I'm not normally a superhero movie guy, but I will admit that the recent wave of superhero films the last five or six years has sucked me in. The Iron Man trilogy, the new Batman trilogy, the Avengers, I loved all of these movies.
I'm especially excited for the new Superman movie, Man of Steel (coming soon to a theater near all of us!), largely because a) it looks awesome and b) I am a closet fan of the first couple of old-school Superman movies from back in the '80s, the Christopher Reeve joints.
Granted, they've aged about as well as Jamie Lee Curtis, and they're probably more "guilty pleasure" than "cinematic masterpiece" at this point, but what the hell, I enjoy them, if for no other reason than we can see how little logic mattered in the '80s when these films were being made.
Which brings me to Superman 2 (and I swear to God will eventually bring me to the NBA Finals, I promise, just stay with me)...
Those of you over the age of 35 will remember that in Superman 2, Lois Lane (played by the remarkably overrated and nails-on-a-chalkboard-annoying Margot Kidder) finally figured out that Clark Kent was, in fact, Superman.
Of course, instead of just taking off his glasses and holding a picture of Superman next to his face and saying, "What the fuck, CLARK! If that even is your real name..." to reveal that he looks identical to Superman, Lois throws herself headlong into the rapids at Niagara Falls to try and force Clark into saving her to prove it.
(Maybe a bit of foreshadowing for Lois when Clark allowed her body to ricochet off of about 50 different rocks like a pinball before deciding to halfheartedly use the lasers from his eyeballs to sear a branch for her to use as a flotation device. Trust me, this marriage was doomed eventually.)
Yes, Lois Lane chose virtual suicide ahead of "um, you look exactly like him." Don't try and outthink the '80s, kids. It'll get you nowhere.
Anyway, taking this theatrical lobotomy to the next level, Clark Kent/Superman actually fell in love with Lois Lane, and because the rules of Superman's home planet of Krypton clearly state that fornicating with a regular human (or Margot Kidder) amounts to some sort of spiritual venereal disease, it was determined that he must forfeit all of his powers.
Incredibly, in a display of pussy-whipped-ness that makes Doug Christie look like Chris Brown, Superman decided that this tradeoff sounded like a good idea -- swap all of his super powers so he can wake up next to Margot Kidder every day for the rest of his life. Wrinkled, mousy, gravelly voiced, hemorrhoid-on-the-bunghole-of-Superman-movies Margot Kidder.
MARGOT. FUCKING. KIDDER.
Put in even greater, more specific detail, Superman traded all of this:
Super-strength Stamina Invulnerability (except to kryptonite, magic and apparently Margot Kidder's vagina) Extreme longevity Enhanced mental processes, including an eidetic memory and genius-level intellect X-ray vision Heat vision Telescopic vision Microscopic vision Super-hearing Other enhanced physical senses (smell, touch, taste) Ability to perceive the entire electromagnetic spectrum and various other forms of energy Flight (including across interstellar distances) Precise muscle control and vocal control Super-breath (including freeze breath) Super-ventriloquism Super-hypnosis
...for Margot Kidder.
It's the worst trade ever. To put it in sports parlance, it's the equivalent of the Herschel Walker-to-the-Vikings trade, only if Herschel Walker also had two club feet, no fingers, and was an asshole in the locker room.
You know what else that "super powers-for-Kidder" trade is?
(And yes, here is where I get to the NBA Finals. Wait for it...)
That trade, that horrific powers-for-poon swap by the son of Jor-El, is the equivalent of every time that LeBron James decides to pass the ball off in an important moment to Chris Bosh.
That's what happened with 1:01 to go in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Down 90-86 with the ball, after climbing back from being down 88-81 just a minute earlier, LeBron James drove into the teeth of the defense, as it seems like he could do virtually any time he wants to on any trip down the floor against any defense in the league. A chance was there for LeBron to finish at the rim or get fouled.
Or even better, finish at the rim AND get fouled.
Three points on that possession would've been ideal. It would have made it a one-point game and virtually assured the Heat a look at the win or, at the very least, overtime, and quite frankly, LeBron having Duncan or Splitter or any other Spur bounce off of him as he banked home a layup was a much better way to go about getting three points than the way LeBron decided to get it.
(To be clear, even just two points in that spot is a huge win for the Heat. And LeBron would have gotten two points.)
As he has done so many times throughout his career, oftentimes correctly but at times (sometimes the worst times) to his own detriment, LeBron decided to kick the ball to a teammate at the most important juncture of the game. It just so happened this teammate was Chris Bosh, who on this night had been 0 for 3 from downtown, and had been a brick-laying mess for the last three weeks of playoff basketball.
Well, make it 0 for 4. CLANK.
The Spurs would go on to close out the game behind a Tony Parker circus shot that required a virtual Zapruder-level breakdown of the replay to see if Parker released the shot in time.
Final score, Spurs 92, Heat 88.
But it was the play with a minute to go, LeBron's dish to Bosh, that should exasperate so many LeBron fans (of whom I count myself as one). I truly believe, and have for about six years, that LeBron could get virtually any shot he wants at any time on a basketball court every time down the floor. I think if he gets a smaller player on him, he could post up or shoot over him. If he has a bigger player on him, LeBron can cross the guy over, spin on him, do whatever to get to the rim.
LeBron, unfortunately, isn't wired that way. His default switch is to try and use his powers to the extent that they benefit everybody around him, mistakenly thinking that generosity is always the way to go about achieving the ultimate goal. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.
To put it back in Superman terms, there are times when LeBron needs to be less Superman and more General Zod. (Kobe Bryant. Now there's a General Zod.)
He needs to use his powers more selfishly.
Ironically, LeBron's selfishness in these situations would be for the good of everyone around him, because dishing to Bosh in that moment, in these playoffs, is a one-way road to futility.
For years, I've destroyed Bosh. Destroyed him for being an empty-stat-compiling machine on a bunch of bad teams in Toronto, destroyed him for being a preening, flexing douche bag at the smoky pyro Heat fun-fest in July 2010, destroyed him for allowing Li'l Wayne to openly brag about smashing his old lady.
Basically, I've destroyed him for being Chris Bosh, the most overrated sack of alien dung in the NBA. Does he have skills? Yes. He is tall, long, athletic, has a nice-looking jump shot that goes in a decent portion of the time, but you know what his greatest attribute is?
He's friends with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
When these three guys decided to combine forces in July 2010, most NBA fans were disgusted because the whole "Big Three" confluence had an unsavory, prearranged air to it, like the cool kids on the playground deciding to all be on one team and openly daring everyone to knock them off some mythical -- at that time nonexistent -- throne. (Honestly, think of the most braggadocio, arrogant kids on your elementary school playground. If they had access to dry ice, pyro and gargantuan speakers, they'd have had a Heat Welcome Party, right?)
Myself, even though I grew up in a day and time where great teams were largely built organically (draft, trades) and great players all despised each other (or at least acted like they did), I had less of a problem with the prearranged marriage of these three than I did with Bosh's inclusion, and his somehow being placed alongside James and Wade as virtual equals.
"Big Three" implies that all three are above a certain line. No one is at LeBron's level, so no one is asking for that out of Wade or Bosh. But when they put this thing of theirs together, James was (and still is) the greatest player on the planet. Wade was (and now isn't) a top five player.
If it's a "Big Three" you want, James and Wade qualified as "Big."
Bosh was a Raptor, a paper sensation who hadn't carried any team to anything. Two playoff berths (two first round exits, one season over .500 in seven Raptor-licious seasons.
Big. Fucking. Deal.
And yet, there are people who will call Bosh a "borderline Hall of Famer." (Start shuttering that place now, if that's the case.) There are writers, respected ones, who will write headlines like "Miami's Most Important Player? It's Bosh."
Um, all due respect, I realize Bosh is important (he's Miami's only big who can probably walk and chew gum at the same time, so yeah, important), but if you believe Bosh is their most important player, you're either not very smart or you're just trying to be "overly cutesy, smart basketball guy." (For the record, I think it's the latter.)
Come up with any superlative adjective you want for a player on the Heat. Important, valuable, exceptional, essential, awesome, goddamn sweet...
It's LeBron, it's always been LeBron, it will always be LeBron.
In Game 1 of the NBA Finals, LeBron James and Chris Bosh both had 16 field goal attempts. If that trend continues, the Heat will lose this series in five games.
Eventually, in Superman 2, the son of Jor-El was backed into a corner, forced to singlehandedly save the world and make a decision on swapping back Lois Lane's hand in marriage for all of his powers. He realized the greater good required him to be
LeBron Superman, take matters into his own hands and singlehandedly curb-stomp Popovich Lex Luthor and Duncan, Parker and Manu the three crazy villains from 2007 his past.
LeBron, there's still time to take back this series.
Just use your fucking powers already, and stop deferring to Margot Kidder.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.