The Washington Post

Do you have a hot take about Le­Bron James? Be­cause it’s al­most cer­tainly wrong.

- Couch Slouch NOR­MAN CHAD Celebrities · LeBron James · National Basketball Association · Kyrie Irving · Boston · Kevin Durant · Apple Inc · Stephen A. Smith · Atlantic Ocean · Los Angeles · Seattle · Stephen Curry · Virginia · Adam Silver · Washington State · California · Michigan · Kawhi Leonard · James N. Gray · Ring Lardner · Yorktown, Virginia · Spokane Valley, WA · Spokane · James Holzhauer

Why does it seem as if the NBA Fi­nals is a warmup for NBA free agency?

Why does the NBA th­ese days — every­body talks about it, but no­body does any­thing about it — seem more like the weather?

Why does Couch Slouch ask th­ese ques­tions? Are read­ers ex­pected to an­swer them?

Frankly, the NBA is all smoke and mir­rors, end­less re­take news cy­cles about Kyrie Irv­ing whin­ing in Bos­ton and Kawhi Leonard dream­ing of milder weather and Kevin Du­rant need­ing to win a ti­tle sans the War­riors and Zion Wil­liamson trans­form­ing the Pel­i­cans and un­told trade pack­ages for An­thony Davis and, of course, the Knicks, who have so much cap room they are like a trav­el­ing AAU team.

And that is all be­fore we even get to Le­Bron James and the Lak­ers.

I’m go­ing to say this one time and one time only:

EV­ERY­ONE — I BEG OF YOU! — SHUT UP ABOUT LE­BRON.

We have suf­fered through March Mad­ness brack­e­tol­o­gists and NFL draft­niks. Now we get NBA LeBro­nol­o­gists and LeBroniks.

There is non­stop re­port­ing on Le­Bron. Every­body talks Le­Bron, and no­body knows Le­Bron.

Le­Bron was spot­ted in a Mal­ibu restau­rant with Jimmy Butler!

Le­Bron is telling the Lak­ers he is un­happy with his off­sea­son park­ing space!

Le­Bron tied his shoes this morn­ing be­fore go­ing to Planet Fit­ness!

I’m sur­prised ESPNews is not re­placed by ESPN Le­Bron, with Jim Gray host­ing a 24-hour-a-day cy­cle of deep thoughts on Le­Bron’s deep­est thoughts — as if any­one has an inkling.

Heck, I was driv­ing be­hind Le­Bron on the 405 last week and had no idea which lane he was go­ing to use. He ended up hop­ping into the HOV lane, and he had no pas­sen­gers.

Ex­pound­ing on Le­Bron is a now cot­tage in­dus­try. Le­Bron is the Ap­ple of Sports Na­tion, and Ap­ple is the Le­Bron of Wall Street.

Let me ex­plain. Like other pun­dits, I am paid — though less than them — to ex­plain.

Ap­ple Inc. is one of the largest and most widely owned stocks in the world; the com­pany is worth over $1 tril­lion. That be­ing said, it is also the most highly re­ported on, cov­ered and dis­sected stock around. So who ex­actly has a “unique” view on Ap­ple? No­body.

But those Wall Street talk­ing heads come on daily and spew talk­ing-head, hot-air hooey on TV.

(Col­umn In­ter­mis­sion: James Holzhauer is dead to me. I propped him up twice in a month as a lat­ter-day Herodotus, and he can’t even out-brainiac a 20some­thing li­brar­ian on “Jeop­ardy!”)

Sim­i­larly, who has a “unique” view on Le­Bron? No­body.

Yet there is a cat­tle-call ca­coph­ony of pre­tenders and poseurs bab­bling on in­ces­santly with false in­sight into Le­Bron’s lat­est dis­po­si­tion.

Stephen A. Smith keeps look­ing into the cam­era to tell us he’s 80 per­cent sure that there’s a 50 per­cent chance some­thing might hap­pen.

Le­Bron’s fam­ily Taco Tuesday YouTube video, for good­ness sakes, was deconstruc­ted more than the Zapruder film.

Granted, Le­Bron is a spe­cial case as the NBA’s reign­ing su­per­star-sov­er­eign-sav­ior. He was ap­par­ently the only thing hold­ing an en­tire con­fer­ence to­gether — he went west, and the East fell into the At­lantic Ocean.

So it’s round-the-clock Le­Bron with all of the chat­ter­ing, prat­tling, blath­er­ing chow­der­heads on TV and ra­dio.

I turned on Sir­iusXM the other af­ter­noon and could have sworn the fella said Le­Bron might like ba­con more than av­o­cado, ac­cord­ing to busi­ness as­so­ciates who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause of the sen­si­tiv­ity of the si­t­u­a­tion.

I ac­tu­ally live less than 10 miles from Le­Bron in Los An­ge­les, but I have no bet­ter per­spec­tive than any­one else. All I can say is this: Al­though I like the guy, I can’t wait un­til Le­Bron leaves town — he’s al­ways got my ta­ble at Nobu. Ask The Slouch

Q. You were no­tably ab­sent from the new book, “The Great Amer­i­can Sports Page: A Cen­tury of Clas­sic Col­umns from Ring Lard­ner to Sally Jenk­ins,” as well as from the an­nual “Best Amer­i­can Sports Writ­ing” an­thol­ogy. I also can­not re­call you ever win­ning any jour­nal­ism or writ­ing awards. Am I cor­rect? (Ge­off Carter; Seat­tle)

A. And your point is?

Q. To speed up the end of play­off games, should the NBA in­sti­tute a Stephen Curry rule that al­lows the op­pos­ing coach, in the fourth quar­ter, to count his free throws as good (sort of like an in­ten­tional walk now in base­ball), and let his team im­me­di­ately in­bound the bas­ket­ball? (Rob Richard­son; York­town, Va.)

A. I have for­warded your pro­posal to Adam Sil­ver and Drake for their con­sid­er­a­tion.

Q. Can I get two checks and split the win­nings with my wife, Nancy? (Michael Fisk; Spokane Val­ley, Wash.)

A. Yes, but we would have to see a copy of your mar­riage cer­tifi­cate, and you would have to pay for the ex­tra check and de­cide who gets the ex­tra penny.

Q. Will my $1.25 be greater than James Holzhauer’s win­nings af­ter the IRS and Cal­i­for­nia’s tax man get done with him? (J.B. Koch; Ma­comb, Mich.)

A. Pay the man his tax-free 10 bits, Shirley.

You, too, can en­ter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Give­away. Just email ask­thes­louch@aol.com, and if your ques­tion is used, you win $1.25 in cash!

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