Rock ’Em Sock ’Em: LeBron, meet Ja’Wuan

05/11/2014 12:01 AM

05/11/2014 1:52 AM

Anybody remember Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots? That was a favorite toy of my early youth, and for some reason I thought of the Red Rocker and Blue Bomber in the yellow boxing ring the other night when Miami’s sporting heavyweights — the Dolphins and Heat — were going head to head.

It’s pretty rare when our traditional flagship franchise and our currently reigning king club share a stage, but it happened Thursday night when the Dolphins’ No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft and a Heat home playoff game battled for attention.

Dolphins first round vs. Heat second round in an epic duel to answer, “Whose town is this, anyway?”

There is not an easy or correct answer, but what-have-you-done-for-us-lately might come into play. LeBron James, who has led the Heat to consecutive championships, happens to be set for a starring role in an upcoming Judd Apatow film called Trainwreck. The phrase unfortunately describes the state of the Dolphins as starving fans await the club’s first playoff victory since 2000.

With that disparity in mind, I found it funny that the Dolphins’ top pick Thursday, 19th overall, happened to be a Tennessee offensive tackle named Ja’Wuan James.

I kept waiting for new general manager Dennis Hickey to explain the choice by saying, “Well, our strategy all along was to take a player with a name as close to LeBron James as possible, and so Ja’Wuan James topped our draft board. We hope the similarity is an indicator we have just drafted a future Hall of Famer.”

In turn, as a gesture of magnanimous goodwill, I think it would be fitting if LeBron began spelling his first name La’Bruan.

• Samsung has a new LeBron app. Yes, because there is otherwise so little information available about the reclusive James!
• The Portland Trailblazers found a snake in the visitors locker room before a playoff loss at San Antonio. The NBA being a copycat league, that explains the swarming locusts, deadly tarantulas and 11-foot crocodile that “accidentally” awaited the Heat in Brooklyn, New York.
• The Nets’ Kevin Garnett has a sore leg. I don’t think it’s a stiff muscle. Based on his age and state of his career, it might be the onset of rigor mortis.
• Indianapolis police have called off a search for Roy Denzil Hibbert, 27, who had gone missing during the NBA playoffs but was found scoring 28 points the other night.
• An NBA Mother’s Day commercial will feature Kevin Durant’s grateful, emotional speech accepting the MVP award. Probably just as well the NBA scrapped the other spot, in which Donald Sterling wishes happy Mother’s Day to all the white moms out there.
• That reminds me. Learn from my experience, fellas. If your wife is disappointed you didn’t get her anything for Mother’s Day, saying “You’re not my mother!” is unlikely to help.
• Heisman Trophy winner and pitcher Jameis Winston rejoined the Florida State baseball team after a brief suspension for stealing crab legs from a Publix. When Winston is removed from a game now, he no longer gets the hook, he gets the claw.
• I Googled the phrase “ridiculous paranoia” and saw Fredi Gonzalez and the Braves suggesting, after being swept here, that the Marlins might have been stealing signs with tiny cameras in the outfield home-run sculpture. As if Jeffrey Loria would OK that kind of expenditure!
• We are now one month from the start of the World Cup in Brazil. “OK,” said a resolute Brazil. “Time to form a planning committee!”
•  David Beckham, trying to find a stadium site for his Miami MLS soccer team, said this week he’d be “150 percent involved” as owner. That would have been impressive, back when 100 percent was considered max effort. Now, though, with athletes routinely giving 175, even 200 percent and more, Beckham comes off as a bit of a slacker.
• We don’t agree on much, America, but, as the NHL playoffs near their final four, can’t we at least agree on the imperative to deny Montreal and Canada their first Stanley Cup since ‘93?
• Sentences I Never Imagined Writing (one in a series): “Former-NBA-star-turned-pitcher Tracy McGrady made his first start Saturday night for the minor-league Sugar Land Skeeters.”
• To the list of inexplicable things topped by the continuing, baseless popularity of the Kardashians, add this: NBA teams in need of a coach making a hot commodity of Steve Kerr.
• Answer: World cliff diving championships are now under way in Cuba. Question: What is an event for which bungee jumping off a bridge might be what beginners do before the training wheels come off?
• If a PGA Tour event fell in the forest but Tiger wasn’t in it, would it make a sound?
• NASCAR’s latest Chase for the Sprint Cup format change guarantees a spot in the finals to any driver who wins a race. Wait. I think they changed the format again while I was typing that sentence.
• The Cubs marked Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday. There was much more pomp to the grand opening, from what I recall.
•  Parting thought: Before a recent playoff game the Heat’s Chris “Birdman” Andersen was screaming a rap song called Brick In Yo Face, with lyrics about cocaine and AK-47s. Just once, I’d love to hear an NBA player pump himself up by softly crooning Frank Sinatra’s Summer Wind.

Visit Greg’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at and follow on Twitter @gregcote

About Greg Cote

Greg Cote


Greg Cote has been a Miami Herald sports columnist since 1995 and also writes the Random Evidence blog and NFL predictions along with his notorious sidekick the Upset Bird. He has covered Hurricanes football (1984-88), the Dolphins (1990-91) and major events including Super Bowls, NBA Finals, World Series, Stanley Cup, Olympics and World Cup.

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