Something that gets lost in all the LeBron hate is that the guy’s fun to watch. When we all started hating him, his crazy drives, dunks, and-one’s and fade-away’s got a lot less fun to watch, but he’s as unique a talent and as entertaining a player as we’re ever going to see. So, should we just drop the grudge and enjoy watching LBJ?
I consider myself an expert on the topic because I’m from Cleveland. As a Cavs fan, I’ve moved on, I’m over the fact that he left Cleveland. I am even over the fact that he rolled out the red carpet and held a huge televised special to break our hearts. I’m over it, but, like a lot of fans, I can’t bring myself to like who he’s become (maybe who he always was), so I root against him.
Despite those feelings, I can appreciate the 45 point, 15 rebound clinic LBJ put on in game 6 against the Celtics last night. It was great basketball. It reminded me of the vintage LeBron that didn’t have an over abundance of help. It reminded me what I wanted from LeBron, to see him do it on his own. Unfortunately, He won’t continue to do it alone on that team and the Heat and their story isn’t something I can get behind.
LeBron was a local-boy phenom that turned around an underdog franchise. The chosen-one, brought to Cleveland to bring a sad city a title. You couldn’t make up a story that good. We were all behind LeBron before he gave up the fairytale, the chance to organically build a team around him to win a championship that way, the hard way, the way people respect. He lost us when he went the other way, when he manufactured a super team and threw a party at American Airlines arena that looked like Wrestlemania, to celebrate a title they hadn’t won yet, in front of a bunch of crappy Miami sports fans and a boatload of fireworks. So no, I’m not going to move on from that because it was the lamest thing ever. The grudge stays and I’m especially not going to stop the criticism.
For the Record nothing’s more annoying than when people say, “get over it” when I criticize LBJ. I’m not criticizing him because I’m butt hurt, I’m doing it because people criticize athletes when they’re the best and don’t win. Peyton Manning gets the same treatment, and he’s won a Super Bowl. I’m not going to stop “hating” because no other superstars have ever gone further out of their way to make winning easier than LeBron James. Therefore, because of his choices, he will get criticized to death until he wins, and when he does win he won’t get the credit. That’s the way it goes when you take the easy road over the hard road.
[Additional side note: the Heat did not follow the Celtics’ blueprint. The Celtics franchise made incredible trades to form their big three, it wasn’t three of the league’s best player’s working the system, perfectly scheduling free agency and colluding to stack the deck in their favor.]