I loved it.
I am 100 percent in favor of athletes charged with the fervor of wanting to dismantle their opponents.
Last week, Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden took subliminal shots at his former teammate Chandler Parsons, to which Parsons responded on Twitter, “Think before you speak.” This is exactly what we want.
We watch sports for the genuine competition and will to win that these athletes show. Seeing opponents act extremely friendly with one-another is disheartening and slowly removes the aura of athletes doing anything to win.
Suffice to say, I’m tired of the buddy-buddy nonsense.
Do we want them going all out into a Street Fighter-esque brawl? No, although, Jermaine O’Neal is known to throw one mean Ryu-like shoryuken.
I just want some good, old-fashioned competition.
During the middle of this past NBA regular season, Indiana Pacers forward Paul George said he would want to work out with LeBron James over the summer. The same LeBron James who knocked his Pacers out of the playoffs back-to-back years and would do so once again in the coming months.
Michael Jordan did the same thing when filming “Space Jam,” inviting players to Los Angeles to work out with him. Those that joined in essentially helped the best player get even better. Former Rockets guard Kenny Smith, who joined in, refers to this as a huge mistake. (Take the hint, George.)
The opposite is happening with arguably two of the best cornerbacks in the aforementioned Sherman and the Arizona Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson, who have traded jabs at one another all offseason, with regards to who’s the best at the position (if you don’t know who Sherman thinks, you’ve missed out).
Many ridiculed former Pacer Lance Stephenson’s breeze heard ’round the world, but, hey, he gets a cookie for at least attempting to get an edge on his opponent.
That’s competition, and it’s slowly losing its luster.
Again, I’m not asking for throwbacks like the Detroit Piston Bad Boy-like angst or Kevin McHale clotheslines from hell. I just want athletes to give off the “my team against the world” vibe.
There’s a certain line that you cross when getting overly competitive turns into fists being thrown.
There’s another line that gets crossed when getting overly friendly turns into the slow death of competition.
Let’s bring genuine competition back, please.