- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 7, 2006

The annoyance of LeBron James has been passed along to Detroit, and so, too, the outcry of those in his cult.

The acrid words of the “Lehovah Witnesses” landed with a fury in the mailbox.

“You are a joke to your profession,” one of the gentler missives read.

It takes one to know one, of course.

There are plenty worse sights in life than the whining antics of a basketball player who believes he never has committed a foul or violation in the NBA.

The tortuous facial manifestations of LeBawl are hard to miss unless you are blinded by the halo above his head.

He displays so many faces, some more mournful than others, that it is possible to assume that his starring role with Nike has allowed him to polish his acting craft.

He is both the leading scorer and crier in the playoffs, which is an unusual double-double, considering his enormous basketball gifts.

His basketball wherewithal requires the requisite number of superlatives from those in the idol-making business.

But even sports idols have imperfections. Noting them does not border on the sacrilegious. In fact, it is part of the game within the game.

Raja Bell delivered a worthy critique of an idol more complete than James.

“I think he’s a pompous, arrogant individual,” Bell said of Kobe Bryant.

And Bryant confirmed the charges by saying, “Do I know this guy?”

Passion is the sustenance of sports. You have nothing without it.

Yet the passion of those who cheer from a distance is often misguided.

Cleveland allowed its panties to get in a wad over anyone who deviated from the worship of James.

So please excuse the interruption to your prayerful mass.

Your parochialism is showing.

Cleveland expressed not one word of outrage over the fan who dropped the N-bomb on Wizards coach Eddie Jordan at halftime of Game 2.

Which of the two are more jolting to the senses — the Big Crybaby vs. the N-bomb?

An urgent missive landed in the mailbox just after the series-ending shot of Damon Jones.

The wordsmith posed a deep query:

“Me, Damon Jones and all of Cleveland have a question for you: Who’s crying now, [bleep bleeper]?”

There was no crying in Tony Cheng’s neighborhood, only a tinge of regret that there would be no Game 7.

A Game 7 seemed like a good idea until Mike Brown brushed off the cobwebs and dust that had settled on Jones.

The thinking in Washington was that the series already had been squandered in Game 3, when James was allowed a dribble-free skip and hop to the basket.

In the halls of Abe Pollin’s playhouse before Game 6, one member of the Wizards brain trust suggested there possibly was a second violation on the play — James landing on the floor before he released the shot.

Those are the what-ifs that all basketball teams inevitably come up against in a game so dependent on the officiating.

The what-ifs were more pronounced in a series that featured three one-point outcomes that ended in the favor of the Cavaliers.

As bad as the interior defense of the Wizards was, the defense of the Cavaliers was no less deficient.

One of the quirkier statistics of the series was the Wizards outscoring the Cavaliers by one point in the six games.

The lasting image of the series was not the skip-and-hop maneuver of James that decided Game 3 or his jaunt along the left baseline that decided Game 5.

It was not the 30-foot 3-pointer of Gilbert Arenas that pushed Game 6 into overtime. It was not Arenas missing two free throws with 15.1 seconds left in overtime of Game 6, the second one after James stopped to say, “If you miss this one, you know I’m going to hit the game-winner.”

The lasting image was James threatening to take the ball home after a whistle went against him in Game 5.

The Big Crybaby.

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