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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Why I Hate LeBron James--And I Don't Care If You Do Either

In the wake of the Miami Heat's second consecutive NBA Championship, I had prepared a very nasty post concerning one LeBron James.

And although I am going to tone down some of that rhetoric, I will explain why I don't like the so called 'chosen one.' Not that I need to defend myself to the LeBron Apologists, who believe everyone should be a fan. That they should bow before his greatness, as if he has somehow found the cure for cancer or AIDS.

No, to me LeBron has become more hated than the Pittsburgh Steelers, John Elway, Art Modell, and Ray Lewis combined. Anyone who knows even the slightest about Cleveland Browns' football understands why that is such a huge statement.

LeBron Apologists will say get over The Decision, it's more than time to move on. I say LeBron Apologists get over yourselves. Basketball is a team game, and LeBron has chosen himself over the team. Drafted by Cleveland at the age of 18, he was expected to lead the Cavaliers to greatness they had never seen before. And although he didn't get them there, it wasn't for a lack of trying.

Or was it? A Cavs team that had been hand picked by LeBron himself--the decision to let Carlos Boozer go, the acquistion of first Damon Jones, then Mo Williams, and later Antwan Jamison--were all moves that had been rubber stamped by the 'King' (makes me sick even saying that) himself. Even the decision to hire Mike Brown as head coach--essentially a James yes man--was an indirect sign of the influence this man had over the Cleveland front office. Yet, at the end of the day, the only thing the Cavs would have to show for themselves was a 0-4 NBA Finals sweep by the San Antonio Spurs in 2007.

LeBron Apologists will point to the fact there have been other great players to earn championships after leaving their original teams. Shaquille O'Neal, Clyde Drexler, Kevin Garnett are three of the most recent examples. Yet none of these players left their original teams with nearly the fanfare that surrounded James. I'm also pretty sure that before they left town they also thanked the fans for supporting them--something the 'Chosen One' has yet to do for the city of Cleveland (an apology would be nice, too.) And once they got to their new destination, they didn't talk about the number of rings they would win---they just went out and won them.

Then there is the whole  post game interview where James emphatically states " I'm from Akron, Ohio (the inner city)--I'm not even supposed to be here." Give me a break. You're six foot eight inches tall, blessed with natural quickness and a leaping ability that most guys would die for, and have been told you would be great probably since you were 10 years old. I don't think you'll get an ounce of sympathy from me. There are a lot of other people in the world that have overcome a lot longer odds than you have.

But the biggest issue I have with LeBron is the way he helped form the current Miami Heat team. Got together with his buddies Chris and Dwyane and asked them in the middle of the night if they all wanted to play together. Of the three aforementioned individuals who were also high profile free agents, I am certain none of them got to rubber stamp their teammates before they moved to their new location. In fact the struggles between Shaq and Kobe in Los Angeles have been well documented. But each player put aside their personal differences, at least for a little while, in interest of the greater good of the team. To me that is the true definition of being the ultimate team player. Do you honestly think Michael Jordan agreed with every decision that the then Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause made?

LeBron Apologists will say this is all stupid, I need to get over myself. I say get a life. Quit putting hero worship on an individual who clearly values his own legacy before the team. A man who, despite making millions upon millions of dollars doing something he loves, needs an entourage of yes men calling him 'The Chosen One' and 'King James.'  Do you honestly think the man really cares if you root for him? I don't remember him thanking the fans once during the whole Game 7 post game interview that has since circled the internet a million times over.

I'll acknowledge that what he has done is impressive. And if he wins another title next year, he may be among the top five players all-time, maybe top three. But he has a long way to go to win my support back. In fact, I am not sure there is much he could do at this point that would change my mind.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you man. People (fans) can have such low character, that they can support a bunch front runners trying to game the system.

    But the experiment is still destined for failure, because like the affect that monopolies have on society, this monopoly will affect the NBA similarly.

    If they continue to win, the heat and Lebron fan base will broaden, and the NBA will suffer proportionally. Especially if more of the Ray Allen's of the world attach themselves to the takeover. Miami can not support the whole of the NBA, I don't care how much luxury tax is taken.

    The other thing that can happen, and is most probable, is that the team itself (health-wise) sharply crumbles. Including his majesty Lebron, after having to carry the weight of all his aging teammates.

    You say he's never been hurt before, well he's never played the way he does now. The way he has to play to win. I expect this to happen this upcoming season. Though I do not wish it upon him. Yet, he made his bed.