Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Once & Future King

I'm not what you call a basketball fan. In actuality, I'm more of a fan of individual player. For the past few years, I've been riding with the Boston Celtics; but I've been really intrigued by the hatred for LeBron James. So much so, that I am as much a fan of his as I am a fan of the Boston Celtics. I always come back to one question: Why do you hate him so much? I've never gotten a legit answer. Here are a list of some of the answers I got and how full of crap they are. Usually, the first thing people say is, The Decision. This was where Lebron had a televised press conference to announce where he will be playing after his free agency was up. He didn't tell anyone before he made his decision and did it during his event. Most people think he was wrong not to tell management, his coach, or his teammates about his decision before The Decision. I think the hate for him makes people forget about the countless number of professional athletes who tell stories of only finding out through the media or while on All-Star break that they were traded to another team. Ask Kendrick Perkins. What about the endless athletes that were dropped like a bad habit when they sustained an injury. The haters also forget that The Decision was a fundraising event for The Boy's & Girl's Club of America. It raised $4 million for the charity. No one brings that up. Then others say that he is just too arrogant. Show me a pro athlete that isn't. Does anyone remember Jordan's hall Of Fame speech or pre-rape accusation Kobe? Others claim that lining himself up with other stars makes him weak. Isn't that what Boston did with their Big Three or Kobe & Shaq, or D-Wade & Shaq, even that Fellowship For The Ring team of Karl Malone, Gary Payton, Shaq & Kobe. This trend didn't start with LeBron and I'm sure it won't end with him. Others attach quotes of winning the scoring title, being the highest paid player, and removing lesser teams from the NBA to him; but I guarantee that your favorite player has a string of quotes that he or she may or may not have said that poorly reflected them. For example: "As far as playing, I didn't care who guarded me - red, yellow, black. I just didn't want a white guy guarding me, because it's disrespect to my game."- Larry Bird, or "Scoring 100 points is a lot, but I could've scored 140 if they had played straight-up basketball."- Wilt Chamberlain. Others have decided to take his recent 4th quarter collapses as an excuse to hate him. I find that funny, because the opponent that defeated him, Dirk Nowitzki, was fit with the same label. He was called soft, and not possessing the killer instinct to put teams away. He was never subjected to the same hate. Now they are mentioning him as being amongst the great ones. I'm still at a loss. My personal opinion is that LeBron represents something that the average hometown athlete views as a slap in the face. A high school star athlete who went straight to the pros and made an immediate and lasting impact. Something that 99% of them couldn't do. Imagine how the guy who wasn't even good enough to play in high school must feel about him? Those two types have to either love him, out of admiration, or hate him, out of jealousy. There is no in between. To those types, pro athletes are mythical in there ability and preparation. They can't be kids that were really good in high school; because if they were, then those types would be forced to answer the question, "Why couldn't I have done that?" Fortunately, I'm secure with my station in life, so I can marvel at LeBron James' success and his accomplishments without resentments. He is like Haley's Comet. Something that I doubt I will see again in my lifetime; but that's just my opinion though, and who the hell am I?
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