July 25, 2014

LeBron Rests His Body, While FanHouse Writer Rests His Mind

This is probably never going to stop. I’ve written this before, and I’ll say it once more, LeBron James never had a chance with the media. He had so much hype coming out of high school, that most people thought he could never live up to it. Instead, not only has LeBron lived up to it, he has so far exceeded it that he’s left little doubt to most as to who the best player in the game is. And all along the way he’s more or less done the right things and said the right things. He’s so conscious of his image that he’s almost overly cautious to say something that could be interpreted the wrong way. Because of all this, people have to invent drama and feign indignance in order to be critical of him to better serve their agenda.

If you don’t know who Tim Povtak is, he’s an NBA writer for FanHouse. Prior to joining FanHouse, he spent almost 30 years at the Orlando Sentinel. Evidently during that time he and Mike Bianchi spent some time rubbing off on each other. After writing an article last week titled “[Dwight] Howard Won’t Sit Like Kobe and LeBron”, he decided to follow that up with a completely irrational argument today. Povtak is saying that LeBron owes fans a “refund” for not playing against the Magic yesterday.

Ok, haha, sure, that’s funny enough as it is, but Povtak takes it even further, writing:

James, with the blessing of Coach Mike Brown, sat out his third consecutive game Sunday, not because he was hurt, but because he wanted to rest up for the playoffs.

Joe Hardhat, who paid a day’s wage three months ago to buy two good seats so his son could see his first Cavs game Sunday, deserves better treatment than this.

It’s arrogance at the NBA‘s worst.

It’s why James never will earn the respect that was once given to Michael Jordan. Maybe James should think again about that number change to honor him.

It’s why he just lost my vote for NBA Most Valuable Player. If he doesn’t think it’s important enough to play all 82 — or at least try — then he isn’t good enough to be the MVP.

You have to feel bad for people like Tim Povtak. When you so desperately need an excuse for justifying your vote for Dwight Howard for MVP that you have to start to nitpick and act self-righteous for something you think is the good of the game.

Can you imagine what the media would be saying about Mike Brown had he played LeBron yesterday and he would have rolled an ankle, or taken an elbow to the face like Chris Bosh did last week? He would be crucified. But instead, Povtak plays the 2010 Card on the situation,

If the Cavs weren’t so nervous about James bolting town in free agency this summer, maybe they would have reminded him. Instead Brown has treated the end of the regular season like exhibition games. He should know better.

So, I guess Mike Brown is worried about Anthony Parker, Antawn Jamison, and Mo Williams leaving as well, huh? Please. By being so good all year long that the Cavaliers wrapped up the league’s best record with more than a week left in the season, the Cavaliers earned the right to prepare themselves for the postseason in the best way they see fit for themselves.

The Cavaliers don’t owe anything to Tim Povtak, to me, to the history of the game, to the fans, to anyone. Povtak thinks LeBron should play the first half of these games, and then sit. Just so the record book can have a hollow statistic that says 82 Games Played next to LeBron’s name? Who cares? All that is doing is putting on a magic show. The Cavaliers don’t care about such pretense, and neither does LeBron. I doubt he’s losing much sleep over losing Povtak’s MVP vote, too. All it does is make Povtak look like a curmudgeonly old fool.

We can debate all day whether all this rest is the right thing to do or not. It’s fair to question rest vs rust. I’d be lying if a part of me wasn’t hoping LeBron would play yesterday so he could either send a message to the Magic before the playoffs started or else learn a lesson on where the Cavs stand. But we don’t need national media members demanding refunds in our names. I promise you if you did a poll of Cavs fans if they’d rather see LeBron rest or see him risk injury and play in a meaningless game, they would pick option A.

The best part of this whole thing is that because Povtak couldn’t actually find a Cavs fan who was upset over LeBron not playing, he made up a stereotypical figure, “Joe Hardhat”. I think Joe Hardhat was at the game with Billy Bluecollar, Stanley Steelworker, Connie Constructionman, and Fabian Factoryworker. They all had to walk 8 miles barefoot in the snow just to get to the game, too, I bet.

Look, we all know Cleveland is a working man’s town. People from Cleveland wear their hard work as a badge of pride on their sleeves, as well they should. But that doesn’t make them idiots. Cleveland sports fans are passionate and generally knowledgeable sports fans. We all want the same thing, and that’s to see the Championship Drought lifted. And if it takes us having to go to a Cavs game only to see LeBron rest, then so be it. We want what’s best for the team and for the city, not what’s best for ourselves.

I am so sick of every little thing being a made up issue. In all of our discussions prior to this about whether LeBron should be resting or not, our conversations always revolved around strategy and what was best for the team in the long run. Not once did I hear anyone in Cleveland says that he somehow owed it to the fans to play just because they paid for a ticket. This was never an issue until a bitter writer with a massive platform at FanHouse made it into one. Povtak can keep his MVP vote, LeBron doesn’t need it. He’s got more than enough to go around.

_____

Photo Credit: Copyright 2010 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

  • stin4u

    lol….and I thought the NY articles about Lebron were garbage…..this takes the cake. Maybe we’re not used to this yet (I know I’m not) but I suppose this is what happens when you have the best player in the league on your team.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    FABIAN FACTORYWORKER IS STILL WRITING UP HIS CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST THE INDIANAPOLIS COLTS AND COULD NOT BE REACHED FOR COMMENT.

  • Chris

    Dear Tim,
    I bought a ticket to yesterday’s game after I knew Lebron wasn’t going to play. I’d be more worried about Orlando winning by 6 against the second team.

    Regards,
    Loyal Cavs fan

  • Joe

    This guy is a scum bag and fits all the f ing swearwords I can’t post on here.

    He neglects to mention we had nothing to play for, and that because we beat his sorry magic team out so long ago for best record, Lebron earned his days off.

    Dwight was only playing because they need to get best record v. lakers in the mythical scenario they beat us in the playoffs.

    Tim Povtak, ill C U N ext T uesday.

    This just really is the most annoying thing I’ve ever read.

  • stin4u

    lol @Denny

  • JD

    @ #4 – I see what you did there…

  • Alex

    Where is my money Peyton ?

    It’s impressive the amount of haters LBJ attracts. Not to mention the whoa-is me attitude of the master of panic and howard always have, over pretty much everything.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    @ Alex – “whoa-is me”??

  • Billy Thomas

    Ya this guy wasn’t going to vote for LBJ for MVP anyway. Just a lame excuse like Andrew said. I really hope to see a Cleveland team finally play its best when it counts the most and silence all these idiots.

  • JD

    Orlando fans are just sad because they won’t see the same borderline-exhausted LeBron that they got in the playoffs last year.

    Man, it’s so fun to be able to hate a team again. The thought of beating Boston, Orlando AND the Lakers on the way to an NBA title is enough to warm the heart.

  • kmzipsgolf

    I swear that Fanhouse has severely diminished in quality over the past year. It seems that nothing but smear campaigns show up on the site now, opposed to sports stories and reporting (with sports emphasized). I used to visit Fanhouse daily, but now don’t even visit weekly. More props to WFNY at maintaining a sports oriented focus that remains rather impartial considering the single market focus.

  • CLE

    All i see is jealousy and sometimes hatred for Cleveland? I cant even turn on espn, or read any articles outside a 150mi radius. While im sure our writers/announcers are not completely unbiased, some of the trash that comes out of these larger markets is laughable.

  • A Bizzle

    This whole “rest vs. rust” argument is the most maddening ongoing debate in all of sports to me. The whole thing is a waste of everyone’s time and an exercise in total revisionist history. Note that nobody actually agrees on what the “correct” side of the argument is. If there were some obvious answer, everyone in sports would follow suit. The only reason anyone talks about it is to fill the 24-hour sports cycle with mindless, meaningless banter.

    The only time it ever gets brought up is when someone stumbles early in the playoffs. Then people will blame which ever side of the rest vs. rust argument the team decided not to follow, and say how dumb it was. If the Cavs had played LeBron, (even assuming he doesn’t get injured) and the Cavs stumble early, analysts would blame the stumble on the Cavs’ being out of gas. Now they don’t play him, and if the Cavs stumble, analysts will blame it on the Cavs being “out of sync.”

    Obviously, hindsight is 20/20. This dude from Orlando is not only an idiot for engaging in this meaningless argument, but also for calling out the Cavs because he’s jealous of not only LeBron’s success (as an MVP), but also the Cavs success (in the reg. season record).

  • Illmatic8

    Good post. Anybody not voting LeBron for MVP should have their ballot revoked.

  • Swig

    I’M NOT SURE I’M COMFORTABLE WITH THIS THING YOU CALL HUMOR SHOWING UP IN YOUR BLOGS!

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com DP

    I went to Disney world, and the A-team Mickey and Minnie Mouse took the day off and I was stuck with the stand-ins. Where’s my refund, Timmy?

  • Jason

    If I had the choice for Lebron to win the MVP or the Cavs to win the title, I’d take the title without hesitation. I do not think I’m alone in this.

    Same goes for CC’s Cy Young award from 2007.

    Dwight and Kobe can split the MVP award…I want to see the NBA title trophy call Cleveland its home for a year :)

  • ben

    @11: Ditto. Fanhouse has become almost entirely garbage. Frankly, I read it more to get riled up these days than I do b/c it has good articles.

  • stin4u

    ESPN Cleveland coming soon in the year 2056 shortly after the release of ESPN Puerto Rico and ESPN US Virgin Islands

  • Chris

    Let idiots do what they do best. Be idiots. When Lebron takes us to the promise land they will all have to finally bow down to CLEVELAND while watching OUR Parade on espnews.

  • Clown Baby

    The best way to quite these idiots is to win. It feels like the offseason ever since we clinched the best record. All these stories that really have no place in the overall narrative of the NBA Championship. They are taking these little non-stories and writing these mock outrage pieces, dissing our players and even our writers. I just can’t wait to win, win and keep winning so I won’t have to listen to Orlando writers run their mouths. Then I can’t wait for LeBron to re-sign so the NYC people have to shut their mouths.

    I can’t help but feel all the crap we have to listen to now is only going to make the feeling of winning this championship that much sweeter for the city. And when that day happens people, I will (whenever I wake up and recover from my celebration) declare an un-holy, explicit laded comment fest on all forums and blogs that I deem worthy. I will strike with swift vengeance and cold hatred on behalf of the all the slights we have endured.

  • 216in614

    dont you mean “he and Mike Bianchi spent some time rubbing each other off”?

  • Alex

    You really think they would show that on espn ?

  • Chris

    Yes Alex I do.

  • Vinny

    I drove up to Cleveland from Cincinnati to go to the Cavs/Pacers game on Friday night. My older brother and I went as a celebration of my birthday on Thursday. We bought the tickets at least 3 months ago, not thinking that the Cavs would be in such a fortunate position. I should also mention that it was my brothers first NBA game.

    All of that said, we would fit in the “Joe Hardhat” category.

    I don’t know who this guy is, but he obviously doesn’t “get it”. Were we disappointed LeBron didn’t play? Sure we were, but at no point was there any questioning of the decision. I’ve seen LeBron play before, and personally, I was more excited to see Shaq (pre-injury) live in a Cavs jersey. We made the most out of the night, even with a loss. We debated about match-ups in the playoffs, who is going to be in the playoff rotations, (8, 9, or even 10 man), and agreeing and complaining about how much NBA refs suck (still don’t understand why Delonte was T-ed up twice that night).

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. No real Cavs fan cares more about a single game than the bigger prize. If resting makes LeBron and the team better in the playoffs, then no question will I, sacrifice one night for the championship.

  • jj

    But did he shake Howard’s hand after the game?

  • Lyon

    I hear ya Vinny. It was my 1st game of the season, and had previously bought the tix about 4 months in advance. While I was sad they weren’t going to play Mo, Tawn or LBJ, it was still an entertaining game. I would never ask for a refund. Watching that game was 100x better than watching the Shawn Kemp Cavs years ago.

    If I guy won’t vote for a player for MVP b/c his coach decided to sit him, he probably shouldn’t have a vote.

  • Ike

    “I think Joe Hardhat was at the game with Billy Bluecollar, Stanley Steelworker, Connie Constructionman, and Fabian Factoryworker. They all had to walk 8 miles barefoot in the snow just to get to the game, too, I bet.”

    Haha, hilarious. That just made my day..

  • Brian

    I went to a Cavs game the day after Christmas LeBron’s rookie year. He scored 12 points… I want a refund.

  • Swig

    Imagine if LeBron skipped a Clippers game in LA. We’d get a 3500 word rant complete with Teen Wolf and Karate Kid references

  • ClevelandSouth

    “almost 30 years at the Orlando Sentinel”

    Well, there’s your problem.

  • jimkanicki

    given all his smiles and loveable yoga poses and superman espn bits… i was shocked -SHOCKED- to find dwight howard in a dead heat with rasheed wallace and kendrick perkins for league lead in technical fouls.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/sortableStats?league=NBA&table=fouls&stat=technicalFouls&dir=descending&low=1&high=50&showPlayers=min&position=all&seasonState=regular

    i don’t understand. he’s such a nice nice guy. i’m sure the refs are out screw him since they’re all on lebron’s side.

    taking off sarcasm hat — dwight howard is a D.B. and a phony. can’t stand him. at least kobe doesn’t pretend to be anything he’s not..

  • Tapin

    Tim Potvak wants to know why LeBron doesn’t play games 5, 6 and 7 after the Cavs win the first four games in a playoff series.

  • Tsunami

    The media will always find something to criticize LeBron/Cleveland about.

    Also, I was very frustrated watching the Cavs raise the white flag on Sunday, but I think that there is a set number of times you can lose to a team in a season. If losing this game means we’ll take them in Game 1 in Cleveland (unlike last year) I’m all for it.

    Also, anyone else scared to death of Michael Pietrus? The guy is like a heat check machine against the Cavs. His fadeaway transition 3s always find the bottom of the net.

  • Billy Bluecollar

    They tirrrkk errrr JERRRBBSS!!

  • Jack

    “All that is doing is putting on a MAGIC SHOW.”

    Haha, MAGIC show…get it?

    Nice one.

    Hooray Dwight! Hooray Ed Hardy!

  • JM

    He writes for Fanhouse, that is all you had to notice.

  • cninja

    almost every comment on that article is ripping the writer a new one.

    I think we all deserve refunds for reading it

  • Jethro Tull

    Amen. Absolutely fantastic commentary as usual wfny. Its why I check this site for updates 14 times a day. And to Swig: actually bill simmons came out and said potvak was a disgrace (or at least his not voting for lebron for mvp).

  • kmzipsgolf

    According to Tim Povtak, my students should get a refund everytime I have to attend a conference.

  • Alex

    I wonder what this hack would say about the whole knicks organization throwing away atleast 2 season, not to mention every other team that has thrown away a season just to have a chance to sign some ppl this summer? hack and a hater

  • saggy

    that “playing-every-night” thing worked real well for Brandon Roy and the Blazers…

    Regardless of my rooting interest, i believe David Stern should revoke this man’s MVP vote for a statement like this. It is obvious he is not voting on merit but on bias.

    Remember when Ted Williams won the triple crown in 1941 but DiMaggio won the MVP because the Boston writer left Williams off the ballot?

  • Mike

    I’ll agree that Povtak’s article was a joke, but really, you wrote this?

    “I’ve written this before, and I’ll say it once more, LeBron James never had a chance with the media.”

    LeBron is praised far, far more often than he is criticized in the media. You’re just reacting more to the negative stories because you disagree with them. LeBron would not have the level of fame he currently enjoys without support of the media. SportsNation is doing a “what do you love most about LeBron” thing today.

    How about we stop projecting the Cleveland feelings of inadequacy and not pretend that LeBron freakin’ James is getting picked on?

  • Chrisjake

    Jealousy, simply put.

  • http://www.zfcomics.com dgriff13

    Don’t know about you guys, but because of ridiculous “hater” articles like this, I am going to sit here for a minute and appreciate the fact that little ol’ CLEVELAND has the best player on basketball. My team, my city. And he’s a local guy, he “gets” it. And he’s poised to resign. With Cleveland, shoving it in the face of the bigger markets. This type of backlash comes with it, and heck yes, I’ll take it. Having a big picture attitude, these articles just make me grin.

    Thanks for the reminder, Povtak.

    Bring on the playoffs.

  • BB

    This guy was just on the Boers and Bernstein Show (on 670 The Score in Chicago) and the hosts just ripped his argument to shreds. Povtak put up little defense.
    This article was written to simply stir up the mouth breathing masses. Anyone with any NBA knowledge wrote off this article after the first paragraph.

  • CleFanVA

    Along these same lines, Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.com (link: http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=15930) who also happens to cover the Orlando Magic, wrote a piece criticizing James for sitting. But, he goes as far to make this outlandish statement:

    “While it is a long season and players do get worn out, players shouldn’t be allowed to sit for no reason.”

    Two problems with this line of thinking:

    1. He says players shouldn’t sit for “no reason.” I’m pretty sure Mike Brown has a reason for sitting LeBron. It is called rest and not wanting the league’s MVP to get hurt in a meaningless game

    2. In almost every NBA game there are “healthy” players who do not play. It’s called a “DNPCD”. These are perfectly healthy players who sit for “no reason.” Does he have a problem with that? Probably not.