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An Open Letter to Kevin Love: Don’t Compare LeBron James to LenDale White

Getty Images
Getty Images

Dear Kevin Love,

We thought this was over. The subtweets, the sniping, and the petty middle school drama had all made for good regular-season fodder. But after a demoralizing 2015 Finals loss, David Blatt’s firing, and the rise of a new basketball powerhouse in Oakland, the bullshit became too much of a distraction. The time came to dial it in.

It seemed like everyone had gotten this memo. LeBron James went dark on social media and made a concerted effort to respect Tyronn Lue’s authority. J.R. Smith toned down his off-court behavior. And Iman Shumpert stopped uploading to SoundCloud months ago. That’s progress, and after nine wins in a row during these playoffs, it showed on the court.

But then you had to go and compare LeBron to erstwhile USC running back LenDale White, risking everything in the process.

We know you were simply trying to make a point about LeBron’s style of play — how he’s more of a bulldozing, physical player, whereas Kyrie Irving exhibits the agility and finesse of White’s former backfield mate Reggie Bush. But let’s get one thing straight: The only thing LeBron James and LenDale White have in common are the first two letters of their names.

I know you’re a UCLA guy, so maybe your memories of White are limited to the time he torched your Bruins for 154 yards and two touchdowns in 2005. That’s fair. But for most sports fans, he’s remembered as the guy who couldn’t come up with 2 yards when his team needed them most. Since then, he’s received attention for his brief NFL career and being escorted out of Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum after a USC-Colorado game in 2014.

More to the point, everyone — even White’s mother, in all likelihood — regarded Bush as the superior player. So, in a convoluted way you said that Kyrie was better than LeBron. For obvious reasons, that’s unacceptable.

LeBron is a sensitive guy, and he’s already been forced to avoid addressing your remarks. I hereby urge you to publicly renounce them now, lest you get blamed for any misfortunes that come the Cavs’ way this postseason.

Just my thoughts,

A concerned Cavs fan