After last nights victory over the defending champion Miami Heat, I think it's only right to pay homage to the Wizards' ongoing rivalry with LeBron James. While most NBA fans have a love hate relationship with the best player in the world, Wizards fans have no love for the guy.
For most fans, the LeBron hate started with the ill-fated “Decision” where he announced where he would be "taking his talent."
But for Wizards fans it goes all the way back to the 2006 NBA Playoffs. In that series the Cavs beat the Wiz 3 games to 2 in one of the best playoff series' I’ve ever seen. The series included three games decided by one point but above all, Wizards fans remember this series for the infamous “Whisper Heard 'Round the Capital” (see below). From that moment on, it never mattered to Wizards fans how good he was. He would forever be the enemy.
Fast forward two years and one playoff sweep and we’re at the 2008 Playoffs where the Cavs and Wiz are matched up for the third straight year. After two first-round exits at the hands of LeBron, Wizards fans and players grew tired of the favorable calls and his perceived whining to officials (he’s still a whiner).
This lead to a hard foul courtesy of Brendan Haywood, which perhaps was the only tough thing he ever did while playing for the Wizards. By the way, I love how Lebron pulled a KG (that’s when you jump up to fight but then do nothing).
Lebron then complained that the Wizards were trying to hurt him and Brendan Haywood responded with this classic clip:
Let us not forget that this series also included the Lebron James and Jay-Z vs. Deshawn Stevenson and Soulja Boy Tell Em tag-team match. Yep, the best NBA player and the best Rapper had a beef with a role player and a one hit wonder.
Two years later, the Wizards were involved in two dust ups with the Heat, the first was on 11/29/2010 when Hilton Armstrong gave Joel Anthony a flagrant love tap as he went up for a dunk. All the tensions came to a boil on March 31st, 2011 when John Wall threw a punch at Zydrunas Ilgauskas in retaliation to an elbow in the face. While Lebron was not involved in either altercation, I find it interesting that no matter what team he plays for, the Cavs or Heat, they seem to have repeated altercations with the lowly Wizards.
The Heat are the defending champions and the Wizards had won one game this year before last nights triumphant victory, but for some reason the Wizards get up to play when LeBron comes to town. It’s like the Redskins and Cowboys rivalry, the team seems to feed off of the fans hate for the other squad. And while the majority of NBA fans quit hating LeBron after he finally won a championship last year, Wizards fans won’t let their disdain subside. As I told a buddy when asked why do WE still hate Lebron so much, simply because WE hated him first.