"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thoughts on Hating LeBron, Possible Reyes/Mets Reunion, Roman Reigns’ Suspension, and CM Punk’s UFC Debut
Hating on LeBron
I never considered myself to be a hater of LeBron James but I wasn’t a fan of his either. I respect his game and talent immensely but have never been fond of him for three reasons: switching teams, his flopping (and being so animated towards refs without getting a tech), and most importantly, his fans (aka his “Stans”). I have many friends who are fans of LeBron who tell me to get over the fact that he didn’t join the Knicks in the summer of 2010 but that’s not where my “hate” stems from. I don’t hold any ill will towards LeBron for not coming to NY but I did (key word 'did') because he joined up with Dwayne Wade, who at that time (and prior to injuries) I considered as great as LeBron. It just seemed like he was taking the easy way out. He played just seven seasons at the point and people (AKA his "Stans") make it seem like he was wasting his whole career in a hopeless situation as if he wasn’t supported by really good players before his departure. Sure, his talent made them better players but he wasn’t exactly playing with scrubs either. But that’s what his fans do, they try and downplay his supporting casts to try and build him up to be even greater than he is (and he is GREAT, all-time GREAT maybe top 5 all-time GREAT but just not JORDAN GREAT) but again I’ll never respect the “decision.” And then after winning 2 rings in Miami, he returns to Cleveland but let’s be real, Cleveland was already building a solid foundation before his return and he saw it as another opportunity to move on to a better situation going forward (basically he saw Kyrie Irving as a better bet as a side-kick than an aging/fragile Wade).
With all that being said, you can’t argue with his production, his success, and now his three championships, his most recent one being his greatest accomplishment to date. He was the Finals MVP and simply played on another level. Critics will say that Irving was the closer for them and LeBron wasn’t but if you don’t know by now that it's not his style and that’s okay. I’ve only made the comparison to Jordan because others would bring it up but if you take that away and just look at LeBron for the great player that he is, what’s there to hate about? I’ll continue to say that Jordan is greater because that’s my personal opinion and as I did with my seven blog series last year, I went out my way to point out their numbers at their absolute peak and given one game to win, I’ll take Jordan on my team than LeBron, which is no slight to LeBron at all. That’s just my personal opinion and preference. The fact that there is a conversation at all says a lot about LeBron who is still building his case.
In closing, I never liked Jordan while he was playing either. He killed my favorite teams, the New York Knicks who only sniffed the Finals because he decided to play baseball. I never truly liked Kobe Bryant either. It’s not “hate,” though. It has more to do with rooting for underdogs. And no matter how much more talented teams might be, any team that has LeBron James on it will always be the favorite because when you’re the best in the world you are never an underdog, I don't care what Vegas says. So it’s the same deal with LeBron. Nothing to do with choosing MIA over NY, it’s just how I am as a fan. And let’s not forget to mention, the flopping and theatrics towards the refs. You’re 6’8 and 260 pounds, no need to be flopping or crying about calls. And yes I know MJ and Kobe did the same, and like I said, never liked it when they did it either despite respecting their game. Again, there is nothing wrong with rooting against LeBron but “hating” on him, that’s a different story. Personally, his recent postseason made me respect him more, made me even like him a bit (especially because he’s been rocking wrestling T-shirts *shout to Kevin Love too*) but there’s no way that I’ll root for him. Sorry, but that's just something as a real Knicks fan that I just can’t do.
Jose Reyes-Mets Possible Reunion
I originally was against this move from the moment it was announced that the Colorado Rockies would release Jose Reyes. However, the way the Mets have struggled lately offensively has made me more open to a reunion but with tempered expectations. Reyes is a shell of his former self. He doesn’t have the same range on defense or speed on the base paths. At the same time, the Mets have NO speed on team whatsoever and he would help there. He’s played shortstop his whole career and some second base but the best possible position for him to get playing time would be at third base, which is ironic considering he would be taking over his good friend David Wright’s position. A few reasons to like this move if it happens would be that it would be low-cost, low-risk high-reward (on the field), and Reyes is known to have an energetic personality which could ignite the team and give it a spark which it needs. At the time, I don't want him to be a starter going forward, rather I prefer him a super-utility infield and late-inning pinch runner. If he's willing to accept that role, then I'm all for signing him (which seem inevitable at this point according to reports). With that being said, I hope the word is true that Reyes will finally address his domestic violence incident from last year. Better to address it than to ignore it. I understand why some people would be upset if we sign him given his off-field issue but I am not the moral police and I can't act like I know exactly happened between him and wife. Not condoning what he did but we don’t know what led to that incident but if his wife forgave him then maybe we can too if he owns up to it, of course.
Roman Reigns’ Suspension
Am I surprised? No, I’m not but that’s because as a fan of sports you become numb to finding out your favorite athletes are using drugs to help them perform at a higher level. Am I curious to find out what caused Reigns to get suspended? Of course I am. I would like to think it wasn’t any PEDs and I’m willing to guess it was probably some sort of pain killers he was taking considering that he’s one of the top stars of the WWE and has been for the past several years which means traveling a lot and bumping all over the world (no pun intended). News came out that the WWE found out about Roman’s failed test prior to the last PPV which lead them to switch the world title to Seth Rollins (who beat him cleanly which was a shocker to me) and then to his boy, Dean Ambrose. The next night they announced the main event for the next PPV will be a triple threat between the three former members of the Shield, which conveniently takes place a few days after Roman’s suspension is over. It will curious to see how strongly the WWE books Roman as he’s long been considered their “next John Cena” but as we saw with Randy Orton (the biggest name to be suspended prior to Reigns), he could end up being a top guy but ironically, not “The Guy” anymore.
CM Punk’s To Debut at UFC203
I briefly spoke about CM Punk’s upcoming UFC debut on Jim Wrestle’s “Choked Out Radio” podcast last week:
Basically I said, I don’t have high expectations for Punk’s first fight or for his career in UFC period. As an MMA fighter, Punk is green as goose sh*t (a wrestling saying) still. His announced his signing to UFC at the end of 2014 and he’s had several setbacks injury wise which I’m sure hasn’t helped. However, there have been reports that he hasn’t held up too well in sparring match ups while training which to me doesn’t even matter. At the end of the day, I’m a professional wrestling fan first and I became a fan of the UFC because of Brock Lesnar (who I also spoke about on the podcast) and I’ll be anxious to see Punk in the octagon. His opponent will be Mickey Gall who’s 24 years old and holds a professional MMA record of 2 and 0. Not exactly lighting the world on fire but at the same time, I’m sure he’s been training MMA a lot longer than Punk has. While I admire pro wrestlers for being tough, the octagon is a different animal and I don’t expect Punk to have a successful UFC debut or career. Lesnar had an amateur wrestling background prior to WWE/UFC and is just a physical beast. So I’ll be watching in September to see what happens because whether Punk somehow wins or loses by knock out, the winners at the end will us, the fans.