Batman: The NBA's Newest Small Forward

Batman is in the NBA? I have seen all of his movies and not once did I see an ocean in Gotham City. All along, Gotham was really Miami. Who knew? With LeBron James sidelined with a broken nose, Heat General Manager Pat Riley turned on the bat signal and received the assistance of the Dark Knight himself.

In his first game with the team, Batman dropped 31 points on 13-19 shooting in a victory over the New York Knicks. Can you blame the Knicks for losing? It’s hard to play one-on-one with Batman.

Okay, it wasn’t actually Batman, but it may as well have been. LeBron James is doing what he does best, standing out from the crowd. As if his ego and his dunks weren’t big enough, James wore a black protective mask on Thursday night to protect a broken nose.

LeBron recently broke his nose in the victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on February 20th.  Typically, when an NBA player breaks his nose, he wears a clear plastic protector to guard it from being hit. James, though, felt it was necessary to wear a black mask. He says it was due to a comfort issue with the clear mask but we all know the truth: LeBron James is actually an anagram from Bruce Wayne…or at least I’m sure it is in a different language, or perhaps in the LeBron James English Dictionary.

If James is Batman that means the rest of the Heat are part of his story.

The most obvious is Dwayne Wade; clearly he is Robin; always there to lend a hand. When James gets tired or doesn’t feel like he needs to exude a lot of energy, Wade steps up and takes the lead, but never without James’ permission. He’s never allowed to drive the Heatmobile.

The super villain, well that is obviously Chris Bosh. Perhaps it’s because he is the obnoxious photobomber that people dislike at parties, or maybe it’s because I still dislike him for leaving the Raptors the way he did. He is the Mr. Freeze of the group, the Schwarzeneggar version.

As for James and the black mask, the league has “requested” he no longer wears the black mask after wearing it against Knicks. Despite the media and fan frenzy that resulted from the game, the league is sticking to the rules that a clear mask be worn. There is precedent to players wearing a black mask. Kobe Bryant was the first player to wear one – shocking; the Black Mamba wore one in 2012 for the first half of a game. Kyrie Irving wore one last season for the Cavaliers. Irving was also asked by the league to switch to a clear one.

James is appealing the league ruling and if anyone can get his way, it will be King James.  As any smart franchise would do, the Miami Heat pounced on this marketing opportunity when they saw the positive fan reaction. T-shirts were made with a masked LeBron on the front, the Heat trademarked the name “LeBronman” and The Joker left Miami for Kansas. Okay, the last two aren’t true but there are t-shirts.

I am truly hoping that LeBron is able to keep the black mask. I am even hoping that months after the nose is healed LeBron is still wearing that mask on the beaches of Miami, hands on his hips as he stares out into the ocean protecting his kingdom.

 

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