This, that and the other thing
We rolled our eyes at the bravado and cockiness of LeBron James, flanked by new Miami Heat teammates Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, while he counted the number of NBA titles they would win.
"Not one, not two, not three, not four," James began, "not five, not six, not seven. Hey, I'm not up here just saying it I believe it."
If you didn't loathe James after his shameless TV show, "The Decision," in which he announced he was leaving Cleveland, you certainly did after that July night.
But after two consecutive titles and three trips to the Finals, we're not laughing anymore. We're counting with them: One, two
If you watched the NBA playoffs during the 1970s and '80s, it was painful to see James attack the basket against the San Antonio Spurs as if the lane were paved with yellow bricks.
James initiated more contact than the Spurs' defenders, who stood under the basket with legs spread and arms held high, looking to take a charge.
Maurice Lucas of the 1977 Portland Trail Blazers never took a charge; he simply took charge. Known as "The Enforcer," Lucas would knock opponents to the floor, letting them know there was a price to pay for entering his domain. It would have been fun to see James drive to the basket against Lucas.
But with the emergence of flagrant 1 and 2 fouls, the NBA has taken contact out of the game, making players driving the lane feel as safe as a football quarterback during an intrasquad scrimmage.
With baseball's All-Star Game three weeks away, it's hard to believe the Giants likely will have just one representative, Buster Posey, at Citi Field in New York. Meanwhile, the A's can make an argument for four players: starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, closer Grant Balfour, third baseman Josh Donaldson (not on the ballot) and center fielder Coco Crisp.
What to watch
Baseball, Giants at L.A. Dodgers, 7:10 p.m., CSNBA, ESPN2: It doesn't matter that the Giants lost three of four to Miami and the Dodgers are in last place it's Giants-Dodgers.
How many NBA titles will the Miami Heat win with LeBron James?
Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports
Weekend poll results
Should the Kings give DeMarcus Cousins a max-deal extension?
Yes, he's one of the best big men in the NBA: 12%
Yes, but at the end of the season, after he proves he can control his behavior: 41%
No, he hasn't earned it: 47%
Total votes: 511
Call The Bee's Victor Contreras, (916) 326-5527. Follow him on Twitter @SacBeeVictor.