Before you decide that you’ve read enough about LeBron James, the Dan Gilbert saga, you should read this article. For the last 48 hours, I realized that the discussions were built around the wrong notions and our false perceptions of who we though LeBron James was and what we thought he wanted. Dan Gilbert was merely a victim of the same mistake.
Seven years ago Mr. Gilbert saw an 18-year-old kid that was hanging around with Entertainment moguls, like Jay-Z and retail sales kingpins from Nike. This was the most marketable and talented kid that the NBA had ever seen. This down to earth kid from Akron would go to Cleveland and be pronounced King without ever lifting a crown.
When we look at Dan Gilbert’s meltdown we have to realize that this man is a franchise owner who not only invested in his franchise, but invested in the brand of LeBron. Dan Gilbert invested in this brand and helped Nike, ESPN, and the NBA cultivate the LeBron brand into the greatest sports sensation since Air Jordan.
Dan Gilbert mistook his investment in LeBron the brand as a payment for future service rendered. In short, Dan Gilbert thought he was buying LeBron James. LeBron James has never won a championship.
With only the skills from a childhood game in tow, for seven years, LeBron James raged like a machine to accomplish each and every goal that was set out for him. This “Chosen One” was to lead his friends and family to untold riches, to lead a city to unseen glory, and lead a brand (the NBA) back into its golden age.
We (fans, friends, and family) asked King James to resurrect a once great city as if he was Julius Caesar and expand us an empire like Alexander the Great and if the media has its way, he would have a fall from glory like so many before him.
We fed LeBron James our aspirations without limitation to the point that he regurgitated them back to us by stating that he wants to be a billion dollar athlete.
LeBron James gave up his crown when he decided to go to Miami. After seven years of fighting at the front lines of our hopes, he called it quits.
This decision assures that his legacy will not be that of Jordan, Bird, or Magic. History will make his basketball legacy a hybrid of Allen Iverson and Scottie Pippen.
The Kobe-or-LeBron discussions are a thing of the past (sorry, Blitzen) and the brand that was LeBron will be replaced by the Triumvirate.
LeBron James made a manhood choice and seldom are your dreams at eighteen the same as your aspirations at 25.
I believe that LeBron James found the crown of gold was turning into thorns and he heard Dan Gilbert rattle the shackles he had prepared.
The King is dead! Long live LeBron James.