LeBron James Miami Heat: Maybe the Most Overrated Athlete of All Time

Earnest HarrisContributor IDecember 10, 2010

MILWAUKEE, WI - DECEMBER 06: LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat walks off of the court after a win against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center on December 6, 2010 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Heat defeated the Bucks 88-78. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

So much ado about so little.

That may be the best way to sum up the career of LeBron James, or "King James" as someone decided to anoint him.

When James first made it to the NBA, the hype that preceded him was incredible. Rarely had any high school player coming into the league, or any professional sport, met with such excitement, predictions of greatness and overall media hype.

Comparisons to Michael Jordan were common.

Predictions of instant success with numerous NBA titles expected were talked about openly by almost everyone.

And of course, many millions of dollars flowed his way from endorsement deals even before he made one basket in an NBA game.

That level of hype has not faded since James won Rookie of the Year honors in the 2003-04 season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who of course thought James would soon bring an NBA title to the city.

Comparisons to Michael Jordan and that other heir-apparent, Kobe Bryant, continue.

In fact, one of the biggest marketing ploys was a continuing one that pitted Kobe vs. LeBron, playing on the belief that these were the two best players in the league, since Jordan's retirement.

Well, Kobe has kept up his end of that ploy as he truly has proved, on the court, and with titles, to be the NBA's most dominant athlete.

James, on the other hand, has been only the King of Hype.

Despite all his talents, his scoring, all the hope placed in him, James has yet to win where it counts the most in measuring greatness: In championships.  

Sure, he has come close a couple of times, in the NBA Finals against the San Antonio Spurs, when Tim Duncan and Tony Parker exposed him; and against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals last year.

But in that series many witnessed what some believe was a cardinal sin of any athlete: James throwing in the towel during a game and series.

Despite that, excuses and blame were distributed.

And James was still the King.

Maybe the problem was Cleveland and his supporting cast.

And so we were forced to participate in an almost year-long "will he or won't he" media spectacle about what would James do after last season with the Cavaliers.

For months there were reports of where James would go when his contract expired.

And finally, there was the unbelievably hyped spectacle of the ESPN show focused on the announcement of James big decision.

Never in sports had there been a prime-time show centered on such an announcement of one athlete— especially an athlete that had yet to do anything in terms of championships.

And it hasn't stopped since.

Now, the attention is on the Miami Heat and the new "Big Three," James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh; as if that other Big Three in Boston—the one that has actually done something—has retired or something.

And as expected, so far the hype has been greater than the reality.

The pattern surrounding James is so obvious by now.

LeBron James may someday win a championship.

No one doubts his talent.

But it is also clear that he will never live up to the press that surrounds him.

More likely than ending up as a King, he will be remembered for being another one of the many athletes like we see in a lot sports, who plays well enough to get respect but will be remembered as nothing more.

When it comes to James, the King truly is not wearing any clothes.