis.

Shouldn’t the general manager of the Magic be concerned with the roster of, I don’t know, the Magic?  I presume not, considering that he exchanged Hedo Turkoglu for Vince Carter last summer.  Good move.  Real good move.

New York.  Madison Square Garden.  The Mecca of Basketball.  The Home of the Knickerbockers.  It’s just awe-inspiring, isn’t it?

Well, how inspiring is this? The last time The Mecca won a championship was 37 years ago.  37 years ago!  

In reference to James, New York Knicks owner James Dolan stated, "It takes courage to play where the lights shine the brightest."  Since when do the lights shine the brightest on a franchise that hasn’t won in 37 years?  Since when do the lights shine the brightest on a perennial loser?  What is Dolan speaking of here?  Is he implying that Madison Square Garden uses extremely high wattage light bulbs?  Because, that can’t be good for the environment.

The Knicks amuse me.  They amuse me the same way Elmer Fudd does.  I laugh when Elmer is duped by Bugs Bunny, but deep inside I feel remorse for Elmer.

Like Elmer, gullibility is an issue for the Knicks.  They cleared out their entire roster just because LeBron likes to wear a Yankee cap.  Those Knicks are just so silly.  Now their entire organization is all hopped up on the belief that they will soon have their own trio of Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.  Maybe those guys will have enough “courage to play where the lights shine the brightest.”

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stated, “No team has ever blown themselves up for straight cap room ever and had it work.''  Mark, you were so close to making a reasonable assertion.  However, your comment was not in reference to the Knicks, where it would have been viable.  Rather, it was in reference to the Heat, who clearly have “had it work” for them.

As for Dan Gilbert, his situation is actually mundane, if simplified.  He got dumped.  He couldn’t handle the break up, so he threw a temper tantrum.  Albeit, a profoundly hypocritical temper tantrum, nevertheless, a temper tantrum.

Dan, you called LeBron “narcissistic” for leaving Cleveland.  Yet, LeBron’s decision to share the spotlight with Wade and Bosh is the polar opposite of narcissism.

Dan, you called LeBron “callous” for leaving Cleveland.  Yet, you are the one making the cruel and insensitive remarks.

Dan, you mocked the usage of “witness” and “chosen one.”  Yet, when LeBron was a Cavalier, you wore t-shirts with those words imprinted on them.

Dan, you stated, “[LeBron] has gotten a free pass, people have covered up for him for way too long.”  Yet, you are solely responsible for his “free pass.”

Dan, you called him the “former king.”  Yet, how is it plausible that LeBron can be deemed a king under your ownership, but not under Micky Arison’s?

Dan, you stated, “It's not about [LeBron] leaving, it's the disrespect.”  Yet, you have been disrespecting the entire NBA with your “callous” and “narcissistic” comments.

On a side note, Dan, you must recognize that LeBron helped increase the value of your franchise by roughly $100 million.


“Not bloody likely,” as Jerry Seinfeld would say.

This is what can pour out of an individual’s soul when their natural sensibilities have been conquered.   This is the irrationality that is associated with a selfish and an insecure state of mind.  This, is envy.  And envy is mischievous.

But envy is controllable.  Only the weak prompt for its escape.  And that’s the primary issue here.  That the men at the top of the NBA pyramid are just as feebleminded and pathetically uniformed as children are.

So, what now?

What’s the solution?

How does the NBA control this?

I don’t know.  Ask Dan Gilbert, he seems to have all the answers.