The dethroned “King” AP Photo
I am not a fan of Lebron James. I also think that his juvenile actions have served to increase the public invective against him. In other words I think that he has been “deep throating” his size 16 Nike’s since last summer when he went on ESPN to announce his move to Miami. At the same time I am not a Lebron “hater” and think that some have gone overboard in turning him into the most hated man in sports.
Of course the media and his fans had a lot to do with how Lebron is perceived. When he was in Cleveland they hailed him as “King James” and extolled everything about him. In fact they pretty much put his basketball abilities up with King James the First who I understand could put a heretic’s head through a basket from half court three out of four times. Since there were a lot of heretics in those days he got a lot of practice. Of course James as most young and relatively emotionally immature do got a big head. Now he elected to go for less money to Miami to try to win a NBA title. Is there anything wrong with that? Not necessarily but he could have left in a much more classy fashion. He would have still been disliked by Cleveland’s championship deprived fans and much of the rest of Ohio, but there were better ways of making his announcement.
His next faux pas was his landing in Miami where he promised big things, “not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven…” championships. The one thing about this is that it is very easy to get carried away on the big stage and promise things that you do not have ultimate control over. This was once again a sign of Lebron’s immaturity. Let’s face it Lebron was drafted out of High School and we all know the maturity level of most high school graduates which is somewhere above a house broken puppy but lower than a person that has taken some setbacks in life. Getting knocked on your ass is the beginning of wisdom.
Of course the Lebron haters have been nasty all year, yes I understand the connection that many fans feel toward professional ball players and how they feel when their idol leaves their team for greener pastures. But I’m sorry but professional and often collegiate sports are a business and the players are the commodities that bring in the bucks. So when a player leaves a city for another that it life, you have to deal with it. Unfortunately a lot of people in Ohio including the Governor John Kasich have spent entirely too much energy on Lebron when their state has a lot more pressing issues. Instead of making the Dallas Mavericks honorary citizens and poking the defeated “king” in the eye Kasich could have issued a “Bull” of excommunication” for Jim Tressel who has probably helped sink the Ohio State University football program. That Ohio State is probably going to go down hard is not a problem for me, I even root for the USC “Troy Tech” Trojans against them and being a UCLA Army ROTC alum that says a lot. But give me a break, why does a governor have to sink to this level? It seems below the dignity of the office but then what the hell, just how many politicians in the country are even acting like they have any dignity in office?
So for a year Lebron has been a rich target for his haters and they got their revenge through the efforts of Dirk Nowitzky and Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks who shut James and the Heat down hard. “King James” got to eat some humble prairie shit pie, not just a piece but the full pie. He should have simply congratulated the Mavericks, promised to work hard in the off season and work hard to win next year. Instead he poured gasoline into the ring of his hater’s fire by saying this when asked if the he was bothered by those that want him to fail:
“at the end of the day, all the people that was rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that. They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal, but they have to get back to the real world at some point.”
Personally I have no issue with the point that he makes, but it was dumb for him to come out and say it. I know that he felt the need to defend himself and he later sort of apologized but again it was a case of his immaturity as a person that caused an even bigger fire.
But when he left Cleveland Lebron became the most hated athlete in sports overnight. Before that he had been considered a good guy and my friend Carl Long who played in the Negro Leagues and was a civil rights pioneer who has met Lebron says that is the case. He is a good guy that has made some decisions and said some things that have made him look like the bad guy. That transition, going from being the good guy hero to the evil villain is a hard thing for anyone, except pro wrestlers who seem to be able to do it at will. Lebron will simply have to get used to the black top hat and handlebar moustache that comes with being the villain even though that is not the man that he is. Like Anakin Skywalker he will have to get used to being on the Dark Side of the Force. The sooner he gets used to it the better, Darth Vader doesn’t need to talk much, and he just goes out and crushes people and destroys planets. Lebron needs to shut up and concentrate on what he needs to do on and off the court to win and remember that even Darth Vader finds redemption.
In the mean time Lebron will have to get used to the late night comedian jokes and even legitimately funny things like the Peoria Chief’s “Lebron James 2011 NBA Championship Replica Ring Giveaway.”
As far as the haters, whatever, there is a real world and we all got to live in it. The same and even more applies to Governor Kasich who has sullied his office by acting the fool. Governor; go fix your state and excommunicate Jim Tressel for the mess he allowed to develop at the Ohio State University. As for me I don’t have time to hate, well maybe the Los Angeles Dodger’s but that’s different. I am a San Francisco Giants fan and the Dodgers are evil.