The information lines of the sports world are taut today with criticism of LeBron James after the heavily favored Miami Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in six games in the NBA Finals. LeChoke was a common name used for James after he disappeared in the fourth quarter of games in the Finals just 11 months after “taking his talents” to South Beach in “The Decision” show on ESPN, one of the worst PR decisions ever made by an American athlete.
LBJ compounded the ire from fans by saying after the game that he didn’t care about fan criticism of his lackluster play in the Finals. Really? Didn’t LeBron say he was following all of the fan criticism last summer after his decision to leave Cleveland for Miami and an unlimited number of titles? Then LeBron all but inferred people were jealous of him because he was a superstar and they had to return to their sad, pathetic lives today after the Finals ended.
Enough of that megalomaniacal clown King James and his tarnished crown. Instead save the royal treatment for an American athlete who flat-out delivered Sunday in a way that few could have imagined just a week ago.
American MotoGP rider Colin Edwards finished third Sunday in the Grand Prix of Great Britain. It was the 12th podium finish of his nine-season MotoGP career, which isn’t a world-beating stat at first glance. But when you consider that Edwards beat MotoGP World Champions Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo and 10 other of the world’s best riders Sunday, just eight days after having a titanium plate screwed into his shattered collarbone, that’s the stuff of legends.
Read that again. That’s right: Colin Edwards finished third in arguably the most physical form of major circuit-based motorsports in the world — hanging on to a two-wheeled, angry bucking bronco for 45 minutes — just nine days after breaking his collarbone in five places in a crash during practice at the Catalunya Grand Prix at Barcelona, Spain.
Incredible. A supreme display of what SPEED Formula One analyst David Hobbs like to call “large attachments.” Some serious courage, to be proper.
And “The Texas Tornado” delivered when his Monster Yamaha Tech 3 team needed it. His teammate, Cal Crutchlow, also suffered a broken collarbone in a crash this weekend at Silverstone in his home race, leaving Tech 3 with just Edwards on the grid.
Then Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies crashed a lap apart during the rain-soaked race. Guess who was the only Yamaha rider left in the race to score vital Manufacturers’ points? A 37-year-old “old dude” with a shattered collarbone held together with hardware, having the ride of his life.
When it came time to flourish, a healthy LeBron James choked and caved in mentally when his team needed him the most on the sunny shores of South Beach. When his team and manufacturer were down, a wounded Colin Edwards carried them to unexpected glory in a cold, English rain at Silverstone.
One of those guys is returning to his mansion with a private chef and a garage full of Maybachs and Ferraris. Another is heading home to Houston to see his wife, three kids and prepare for another round of happy riders at the Texas Tornado Boot Camp this weekend.
I think we all know who the true superstar is.