When the Miami Heat played the Dallas Mavericks Thursday night, LeBron James wasn't just revisiting the single biggest failure of his career, he was playing hurt (dislocated finger) in a game the Heat badly need to break out of a sluggish stretch (8-6) the past few weeks. He needed some extra motivation, and ... Well, there are times when it's easy to hate LeBron James, and then are there are times when he makes it really difficult.
MIAMI -- About 90 minutes before Thursday's home game against the Dallas Mavericks, LeBron James walked over to the stereo system in the Miami Heat's locker room, inserted his music device and pumped up the volume loud enough to send vibrations through a nearby dry-erase board.
There was Wu-Tang Clan's "Bring The Pain."
Then came Jay-Z's "Reservoir Dogs."
By the time a compilation of DMX's greatest hits blasted through the speakers, James had pounded and paced himself into a sweat-lathered, rhythmic routine that more resembled a boxer preparing for a big fight than a basketball player anxiously hoping to lead his team onto the court and out of a slump.
Love LeBron or hate him, that is AWESOME. Just a few stray thoughts here.
1. "Bring The Pain" is a Method Man solo from the Wu era, but the name's a little misleading. As far as reckless, anti-social rap that'll scare the shit out of everyone, "Bring The Pain" isn't even in the top 50. If I was going for Wu-Tang pregame music, I'd go with "Criminology" because the beat is outrageous, and it includes Ghostface Killah telling us that he's "throwin' n****s off airplanes because cash rules." REAL TALK, SON.
2. When you think of Jay-Z, you think of the post-Blueprint, culturally transcendent Jay. Watch The Throne, own the Nets, join the Illuminati, etc. Marry Beyonce, have a baby. Whatever. This is the Jay-Z that LeBron looks up to, and that's cool. But "Reservoir Dogs" is whole other story.
3. Put it this way: Jay-Z is a frequent guest at the White House these days. Beanie Siegel, Sauce Money, and The Lox ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT INVITED TO THE WHITE HOUSE.
From Michael Wallace at ESPN: