Lebron James: Fear and Loathing in Miami

Jason CrowleyContributor IAugust 4, 2010

MIAMI - JULY 09:  LeBron James #6, of the Miami Heat smiles during a press conference after a welcome party at American Airlines Arena on July 9, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

Dear LeBron,

I hate you.

To be fair, I don't "hate-you" hate you.  I just "don't-like-you" "hate you" because you scare me.  Your a wild-card.  I don't understand you.

You see?  I'm a Laker fan.  My team has won two consecutive championships, and you present an obstacle to a third.  What was supposed to be a "lock" in my mind, has turned into an ambiguity since you joined your buddies in Miami.  They're pretty darn good. I don't like that.

When I first heard the news you were heading south, I was angry.  I told my buddy JB, that I would root for any team that played against you.  What you did to Cleveland was beyond reproach. 

I'll admit -- I left out the truth in the conversation.  To tell him that you were scaring the 'be-jesus' out of my ambitions for a 3-peat would have seemed petty. I guess I showed you. Right?

Listen. You can't blame me though.  It's a natural fight or flight reaction.  When faced with the reality that there was a "new kid on the block", my reaction to strike out was a common one.  I tried to lay the groundwork to proactively impeach your  future accomplishments. It would be easier to undermine you that way. 

I told those near me that "The only way you can win titles is with Wade and Bosh.  Your not a leader because you "followed" them both to Miami."  I convinced myself that this is the way that it is supposed to play out if (and when) you do win a title with the Heat.  So I thought.

My reasons were the same as others. It's why so many people in America are lashing out at you.  They're afraid. Whether they will admit it or not is left to be seen; however, make no mistake.  It's fear.

Here is my advice to you.  Love us for hating you.

It all goes back to a fairly cliche', yet wise adage, that you can't please all the people all the time.  To do so, implies that your actions are worthy of apathy, and apathy doesn't inspire. For you to win -- someone must lose.  Many "someone's" in fact.

I'll take it one step further.  I contend that it is essential that you must displease many people to become great.  It's a natural progression LeBron.

Think about the countless times that 'his-greatness', Michael Jordan, stuck a dagger into the hearts of an opposing team at the buzzer.  His 6 titles were 6 titles that someone else wasn't winning. Think they didn't hate him?  That they didn't cry over his heroics?

There are 31 other teams in the NBA (my beloved Lakers included).  For you to truely achieve a  legendary status, you must break our hearts.  You must make me cry.  I need to hate you. Disinterest, on my part, means a failure on yours.

LeBron, look no further than my own backyard for a real-world example of this.  Kobe Bryant has gone from one of America's most hated athletes, to one of it's most loved. He has stayed the course, and won his way into Americas hearts  Whats more, he has at least interjected himself (albeit on the short end at this time) into the greatest of all time discussion.

This same journey awaits you as well.  Be patient.

As you "do what it is", that only you can do, my hate will turn to amazement.  My amazement to respect. Finally, my respect will become reverence. True talent transcends. No fan will ultimately deny true greatness.

I hate you now, but will revere you in a decade. 

I just don't know it yet.