I Still Hate LeBron James
There. I said it. Nothing has changed. Yeah, he didn’t choke this year. And yes, he almost won his team the finals by himself, demonstrating a poise we’ve never seen from him before. That’s fine. Doesn’t matter. I still hate him.
Well, maybe not him, necessarily, but everything he stands for and what his decisions represent. Call me petty, but I’ll respond by calling you a turncoat. When LeBron James left Cleveland two years ago, the guy was public enemy number one for abandoning his team and loyal fans in the worst way possible, and stacking a team with three of the most talented players in the league. We didn’t hate him because he gave up in the finals and was a loser; so, why then, are we all on his band wagon when he won?
Maybe it’s the inner competitor in me, which is admittedly a little more intense than is reasonable, but the idea of loyalty in sports is important. Hell, it’s important to me in pickup basketball. I’d rather lose 15 straight than reselect the teams. So in the league that I care about–the most important, most talented basketball league in the world–it would be nice if any sort of loyalty was reflected at all. It’s a business. I get that. And yet, you still find lifers like Dirk Nowitzki, or players who, even when given the choice to leave, decide instead to honor their commitments like Steve Nash. I can’t fault LeBron for wanting to play with his friends. That’s fine. But when the most physically gifted player in the world abandons millions of fans, and in the process turns his back on his home city, that’s a douchebag. Plain and simple. If my hometown ever puts up a huge mural of me (why would they ever do that?), I’ll tell you one thing; I’d never to do anything that would break all of their hearts.
No excuses for his “Decision”
Someone argued with me (you know who you are) that the decision was less LeBron and more his advising team. Aw, that’s so unfair to LeBron! Wah wah, sad trumpets all around. Guess what? When I hire my advising team, and they tell me it’s gonna give me a huge spike in positive press and popularity if I punch a baby, I’m probably not going to punch a baby. We’re not talking shades of gray here; there is no other way The Decision could have been construed other than an megalomaniac taking advantage of the spotlight that was on him and screwing over his team and his fans, all without ever issuing a formal apology or seeming genuinely regretful about the decision. But we as fans (and Americans) are forgiving. Or maybe just forgetful. All of us hated Kobe during the rape scandal. Sponsors were dropping him and fans turned their backs. Then he plays out of his mind and everyone’s on board again. I won’t get into whether or not he did it (it was never proven, after all), but fans rejected him initially because of it, and then forgave him for reasons irrelevant to their initial disdain. The same situation is here, and I’m not buying it.
I don’t mean to drudge up the Cleveland debacle again. It’s been talked to death, and what’s done is done. But, and this is addressed to a certain someone (again, you know), don’t expect me to all of a sudden embrace Lebron James. I hated him two years ago because of The Decision because he put his extraordinary talent to good use finally and let the most star stacked team to a title. Good for him. I’m aware of his “redemption” this year. I respect his game. But it doesn’t really change my opinion of the guy.
LeBron James is the most physically gifted player EVER. He’s the most dynamic player in our game today, and an on-court leader. He’s not a choker anymore. But he’s still a boy trapped in a man’s body, and I still can’t stand him. His Finals win has done nothing to change that. Cheers to the King.