Saying so long to the King and the Boss

Squirrel_spinning_basketbalIt’s been a busy seven days in the sports world.
Spain has been crowned the new top dog in soccer. Major League Baseball held its Midsummer Classic and lost two of the Big Apple’s favorites. And of course, the NBA was turned topsy turvy by the announcement of the forming of the 3-Heat.
It was a week ago that LeBron James went from being the lone wolf in Cleveland to just one of the guys in Miami. King James ended his free agency by joining Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, turning his back on his home team Cavs and the chance to be “the man.”
I understand the lure of winning rings and appreciate the desire to be on a winning team. I get playing night after night with your best buddies, but personally I think becoming a part of a trio dilutes James’ chance to ascend above every other player. Now, instead of one “King,” we have three stars.
Michael Jordan didn’t bolt from Chicago after the Bulls were trounced in the playoffs those first few seasons. The Bulls didn’t rush out and try to sign Charles Barkley or Karl Malone.
Instead, they drafted a lanky kid out of Central Arkansas. When he was selected, nobody expected Scottie Pippen to grow into the perfect accomplice to Jordan, but he did.
LeBron may have lost as many fans as he made with all the hoopla prior to the switch to the Heat. I know I was turned off by the deafening crescendo of media noise leading up to his primetime special. Yes, there was interest in whether loyalty would win out over playing in a state with no income tax, but we really didn’t need a 24-7 accounting of his every waking moment.
The Heat have definitely improved their chances of taking the title from Kobe and the Lakers, but we’ll see if there are enough shots in a game to satisfy the Heats’ new superstars.
Then on Tuesday, baseball lost an icon. New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner succumbed to a heart attack.
As much as LeBron flipped the NBA script with his free agency, Steinbrenner changed baseball with his decision to buy the best players available.
I was just a kid back in ye olden days when the lure of cold hard cash first put many of my favorite players in pinstripes. As a fan of the Oakland A’s then, it was hard to watch former A’s Reggie Jackson and Catfish Hunter end up in New York. I guess that’s how Pittsburgh Pirates fans feel in this day and age.
After buying the Yankees in 1973, Steinbrenner with his famous altercations with managers and players became as synonymous with his team as any player on the field. Heck, he even became a pop culture star when George Costanza had frequent encounters with The Boss on television’s “Seinfeld.”
Dying only days after legendary Yankees announcer Bob Sheppard, it was fitting the 80 year old passed away on the day the All-Star game was played. He wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s