Question Of The Day: How Quickly Would LeBron James Have Disposed Of The Raptors If He Played Lefty?
It's officially the biggest "what if?" of these NBA Playoffs. "What if Donald Sterling didn't stick a pin in his Blake Griffin voodoo doll?" had a good run, "what if reporters stopped needling Isaiah Thomas about the most tragic moment of his life?" is still inconclusive, and "what if the Toronto Raptors has any respect for themselves?" is now a legitimate head scratcher. Still, it's tough to argue against "what if young LeBron came in from hurling basketballs at a rickety hoop as if he were performing soccer throw-ins only to catch the Bulls game and decide to dedicate his handedness to Toni Kukoc instead of Michael Jordan?" as the most intriguing question of the postseason.
How quickly would the best player in the NBA have gotten the Toronto Raptors the fuck up outta here if he made the childhood choice to shoot like Nick Van Exel instead of Penny Hardaway? LeBron James doesn't do some things better with one hand and other things better with his other hand like a significant portion of the population. No, no, no. He's simply a lefty that is honoring his commitment to those that came before him by trying to match Jordan's championship total with his off-hand. Some say that choosing what hand to do something with is instinctual, but - as far as LeBron James is concerned - it was a memorial issue since before he could even tie his own shoes.
In all seriousness, that whole spiel about making a conscious choice on what hand to use in performing a fundamental act of athleticism is pretty representative of the reason people hate LeBron James. Some may still grasp tightly to how turned off they were by 'The Decision', but the truth of the matter is that he just makes it impossible to relate to him. I suppose I shouldn't expect to have too much in common with someone who was so good at a sport that he had television cameras at his high school games. It makes total sense that he thinks he's different than literally every other human being on Earth, because he's been treated that way since he was a teenager. That said, his inability to be like "yeah, I practice shooting lefty a lot, and I figured the waning stages of a third straight blowout against downright pathetic competition was a good time to see if it's truly paid off" makes it very difficult to take him seriously. He sat there looking like Indiana Jones and sounding like he was simply one ambidextrous role model away from putting Michael Redd's picturesque jumper to shame for a full minute. I don't even doubt that a talent of his caliber could play in the NBA with his off-hand, but I'll be damned if I can keep a straight face when he tries to convince me that he's been doing it his whole career.