In 2002 LeBron James appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the headline dubbing him "The Chosen One." LeBron didn't choose the nickname, some staff writer threw it around during the writing of the article and the editors went with it. But, LeBron did choose to have it tattooed across his back.
It wasn't long before "The Chosen One" became King James and embraced the fame, fortune and hype that goes with being royalty. King James was branded on everything. We were then told to serve as "witnesses" to what LeBron was achieving as if his accomplishments on and off the court were somehow transcending athletics and resembling a spiritual experience.
So, I must confess that I'm not exactly feeling sorry for the King. I apologize that I am having trouble embracing both LeBron's ego off the court and his nonchalant shortcomings on it. Forgive me for being disgusted by one of his post-game quotations. Last night following yet another timid performance LeBron's pride was back.
The same arrogance that made him believe that "The Decision" was a good idea. The same cockiness that he showed at his preseason smoke and mirrors stunt of an introduction showed through again. The same LeBron who sees himself as The Chosen One, a King and something to be Witnessed finally showed through after a bleak Finals performance.
Following the game, LeBron James let us into the world of The King.
"At the end of the day, all the people that's rooting on me to fail, they gotta wake up to the same life they had before they woke up today. They got the same personal problems they had today. And I'm going to continue to live the way that I want to live, and continue to do the things that I want to do for me and my family to be happy with that."
While your living the same old life, take a break to let that one sink in for a moment before I break it down for you.
"At the end of the day, all the people that's rooting on me to fail, they gotta wake up to the same life they had before they woke up today."
At surface level this is at least the most logical thing that LeBron has to say here. Barring the prevalence of a series of "Freaky Friday"-like mishaps, all of the people rooting on The King to fail will continue to wake up to the same life they had the day before. But, I think LeBron is saying more here. I think what he's saying is, "Everybody who hates me lives a life that doesn't even compare to mine. Joke's on them."
"They got the same personal problems they had today."
This statement is losing a little ground as some progress with personal problems may be made on a day-to-day basis. However, yet again, LeBron is implying more than his words say. What The King really means is, "You civilians have those problems, day in and day out. The King doesn't."
"And I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live," This is where the King starts to lose it. Again, he's implying superiority but is James really living the way he wants to live? Did he really come to Miami to face daily scrutiny, take a pay cut and still come in second?
"And continue to do the things that I want to do for me and my family to be happy with that."
So, let me get this straight. LeBron and his family are happy with the results that he got? This is not only what he wants to do, but also what makes him and his family happy? Wasting his God-given abilities is what he is striving for?
Maybe LeBron is different from you and me after all. The things that I want to do don't involve me shying away from the moment and refusing to use my skills when my co-workers are depending on me. Does your family take great satisfaction in your defeats even when they know you are capable of better efforts? If this is really how LeBron feels than he has one sick sense of satisfaction. But, I don't think that is the case.
I think this is LeBron once again hiding behind his false sense of accomplishment and the ego that has accompanied him since he was in high school. Is it all his fault? Absolutely not; if you hear you're the best for long enough, I'm sure you start to believe it. But, the longer LeBron allows himself to believe that he is happy and the longer his friends, family and inner circle continue to feign happiness in an effort to appease the King the worse off he's going to be.
LeBron needs to be held accountable and he needs to be honest with himself. Only then will he actually do what needs to be done to improve himself and his team. He should start with an apology and then move to developing some low-post moves. So what do you think? Can he do what it takes to improve? Or Will LeBron also continue to wake up to the same problems he had yesterday?