It's the Thunder vs. the Heat, y'all, and everyone I know well or casually who cares even slightly about basketball is so hoping that the Heat gets beaten to a cold hard pulp. As one fellow told me on Friday after the Heat barely beat the Thunder, "I hope Oklahoma wins the next three games in Miami so the Heat fans will suffer and be miserable." And who do nonfans (practically legion) hate the most? Why, that wacky LeBron James, natch.
Every year, my friend Ray has a party for his birthday in the middle of June. The party is announced months in advance -- this year was five months ahead but some years he's told us the date before Christmas -- and if you go once, you have to go thereafter because now you're a fixture. There are vast platters of catered food: Puerto Rican, Cuban, Filipino, American. There is an insane open bar where you can find everything and anything but mango-orange martinis were the featured bevy this year. The apartment is huge and attractive and tidy like most place are in our dreams. There are people I like so much whom I see just once a year at this party who bring their kids, their girlfriends or wives or domestic partners or boyfriends or neighbors or some of each. I see people with whom I work whom I can mostly stand and often adore. The cake is the traditional Filipino cake made with purple yams -- it's like a papal purple. We sit in the garden and chat, we stand in the kitchen and talk, we sit in the dining and living rooms and wonder if there might be room for a bit of the guacamole a late-arriving friend brought, the guacamole that everyone says is the best they ever had. There is music but it doesn't matter what's on because going and sitting and eating and chatting is what it's about.
This year someone turned on the TV. "Do you mind? It's Game 7 of the Eastern Division Finals." As people drifted in and out, I met even more people whom I'd missed for the first three hours I'd been there, nice people, funny and interesting, and everyone felt the same thing -- hatred for LeBron James and the Miami Heat. The man won the MVP award for the third time and still no one admires him except for Miami fans.
The fourth quarter he didn't seem to have last year? Well, he looked under the couch cushions and there it was! That fourth quarter! He wrapped it in plastic wrap and tucked it into his underpants to make sure he didn't lose it and the Heat beat the Boston Celtics to go on to the finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
I was at the gym when Game 2 was on Thursday night. Maybe it was my vantage point from the treadmill, but it seemed like the Oklahoma City Thunder are tall men but the Miami Heat are not just giants but steroidal giants who found out their business managers ran off with their money and their sweethearts. LeBron's fourth quarter? He committed a foul which was clear to everyone but the officials did not call it. LeBron's fourth quarter must have slipped inside his knickers because suddenly he saw the only way he could win was to foul the crap out of the Thunder.
Was it a foul? You decide:
LeBron James: phooey.
I might like LeBron more if he got on the Carly Rae Jepsen "Call Me Maybe" bandwagon and lip-synched the song while dancing with other members of the Heat and then they raise a lot of money and give it to a local charity in Miami, perhaps a food bank. Colin Powell sang a few bars after an interview. Justin Bieber has done a lip synch video with his famous GF Selena Gomez and Disney TV favorite, Ashley Tisdale, and the Harvard Baseball Team and the Miami Dolphins Cheerleaders have done them, too. The song is total pop like a fizzing bottle of shaken soda.
My favorite is, of course, Carly Rae Jepsen singing with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots in what looks like someone's dressing room or basement. I am a big fan of charming and not taking yourself too seriously and this video is totally that.