Tag: LeBron haters

Washington Wizards v Miami Heat

Winderman: Cleveland an opportunity for Heat to show heart


For a moment, let’s move past the powder, the banned T-shirts, the extra security.

Instead, let’s move into the moment itself, the heated, contentious atmosphere that will greet the Miami Heat during its Thursday visit to Quicken Loans Arena.

It will be as close as the NBA gets to playoffs in early December. And it’s something the Heat desperately needs.

To this point, when the going has gotten tough, the Heat has disappeared. Opening night in Boston. Amid the Hornets’ frenzied start to the season. In the face of a furious Utah comeback. Against the Celtics at home. And then last week in Orlando.

The lone quality win this season was Oct. 29 against the Magic. And that came during the Heat’s home opener, an unconditional embrace by a fan base that since has lost its way.

Getting the best of Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison and Anderson Varejao won’t be a statement by itself. The Cavaliers are as middling as it gets.

But standing up to the moment will say plenty.

For all he has accomplished on the sideline in leading the Heat to No. 5 playoff seeds the previous two seasons, Erik Spoelstra saw his team collapse in Game 7 of the 2009 first round in Atlanta and then fail to contend in the three playoff appearances in Boston last spring.

For all the hardware he has collected, LeBron James wilted when it meant the most last season for the Cavaliers.

And for all he accomplished in singlehandedly driving the Heat to the 2006 championship, Dwyane Wade hasn’t won a single playoff series since.

As for Chris Bosh? His teams haven’t even been relevant enough to merit a meaningful moment until this season.

In its most recent attempt to find its mojo, the Heat held a players-only meeting Saturday night in Dallas. It was a meeting held in the absence of Spoelstra, Pat Riley and sidelined co-captain Udonis Haslem, the only player on this roster willing to get in the faces of the Big Three.

Since that meeting, talk of dissention has only grown, votes of confidence non-existent.

That’s why the Heat needs Thursday, to exorcise the curse of Dan Gilbert, to move past all “The Decision” nonsense, to show there not only is a championship pulse, but, also, a heart.

Ira Winderman writes regularly for NBCSports.com and covers the Heat and the NBA for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat.

LeBron brings sunshine to some vile “haters”


The great thing about social media like Twitter is it opens us up to all the people of the world.

The bad thing about Twitter is that some people we’re exposed to are just scum.

Nobody knows that like professional athletes. There are plenty of “haters” of LeBron James out there, but Tuesday he decided to have what he called “hater day” on his Twitter account where he retweeted and exposed just some of the vile crap he gets sent daily.

There were suggestions he kill himself, other people using all sorts of derogatory terms. One tweet sent to LeBron called him “a big nosed big lipped bug eyed $&($%@ (it was a racial slur). Ur greedy, u try to hide ur ghettoness.” It went on and on like that.

LeBron wanted people to see just what he gets sent his way, he told Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

“I just want you guys to see it also,” James said after the Heat’s practice Wednesday afternoon. “To see what type of words that are said toward me and towards us as professional athletes. Everybody thinks it is a bed of roses and it’s not.”

Like how cockroaches scatter when you turn on the lights, people like this shut up fast when a light is shined on them. As Tom Ziller put it on Twitter, sunshine is the best disinfectant.

Some say that putting these tweets out there just encourages them. But I think society needs the occasional reminder that in the end this is a game, entertainment. And while we should be emotionally invested, there are limits.

But really, the tweets say less about the game or LeBron than the screw-ups that sent them. Just a reminder that some people are just scum and need to be exposed to the sunshine.