Politics. Unwritten rules. Customs.
Those are some of my least favorite words.
There’s something so presumptuous about them. In essence, they allow people to attempt to govern others lives in areas in which they have no say.
They allow others to pass judgment.
Don’t get me wrong, some unwritten rules are necessary.
If you’re in law enforcement, always have your partner’s back.
If you’re an office professional, don’t come in to work rocking out in your favorite jersey and a pair of jeans.
If you’re married, don’t let your appearance slump too much.
Those are in the small minority of unwritten rules that I can understand and respect. There are even fewer unwritten rules I can respect in professional sports.
When an unwritten rule is broken in normal, everyday life there’s usually a bunch of fuss, drama and you never seem to hear the end of it. Things don’t seem to be that different in the NBA given that we’ve spent the duration of the season hearing all about how the Heat broke a plethora of unwritten rules.
“LeBron shouldn’t have gone to another man’s team. He shouldn’t have 'took the easy way out’; he should have ‘won it on his own’. ”
“Chris Bosh quit on the Raptors. He was busy nursing an injury he could have tried to play through in order to give them a (meaningless) chance at a playoff berth.”
It goes on and on. Add a self-righteous, judgmental quotation here, another trite saying there and that pretty much sums it up.
The question is why the hate?
Don’t get it twisted, the breaking of those unwritten rules are only the justifications haters use to excuse their hate, but they aren’t the reasons.
Do you really think the Milwaukee Bucks fans who booed Miami earlier this week give a crap that LeBron didn’t win a title in Cleveland before leaving?
Do you really believe Stan Van Gundy—who called Bosh Dwyane Wade’s "lapdog” before James announced the destination of his talents—cares that Bosh didn’t risk life and limb trying to catapult Toronto to a playoff position?
Call me cynical, but I don’t.
What I do believe is that in our era of judgmental TV show therapists and air-out-your-dirty-laundry tabloid shows that fans across the NBA are developing the Jerry Springer syndrome.
If you aren’t familiar enough with the Springer show, when the accused negligent father or cheating girlfriend comes out the crowd boos mercilessly before they even have a chance to determine whether or not the one they boo is innocent.
They don’t know the person and they haven’t even tried to understand the situation, yet they pass judgment and in separating themselves from the unpopular person and/or behavior they get to belong.
They get to be a part of something, they get to be popular and ironically enough, they get to take the easy out.
They are no longer responsible for thinking for themselves.
They get to join in on the senselessness LeBron James hate, as they try to tear down the accomplishments of a man who goes home to a multi-million dollar mansion and, at the age of 25, is a worldwide name.
Pretty stupid if you ask me.
The funny thing is that their hatred may actually be helping.
The boos and extra level of resistance the Heat have faced this far in the season have helped them become a better team.
But don’t take it from me, ask Dwayne Wade after yesterday’s 111-98 victory over the Utah Jazz.
“We needed those tough losses to help us get to the point where we can win tough games like this on the road,” Wade said.
He later added, “In the beginning of the year, no question we would have lost this game after Utah made that run,” (referencing how the Jazz erased a 12 point third quarter deficit to take the lead heading into the fourth).
But you don’t really have to take it from Wade either, just look at them.
The Heat suddenly look more cohesive on both ends of the floor as James and Wade finally seem to have gained some comfort playing with each other.
At the end of the day you boo birds out there can have at it. Booing is about as original a concept as breathing and frankly, the heckling seems to be helping them, strengthening them.
I can understand that some aren’t happy about the Heat’s current roster. I can even understand the disapproval of how James made his decision.
But if you really hate the Heat, if you wake up in the morning just to join the crowd and boo James, Wade and Bosh, if you spend money to heckle them when they visit don’t hide behind the fact that they broke a few unwritten “rules”.
Its just insecurity.