Chris Haynes over at Cleveland.com put out this gem of a column Saturday. The gist of it is Boston fans were super mean to poor little James in Game 3 and it "backfired" because Lebron was, well, himself.
They spewed some of the most offensive and demeaning insults imaginable. It might have caused the late Richard Pryor to cringe (OK, maybe not). And they never let up. This went on from the first quarter to the closing minutes. Some of the taunts were creative, but a lot was horrendous and classless.
Most of the malicious jeers were aimed towards LeBron James, as they attacked his mother, manhood and anything else they could conceive.
OK, hold the phone. I was at Game 3. I also happened to get seats about three rows behind the press section. I heard most of what Haynes heard and there was nothing said that was over the top or cringeworthy. Unless he heard things I didn't, which is totally possible because...it was loud as hell in there. It would be pretty foolish to think that whatever Haynes heard, about a dozen rows up into the corner of the Garden, could have made its way to James' ears. He likely had difficulty talking to his own teammates on the floor it was so loud.
Did fans call LeBron a bitch and wear shirts saying as much? Yes. Did they bring up Delonte West? Sure. Was he booed? Absolutely. Is any of that any different than what James hears every other night in an opposing city? Not a chance. Come on, the guy's 30 years old now and has been "hated" for most of his NBA career. This line here is pure magic:
Maybe if James wasn't constantly told throughout the game about how much of a wreck he is, he may have coasted and the Celtics could have potentially made the series interesting.
Think about that statement. Is Haynes really saying James would have let Boston win a game or two if the fans cheered him? Appears so.
It's interesting that Hanyes seems to have paid more attention to two or three fans than the actual game, which was a good one. Look at the big picture here. The Cavs are a superteam with the best player on the planet and the Celtics are the No. 7 seed in a horrid East. The Celtics play their asses off, no doubt, but there is a huge talent disparity between these two teams. Even still, the Cavs are going to walk away bruised and battered because Boston has given them all they can muster. Don't be surprised if the Cavs get knocked around a bit in the next round because they are going to be exhausted after this one.
That's a much more interesting narrative than "opposing teams' fans say mean things," aka "the sky is blue." But that wouldn't give LeBron the literary hug this reporter is trying to give him.
I wonder what was said to LeBron when he was a member of the Miami Heat and played against Cleveland. Surely the Cleveland fans were nothing but respectful. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that Haynes has only been to a few Boston sporting events. It would be pretty shocking to see an engaged, passionate fan base when you're used to this: