Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Monday, December 23, 2013

LeBron James is our Athlete of the Year

This appears on

LeBron James is our Athlete of the Year
by rick olivares

The picture above says a lot.

LeBron James is skying in for a massive tomahawk jam; the violence of the moment yet to be consummated. That happens about only a hundred times in a season (maybe more).

If you look more closely, it is James, leaving not only the Los Angeles Lakers but also Kobe Bryant in his wake.

With Bryant out once again due to his second most serious basketball injury in his career, the torch has been clearly passed to LeBron James.

Peyton Manning has been named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. Verily, he is deserving for what he is accomplishing on the gridiron at the age of 37 but the Super Bowl has yet to be won.

Manny Pacquiao should have been in the running for any athlete of the year award but even with his brutalizing Brandon Rios, the image of his snoozing on the canvas at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez sticks in my craw and most of everyone’s noggin.

Cristiano Ronaldo is doing well individually but his Real Madrid team is five points adrift of Barcelona sans an injured Lionel Messi that is still on track to win a second consecutive La Liga title. At the moment, the Portuguese sensation isn’t even leading the Spanish league in goal-scoring as that honor belongs to city rivals Atletico Madrid where forward Diego Costa has 19 to Ronaldo’s 18.

LeBron James on the other hand was and is still atop professional basketball’s firmament where he is now mentioned in the same breath as the all-time all-universe greatest players.

Clearly, he is at the peak of his powers. He is the master of all he surveys.

He is a two-time NBA champion and with two Olympic Gold Medals to cement his greatness the world over. He is running away with a possible fifth MVP Award where he will join some dudes named Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, and Bill Russell. Barring disaster, his Miami Heat look like they will win a third straight Larry O’Brien Trophy.

In this season that isn’t at its halfway mark, he has also eclipsed Bryant in one more aspect – tops in NBA jersey sales worldwide.

When he left the Cleveland Cavaliers (rather controversially) for the Miami Heat, it was theorized and chastised by many, including myself, that he had given up being the man to play back up to Dwyane Wade. That was tantamount to like being second guitarist Don Felder to lead guitarist Joe Walsh in the Eagles. Like being Robin to Batman.

However, James has been anything but a back up for anyone in Miami. With Wade mostly injured and Chris Bosh putting on his guise as the Invisible Man (now you see him, now you don’t), James has been nothing short of spectacular.

He is the Man. And at only 28 years of age. So you know there’s more to come.

Like Jordan in his later years, he has improved his jumper. The transformation from a dunker to a complete basketball player is nearly done. He has added a devastating post-up game to his already wicked arsenal. He’s got the point forward position down pat. What can he not do on the basketball court?

Like the other great athletes of our time, he has transcended his sport. He graces magazine covers including one with supermodel Giselle Bundchen. He has even co-hosted the ESPYS! He did some of the best adverts until Cleveland guard Kyrie Irving’s Uncle Drew commercials came along.he has even hosted the

What athlete has gone from being the most disliked to the most liked? And to think that even before he got drafted, he had already put up a foundation that helps poor kids get an education.

I liked James then I disliked him. But I have to admit that he has turned things around and how! And for that and everything he is done in the past and this year, I’d say he is my Athlete of the Year.

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