LeBron James, circa now
Kurt Rambis, circa 1985
LeBron James only wishes he was Kurt Rambis.
I was watching a little promo spot during one of the recent Heat playoff games – some puff piece about all the good LeBron is doing for poor kids – when I suddenly realized the hipster-nerd glasses he was wearing had no lenses in them.
At first I was irritated, then I was a little more irritated, then I got really irritated, and then I wondered whether I was wrong to be irritated at all: if you’re going to adopt an affectation like geeky glasses when you don’t need them, is it more – or less – admirable, to call attention to the fact that they’re unnecessary?
In other words, if you were to catch someone wearing glasses with fake lenses and call them on it, they’d be embarrassed because glasses with fake lenses are intended to deceive. And it’s embarrassing to be caught in a lie, even a little fashion lie.
On the other hand, if you blatantly show off that the frames are useless, then you are owning your affectation and making no apology for it: Hey underpaid idiots, I know I don’t need these, I just think they make me look cool – you gotta problem with that?
Okay, so it’s all very meta-post-modern and cute and knowing and all that, but know what? It doesn’t hold a candle to the real deal.
Rambis needed sturdy glasses to help him see clearly, for example, who it was who brutally clothes lined him in the 1984 championships (hiya Kevin!)
See? Form and function. LeBron just went for form. Rambis went for both.
It’s like slumming: if you’re gonna wear a bulky chain hooking your wallet to your belt, a motorcycle better be your primary conveyance or you better damn well be pruning trees for a living.
Otherwise you’re just a poseur.
And I don’t know whether he got Lasik or contacts or had a miraculous visitation, but today Rambis doesn’t wear glasses.
Guess that means LeBron will be dropping his glasses in another, say, 25 years or so.