Monday, May 16, 2016

Context is all. Or, you know, nothing

Finally caught up with the clip of LeBron James supposedly dissing Steph Curry for his unanimous MVP award, and I have to say I was disappointed. From the way the gentlemen of the press, Twitterverse and teevees have been carrying on about it (and on, and on) I figured LeBron had at the very least called into question Curry's parentage.

Alas, no such luck.

Instead, I watched the clip, and then I watched it again, and then I watched it again. And I still don't know what the fuss was about. I still don't know why Curry himself was compelled to comment on it, or why various radio larynxes have been spent so much time trying to parse every word, certain there was some deep Hidden Meaning behind what LeBron said.

Alas. No such luck.

Or at least, none that I can see. Instead of LeBron questioning Steph's MVP credentials, which is what I expected from all the furor, I instead heard him say this: "Look at Steph's numbers. He averaged 30, he led the league in steals, he was 90-50-40 [shooting percentages from the free throw line, field and beyond the 3-point line], and they won 73 [games]. So, I don't -- do you have any debate over that, really, when it comes to that award? He's definitely deserving of that award, for sure."

Italics mine.

Italics, because that sentence is the only one that really matters here. LeBron said there could be no debate about Curry's worthiness, and that he was definitely deserving. End of story.

And the rest of it?

Well, the rest of it, from where the Blob sits, is much ado about less than nothing. It's LeBron doing what he tends to do -- over-expand on a thought -- and, if some interpreted it as a slap at Curry, it sure didn't come off that way. It came out as an absolutely valid point: That sometimes "most valuable" and "most outstanding" are two different things.

Which they are.

It's a point that's been made a million times before by a million other people. It's a point that gets debated, without the media losing its mind, on countless occasions. And so move on, nothing to see here.

The problem, of course, is that the media can't move on these days. It is a 24/7/365 animal that demands constant feeding, even if what you're feeding it is the journalistic equivalent of rice cakes. If there is no substance, substance will be invented. That's just how we roll these days.

And it's been going on for awhile. The first time I remember encountering it was (if memory serves, and it might not) the year Mike Vanderjagt blew the gimme field goal and the Colts lost to the Steelers in the playoffs. In the postgame, someone asked Peyton Manning the classic what-went-wrong question. In the course of answering, he mentioned that they had had "protection issues."

Which they did. I wrote it down and thought nothing more about it -- until the stories started coming out that Peyton had thrown his offensive line under the bus.

"When did he do that?" I asked. And I was serious.

Because, listen, truthfully pointing out that, among other things, "protection issues" were a factor in a loss is not throwing your offensive line under bus. I was in the room. I heard what he said. He didn't say "my offensive line sucked." He didn't say "my offensive line couldn't block a stiff breeze." He said the Colts had had "protection issues."

That's all. That's it. Same as LeBron saying MVP and best player are sometimes not the same thing.

Move on. Nothing to see here.

No matter how hard some people try.

No comments:

Post a Comment