This week marked the tenth anniversary of the Detroit Pistons’ last NBA Championship (and unfortunately, probably a few years before they even contend for another). What a great championship series it was – they beat the flashy Los Angeles Lakers at the height of the Kobe/Shaq Era with hard work and defense. There were no celebrities – this was the ultimate team with a starting five of Rasheed Wallace, Ben Wallace, Chauncey Billups, Tayshaun Prince, and Rip Hamilton. They were the perfect example of Detroit tough.
While I haven’t lived in the Motor City in over twelve years, I still consider it home and would actually love to move back. Nothing pisses me off more than when somebody asks me where I’m from, I say “Detroit,” and they proceed to make a snide comment about it. First of all, it’s damn rude. I would never degrade someone’s hometown to them, no matter my personal experience there. Second, I think we are all aware of Detroit’s crime problems. A lot of other big, “nicer” cities have this problem, too (hi, Chicago). The 2008 economic crisis was particularly cruel to Detroit. Don’t make fun of a hardworking city and people trying to get back on their feet. Just don’t. FYI…it is improving slowly but surely.
Detroit gave you the automobile. For those of you who were fortunate enough to group up in the middle or upper-middle class, you can thank Detroit for a big part of that, too. We have some of the best restaurants in the country. And finally, we have some of the nicest suburbs in the country (Oakland Hills, anyone?). I am going to sound like the Birmingham brat I am, but to make my point, Oakland County was the second wealthiest county in the nation behind the Hamptons back when I was in high school. Sure, it has fallen off just a tad with the economic downturn (still top ten), but they are still consistently nice. Detroit suburbs could buy and sell almost anywhere else in the country.
I want to start out this post by saying that I am a) not a Miami Heat Fan and b) not an avid fan of the NBA. My husband is a Miami Heat fan, but I am indifferent. I don’t have a problem with them, but they aren’t the Detroit Pistons (that won’t be happening for awhile). This season, I do hope the Heat win the championship because it will make my husband happy and I would love to shut up all the LeBron haters.
I cannot believe the lack of respect LeBron has received this season. For the first time in five years, he was not voted to the NBA’s All-Defensive team. Give me a break! Then, he was not a unanimous selection for the All-NBA first team. It appears that he is a victim of “LeBron fatigue.” He’s the best player in the league – get over it.
Then, in Game 1 of The Finals, LeBron cramped to the point he couldn’t move and is being called “soft.” If you have a cramp, you often can’t move. Seriously, do people (and Gatorade) not realize how dumb they sound? For example, my sister and I, who are close in size, could drink the same amount of Powerade and engage in the same intense workout routine, and guess what? I might suffer terrible cramps and she might not. It’s called physiological differences between human bodies. Working in football all those years, some kids were prone to cramps while others sailed through.
People are looking for any reason to dislike LeBron. I don’t care if you hate him because he’s a great player and you cheer for a rival team. I feel that the hatred is deeper seeded than that. Is this really all about “The Decision” from four years ago? Are we going to continuously punish LBJ for an ill-advised TV special he did when he was 25 years old? I would like to point out that unlike many, LBJ manned up and apologized for that whole fiasco. He said if he had it to do over, he certainly wouldn’t have done it that way. Of course, I don’t know LBJ, but he comes off as a pretty decent guy, especially for someone of his stature. If he’s a jerk, he hides it pretty well. He’s not out there talking about great he is. He’s not out womanizing and putting down his own kids, like Michael Jordan. He’s not even the shadiest player on his own team.
As of right now, most consider Jordan to be the greatest of all time, but he definitely has character issues. And everyone is willing to look past if for him, but not for the stupid “I’m taking my talents to South Beach” comments LeBron made.