Led by David Stern, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is straight up entertaining. The league features the best athletes in the world, hands down. Do not dispute this fact. No point in doing so. Even the 11th and 12th men on teams are soaring above the rim. While the league clearly contains the top athletes in the world, it also features the most outwardly narcissistic.
Key features of narcissism include being vain and self-absorbed. As well, and while this may not be noted within the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, any third person references AT ANY TIME also exemplifies 100 percent narcissism. While the notion of having a "healthy" amount of narcissism does exist, that is not what NBA contains. Every player in the league does not have these specified narcissistic personality traits; however, many do and it is spreading. Just to make it clear, being narcissistic is not a "good look". In fact, it needs to stop. Through giving nicknames to certain athletes like "the king" and "superman", the media also plays a role in some of these athletes heightened sense of self. These athletes need to be put in check. This article will examine the top 5 "look at me" personalities in the NBA. The highlighted 5 are Shaquille O'Neal, Lebron James, Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade/Chris Bosh.
Shaquille O'Neal is number one on this list because of his influence on an entire generation of players. Dating back to his high school years, Shaq has exhibited self-absorbed traits. After winning the high school state championship game a reporter asked Shaq, " What do you attribute your team's success to?" Shaq responded: "I attribute it to me." While there is an objective truth within that statement, it clearly shows off an unhealthy "me, myself,and I" persona. Shaq's 18- year career goes in accordance with the statement he made after winning the high school state basketball championship, all about HIS own success.
Regarding Shaq's recent move to the Boston Celtics, he accepted the bare minimum salary in the league only because he had to. At the beginning of the free agency period he demanded between $8 to $10 millio a year. No team was willing to give him that type of paper, and he ended up accepting the leagues veteran minimum. During the press conference with his new team, he stated: "When I came into the league, I wanted to compete with Bill Russell for titles...That's not going to happen, but I'd like to almost get half of what he got". Within those comments, his self-absorbed nature is exemplified through the multiple times he uses "I". Shaq is not thinking about his new Boston Celtics team winning the title, he is thinking about himself and his own legacy.
During the time he has been in the league, it is apparent Shaq has been about Shaq. As he also stated during his recent press conference, "When I close my book at the end of the day it's all about winning, nothing else." Instead of discussing ways to mentor younger players etc., Shaq is making his last two seasons all about himself. It is statements and actions like these that embody Shaq's narcissistic nature. Unfortunately this narcissistic message is also what has been and will continue to be a detriment to the younger players of today's game.
Regarding the influence that Shaq has had on today's players, direct impact number one has been on Mr. Decision himself, LeBron James. No doubt this guy is a beast. He is a force to be reckoned with on the court. He has been blessed with straight-up skillz. However, do not be surprised if reports come out years from now regarding the secret "conspiratorial organization", Bavarian Illuminati, being present in James life almost immediately after his face appeared on 2002 Sports Illustrated cover. LeBron's pre-game gestures make even a non-fan beg the question, who anointed this young man the messiah?
LeBron needs to be checked, hard against the box! LeBron is on such ridiculous tip, words alone can not explain it. He's completely out of control. While hosting a show entirely on the state of his future NBA destination has already been repeatedly mocked, please do not be mistaken, there will be more "decisionesque" telecasts; LeBron's traits are unfortunately influencing the current and future state of affairs within the newly-named Narcissistic Basketball Association.
Jokes aside, LBJ should have a team consulting him not on basketball decisions, but on how to repair his narcissistic image. Lesson number one, stop referencing to yourself in the third person! Just do everyone a favor, and stop! Lesson number 2, stop getting narcissistic tattoos; some of LeBron's tattoos include: "Gifted Child" and "Chosen 1".Stopping third person references, getting narcissistic tattoos, and instilling other basic humility tools, need to become a prevalent facet in LBJ's life.
Dwight Howard, or Shaq 2.0, is also a freakishly talented basketball player. If he stays healthy, he will be a guaranteed 10-time all star and enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Howard's semi-regular pre-game routine of tossing balls from half court underhanded already screams "look at me." However, it is not just that action that Howard has begun to employ within his self-focused persona. He has also crowned himself "Superman" and has paraded around events acting as the fictional super-hero.
Howard is not number 3 on this list because of his actions to date, he is number 3 because of his future progression as an influential narcissist within the league. This contingent factor is what has propelled him into the top 3.
To start out, congratulations to Kobe Bryant. Winning titles are not easy, and win he has. Even after overcoming such obstacles including being one of the primary forces behind removing one of most dominant centers ever to play the game from their Laker team that won three titles, he has continued to win. Despite that move and others, he has pushed forward to win two more titles! Kobe may even win again this upcoming season. However, and keeping it real, Kobe could easily be No.1 on this list of NBA narcissists.
Do not think for one minute Kobe's name could not be easily interchanged with Shaq's. Reason being, similarly to Shaq, Kobe is a narcissistic revolutionary. Plain and simple, the guy has needed to be number one and have the spotlight directly shining on him from the jump. Dating back to his desire to be No. 1 on the Lakers, Kobe has proven to be highly self-absorbed.
While Wade is clearly a more skilled baller than Bosh, they both are talented. For those who are unaware, this dynamic narcissistic pair teamed up this past free agency period to "weight their options" on the team where THEY should take THEIR talents; both players were wined and dined by numerous NBA executives attempting to convince one or both of the players to play on their team's.
Wade and Bosh, along with LeBron, made the free agency period all about themselves. Completely vain and self-absorbed, at no point did either of them recognize the negative narcissistic attention they were bringing upon themselves. Like the other four names on this list, these two are making a name for themselves for the wrong reasons and because of the tie, they both round out the top 5 players within the Narcissistic Basketball Association.
Keeping it real, this narcissistic attitude/perception/ way of being should be examined. It is a real issue and is an unattractive look for an otherwise extremely entertaining league filled with the best athletes in the world.