Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A Badly Timed Bandwagon Jump

Kevin Brewer writes about the NBA for The Washington Times. Today, he wrote a column in which he jumps on the "LeBron's had too much, too soon" bandwagon that Bill Simmons started during All-Star Weekend. He trots out many of the same generalizations that Simmons used against James in his own mean spirited hatchet piece.

I'm no hoops guru, but you don't have to be one to see that LeBron has struggled at times this season. If you want an assessment of those struggles by somebody who thinks for himself, you should check out the post that Ben Cox wrote in response to Simmons's temper tantrum. If you want warmed over Bill Simmons, then go ahead and read Kevin Brewer.

The timing of Brewer's piece strikes me as really strange. After all, last night was just the latest in a series of stellar performances by James that have not only made the "what's wrong with LeBron?" story line start to look pretty lame, but have catapulted him into the mix of potential MVP candidates. James has been on an offensive tear since the All-Star break. Last night's game was his fourth 30 point performance in a row, and he preceded that streak with three straight 29 point performances. His assist numbers have also risen markedly over that same period.

I suppose there's a chance that Kevin Brewer's ill-timed jump onto this particular bandwagon represents a thoughtful reassessment of his earlier position on LeBron James, but I've got my doubts. Call me a cynic, but it seems to me that the more likely scenario is that he simply regurgitated what he assumed was still the conventional wisdom, because checking out LeBron's performance over the past several weeks would have required a little too much effort.

I think this is a pretty common practice among sportswriters, particularly when they are writing about players who don't play for the teams they cover. Letting other people do your thinking for you and then running with the herd involves a lot less work than formulating your own opinions. I guess we should be thankful that most sportswriters at least come up with their own words, because some of them apparently can't even be bothered with doing that.

1 comment:

Kevin Brewer said...

I wasn't jumping on any bandwagon. In fact, I don't like Bill Simmons. He is a poor writer with poor ideas.