Out with one blogger and in with another. Gilbert Arenas announced the end of his blog in late March and Brendan Haywood begins one in May. From guest appearances on Comcast during his time injured, to a recent chat session on ESPN.com, Haywood has been making his media rounds. Now, the Wizard is the latest addition to the athlete blogs on YardBarker.com.
In his first post, Haywood professes his shock at ManRam-Roid-Gate, his interest in boxing, and his agreement with NBA '08-09 season awards, including LeBron for MVP, Dwight Howard for defensive POY and Jason Terry for 6th man.
But more importantly for bloggers, and the hype-fueling, rivalry-creating types, Haywood tosses some digs back in the direction of LeBron James.
Just last week, the WaPost's Michael Lee reported on LeBron taking a swipe at the Wiz, adding to the list of reasons to dislike Cleveland. This week, Haywood criticizes the way fouls are called in the NBA playoffs and accuses the refs of protecting LeBron.
"I've been watching a lot of playoff basketball and have been surprised at the big deal that has been made about the "hard" fouls guys have been committing. I think a lot of the fouls that guys have been penalized for have been "regular" fouls that have been blown out of proportion. The new league rules have made things worse in a way. I can understand teams wanting to protect their superstars but things have gone beyond that. .
A lot of was made about my "hard" foul on LeBron James during our playoff series last year. I still don't think that was a hard foul and I didn't have any ill intentions when I did it. But, I think we all know that anytime you touch LeBron James, you’re going to be sent to the showers! You accidentally bump into him and you’re going to be "rub-a-dub-dubbing" in the locker room bathtub!"
These thoughts are nothing different from what you'll hear from Charles Barkley and Kenny 'The Jet' Smith on TNT, or even Kobe Bryant, who recently said, "You know, I'm an 80s baby, so that shoulda been two shots and be done with it," when discussing a Ron Artest foul on his teammate, Pau Gasol, for which Artest was assessed a flagrant-2 and thrown out the game (the foul was later downgraded to a flagrant-1).
What's to make of Haywood v. James? Hardly the first time jabs have been thrown. But the 'Artist Formerly Known As Brenda' is right, LeBron can't claim he's "old school tough" while holding his lip from incidental bumps, as his coach, Mike Brown, screams bloody murder.
The NBA isn't doing anyone any favors by not dispelling time-tested accusations of preferential star treatment, and B. Todd Haywood is just another blogger trying to spread the word.