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Random acts of senseless sporting

Your dose of (in)sanity in this (in)sane sports world

July 7, 2010
By B.J. LISKO, Salem News Sports Editor

Cleveland has had "The Drive," "The Fumble," "The Shot," and now tonight we get "The Decision."

LeBron James is more interested in being a celebrity then he is in winning basketball games. His staged press conference is further proof. It's great that ad revenue will go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and I applaud LeBron for that, but it really seems like cover so he can be the center of attention. At 9 p.m. we're going to get to see an egotistical narcissist tell the world "to hell with Cleveland."

He's not coming back to the Cavs. If he does, I'll eat a copy of the paper you're holding in your hands. Why are we allowing this sort of thing, and why do we care so much about this sort of thing from a player with no championship ring? Not one. Tiger Woods held his staged press conferences. At least he won something.

Two years straight LeBron has quit on the Cavs. Just up and quit in the middle of the playoffs. When he wants to, he can be the greatest player that has ever lived. He can take over games single-handidly - something that very few other current or former professionals ever has or had the ability to do. He chose not to. He chose not to respond to now ex-coach Mike Brown, the winningest coach in Cavaliers history, who was fired basically because once LeBron quit, so did the rest of the team. How many coaches of the year do you see get fired? LeBron didn't truly respect Brown, and nothing Brown could say was going to change that.

It was embarrassing to watch Cleveland, especially this past postseason, and this is coming from someone who really doesn't care about the NBA.

Go to New York, go to Miami, go wherever you want, LeBron. Good riddance to you. It's not that you couldn't win in Cleveland. It's not that you didn't have a good supporting cast. It's that you didn't care. Kobe Bryant cares. He's won multiple titles. Michael Jordan cared. He won multiple titles. You don't. You care about being a celebrity, not winning championships. You're the superstar, and you can obviously do what you want. More power to you. Cleveland, and Cavs fans, get ready for another big slap in the face at 9 p.m.

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Don't expect Tiger Woods to win anytime soon again, either, if at all this season. Golfing great Jack Nicklaus made a great point when the media and seemingly everyone on the planet crowned him the greatest player of all time years ago. He said Tiger hadn't had a family yet. He didn't have a wife yet, and your personal life has a lot to do with how you play on the course. In short, all he had to think about was winning golf tournaments.

Fast forward to two kids, a wife, and fast forward again to multiple affairs and indiscretions off the course, not to mention constant rumors of divorce, too. Mentally he's simply not there right now. You can take the greatest golfer there is, but if he's thinking too much, if he's not relaxed, the sport will eat him alive.

I'm going to be even bolder here and say that Tiger won't even make the cut at St. Andrews. Not the way he's putting. Not the way he's hitting the ball (And you can throw out the fluke tournament last week where he hit the ball off the tee well for the first time in who knows how long). He was a coddled superstar who rarely had to deal with adversity off the course. Now he throws fits in the press room if he's asked a personal question in addition to his usual outbursts on the course, where other than signing a few more autographs, he hasn't changed a bit. Buddhism? Whatever. You really look at peace, Tiger.

Think what you do in your personal life doesn't affect how you play? Go talk to John Daly about that. He's had so many ups and downs off the course that his confidence is shot to the point that he may never get things back on track.

Go talk to David Duval about confidence. Go talk to Fred Couples about divorce and what personal thoughts will do to you when you're in contention during the weekend. Anything that affects your swagger on the course, regardless of what it is, can and will seep into your golf game in the form of errant shots and lackluster performance. Now we'll get to see just how good Tiger is and if he's able to recover. His sheer talent is obviously going to keep him around and near the tops of leaderboards, but when the true pressure has been on, he hasn't been the Tiger of old. It's going to be there for a long, long time to come.

E-mail B.J. Lisko at bjlisko@salemnews.net

 
 

 

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