LeBron James: Joining His De Facto Enemies

Jabber HeadSenior Analyst IJuly 20, 2010

I don’t want to be put in the position of defending LeBron James, but I can’t help but notice some unfair attacks.

Most of these deal with claims about LeBron’s personality. Hahahahaha! Fans have a tendency to do this a lot: they project personality traits and character flaws onto athletes based on no real knowledge of the players as individuals. If a player strikes out in a key situation, he must be unable to handle pressure. If a basketball player misses the open man, he must be a selfish person. If a football player happens to be the quarterback of a team that loses, he must not be a motivated individual. In a few instances, there is some merit to this—sports would not be nearly as special if it didn’t give us insights into the human psyche.

Far more often, though, it is utter schlock. Most of the time these conclusions are based on such a tenuous sliver of something far more complex than one moment can show. Basically, a player may force a shot with an open teammate because he was selfish...or because he just didn’t see the player, or because he didn’t have an angle for the pass, or because the open player was having an off night. Drawing a conclusion from one simple fact is like dismissing someone’s entire personality because you don’t like his shirt.


Troy Sparks is a Jabberhead and an SJ contributing author. Read more of Troy at Troy's Thoughts on Sports .

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