He's LeBron James. His name is known worldwide.
However, his name is associated with negative comments almost all the time. And for good reason. There are plenty of reasons to hate LeBron. But that doesn't mean there's no reason to like him.
This article is an attempt to balance the opinion on LeBron's legacy in the sports world.
There's no doubt that LeBron is the best Cavalier of all time.
He was the first Cavalier to ever win the MVP and Rookie of the Year award. He set the franchise record for double doubles in a playoff season, and took the Cavs to the NBA Finals for the first time in history.
Maybe it's time to accept that despite everything that's happened, those were a great seven years for the city of Cleveland.
This is where most of the negativity comes from. Leaving the Cavs and the city of Cleveland completely distraught.
But to me and many other people, it's not just the fact that he left. It's the way he left. Signs and billboards were all over Cleveland, t-shirts were made, practically begging LeBron to stay.
Then he goes live on ESPN, with the whole country watching him, and tells all his fans that he has decided to "take his talents to South Beach."
The rest is history.
December 2, 2010. The well publicized return to Cleveland. LeBron came out to one of the most hostile crowds ever seen in the NBA. Every time LeBron received the ball, the arena roared with boos.
LeBron seemed to be unaffected by it. In my opinion, he handled it like a real pro. You couldn't tell by looking at his face, but he brought his killer instinct that game, and dropped 38 points in a 118-90 blowout.
The arena was silenced by the second half. It was a memorable game, and LeBron showed maturity during it.
When Scottie Pippen said that LeBron "may be the greatest player to ever play the game", many people, including myself, were in shock that Pippen, a teammate of Michael Jordan's for over ten years, would say that.
It's pretty clear that MJ is the best of all time, and it was proven after the 2011 NBA Finals.
LeBron performed so poorly in the 4th quarter that it caused the Heat to lose the series. Not only did he miss shots, he barely shot the ball.
Not only is his clutch factor overrated, his mid range shot and shot selection is questionable. LeBron simply relies on his athleticism and strength to drive into the lane. And he has no championship rings.
Not so impressive for someone who's supposed to be the greatest player of all time.
We all remember the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals, I hope. Just in case you don't, I'll remind you.
LeBron came to Detroit, and dropped 48 points on 55% shooting, along with 9 rebounds and 7 assist. He scored 29 of Clevelands last 30 points, including all of their 25 overtime points. Truly one of the most dominant performances in basketball history.
LeBron is one of the most exciting player of all time, because of his awesome combination of speed and strength, and his tremendous athleticism.
LeBron is also one of the best dunkers in the NBA, and a triple- double threat almost every night.
Now if LeBron wants to protect those pearly whites of his, I have no problem with that. But can he please stop chewing on that thing all time time? It's annoying.
And I hate that stupid, cocky smile on his face that he gets whenever he dunks the ball after an obvious travel and I have to look at that thing again.
It's like a reflection of his own personality. Annoying, irresolute, and fitful.
LeBron is no saint, but he's not a complete jerk. He didn't exactly grow up with an easy life. He was raised by a 16 year old mother after his father left them, and grew up to be a success.
"At the end of the day we're talking about human rights. And people should understand that human rights and people's lives are in jeopardy. We're not talking about contracts here. We're not talking about money. We're talking about people's lives being lost and that means a lot more to me than some money or a contract."
Like I said, he's no saint, but he's no devil either.
Michael Jordan once said, "I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed."
If there's anyone you should look up to as an athlete, it's MJ. LeBron obviously doesn't, because he can't take a loss.
In 2009, after being knocked out of the playoffs by the Orlando Magic, LeBron walked off the court without shaking his opponents hands. He later said,
"It's hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them, I'm a winner. It's not being a poor sport or anything like that. If somebody beats you up, you're not going to congratulate them. ... I'm a competitor. That's what I do. It doesn't make sense for me to go over and shake somebody's hand."
It was a poor excuse for his immaturity. It's one of the most arrogant acts in all of sports to not shake your opponents hands.
LeBron has even called a reporter "retarded."