POSTED June 22, 2012
Below is exactly how I felt about the Miami Heat watching this year’s NBA postseason— wise words from Kevin Arnovitz. As a basketball fan, it was easy to recognize that Lebron was playing the game at a transcendent level— and we’re lucky to have seen it unfold in real time. It’s sad that our media’s manufactured narratives and emotional bias clouded sight of this for even the most rational observers, who were unable to appreciate the level of play on its own terms.
A reminder of how much narrative, storytelling, and emotional decision-making matter to us as a society*.
* Not a surprise, really— we see this play out time and again whenever election season rolls around. Narrative overpowers truth; people will rearrange facts to fit in with their perceptions. Spin matters.⚓
"Somewhere along the way, expectations got the better of James. From the moment he arrived in Cleveland as a phenom, he was graded against a curve. He offended sensibilities by leveraging his skills and marketability to play power broker. To many, this act violated a tacit contract between player and fan, and last year’s Finals were either a divine act of reciprocity or just a demonstration that James never had the goods. […]
I can think of a zillion reasons why a person’s curiosity would be drawn to the NBA. But it became increasingly difficult for me to understand how someone whose interest is vested in a game they supposedly love could watch James during this postseason run and not want to commit his performances to their catalog of fan memories."