LeBron James has made his decision and he chose the Miami Heat. Now in earnest the LeBron backlash can begin.
In the history of sports perhaps no athlete has destroyed their image in just eight days, barring being arrested. In just 24 hours no sports network has sold their soul to the devil quicker than ESPN for airing “The Decision”.
The backlash that will hit LeBron will also land on ESPN. Mainly, on ESPN for helping him drag out this decision and go on national television to rip the heart out of Cleveland and his home state of Ohio.
No athlete in the history of sports has enjoyed a love-fest from the media and fans, like LeBron has enjoyed for a player with no championship rings. Now that he has ripped the heart out of his home state and the team that drafted him, the love-fest will end.
For two years, James has more than likely known he was going to leave. He just strung the city of Cleveland along while he bid his time to free agency.
After being bounced in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009 and the second round of the NBA playoffs in 2010, the die was cast for LeBron to leave. LeBron’s last two seasons in Cleveland saw the Cavaliers with the best record in the East and James won two MVPs.
That is the kind of heat (no pun intended) that superstars have to take. Much like Kobe and Shaq had to take the heat for their loss in the NBA finals to the Detroit Pistons.
Several questions come to the forefront since LeBron made his decision. The first question is that is James the great player we think he is if he cannot win a title without the help of Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh?
There is no question that Wade is a great player. He is the only player of this trio to have a NBA title.
Bosh on the other hand has not done much in his seven year NBA career. Before you go nuts, Bosh has only two playoff appearances and he led his former team the Toronto Raptors to one .500 season and one season with an above .500 record.
The media or fans cannot declare a player a superstar with a record like Bosh. Also Bosh has led his team to two playoff appearances but was bounced in the first round both times.
If LeBron wins a title with the Heat can he really call himself the “King” anymore? Most of the NBA’s greatest players won a championship with the team that drafted them.
Michael Jordan made the Chicago Bulls by winning six titles there, Larry Bird restored the Boston Celtics by winning three titles there, and Magic Johnson bought back the luster to Los Angeles winning five championships there. Well you get my point.
These players can truly call themselves “King” of their cities and during their playing days of the NBA. That is something LeBron will not be able to say.
Now the title of king must be bestowed on D-Wade. Because Wade, like a true king had LeBron and Bosh come to him and not the other way around.
Some credit, no matter how bad you hate LeBron; you will have to admit is that he did not go for the money. For once an athlete that said winning titles was their main goal did not go to the team that could pay them the most money.
But in all fairness the NBA’s salary cap does not allow for that. The only way James would make the most money he could is by staying in Cleveland.
That being said there was a fair amount of a chance that LeBron could win a title in Cleveland if the team had been retooled. James might have been able to take the money and the titles if he stayed with the Cavaliers.
James actions and comments during his special “The Decision” when asked about fans in Cleveland burning his jersey, shows just how out of touch he is. How can LeBron not realize how much he hurt the fans in his home state?
Unless you are a Miami Heat fan, the LeBron-a-backlash will be on full force for the next couple of years. Media people and fans in New York, New Jersey, Chicago and most of all in Cleveland will rip LeBron.
Mainly he will get ripped for his arrogance and how he led everyone on for the last two years. James has brought this on himself and by proxy has lumped Bosh and Wade in with him.
Unlike the thinking of the ESPN talking heads, the Miami Heat has no other choice but to win the NBA title next season. There is no way that you can bring in the LeBron, Bosh and resign D-Wade and not win a championship.
There is no way that the lack of championship in year one of the El Tri cannot been seen as a complete failure. If LeBron could not handle the pressure of leading the Cavaliers to a title how will he handle the failure a huge not winning a title in year one with Wade and Bosh.
One thing is for certain, the NBA landscape has changed. The Orlando Magic and the Boston Celtics, the last two teams to win the East, now face a major threat to their dominance of the East.
For all those thinking the cupboard is bare in Miami, if the Heat signs their draft picks they will have a nice roster in the making. The Heat drafted three college seniors in the second round of the draft.
In the second round Miami drafted Dexter Pittman out of Texas, Da’Sean Butler out of West Virginia, and Jarvis Varnado out of Mississippi State. Pittman became a dominate center in the Big-12 after dropping nearly 100 pounds of weight.
Butler will be battling back from an injury sustained in the 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and will not be available in year one of El Tri. Varnado became the NCAA leader in shot-blocking and the only NCAA player to ever have 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, and 500 blocks in his senior year.
As long as the Magic have Dwight Howard and the Celtics have their big three they will not just roll over and let the Heat take the East. The Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of a threepeat and the fourth threepeat of Phil Jackson’s career.
The Heat could be the team to derail that goal but Kobe Bryant knows what it takes to win a championship. That is something only D-Wade knows in Miami.
LeBron better start winning rings or the backlash will not be confined to just a few. It will be a full blown epidemic from coast to coast.
Duke James has turned his back on his home and now turned off most of the country over the last eight days. It will be interesting to see if this backlash hits the companies LeBron endorsees.
James better win a championship quick or he and those companies just might find out.