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lebron's feather

Discussion in 'Pistons and NBA' started by Griffin, May 19, 2006.

  1. Griffin

    Griffin First Round Draft Pick

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    i made the following point yesterday on the freedarko blog, and i'm curious to hear if any fellow forumites agree/disagree with what i'm trying to say.

    "lebron and the cavs make me think of Dumbo, the flying elephant. remember how he only believed he could fly if he was holding the little feather in his trunk? lebron, to me, is a similar type of illusion, even in his own mind. like the illusion of himself as a basketball mesiah has made him a better player, making the whole thing something of a self-realized prophesy. and yet, that does nothing to delegitimize anything #23 has accomplished thus far.

    i suspect there is a sizable camp of people who despise lebron for this very reason."

    this spawned from a discussion about cleveland's recent decision to play inspired defense. while i was arguing that Mike Brown's coaching deserves some witnessing of its own - especially in regards to the defense - it was countered that lebron's playoff might is inspiring "the other cavs" to play better defense. which makes me conclude that the "Idea of LeBron" is more powerful than "LeBron the Actual Breathing Human Being."

    Thoughts?
     
  2. basketbills

    basketbills All-Star Forum Donor

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    That's an interesting observation. Does this whole Messiah illusion change the way the game is officiated too. I think the refs are helping Dumbo fly.
     
  3. OLD SKOOL HQ

    OLD SKOOL HQ All-Star

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    the great LeBrons stats.....

    48-112 42 FG%
    20-29 68 FT%
    REB 8.1
    AST 7.0
    TO's 5.1
    PTS 25.4

    LeBron isnt beating us WE are beating us!! Guard him one on one and make shots on the other end. Thats it!
     
  4. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    Very interesting Griff. Before I can respond, I'm still trying to line up the terms of your analogy:

    1.Dumbo = Lebron (as in the actual breathing lebron)? or the Cavs under the spell of the Idea of Lebron?
    (and Do you mean Dumbo in regular elephant mode? i.e. as a simple elephant which, in and of itself, just as it is, cannot fly? Because Dumbo is somehow at one and the same time a regular elephant with no power of flight and an elephant that can fly, no? Would it be helpful to speak of Dumbo1 and Dumbo2 to clarify?)

    2.the feather = the hype: Lebron as chosen one, what you call "The Idea of Lebron"?
    (the feather as a talisman that has no actual power in and of itself, but rather acquires and confers power only in proportion as its holder believes in it?)

    3.Dumbo's flight = the cavs effective defense? or Lebron's relative degree of success in the series? or the cavs victories in the past three games?

    Please try to break it down for me a little, because I'm very very interested in this line, which has already spurred a ton of thoughts. But I don't want to start reacting until I'm sure I've understood your line.
     
  5. roscoe36

    roscoe36 All-Star Administrator

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    I don't know what is going on in LeBron's mind, but he is certainly saying and doing all of the right things.

    Someone called the Dan Patrick show yesterday, basically saying that LeBron sucked offensively in the last game, and yet he dominated the highlights. Wondered why the airball 3 pointers get disregarded to show his dunks.

    Which goes to the "illusion". This is indeed a conspiracy.

    LeBron and the Cavs are like Milli Vanilli. They're the face of the slickest production in NBA history. Without a doubt LeBron is a great basketball player, easily top 5 in the NBA. But the marketing spin to make him a messiah, that we are witnessing something of biblical (sic) proportions, that he is a King (and a young one at that), only serve to build the illusion that they are a better basketball team than they really are.

    It's not even about the Pistons winning a title for me now. I don't care if they get swept in the ECF (im in the moment,cut me some slack).

    They must steal and crush that feather, take a heretical stance and debunk the dogma of the marketing machine. Take the air out of this balloon and show it for what it really is.

    There is no more noble mission than this. Not even the championship. This is a battle for basketball sanity. Is there anyone better than the Pistons to do this?

    If they are looking for inspiration, there it is.
     
  6. professor

    professor Bench Warmer Forum Donor

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    Re: lebron's feather vs. falling with style

    absolutely micro! and just now, thinking about dumbo, i started to think about these fantasies of flying. i've never been a fan of the "if you just believe you can do it, you can do it" version of the fantasy. i'm enough of an idealist (in the philosophical sense) to think that belief is a necessary condition for accomplishment, but enough of a materialist (again philosophically speaking) to think that belief alone is insufficient for accomplishment unless that belief spurs a concrete reconfiguration of your material circumstances (i.e. practicing your skills, making the physical effort, putting yourself in actual circumstances that are favorable to your success). in other words I don't believe in magic in the disney sense. elephants can't fly. now, indeed, who better than the Pistons to show the truth of that?

    now here's a counter-parable for the pistons: Buzz Lightyear. Woody says that Buzz can't fly. But Buzz believes he can fly and he takes a flying leap off andy's bed, bounces off a ball, lands on a hot wheels car, does a loop the loop on the track, winds up spinning around on the ceiling fan, and eventually lands back on the bed, declaring triumphantly: "Can!" The other toys are astounded: they believe! Woody knows it can't be true (he says: "that's not flying. that's falling with style"), but what can he say in the face of collective delusion. And Buzz, fat, complacent, and content with nothing more than his belief that he can fly, lords it over Woody's exile. [64-18 regular season record; 4 all stars; DPOY; near-MVP]

    However, Buzz will be in for a wake up call. He sees a TV commercial for the Buzz Lightyear spaceranger toy that warns viewers "not a flying toy, not a flying toy" and shows hundreds upon hundreds of Buzz Lightyear toys all lined up on a store shelf. Buzz is shaken, can it be true? [Pistons lose Game 3]

    But is not convinced he can't fly. So he launches himself off the balustrade of the 2nd story landing [sheed guarantees game 4, the whole team comes in arrogant and lackadaisical] and this time go crashing from the second floor landing of the neighbor's house, wrecked on the foyer [losing games 4, and 5 of the Cavs series]. Why? Because he can't fly and he never could fly. But he didn't listen to Woody and realize that he could do something within his powers that could look a lot like flying, and feel a lot like flying. In his arrogance, he concluded that his belief was reality and that no further adjustments were necessary [if we just show up, damn, we're the pistons, we can fly].

    Buzz enters into a spiritual and physical crisis: he can't fly, he can't do anything he decides. finally, woody encourages him to focus on what he CAN do: sure you can't fly, but who cares, you can be the best toy andy's ever had, light up his face with joy, and so forth. Buzz is moderately encouraged, he has regained some sense of purpose, though he hasn't yet whole-heartedly embraced it [last 20:14 of game 5].

    fast forward a little bit: buzz and woody are hurtling through the air strapped to a firework (trying to catch up with Andy's moving van) at a zillion miles per hour, woody is terrified, and then Buzz extends his plastic wings, which enables them to glide to safety. Woody, momentarily deluded, says "Buzz, you're flying!" But Buzz, now sober, no longer intoxicated on his own hype, but instead firmly in command of his own limited powers, says "not flying, falling with style". [games 6 and 7]

    The Pistons have always been good at falling with style, which can look a lot like flying. Sometimes they (and the rest of the world) start to believe they can fly. But for them to do what looks to the rest of the world like flying they have to give up on the delusion of flying and just do what they actually can do, which is falling with style: exploiting their own individual and collective abilities joyfully and diligently, with no aim other than just to exercise the powers they really do have. When the Pistons do that, the illusion of flying takes care of itself.
     
  7. Warthog

    Warthog Bench Warmer

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    Re: lebron's feather vs. falling with style

    if the pistons pull off games 6 and 7, then you've just successfully (and with total seriousness) compared the pistons to a disney movie with concrete and exact parallels. that is seriously impressive.
     
  8. Griffin

    Griffin First Round Draft Pick

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    prof, i think this might help to clarify my point:

    the dumbo story is not unlike the story about the girl who danced better wearing "magic shoes." the principle of both stories is that doubting in one's self limits the infinite possibilities that rest within. BUT if we are given a reason to unlock this belief-in-self, we can realize things that the doubting-self never could.

    i believe the idea of "lebron's feather" is best witnessed by #23's jumpshot. technically speaking, james is a horrorshow when it comes to outside shooting. it's almost as if lebron doesn't even look at the basket when he shoots. and his form is noticably horrific to anyone with eyes. and yet, he still manages to knock many of those shots down. how can this be?

    lebron, i believe, has convinced himself that he is better than he actually is. confidence alone allows James hit the three-ball. not talent.

    and where was that confidence born? Nike? ESPN? the city of Cleveland? the Cavs organization that changed the entire appearance of their organization to please an 18-year-old?

    the answer is that it comes from all things.

    if all humanity worked together to convince a newborn child that it was the second-coming of Christ throughout his entire lifetime, would the boy not become pious?
     
  9. Griffin

    Griffin First Round Draft Pick

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    Prof, I'm practically weeping at your Toy Story analogy. it's too spot on.

    and micro, it's unnecessary for me to say I agree with you, because it should seem obvious in my tone. Defeating LeBron is more important than anything at this point.
     
  10. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater All-Star Forum Donor 6x Fantasy Champion

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    Feather?

    Hell, let's give Big Ben a whole peacock so he believes he can hit a damned free throw! :D
     
  11. Griffin

    Griffin First Round Draft Pick

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    Re: lebron's feather vs. falling with style

    okay, this is really THE crux of the matter.

    dumbo and lebron were both born with the ability , aka. the material. but the feather is what allows them to unlock the potential.
     
  12. basketbills

    basketbills All-Star Forum Donor

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    I just want to add that Dumbo is a damn fine film.
     
  13. BillLaimbeer

    BillLaimbeer All-Star 4x Fantasy Champion Forum Donor

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    Don't forget that the movie never does the book justice. Dumbo the book is a real page-turner.
     
  14. Dlev59

    Dlev59 Bench Warmer Moderator

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    This thread is way to deep for me..................

    Dumbo
    Feathers
    Lebron, oh my.................:laugh:
     
  15. Slippy

    Slippy All-Star Administrator Forum Donor

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    I disagree. The feather thing puts the key to lebron's potential as an external factor. Greatness comes from within. For all the 'witnessing' we get to do with James, its just that...witnessing. The hype is not making the player...look at wade...now that's a feather for dumbo.
     

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