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Russell, of Maplewood, N.J., e-mailed this yesterday. "Hey, Jimmy, even though I'm 16, I hate LeBron almost as much as you do. Here's my blog post I wrote after Game 4. Check it out."
I have to admit the e-mail got to me a little because I really don't hate LeBron James. Sure, I write about him a lot in Hot Clicks, and I put him on a milk carton, but that's the gig. The truth is, I'm disappointed by James, but I don't hate him. When LeBron came into the NBA, I thought he was going to be the next Shaquille O'Neal. And by "next Shaquille O'Neal," I mean a dominant player on the court who doesn't take himself so seriously off it, and a superstar with a fun personality who fans can't help but be drawn to. And, if you remember, that's how things went for a while. He sang and danced as Bobby Brown on the ESPYs, he hostedSaturday Night Live and made funny commercials like this one.
But then that damn "Decision" happened and in one painful hour, all the good will was wiped away. The personality was completely erased. He instantly became a top sports villain, and it wasn't because he left Cleveland. I don't think anyone should begrudge him that. It was for hijacking ESPN for an hour (although the network deserves equal blame because it allowed it), saying he did so to generate money for charity (which he could've just given without the stupid TV show) and being so nonplussed by the whole spectacle. He then put the cherry on top of the sundae with the ridiculous "celebration" later that week. From that moment on, the fun was gone. Unless you were a Miami Heat fan, you had to root against the team.
The ironic thing about that is in the end, I owe LeBron a thanks. Because of his transformation, he's provided Hot Clicks (and serious sportswriters) with endless amounts of material, whether he succeeds or fails. And when Game 5 tips off tonight, every person who watches will always have one eye on LeBron to see what he does. That's what happens when you become a sports villain. And fans and media always need a villain.
LeBron James :: AP
OK, Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan isn't really the anti-LeBron James. But he exemplifies my point about having a fun personality. Just watch his postgame interview (fast forward to the 1:30 mark) after getting the game-winning hit against the Mets last night. He had no idea he drove in the winning run, did some crazy chant/dance, referenced Usain Bolt and abruptly bolted the interview. (Thanks to SI.com's Luke Winn for the tip.)
How do I know this? He tweeted about it. He tweeted about the whole damn thing. And it was hysterical.
Gilbert Arenas Went On A Blind Date Last Night
I've heard from many readers who were surprised to discover that there's a South African version of Sports Illustrated. Hot Clicks continues its recent run of featuring their models. Up today isJessica Roffey.
Photo Gallery Of The Day
Jessica Roffey :: SI
ThisTerrelle Pryor GIF is as good as it gets.(Thanks to Kyle T. , of Columbus, Ohio, and Joe G., of San Francisco, for the link.) As for Ohio State's rivals, check out the uniforms Michigan will wear against Notre Dame next season. (Thanks to Chris, of South Bend, for the link.)
Ohio State And Michigan
Patriots "star" (at least that's how In Touch describes him) Bret Lockettclaims he had an affair with Kim Kardashian. I'm sure Bill Belichick and Tom Brady love that.
She Will Forever Be Tied To Sports
Callaway is offering you a chance to play golf with Justin Timberlake later this summer. You'll also get to hang out with him and get fitted for a custom set of their clubs. You can enter the contest here. If you don't win, however, the company is still giving away 25 Diablo Octane clubs as a consolation prize, so even if you don't want to play golf with Justin Timberlake (and why wouldn't you?), enter the contest. As for today, Callaway is providing one Hot Clicks reader with the Diablo Octane driver ($299 retail value). The first person to answer the questions below will get the club. In order to win, you MUST e-mail the answers to me at Jimmy_Traina@simail.com. Do NOT fill out the form below. You also MUST put "Contest" in the subject line. If anything else is in the subject line, the e-mail won't be read. So, the first person to e-mail me the correct answers to these Hot Clicks-related questions, wins the club.
1) Earlier this week, I went with a picture of Emmanuelle Chriqui over which model?
2) What did a Hot Clicks reader buy for Stephanie McMahon and HHH as a wedding gift?
3) Which MLB team recently kicked out a fan for promoting his website on a sign?
4) Indians pitcher Chris Perez recently did a video interview with which WWE Superstar?
5) Which University recently unveiled a purple and silver field?
6) During my podcast with Rich Eisen, he gave me a Yankees trivia question about a left-handed pitcher. Which pitcher?
UPDATE, 2:06 p.m.: Contest is over. Zach Darden is the winner. Answers were 1) Miranda Kerr; 2) Cake pan; 3) Mets; 4) Jerry Lawler; 5) University of Central Arkansas; 6) Lee Gutterman.
Giveaway Of The Day
Justin Timberlake, Diablo Octane driver :: Callaway
The NFL Network's Rich Eisen joined me on the latest edition. Listen below or download it.
The Hot Clicks Podcast
This has more than 13 million views, but I just saw it for the first time today and it's one of the best videos ever featured in Hot Clicks. (Thanks to Brian S., of, Middletown, Ohio, for the link.)
Cute Kids Video Of The Day
Check out the impressive dancing skills. (Thanks to David, of Tarzana, Calif., for the link.)
Another Cute Kid Video Of The Day