GQ’s NBA columnist Bethlehem Shoals—who got the outcome he was rooting for all along—on the signature quote from LeBron’s post-title-clincher press conference, and what it means for the haters, the believers, and all of us in between:
"It’s about damn time" was, in a sense, ill-advised, suggesting that it had just been a matter of time. My wife grimaced when he said it. And through a certain lens, sure, it advertised a lack of humility that’s in step with a lot of the least flattering views of LeBron James. You could say the same thing about the Nike ad that aired immediately after the game; James and those invested him figured this was coming. The only question was when. Faith was never challenge, skepticism never entered the picture, and James won in the end because he was always supposed to.
What I heard, though, was that phrase reflected back on himself. When Wade spoke to the crowd, he mentioned the “embarrassment and shame” the team had felt after last year’s Finals. It wasn’t that this team felt they deserved a title or didn’t want to have to work for it. Rather, they came together to win; they were singularly engineered for this purpose. Not being able to follow through was a slap in the face and perhaps a wake-up call. I don’t suggest we feel bad for LeBron James, but he has always been in that Heat-like predicament. The pressure on him from the outset has been RINGS RINGS RINGS. “It’s about damn time.” He never publicly ran from this responsibility, at least not explicitly, and now he has finally gotten out from under a burden he willingly accepted.
It sure as hell wasn’t just “his night” or “hot shooting.” That level of dominance, or something approaching it, is within his reach whenever he wants it. The question is, how often and for how long, should we expect him to sustain it? How great is he, really? And isn’t he great enough without all this muck-muck?
GQ’s Mark Anthony Green spoke to the Miami Heat forward about where he ranks among the team’s most stylish players, what D-Wade has in common with Kanye, how he felt about Shaq’s jabs at him, and who takes the last shot when the game’s on the line. But our favorite part of this interview (click here to read all of it) is when Bosh talks about a subject most athletes never go near: crying.
GQ: When was the last time you cried?
Chris Bosh: The NBA Finals. Everybody saw that. Everybody made a big deal out of it, and that’s what bothered me the most. It’s like, “Dude, if you’ve never cried over basketball as a grown man, you’re lying. I don’t care what you’re saying, you’re lying.” I lost at the ultimate level, you know? If the guys don’t understand that, they’re either lying or they don’t have a pulse.
GQ: Crying is a mark of a competitor?
Chris Bosh: Yeah. I hate to lose. When I was a kid, I used to cry every time I lost a game, up until, like, the 8th grade. I used to go ballistic. I used to go crazy. If I cried it’d be like, “Ah, Chris is crying again… damn it… come on, get in the car.” All that over one game. I hated to lose.
GQ: So how’d you play for the Raptors then? You must’ve been crying every day.
Chris Bosh: [laughs] I had gotten rid of the crying when I got to high school, though it happened again when I was a junior. We lost in the state championship. It was kind of the same situation, camera in my face, and then that’s when I realized it was over I had my moment. But we won the next year, then the other people cried. [laughs]
Lately Dwyane Wade has been looking just as sharp off the court as he does on, so we asked the Miami Heat superstar to break down his five favorite looks of the season. This is what Dwyane calls his “Throwback Tweed Look”:
“To wear a gray tweed suit, you have to be mature and confident in yourself. Some people can’t pull it off. My thing is that I always want to do something to pop my outfit. The sweater adds that punch of color, and the driving cap grabs attention.”
Shoals: We need to stop complaining about the Heat so much. Or at least start complaining about our need to complain. Because that is certainly their fault, too. Meta-suck.
Roth: Aesthetic AND ontological-theoretical bumout.
Shoals: I keep trying to figure out whether the lack of interest in the Heat, after all is said and done, has allowed for this season to be so awesome (more room for other story lines) or makes the awesome season all the more surprising (since we’ve had major stars, media time, and televised games wasted).
Roth: If it kept the freaking Magic off the air a few times, I’ll take it. I don’t need to see Fred Durst, Rep. Allen West and Donald Duck in the front row high-fiving every time Dwight Howard accidentally makes a free throw. That’s what nightmares are for.