Friday, July 9, 2010

LeBron LeFool

If you're a follower of my Twitter account, you've seen many comments about LeBron James lately. Especially right after his announcement of his intention to play for the Miami Heat.

I have to commend him on allegedly taking a pay cut to play in Miami, and donating commercial time and money to the Boys & Girls Club of America. Those two moves brought early class to a classless act. Sadly, that was not enough salvation to offset the obscene display of ego that LeBron showed the world.

The one hour special, thrown together at the last minute, was one of the most self indulgent pieces of crap that I have witnessed on live television. This is coming from someone who thinks that all reality shows scrape the lowest forms of human degradation that manages to suck the intelligence out of every viewer. "The Decision" somehow makes reality programming seem on par with "Masterpiece Theatre" in quality.

First of all, I think that the proceedings of LeBron James, along with his lackeys Dwyane Wade and Chis Bosh reeks of collusion, the way each met repeatedly with multiple teams. LeBron alluded as much when he announced that an unnamed Pat Riley was informed that he would sign with the Heat, while the other five teams were left waiting and hoping that they would be the team announced. That moves demonstrates exactly how much LeBron thinks of others.

Secondly, I think it's horrible the way he strung Cleveland along and made every Cavalier fan watch the unholy spectacle on ESPN. It was a cowardly way to treat a region that he not only calls home, but spent every part of his career playing for, including high school. LeBron gave no considerations to how his fans would react to the news while he hid in Connecticut to announce his move. He basically severed ties with the majority of fans who cheered him on since day one.

I would imagine that most fans would have been understanding, in time, that he wanted to play somewhere else for whatever reasons that he could not achieve in Cleveland. The city is unfortunately used to this sort of treatment. Then again, this is still the same city that boos Jim Thome every time he passes through. Still, LeBron could have handled the situation a lot better by being straightforward with fans instead of turning the debacle into a spectacle all about himself.

I think it's pretty selfish of any player to hold an entire sport hostage, let alone several organizations, like LeBron did the past several weeks. Neither the owners nor the players should be allowed to wield that much power over the other. Each of the three players that agreed to play for the heat in the past few days all knew well ahead of time what exactly they were doing. This charade was not necessary. It's one thing to hear what other teams are offering, but to take multiple meetings with multiple teams is irresponsible and wastes organizations valuable time that could be spent on other free agents.

If LeBron just wanted to play with his friends, he should have just said so. Instead, many teams made real moves to try to lure him to their team. Some moves made by teams only made sense if LeBron actually agreed to play there. That's not just having fun at the organizations' expense, that screwing with players and coaches. It's not the sort of thing that's encouraged. It tends to have a negative impact on your opponents.

Why on Earth did ESPN allow this abomination of television to happen? Will Shaquille O'Neal be allowed the same hour special when he announces his next team or possible retirement? I don't think so. ESPN employees should be ashamed of themselves for adding fuel to the fire. This was totally unnecessary.

Super teams can work, but the all the players must be good and must be able to compliment each other. The Bulls teams of the nineties worked because everyone knew their role and excelled at it. The Celtics teams of late worked because the no name players stepped up and didn't fizzle out. The Lakers teams worked because they had a coach with experience in dealing with winning and egos and how to keep them in balance. Who was that Lakers coach? Oh yeah. The same coach who was at the helm for all six of the Bulls championships.

LeBron's game is too similar to Wade's game which is somewhat similar to Bosh's game. Will points be scored? Of course, but individual stats are going to suffer and three stars on a team does not guarantee results. How long will it take before tensions run high because LeBron's stats aren't up to his usual standards?

Cleveland fans reacted by cursing and setting fire to LeBron jerseys. Some would call this an overreaction, but it seems on par with a jilted lover. Isn't that kind of what James did to Cavaliers fans? I'm very happy that LeBron is not coming to Chicago. I think that Chicagoans would have eaten him alive with his "all about me" attitude. We don't tolerate that type of behavior unless you can back it up and so far, LeBron cannot. He hasn't won a championship yet, let alone a number of championships.

If LeBron wanted to be a superstar, he would have chosen New York. If he wanted his best shot at winning, he would have chosen Chicago. If he had any loyalty, he would have stayed in Cleveland. Instead, he chose to play with his friends in Miami, where he doesn't have to be burdened with being the star and can slack off when he wants to because there are two others who can do the same exact job. Those are the earmarks of a coward. A player who claims to idolize Michael Jordan but refuses to be a class act player like Mike. There are plenty of things wrong with Michael Jordan as a person, but as a player, he rarely hit a wrong note. He certainly wouldn't have paraded himself on a sports network after holding everyone hostage for what seemed like an eternity.

LeBron, no matter what you think of yourself, you will never be Michael Jordan. Jordan was a leader. LeBron is a follower.


Anonymous said...

Good entry and I agree with everything execpt Bosh's game is not similiar to James and Wade. And James and Wade's game are very similiar

dayf said...

In one day LeBron went from King James, Heir to Jordan to SuperDouche. Now he's hated in two of the biggest media markets in the country and LOATHED in his home state. I'll say this: He should win at least a couple of titles in Miami. However, with the way that roster is going to have to be built with three max players on it all it takes is one injury for them to go from 60+ wins and a title contender to about 35 wins and an abject failure. The silver lining in all this is we could be about to witness the most spectacular hubris-filled fall from grace in sports history.

Oh, and ESPN needs to be wiped from the face of the earth. There's nothing good in Bristol nowadays.

Steve Gierman said...


You're completely right about Bosh, but I was on a roll. :-)


I agree with your comments, but how many potential titles may depend on who surrounds the three, in addition to any surprise injuries.

I think every team is going to be on their very best game against the Heat next season.

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