LeBron James: Were Tebow Tweets a Desperate Cry for Attention?

Josh SadlockCorrespondent IIIAugust 5, 2011

DALLAS, TX - JUNE 09:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat looks on against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Five of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Center on June 9, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  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 Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

If you have somehow managed to avoid hearing about the latest LeBron James controversy, let me welcome you out from under that rock you've been hiding, and back into the world of 24/7 sports coverage.

Here's a quick recap of what went down Wednesday.

After ESPN analyst Merril Hoge criticized Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow's accuracy and questioned whether the Broncos quarterback had the necessary skills to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. Then James lashed out at Hoge about his critique through Twitter.

James fired off two tweets. The first of which cited Tebow's leadership skills and desire to succeed.

"Tim Tebow will succeed in the NFL. He's a hard worker, a student of the game, a natural born leader and most of all a WINNER! It takes time and he'll be nice."

It is a good thing Lebron can recognize these traits in other athletes. That could come in handy next time Dwayne Wade needs some support in the NBA Finals.

James even went so far in his second tweet as to utilize the feature that allows Twitter users to go beyond 140 characters.

"Listened to Merril Hoge today on SC and he was just blasting Tebow. The man hasn't even play a full season and its only his 2nd year in. Guys get on that TV and act like they was all WORLD when they played. How bout encouraging him and wishing him the best instead of hating!!"

ENGLEWOOD, CO - JULY 28:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos throws a pass during training camp at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre at Dove Valley on July 28, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

It is hard to believe that James really cares this much about Tim Tebow. What this Twitter battle with Hoge screams of is a shameful attempt by James to shine a little bit of spotlight on himself.

He did the same thing after the Mavericks won the title, tweeting about the haters having to go back to their crappy ordinary lives. Last month, we got to relive The Decision on its one year anniversary.

Since that anniversary, we had gone almost a whole month without hearing anything on ESPN about "The Chosen One." There was not a peep about him going overseas to play during the lockout. There was not a word about him tearing up the summer circuit like Kevin Durant. That couldn't have sat well with Lebron James.

So, on Wednesday, he made his move, and we fell for it, hook, line and sinker. The media firestorm all but guarantees at least a solid two or three days of James coverage. He had to know the kind of reaction his tweets would generate and got the attention he wanted.

However there is a deeper message to be read from these tweets, and it has everything to do with LeBron's sensitive psyche.

Does LeBron really care if Merril Hoge supports Tim Tebow? Probably not. His tweets show an athlete at odds with the sporting press. Athletes have been criticized by journalists since they went from amateurs to highly paid professionals. Some can handle it but most cannot and LeBron James most certainly cannot.

As he continues to smart from the tongue lashings he received for his disappearing act in the NBA Finals, James needs to realize that doing things like what he did Wednesday only make it worse. The ones doing the "hating" are not the sports writers and ESPN reporters.

The haters are the ones at home watching, reading and living crappy, ordinary lives. No one wants to see a genuine good guy like Tim Tebow fail. Not so long ago, we felt the same way about James, the hometown hero of the Cleveland Cavaliers, showering him with attention. Then, he decided he wanted more fame, more glamor and more recognition.

Well, LeBron James, you got your attention and the haters are just gonna keep on hating.