Betrayal Central: Looking at Jason Taylor And LeBron James' Decisions

Dave TiseoContributor IAugust 7, 2010

MIAMI - OCTOBER 04:  Jason Taylor #99 defensive end of the Miami Dolphins against the Buffalo Bills at Land Shark Stadium on October 4, 2009 in Miami, Florida. Miami defeated Buffalo 31-30.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Marc Serota/Getty Images


When Jason Taylor signed with the hated New York Jets in April I was overcome with a wave of emotions.

I was disappointed at our front office for disrespecting a Dolphins legend; disgusted at the thought of seeing Taylor wearing the puke green colours of the Jets and being cheered by the very Neanderthals that he has made clear he loathes; but mainly angry towards Taylor himself.

All the lamentations about how he had to do what is best for his family and how he simply had no choice but to leave his beloved hometown team are the well-worn sob stories that only a millionaire athlete would ever have the nerve to utter.

To me this is the ultimate betrayal in sport.

Taylor is not only greedy and a liar—he's a backstabber.

A few months later and the city of Miami is actually on the receiving end of a controversial free agency deal, only the rest of the basketball universe doesn't seem too happy about it.

The main thing that has bothered me about this whole bandwagon of hatred aimed at the Miami Heat since LeBron James's signing is the hypocrisy of it all.

It smacks of insincerity, jealousy and desperation. Throughout all of the articles and comments and interviews, we have constantly been told that James lacks sportsmanship and integrity—that he is disloyal and he can no longer be considered one of the 'greats'.

Now I realize that the Taylor and LeBron situations are very different, so bare with me.

First, Taylor never promised us a championship.

Well Shaquille O'Neal did, right after the first one in 2006, and it never happened. Too bad, I don’t hold it against him. That’s something he believed and wanted and said when emotions were high, but it wasn’t a blood oath.

Secondly, The Decision. It was dumb.

That's it. But I promise you I would much rather Taylor had humiliated Miami by having an hour-long ESPN special and say he was taking his talents to Foxboro to team up with Randy Moss and Tom Brady, than to quietly and privately join the repugnant Jets.

Thirdly, James, unlike Taylor, is supposed to be 'the man' who doesn't need to team up with other superstars unlike the legends of the past.

There have been dozens of articles on the Bleacher Report dispelling that myth so I need not go into it again.

But let's face it, if your heroes are Michael Jordan and Earvin "Magic" Johnson then you respect the history of basketball and would surely want to see a player of such greatness once again.

Which means you would want somebody with the enormous potential of James to succeed at immortality, especially now he's in Miami where the odds are already against him.

Welcome to the Heat bandwagon my friend—I knew you would succumb eventually!

Of course the Taylor and James situations played themselves out very differently, but fundamentally they are the same.

In both cases, a player left his beloved hometown team to go somewhere else.

Amazingly, a lot of our fans and local media did NOT jump on Taylor's back but rather blamed the front office.

But since I am one of the bitter, angry, heartbroken ones then I completely empathize with the Cavaliers fans.

Whilst a few may be over the top, I respect that it was THEIR team that was hurt. They have a right to be upset.

But the rest of the country? And Lakers fans of all people?

Give me a break.

What, all of a sudden you don't like big-money free agency anymore?

The hatred and anger in the James situation does simply not ring true. People are desperately trying to convince themselves that Miami have somehow broken the rules, done something illegal, and won't accept that Miami was just lucky enough to get the players that several other teams were interested in.

This is like screaming at the officials that they've screwed your team and then see a replay which proves it was the correct call, but you're too stubborn to accept there was no wrong-doing so you carry on screaming and cursing.

This is like yelling at your X-Box when you lose a game of NBA Live because there's a tiny little man in the console who's conspiring against you, so you think throwing your controller across the room and slamming the door on your way out somehow makes you the winner.

Every team in the running for James in free agency was rabid with excitement, praying he would join them.

If they got Wade and/or Bosh too, it would be beyond a miracle! They could dominate the NBA for years to come, it would be glorious.

But within minutes of Miami signing all three, the respective fans of the other candidates brandished them selfish, sneaky, dirty stinkin’ mother-bleepers.

So let's look at James and Taylor's respective goals—to see whose motivations and agendas were the most devious and immoral.

Who is the man that the rest of the country should really be angry at?

James wanted to win.

He was fed up of carrying an entire organization that wasn’t good enough and gave him no help and would never let him seriously contend. The Miami Heat gave him that opportunity. He, Wade and Bosh made a pact a few years ago to consider joining a team together, they weighed up the options, and chose Miami.

Nothing wrong with that.

Taylor wanted to hurt the Dolphins management, and as a direct result the fans too. He wanted more money.

Taylor also claims it was to win a ring but realistically he’s now gone from team captain on a very strong team to being a bench-warmer on an over-hyped one which he has made abundantly clear throughout the years that he hates.

Now this, if we're honest, is backstabbing, unsportsmanlike, selfish, and everything else that is wrong with modern day professional athletes.

Why the backlash for James?

Because the outspoken only care about a player like James because they know he is the best in the business, and he automatically makes the Miami Heat the team to beat. Every other team wishes they had been so lucky. This hatred is fear. Just admit it instead of pretending it's for the other fabricated reasons.

Taylor is not dominant, and he makes very little difference to the Jets, which is why the only people crying about it are Dolphins fans.

Why should anybody else care?

It’d be kind of stupid if you did.



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