If LeBron James’ December was notable for something, it’s that it wasn’t really notable for anything. Take a look at these box score lines from December on — none of them stand out from one another as being particularly good or particularly bad. In every single one up until Christmas, LeBron hoists somewhere between 15 and 25 shots, scores somewhere between 21 and 31 points, hands out between 5 and 11 assists, and turns the ball over five times or fewer. The only semi-exceptional stat lines (26/13/11 in Washington, 31/10/9 against New York, 36/11/8 in Orlando) are basically negated by the fact that they came in rare Miami losses. (Needing OT to beat the Magic while giving up 29 rebounds to Nik Vucevic counts as a loss.) Really, LeBron James has done nothing of interest this month.

Indicative of this fact was the recent Grantland post entitled “A Couple of Things About LeBron James Booster-Rocketing Into Orbit Above Al Horford,” pertaining to a dunk LeBron slammed over the Hawks center. Without reading the article, I watched the video a couple of times and was convinced I had missed something. Not really — this was just a typical LeBron James alley-oop, which while impressive for 99 percent of more mortal-leaning NBA players, was more of a once-a-game thing for LeBron James. Twice, tops. Chris Ryan did an admirable attempt of making the dunk seem like a big deal, but really, aside from Jay-Z and Beyoncé being in attendance, it was simply not a remarkable NBA occurrence.

Had it taken place in, say, December of 2010, it would not have been one of the first 20 LeBron-related subjects demeed article-worthy by Grantland. Maybe not one of the first 50. This month, it was just about all they had, so sparse was the news on the LeBron front that they even ran a sort of “History of LeBron” PTI montage, like a rerun while LBJ was on winter break.

It would appear that a little more than nine seasons into his microscopically analyzed professional career, LeBron James has reached a place few great professional athletes, especially in the NBA, ever dream of reaching: Being boring. Kobe Bryant has managed to play twice as long without EVER being boring for an entire month. Even in the few drama-free moments of his pro hoops tenure, the lack of news was newsworthy enough that people never went in ignorance of it. But without a title to chase, a troublesome teammate or coach to battle, or a facet of his game particularly thriving or lacking, there’s just no drama left in LeBron. He’s so boring now that he can’t stop listening to Wiz Khalifa.

There was been one part of LeBron’s play this month that made headlines, though only the most devout of NBA fans would ever notice it, or even the reporting of it: His streak of games without getting called for a foul. LeBron went six games in a row, between December 8th and the first quarter of his Christmas Day game against the Thunder, without committing a personal foul, an extreme rarity for a player playing as many minutes, and accepting as much of a defensive responsibility, as LBJ. It’s hard to imagine a streak more bizarre than this for LeBron — it’s incredibly impressive, but in an unsettling way, because in essence it’s an achievement of inactivity, of invisibility. It’s like he’s gotten so boring, the refs don’t see a purpose in paying attention to him anymore.

For the record, LeBron seems totally OK with all of this. The most memorable quotes he’s given to reporters recently haven’t been about himself, or even his team or his teammates. They’ve been about opponents. On Rudy Gay and the Memphis Grizzlies, after an 18-point loss: “Rudy Gay is like — and I don’t know if I can say this, because he’s so talented — but when he’s like the third option, you have a really damn good team.” On Draymond Green after losing a close one to the Warriors: ““He played hard, it was great competition out there between me and him … I’ve also respected him especially in college, a big-time player and no one really gave him a shot, but you can tell he knows how to play the game.” Sure, ask me about these other guys, LeBron seems to be saying. Long as it ain’t about me, I’m good.

So how does a hater, who thrives on action for reaction, process this? Well, my hate is certainly not at a maximum, though it’s not at a minimum either, since it’s hard not to resent LeBron’s taking the coward’s way out by simply removing himself from the discussion. Right now, LeBron is Stringer Bell, being advised by Prop Joe that the number one killer of haters out there is boredom, and while he’s not wrong, I refuse to be vanquished so easily. It’s easy to be un-noteworthy in December of a season where unexpectedly hot and cold starts by the Knicks and Lakers respectively are dominating the headlines, but let’s see him try to do that around All-Star Weekend, in a late-season battle for playoff position or during the playoffs themselves. You can’t hide from hate forever, LeBron.

Hate Index: 2/10

Comments (22)

  1. The 36/11/8 against Orlando didn’t come in a loss. It came in an overtime victory.

  2. Yeah, this guy is so caught up on trying to make Lebron look boring, that he had to lie about the heat losing in an impressive James performance against Orlando. But, I wouldn’t expect anything less from this bleacher-report-styled writer.

    Shit, Lebron is so boring that he won Eastern conference player of the month in November and December! Right?

  3. This article is a joke.

    Nobody is making a big deal about Lebron because he’s not surprising us. We’re just use to him being the best basketball player in the world and consistently playing phenomenal basketball.

  4. This article is trying to hard to hate on Lebron James. 27-8-7 in the month of December boring? f**k otta here.

  5. Unterberger brings up in interesting point. People just aren’t as interested in the Heat and Lebron. There are several other storylines that are taking up headlines now (LA, Brooklyn, Knicks). The heat are flying under the radar, and that’s probably exactly how they like it.

    • But, there is a difference between what you and Andrew are saying. What you’re saying is true, the Heat essentially are not the focus of the NBA like they were last year due to other teams taking the spot light, mainly the Lakers. What the jackass who wrote this article said was that Lebron is a boring player and hasn’t been exciting to watch. What he said is completely untrue and obviously written to try and prove his awful points.

      He is mainly wrong because Lebron HAS been outstanding to watch, just because Lebron doesn’t do crazy Blake Griffin slams every play doesn’t mean he’s boring. If you are a true basketball fan, then you should be able to appreciate his outstanding work he’s been putting in on the court this year, even if he’s not AS flashy as he was last year. Just look at his averages this year. And his PER for that matter. He’s killing it.

      • You’re just not getting the point : LeBron playing phenomenal has become boring, because we’re used to it. Especially from a hater point of view, where no news means nothing to hate.

        That’s not my opinion, but it’s what I gather from the article.

        And he also admits to being a biased hater, you’re not breaking any news here.

        Not that I liked the article that much, but let’s not get too upset here.

  6. *wow drop* …. this is the absolute worst article ever…. *wow drop*

  7. SMH reading these comments… what’s next, people with names like “John D. Williams, Jr.” posting angry comments in Things Of Note, reminding trey kerby that “wowsers” is not really a word?

  8. I think Andrew wrote this article to reveal the who the morons are in the comments. If so, well played.

  9. gtfo off this site, all of your articles are terrible.

  10. These are the same people that believe in The Onion articles.

  11. lmfao at the majority of the comments here, never go full retard guys

    jesus….smh

  12. I like how the good ol’ commenters who’ve been here for years (telecustom, stefan, illmatic) are much more level-headed than the “generic-name-getting-mad” comments.

    • Oh of course, the people who have been here for years are level-headed, and the ones who express some disagreement with this article are overreacting idiots who are super mad. Firstly, the fact that you chose to be here for years with writers that say Lebron James is boring to watch now is beyond me. Secondly, your biased comment shows that you’re no older than 19 years old.

      Oh, and yes, the long time level headed used “illmatic” really displays his level headed commenting abilities when he says “lmfao at the majority of the comments here, never go full retard guys. jesus…smh”

      Glad to see your description of level headed commenting is the use of teenage abbreviations like “lmfao” and “smh”. Truly, his comment was so insightful and helpful to this article’s feedback. He really is level headed and provided us all with so many great points for discussion and thought. Jackass.

      • ***user not used***

      • Well, you sure aren’t proving me wrong throwing out ad hominems and hyperboles like there is no tomorrow.
        This article is meant as a joke (albeit not a great one), and it’s not surprising older commenters seem to get it more often than not.

        Expressing some disagreement over an article is fine (hell, I’ve ranted on Kerbs a couple of times), but people here are getting really upset for a goddamn joke.

        And being level-headed doesn’t mean “having a Phd in English”, it means “not taking it overboard”, an example of taking it overboard : calling a reporter a joke or a liar over a humorous post.

        If you want serious arguments about how much LeBron sucks, you’re in the wrong place, buddy. TBJ posts are rarely meant to be taken entirely seriously.

        Now stop being a Robert.

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