Sometimes Ernest Hemingway stops by the BuzzFeed offices and demands that we let him weigh in on something, and we acquiesce because we don’t want to get punched. This is one of those times.
And dammit LeBron you’ve brought this on yourself.
Dammit, you and your good friends have put yourselves in the maw of the beast and now you know what that’s like. The maw of an American beast that chews up and spits out those who betray their homelands because that is not how America works, America is a true and honest country and you have fled your place of birth like a jackrabbit skipping across the mesa. Cleveland. The thought of Cleveland may make me dive straight into a sinkhole of scotch but then I am not from there.
So what do you do now, twisting like a snake pinned down by a boot, that boot being the Indiana Pacers, who are like a fine, dull leather booth, smudged with clay and ratty at the hems. Danny Granger makes pristine leather boots in his spare time because he is an honest man who craves the work of one’s hands, and sometimes we go deep into the Indiana woods and hunt bucks in the nude, using nothing but our teeth.
If you had one damned kernel of sense Lebron you would take the men aside and damned well tell them what the stakes are here. You are goliaths standing on the edge of history and you might fall into the tar and never emerge. Do you want to be a basketball tyrannosaurus, LeBron, frozen in black muck, or do you want to be a colossus ranging like a man of war across the basketball court in the full shine of truth and glory.
LeBron, think back to that time you and I skated across the Nile in that motorized skiff and you thought the spear you held in your hand, puny in your enormous basketball-sized basketball-playing hand would be too weak to penetrate the rigid hide of that majestic hippopotamus. I said LeBron the damned spear is just you and you only. You threw it and that hippopotamus fed dozens that night.
All across America there are men of average size and weight and height and aspirations who just want to raise their children and grow with their wives to old age and own a nice house with a small green yard and see you lose basketball games. That is not only what America wants, it is what America is. What will you do about it.
Now Dwyane, your name is spelled wrong. I know what a burden that can be, having a name that people spell wrong over and over until they strip your damned manhood from your body and you are nothing but the shell of a mispelled name. A clerk I knew once, in the war, wrote my name as “Earnest” and he did it again and again and again though I told him to stop. I did away with that man, and the world is better for it, though sadder for what had to happen.
Now Dwyane you need to do away with these men on the basketball court, these men with two first names like Paul George, who has likely never felt the sting of a woman’s spurn in his life. You need to do this for all of us or you will live the rest of your life in shame and pallor.
Once Chris Bosh and I went shopping to prepare for our safari and we disagreed on the weave of a khaki shirt, disagreed furiously, and now we no longer speak.
Shane Battier, you are damned old and your bald head shines in the moonlight but I know you still have something left in those wildebeest legs. So shoot from that damned corner until you have no more ammunition and we will drink coffee again one day in Barcelona.
Mario Chalmers, I envy you your misspent youth back. I watched you with raining eyes win the national championship with the University of Kansas (Rock. Chalk. Jayhawks.). But I know you could have been something more from those times when we fished the pockets of Lake Michigan in the straining-eyed dusk. You were the greatest fisherman I ever saw. Go back to the waters one day and we will know your true calling once and for all.
Now go out and win. Or else why are you going out there at all.