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Imagine anything you do and everything you say being monitored. Think about that. There is always someone watching. Every move. Every word.
This is the life of NBA superstar and new Heat addition LeBron James.
I’m not saying anyone should feel bad for the man. After all, he is set to earn over $14 million this season for playing a game that 99.9 percent of people play for pure fun, and that’s without taking endorsement money into consideration.
Still, close your eyes for a second.
Go back in your head and retrace everything you said and did over the last few days. Now imagine those recent events replayed on the jumbotron at a stadium with billions upon billions of people from all different backgrounds in the stands. The odds are strong that someone, anyone, would take offense to something you said or did, right?
The latest criticism surrounding James—and there has been an awful lot of it these last few months—has been about race.
In an interview with CNN, Soledad O’Brien asked LeBron whether race played a role in all of the negative publicity he has been receiving following “The Decision.”
“I think so, at times,” replied James. “It’s always, you know, a race factor.”
Not even three seconds worth of words and there was public outrage. “James drops race card” and “LeBron is to blame for media backlash” were the theme of the thousands of stories posted within minutes of the interview.
People have such a problem when an athlete talks about race. Well why isn’t anyone blaming the interviewer for bringing it up? The media has learned to push the LeBron Button, and if I were him I wouldn’t agree to do another interview for a very long time. Anything he says will be tossed into a negative light.
Charles Barkley—the former NBA superstar who has been quick to criticize LeBron this summer—added his say. Shocker!
“It’s like watching a movie,” Barkley said. ” Just when you think it couldn’t get any stupider, it gets more stupid.”
Thank you Sir Charles for your highly valued insight.
What really irritates me with Barkley is that he should be the last man on earth to criticize an athlete for “mistakes” they made publicly. When an officer pulled over a drunk Barkley this past year for running a stop sign, he reasoned with the officer that the purpose for running the stop sign was because he was on his way to get fellatio.
This is an aspiring governor lady’s and gentlemen.
This is the same man who once heaved another person through a glass window of a bar.
This is the same man who has gambled away more than $10 million.
Yet, this is the man who is always the first to run his mouth.
Barkley has absolutely nothing on James. In fact, putting the two side-by-side is a no-contest, on and off the court. It’s a shame that Barkley has engaged in this behavior because he’s one of my favorite entertainers.
His book “I May Be Wrong But I Doubt It” is hilarious. TNT’s Inside The NBA is one of my favorite shows. But Charles, you are wrong.
LeBron’s closest adviser and long-time friend Maverick Carter threw in his input about the backlash of LeBron’s announcement on national television that he would be leaving Cleveland for Miami.
“The execution could have been a little better and I take some of the blame for that,” said Carter.
Honestly, everything regarding LeBron has been blown out of proportion. Was “The Decision” really that bad?
It was rumored to be Carter’s idea to begin with. The plan was to have a telecast on national television announcing LeBron’s “Decision” in the wildest free agency in NBA history. The event would end up raising over $3 million for the Boys and Girls Club for the advertisements slipped in.
Yet, LeBron has been blasted for it.
How could he do this to the people of Cleveland, the only city he has ever known? Which is less important, hurting feelings or raising a ridiculous amount of money for America’s underprivileged youth?
Obviously I’m not speaking from the beaten down heart of a Clevelander. Still, have some perspective on a broader scale. “The Decision” certainly did a lot of good, even if it was dubbed by many as a nightmare.
Everyone needs to step off. Give James some space and don’t twist every word spewing from his mouth into a pretzel.
He is the best basketball player in the world. Enjoy him for that! When he steps onto the court, you might never see some of the things he does ever again. In that respect he has some MJ instilled within him.
Once the season starts and he begins to do his thing, he won’t be an outcast for long.
Regardless of your NBA loyalties, you will witness LeBron do something amazing on the court in that very first game in Boston. And if you’re even the most minuscule fan you will be watching.
There will be a time during that festival of a game when your eyes will widen, your body will chill, and you’ll reach for your phone because the NBA’s most hated man will have just done something that was only thought to be possible in a video game.
The hate will suddenly disappear, even if it’s just for those 10 visually explosive seconds.
Until then, keep the animosity coming and feed the beast’s fire. He will be unleashed on the evening of October 26.