Hate LeBron James, Not Chris Paul: Not Even Close to the Same Scenario

Gene ZarnickCorrespondent IJuly 27, 2010

It must be the LeBron effect because every single sports fan I know is up in arms over Chris Paul’s comments about wanting to take his talents to Disney World, the Big Apple, or any place else that can offer him a shot at an immediate title.

The negative reactions being flung towards Paul by fans are in one way humorous and one way hypocritical in my mind.

I think it’s funny the way fans are dealing with every contract negotiation or player demand now that LeBron’s decision was a debacle.  It’s as if he set a precedent now that no player is ever allowed to want to leave their team.

Is Chris Paul demanding a trade worse than what LeBron did? Not even close!

Come on everyone.  Let’s be serious here. 

Return some rational to the sports world and start looking at the whole picture instead of just listening to sports radio and regurgitating the overreaction to a scenario that we’ve seen a hundred times before.

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What LeBron did is make his hometown (I know Cleveland isn't Akron) fans believe that there was a legitimate chance he was going to stay.  He made other cities' fans have hope as well when there was no hope for them.  He turned a charity event for kids into a one-hour ego fest and he put himself above the game of basketball.

All Chris Paul did was actually be truthful to his situation and come out and say what he wants, even if his demands seem heinous to some.

There is so much hypocrisy to this situation that I can’t believe people are condemning him for his actions.

First of all, take a look at the owners.  Do we get all upset when an owner doesn’t honor their contract that they gave the player?

They can release players, trade players, bench players, and basically do whatever they want to the player. 

If a player gets released from his contract then fans aren’t getting upset at owners.

If a player is traded away to a team that he has no say over then we don’t point our finger at the owner and yell about how the player had a contract to play in that city for X amount of years.

No, we don’t care when the owners do it, we only care when the star players do it.

I can understand New Orleans Hornets fans being upset, but for everyone else, we shouldn’t care one bit.

How about when a college football or basketball coach from a mid-major gets the opportunity to seize a position in a power conference? 

Are we chastising the coach for making a move to a better team, a better program, and a much better situation for him and his family even if he had two years remaining on his contract to coach the mid-major program?

I just can’t understand the hate when the situation happens so often in every different sport.

For once a player wants a trade not because of money or contract demands, but because he wants to win and now he’s the worst guy in the NBA.

I’m sorry, but I’m not going to blast a player that sees more opportunity and more chance of winning in a different city, just because he was actually man enough to come out and say it.

The debate can wage on about if the Hornets are taking steps to improve, but I know if I’m at my job and I signed a contract and had two years remaining and I felt the employer wasn’t living up to expectations then I would try to take my talents to the best possible scenario.

I can’t blame Chris Paul for wanting to do the same.

Chris Paul is no LeBron James.  He may have the same agent whispering in his ear now and the same desire to play on a championship caliber team with a friend or two of his, but other than that the scenario is not even close.

As we saw at yesterday’s meeting, the power still lies in the owner’s hands no matter how many demands a player tries to make.

I just hope next year, when Chris Paul gets traded at the trade deadline for a player and a couple draft picks, that I see the same outcry against Hornets owners, George Shinn and Gary Chouest, for not living up to their end of the bargaining and having Chris Paul be a Hornet for his remaining two years.