“We are supposed to gasp at his historic Player Efficiency Rating and admire him on his bicycle, the better to forget the sulky twit who crapped himself in last year’s Finals and then defended his imagined honor by ripping the millions of fans basking in his failure,” writes Esquire’s Scott Raab, erasing any lingering doubt that he’s not supporting LeBron James’ MVP candidacy.  Raab, whose serial stalking of James won him the ire of the Miami Heat public relations department, though perhaps not a best-seller, uses the start of today’s Knicks/Heat Eastern Conference playoff series to declare, “I’ll root hard for that son of a bitch to lose.”  And he doesn’t mean Mike Miller.

Sports Illustrated is now running a LeBron cover story that, to those familiar with his seven-year career as a Cavalier, hits every phony note, from his annual summertime quest to improve some aspect of his game to his annual “no excuses” proclamation. All that has changed is the comparison to when sundry NBA legends first won a championship; instead of the number of seasons played, the writer kindly measures LeBron against them by age — simply because he seems like less complete a loser that way.

James is finishing his ninth NBA season now, playing for perhaps the most overrated team in history, and not just NBA history. The Heat have no reliable point guard and no capable center and no coherent half-court offense and no apparent ability to overcome adversity. They clown shitty teams, stomp and scowl and flex and pose, but — just like the Whore — their heart is cotton candy and their jaw is made of glass.

I’ll take the Knicks in six.