Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Lebron Vs. Kobe: A Study in Contrasts

Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins has a wonderful piece on the differences between Lebron James and the Lakers' Kobe Bryant, arguing that "the ascent of James and the descent of Bryant was a fascinating subtext in the NBA playoffs last week." She writes:
'...it couldn't be more obvious why their careers are going in opposite directions. One guy holds his team together, while the other guy divides his. One guy builds his franchise up. The other guy -- make no mistake about it -- has torn his down...While James was giving more, Bryant was demanding more. More attention, more support, more consideration from Lakers management and, finally, a trade. Bryant's performance during this season, in its own way, was every bit as career defining as James's was on the court.'

After reading this, I'm moved to formally revoke the blanket aspersions I recently (and foolishly) cast on female sportswriters. Though it's interesting that, like the NYT's Selena Roberts, she, too, notes that Lebron is "not the most elegant player who ever lived." But then of course, he's got so much more than mere elegance. Lebron, she says, has "inner grace."


At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Mädchen said...

I suppose I'll have to simply bear with the inevitable drooling over Le Bron and Company for the time being, but life outside of basketball, unfortunately, continues its trek forward. (Mind you, I’ve always had a crush on Michael Jordan, who I consider gorgeous and whose athlete-provocateur attributes play on my carnality, but I can take or leave the game he mastered.) Anyway, speaking of provocateurs, based on what little I’ve recently read of him, I’ve taken an immediate liking to one Andrew Keen. I can’t say that he moves me carnally (at this point, anyway), but apparently his must-read screed has shaken the sacred ground (or is it air? hot air?) of the blogosphere, with statements about bloggers like this: “…millions and millions of exuberant monkeys—many with no more talent in the creative arts than our primate cousins—are creating an endless digital forest of mediocrity.” Actually, I have no idea if the blogosphere is at all infuriated by Keen, as one Reuters reporter reported. But since the story was posted on CNN (and certainly elsewhere), it’s safe to say that even if they weren’t infuriated, bloggers have to pretend to be infuriated so they can join the debate and get their blog names and urls published across the galaxies. Anyway, I don’t doubt for a second that bloggers would be infuriated, or at least rankled, given how seriously many of them take themselves. Not having read Keen’s book, I’m putting myself on somewhat sketchy ice when I say a applaud his effort to rankle in order to make his point (and get a few books sold in the process). I always smile (and wince) a bit when reporters urgently reporting the news of the day include their requisite take on what bloggers are saying. Often they don’t say which ones in particular, nor how many, nor why we should care, which makes such statements beyond gaseous. Personally, I don’t see the blogosphere being that much different from a giant op-ed page—some occasional great stuff floating in seas of turgidity and incomprehensibility. On the other hand, I’m sure that those who spend hefty chunks of time surfing and surveying blogs might argue that I have the ratio backwards. But I bet I’m not far off, even if my own surfing is erratic and therefore, mostly trendless. So, there you have it. My meager attempt to deny Le Bron a little bit of blog time and to help Mr. K sell some books. I’ll be off to the book store soon to investigate its worthiness (and readability).

At 10:29 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

I'm pretty sure you're the first commenter ever to make observations about the subject of carnal attractions. And if you're trying to get a rise out of me about someone making rude comments about bloggers, you've come to the wrong place. I don't really identify with that stuff. It's just writing. There's good writing and bad writing, regardless of where it appears, or in what medium. I happen to like the good stuff wherever I encounter it. Making blanket statements about "bloggers" and the quality of their work is about as meaningless as making blanket statements about homeowners or people who wear open-toed shoes. Descriptions of giant categories of people don't correspond to anything real in the observable universe.

At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know that your "blanket aspersions" were all that far off. You have to write what you know, right? Truth is, many women simply don't know about sports and don't care. I didn't read Roberts' piece so I really can't judge her credibility, but that's -- at the very least -- my observation as to why there aren't more women sports writers out there. But then again, we all can't be great at everything.

At 10:59 PM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Theresa, how great to see you commenting here, and to see that you've re-engaged your blog. As always, you make smart comments, well beyond your tender years. I can't wait to read the first fruits from your summer internship down at the Dispatch. Please send the links the moment they're up, and I'll post them here.


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