Recently, Bleacher Report featured columnist and NBA trial writer program coordinator Peter Emerick wrote an article on why Michael Jordan ruined the way we view and analyze Miami Heat superstar LeBron James.
In the article, Emerick stated that it was basically unfair to compare Jordan and James as, "greatness is created by every person in his own unique way."
While I agree with some of the writer's points, I don't think you can say that it was Jordan's fault as to why James is the most scrutinized player (in my opinion) in the history of the NBA.
James brought everything on himself, unlike another player who had Jordanesque qualities.
Kobe Bryant got things done on the court, both with other superstars and without other superstars.
He proved time and time again he was the best player in the league, just like James has done on the court.
But, there are a few differences in the way Bryant and James approach the game on and off the court.
Bryant never appointed himself the "King," unlike James. Bryant went out and did what he did, and let sportswriters and other fans call him the "Black Mamba."
James, on the other hand, has referred to himself as King James as reported in texts with other NBA players.
Next, you have the whole "pep rally" after "The Decision," aired on ESPN, something that Bryant never did when he was a free agent, before ultimately re-signing with the Los Angeles Lakers.
While he's admitted that if he could go back and do it all over, he would, that's not where my hang up is with James in this instance.
The two things I had a problem with was him stringing the Cleveland Cavaliers along, telling them of his decision a few minutes before the ESPN episode. And, it wasn't even he who informed the team. My thought is, "really." You do that to your hometown team that drafted you and catered to your every need?
Then, the pep rally with Heat fans was just over the top. It was a premature celebration before they had actually done anything together.
James then had the nerve to go on and say at a rally:
Not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven...the way we're gonna challenge each other to get better in practice, once the game starts, I mean it's gonna be easy.
So, we have the cockiness present, and he said it himself: it's going to be easy.
So, what part of that is Jordan's fault?
Then, you have James and his interview after losing the NBA finals last year.
As reported by NBCSports.com:
“All the people that were rooting for me to fail… at the end of the day, tomorrow they have to wake up and have the same life that before they woke up today. They got the same personal problems they had today. And I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things I want to do.
And, you wonder why people don't like him. He has an air of arrogance that surrounds him.
Just like his other nickname, "The Chosen One," James comes off as thinking he is better than everyone, but doesn't understand why so many people (outside of Miami) are against him.
So, for all the comments that ESPN commentator Jeff Van Gundy makes about how we just need to forgive and forget James and his "Decision," and to get off his back, it's hard to do so when he keeps putting wood on the fire.
If he would go about his business without arrogance, fans would learn to like him, except in Cleveland.
Plus, even if he doesn't have a clear shot for the game winner, he's got to force it up there like Bryant does.
Sometimes Bryant makes it, while other times he doesn't. For James, the same would happen. But, the key is that it won't be Udonis Haslem taking the game-winning shot. There's no reason for that to happen.
James has given everyone reason to not like him, while I'll admit Bryant has had his own transgressions that have put him up there with James on the NBA's most-hated list.
There's no doubt that he's a great player and one of the best in the league. But I, like many other fans, will continue to root against him until he shows me something different and the fact that I don't like seeing super-teams win titles.
Didn't like it when Boston did it, and won't like it if and when Miami does it.
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