Posts Tagged ‘the decision’
LeBron James has been an object of derision all across the country since he did that awful exit interview on national television. But what are people really on his case about?
Beyond The Decision, what seemed to turn people off was the sight of James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh rising up from the bowels of American Airlines Arena like the Black Eyed Peas in that awesomely ridiculous post-signing celebration.
This did not play well outside of Miami. Never mind that the free event was perhaps the only time many in the audience would be able to afford to see these guys in the flesh.
James was ripped for wanting to play for a better team, in a city with greater opportunities for a young millionaire. But that’s all most people with any ambition try to do — move to a better situation, expand their horizons. In a country built on mobility, it was odd to see him scolded for having outgrown his home state. It’d be truly puzzling if he’d done the reverse and left Miami for a smaller, cold-weather market. What kind of idiot does that?! (Note: I did that.)
The other aspect is the Lone Wolf Theory of Sports Success. “Michel Jerdan nver aksed to play wid Berd or Maigic or Barkly!!!!” thumbs Incoherent Twitter Guy. So LeBron James, who took a Cavaliers team that consisted of Larry Hughes and Zydrunas Ilgauskas’ bald spot to the NBA Finals, was suddenly the bad guy who couldn’t win on his own. How does that happen?
People conveniently forgot how Kobe Bryant grumbled about the post-Shaq Lakers’ woes halfway through the 2006-2007 season and indicated he wouldn’t mind being traded to a better situation. It wasn’t all happy days then. Then the Lakers got Pau Gasol and went back to winning, and we had Kobe the Killer all over again.
Michael Jordan didn’t win as a pro until Phil Jackson came into his life and has been a disaster as an NBA executive, but he’s beloved all over the world.
Kevin Garnett is a certified jackass who couldn’t take the T-Wolves past the Western Conference Finals, but now he’s a “winner” because he fell into the perfect situation when Boston happily traded away half its lineup to get him.
Dwight Howard, who like LeBron has not won anything yet, just got his coach fired, but he’s still that lovable giant, Mr. Superman.
Nobody wins on their own. But we like to pretend it happens because those moments of glory are seared in our minds. We forget about the frustrations and early playoff exits.
Does LeBron James have the “heart” to win when it counts? I have no idea. But I wouldn’t question the desire of people who have had to endure much greater obstacles to reach the highest level in their profession than most of us could imagine.
But if he does win — especially multiple times — people will very likely forget why they ever hated him these last few years.