Um, when did LeBron James become the best basketball player in the world? Have we forgotten who Kobe Bryant is? Given the opportunity, I would take Kobe Bryant to win one-on-one against any other player in the league without hesitation or reservation.
This post, however, is about placing LeBron James in his proper context. I find the vitriol being thrown his way bothersome and borderline disturbing. Let’s remind ourselves of a few things shall we?
First, LeBron James did not nickname himself “King James.” Nor did he give himself any of the many other nicknames he’s been given. Media heads have been calling “King James” since before he entered the league. The man had a Nike shoe deal before he played a game of professional basketball, and he had commercials touting his greatness before it was proven against professional players. That was not his doing.
He also gave seven years of his basketball career to a shitty team who never gave him what he needed in order to win a championship, and yet, he took that shitty team deeper in the post season than they could’ve ever gone without him. Never forget, with LeBron, the Cavs were relevant. Without LeBron, the Cavs have EARNED the #1 pick in the upcoming draft due to their record breaking losing season. In other words, without LeBron James, the Cavs are nothing more than a team in search of a LeBron James.
Do you remember this commercial? Look at the NBA legends who are in the pews. Think about what type of player LeBron was being advertised as here.
For those of you who believe “The Decision” to be in poor fashion, recall that you did watch it, and you were able to do so because IT WAS ON TV. It was advertised to no end, and while I agree that it was in poor taste, the man owed Cleveland NOTHING. If he hadn’t been so good, and the Cavs’ management wanted to trade or cut him, no one would have been raising their voice to rail against the management for not being loyal to a local boy. He would’ve deemed a bust, and we would’ve moved on. So when the team showed ownership and management showed themselves to be unwilling or unable to put some players around LeBron, as he should, he left.
Also, and we should never forget this, the arrogance that LeBron showed during The Decision was not new or original. When Kobe Bryant announced that he was going to enter the league, he had sunglasses on his head (indoors mind you), he was smiling and clowning with the audience, and after pausing as if he wasn’t sure whether he was gonna go to college or enter the draft, in a rather cavalier (excuse the pun) way, he announced that he would join the league. Then, when he was signed to a shitty team, he refused to go and was eventually traded to the Lakers (god bless his soul!). The thing is, shit-talking is a staple in basketball, and that’s about what The Decision amounts to. Conservative media mouth breathers would like for basketball players to be intense but to not say anything. Be strong and flashy but be demure. Play a game that includes one-on-one battles that can lead to someone being immortalized in a poster with some better player’s scrotum in his face but don’t get excited about that. Basketball is not a conservative sport! You grow up playing ball and talking shit regardless of who wins! That’s how that goes. That’s how that works, and in fact, we get talk shit about players who don’t respond when they’re called out.
Also, keep in mind that guys accepted less money to play in Miami. We cannot question their desire to win. Additionally, the idea for having a parade did not come from Bosh, Wade, and James. They’re not running the organization. But since they were at a parade in their honor, of course they made wild predictions. How many times have heard of players and coaches saying that they would win it all? Why should expect them to not believe in themselves? Why should you not like them for it?
The Miami Heat–and LeBron James in particular–have been the focus of an amazing amount of hate. Let’s not forget that LeBron James is only 26 years old. How many of you know of a 26 year old who could withstand the hate he’s being given. Many of you cry about being hated on when someone tells you that you look like shit in your clothes–even though you do! Most of the 26 year olds that I know have bad credit, make really poor decisions with the little that they do have, and they can hardly keep a job. Wake up world! LeBron James, and many other NBA stars, are holding things together much better than many of us could. Literally, everything he says is scrutinized and cast in a negative light in order to keep the hate machine going. Man, more than half of you lose your damned minds when someone makes a facebook comment that MIGHT be directed at you. Just knock it off!
During the finals, LeBron did not play as well as we’ve seen him play. Hell, that’s something we can say about a bunch of players in the post season–many of whom play for my beloved Lakers. That said, if we want to get on LeBron because he did not match his averages, that’s perfectly fine and legitimate, but we should not anoint him, “The King” or the best player in the world and then rip him to shreds when he can’t prove us right. As a Colin Cowherd has said many times, LeBron is much more like Magic than Jordan or Kobe, and that’s not a bad comparison. To not like LeBron because he’s NOT Jordan or Kobe is just plain stupid.
Finally, during the press conference after their loss in the finals, LeBron was given about six different ways to respond to questions about how much he sucks and how much people hate him. So, he finally reminded us all that if the highlight of your day is talk shit about him, your life sucks. At some point you have to wake up to the emptiness that is your life. Meanwhile he will roll over next some cash in the very essence of what is comfort. You might not like it, but LeBron’s life is waaaaaaaaaaaaay better than yours. It doesn’t make him an asshole to be truthful in that way–especially since he was being attacked.
Now, am I still gonna laugh at Chris Bosh jokes? Naturally! I wish I could post some of the tweets I’ve read about him. HI-LARIOUS! Am I a Heat fan? Nope. Lakers all day baby! But, let’s put things in perspective folks. There’s nothing worth saving in Cleveland, and we all would’ve left. Even Bow Wow and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony moved away once they got paid right. You don’t like “The Decision?” Get over it. You don’t like the excitement around announcing that the Heat could win several championships? Get over that too. How many of you thought the Mavs would win this year?