ESPN Large Talking Head Person Keith Olbermann went on his show last night to wag his tsk-tsk finger at the media for hyperboling LeBron James' 61-point performance on Monday night.
In a segment called "The Greatest Game Ever Played... for One Day," Olbermann comes full circle on GRANDPA IS MAKING LOUD ANGRY NOIZES AGAIN and inexplicably eviscerates the sports media for overdoing it on talking about how great LeBron's performance was.
Olbermann is insanely thin-skinned and usually takes on Twitter followers who troll him by writing "Bye Felicia!" before hitting that block button.
But to Keith, we say:
First off, Olbermann cites this quote from Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report's comparison between LeBron and Joe DiMaggio:
The truly gifted are capable, when giving their all, of showing the audience something they won't see from anyone else ever again. I am well aware of this, from my time covering sports' most compelling current team, featuring the most dynamic active athlete.
Olbermann takes that snippet, reads it in mocking voice, and then hints that Skolnick failed to see how Carmelo Anthony scored 62 weeks ago and guns after the hyperbolic nature of the sentence.
AH BUT CONTEXT.
If Olbermann had bothered to read the piece instead of having some poor terrified intern do it, he'd see the entire piece was based on Skolnick -- who is the head Miami Heat writer for B/R -- missing the game because he took the night off to take his pregnant wife to Costco.
Ethan's point: A special player like LeBron can do something great on any given night, so best not to blink.
The only comparison Skolnick makes to DiMaggio is that the Yankee great once said he plays hard every day because he never knows when a kid out there might be at a game for the first time in his life. LeBron has echoed that sentiment, saying he plays hard every night for the kids.
BUT SKOLNICKS IS HYPERBOLLL DIMAGGIO IS GAWD HERRRP DERRRRRRRR
Secondly, no one anywhere wrote that this was the most spectacular thing that ever happened to the world of pro basketball.
Did writers who cover the team take some poetic license in describing how special the performance was? Sure. Especially this asshole.
But writers do this all the time. Particularly sportswriters. Particularly writers who cover the "big market" teams like the Red Sox or Yankees.
How many times have we had to hear about Derek Jeter's amazingness, even as he's slipped further and further into being a mediocre fielder? How many times have we all had to swallow how important and hallowed Red Sox world titles have been since 2004 -- as if a Red Sox World Series win is more important than other World Series wins?
Writers take poetic license because otherwise, people would just read box scores.
Here's what was great and special about LeBron's 61: He did it taking such few shots.
His efficiency is off the charts. And while guys like Kobe and Carmelo can hit 60 points in their sleep, that's exactly the point. Those two are score-first players. LeBron is perhaps the most complete basketball player we've ever seen. His career is riddled with criticism for always looking for the open teammate rather than taking the shot himself.
The very fact that he's capable of hitting 61 is the point of the greatness of this performance.
And the fact that he's the greatest living player right now is what makes talking about his 61 points so much fun.
LeBron historically never takes 30-plus shots per games. It's not his style. But he can. And when he does, 61 happens.
Then there's the constant comparisons to Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in the segment. As if Wilt -- as great as he was -- didn't play against mostly small, slow white dudes who couldn't even get a ticket to an NBA game on StubHub if they were around today.
Comparing LeBron to Wilt is like comparing Miguel Cabrera to Babe Ruth.
It's fun but ultimately stupid.
And even if Skolnick was comparing LeBron to DiMaggio, that would be pretty on-point, anyway. DiMaggio was the greatest player of his day and remains a sports icon.
LEBRON IS THE SAME FUCKING THING, YOU BLOCKHEAD.
What, DiMaggio is the only one allowed to be blown by sports scribes?
Then there's the obvious FELICIA in the room: the fact that his current employer, ESPN, has made ratings gold over the years in saturating its airwaves criticizing LeBron -- particularly since he joined the Heat.
LeBron has been called a choker, not hungry, lacks killer instinct, LeChoke, LeBrick, and not as good as Derrick Rose over the years by The Four Letter Network.
When it hasn't been smoking Tim Tebow's pole, ESPN has dedicated thousands of hours to full-on LeBron hatred.
Olbermann speaks of the media's pedestal but fails to mention ESPN as the wrecking ball.
Gas Bagging Clowns like Skip Bayless and Ric Bucher (when he was there) and Bill Simmons have built their recent relevancy on shitting all over LeBron before the guy can even get anywhere near the midpoint of his career.
ESPN talking heads have reveled at every chance they've had at any LeBron failure, and the constant comparisons to Michael Jordan have been exhausting.
So, excuse the media, Frances -- particularly the Heat media -- if a great game by today's greatest player is sprinkled with a little poetic hyperbole.
Not to mention the fact that, not once in the entire segment did Olbermann mention by name the biggest culprit of the 61 Hyperbole Machine: HIS OWN FUCKING EMPLOYERS.
Sure, he mentions ESPN's Heat Index writer Tom Haberstroh. But a token "he said this thing" isn't the point. Not when Sports Center, Around The Horn and that Cold Pizza First Take show went on and on about it.
Yes, there have been other people who have scored 61 points.
Thanks for clearing that up, Keith.
Not a single person alive is saying otherwise, SIR.
Now for the love of God, get back to not trying to get fired from yet another network.
Heyy-oooo low hanging fruit from way downtown BANG!
/good night and good luck
//throws paper at computer