Ever since "The Decision" that brought LeBron James together with Chris Bosh and D'Wayne Wade as "The Heatles," people have made arguments that I think are disingenuous.
One such being that, well, LeBron had the right to leave, but he didn't need the media spectacle along with it. Many of those critics are in the media. I must wonder: have they forgotten what their job is?
Normally, sports talk in July is dead to rights. This year, LeBron gave all the talking heads in the sports media something to chew. And all they can do is bite the hand that feeds them.
People have called LeBron a coward, because he choose to play with Bosh and Wade, and thus expedite his quest for championships. They call him a coward and that he's officially precluded from comparisons to Michael Jordan. Then LeBron is called selfish.
The irony of the media spectacle that was "The Decision" is that on one hand it was self-indulgent, and yet, by doing so James has willingly and knowingly acknowledged that he is not better than Michael Jordan and never will be.
Somehow, James managed to mix humility and self-indulgence.
Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey
I really, really, really, really, really, really do not freaking care about how LeBron did it. And I normally avoid the use of negations, in relation to ideas and opinions.
If LeBron wants to indulge in the media spotlight, so be it. Frankly, I think the problem that critics had is that their brains have been conditioned to detest anything that might rock the boat of their subjective nostalgia.
By that I mean, many sports writers grew up when the media was not as pervasive as it is today. Thus, they don't remember pro-athletes being media whores, but in part that is not because pro-athletes were more mature back then (ex, Ty Cobb), but simply because of less media exposure
Nowadays, people care about all the exploits of celebrities. As such, it has created a demand, and the media has supplied it. Because of that demand, the behavior of celebrities on average, especially pro-athletes, has "changed."
The question left to ponder is: did the chicken come before the egg?
Every time I use that as a rhetorical question, I remember the high school friend that adamantly argued that the egg came before the chicken, because the egg was simply the evolutionary product of a different animal. I was just being rhetorical. He's now a Ph.D candidate at Harvard (thank you, Facebook), so what do I know?
Well, I'll tell you what I know, dang it!
The analogy I wanted to make here is whether LeBron James has changed, or if simply, the view of him has changed (think, Heisenberg effect).
What came first, LeBron's ego or the attention of others? Does the ego seek the attention or does the attention create the ego? I like to think of the ego as an egg that is waiting to be incubated by the media spotlight.
LeBron is still the same as he ever was, but now people view him less favorably because he gave the people what they have always wanted.
A want that has always been the same, even in the 1950s and 1960s, but because technology has changed and has expanded the media's scope, we're suppose to believe that the people we glorify have suddenly changed.