He's not Michael Jordan, and he never will be. He is arrogant, cocky and smug. He turned his back on the city of Cleveland. He can't win without other super-stars. He fades in the fourth quarter and chokes under pressure. Is there a better way to sum up the horrible person that is LeBron James?
Not only is Miami losing to Dallas entirely LeBron's fault, but the upcoming expiration of the NBA's collective bargaining agreement is as well. Hell, you might as well blame Global Warming and the poor economy on James as well ... That sounds just a little bit delusional, right? Maybe slightly over the top? Well, that's because IT IS! Yet sadly, many, many people actually share those venomous opinions over LeBron James.
Never before has such a transcendent athlete been so hated, mocked and blamed for seemingly everything he does. And as expected, the flock of ignorant, mouth-breathing Monday morning quarterbacks are blaming everything that happened in the 2011 Finals on LeBron.
Forget that basketball is played five on five; forget that LeBron virtually carried the Heat on his back in the Boston and Chicago series (Remember Wade disappearing? ... Of course you don't). None of that matters to a LeBron hater--he is an arrogant choke artist that not only will never win a championship--but doesn't deserve one.
So, why is he so badly hated? Perhaps it's a little bit of racial coding--I'm sure that a lot of older white males don't like seeing a 26 year old, tattooed black athlete succeed. Or maybe it's because his supporters un-justly compare him to Jordan--I'm pretty sure LeBron never said "I am better than MJ." Whatever it is, here are the facts that I can gather:
Popular Opinion: : LeBron hates the city and fans of Cleveland ... Fact: LeBron left a team whose management failed him by refusing to surround him with even one all-star level player (seriously, don't even mention the name Mo Williams). Shaq did the same exact thing fifteen years ago (that ended up working out alright for him).
Put it this way--if you were a talented doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc and weren't under contract, would you want to work with unskilled co-workers in Ohio or skilled workers on South Beach? Hmm...
Popular Opinion: LeBron is an arrogant, self-centered jerk ... Fact: LeBron never gave himself the title "King James" and he doesn't make the news for breaking the law, drinking, gambling or cheating on his girlfriend (can the same be said for Jordan, Kobe or Magic?) Didn't think so.
Popular Opinion: LeBron chokes ... Fact: Ok, I'll admit it, he did seem hesitant in the fourth quarter several times in the Finals. But do you remember the nickname "Tragic Johnson" for Magic? And what was the opinion on Dirk before this year? How about "the logo" Jerry West going 1-8 in Finals appearances? Even some of the greatest players the game has seen didn't experience playoff success immediately.
Popular Opinion: LeBron had to team with other stars to win a Championship--and didn't ... Fact #1: Jordan had Pippen; Bird had McHale and Parrish; Magic had Kareem and Worthy; Kobe had Shaq. The point, quite simply, is no one can do it alone ... Fact #2: He's only 26 years old--he could win seven championships for all we know.
In fact, let me make a quick comparison.
LeBron at age 26: 2 MVPs, 2 Finals appearances, 24 PPG, 7 RPG, 7 RPG, 48% FG
Jordan at age 26: 1 MVP, 0 Finals appearances, 29 PPG, 6 RPG, 5 APG, 52% FG
I'm NOT even trying to make the comparison because the players are different; and I'm NOT saying LeBron is or will be better that Jordan. I'm just trying to put things into perspective and remind everyone that he man is still only 26 years old and has dealt with enormous pressure since being labeled the chosen one when he was fifteen. No one has had to deal with pressure of that magnitude--and he has dealt with it with the utmost class--constantly subject to criticism and hate.
Stop blaming all of the world's problems on LeBron James. He is human--and a seemingly decent one at that. I don't know if it will be next year, or the year after--but LeBron will win a Championship, and will likely follow that with a few more. What will you all say then?!