How does one man go from being one of the most loved athletes to THE most hated athlete in less time than it takes to make a lay-up? LeBron James is in a class by himself.
Before I continue I also want to make clear that neither is this written by a LeBron James fan per se, nor is it written by a Heat fan or even a guy from Ohio.
It isn’t written by one of his lifelong friends or by someone who might have played basketball with him or against him; this is by a guy who loves sports, who loves the passion a matchup can bring. Hate is part of the game.
I hate certain teams in sports as well as players, but outside the game, I look past that. Rivalries happen, but the hatred thrown at LeBron James is unnecessary. Hateful and racist remarks, such as calling a James a ***** show the low class and education of some.
First off, how many times have we heard people say that athletes are only in it for the money? How many times have we heard that athletes are not in it to win anymore? Countless. Well, LeBron changed all that.
Remember this, he took millions of dollars LESS, not more, but LESS, to play with Miami. He felt that Miami gave him the best opportunity to win an NBA Championship.
No, LeBron will never be Jordan…and that is because LeBron is in a class of his own. Just as Kobe is, and Jordan was.
Jordan would have also left Chicago eventually, if he felt he couldn’t win with his team. The problem was, the Bulls also had players.
If there is a notion out there that Jordan would have stayed for his career in Chicago if he wasn’t winning, it is wrong. Jordan had a drive to win, a drive so deep he played with it night in and night out. He would have done whatever it took to win.
That being said, a championship isn’t won with one player. The best season in NBA history, the 72-10 Chicago Bulls not only had Jordan, but they also had Scottie Pippen, arguably one of the best in the game at the time.
Remember Steve Kerr, one of the best ever to shoot the three? He was also on the team. How about Dennis Rodman, the best defender and rebounder at the time?
Now look at Kobe Bryant, who has never won without a quality supporting cast either. Anyone remember Shaq, Gasol, Odom and Bynum, all players in which played with Kobe in order to win?
Then the Lakers had one year where they combined Malone and Payton with Kobe, and there was no backlash for legends getting together to hopefully win. Now that didn’t happen, but they tried.
How about the Boston Celtics who, a few years back, signed Kevin Garnett to combine with Ray Allen and Paul Pierce to win a championship?
Garnett was in Minnesota for 12 years, way longer than LeBron James was with the Cavaliers, and yet he did not get near as much negative attention as James has.
What the hell is the difference with all those teams and with the Heat this year?
Except that this team for some reason is the most hated and cheered against team I have ever seen. James is in a class by himself. He is 25 and has seven years of NBA basketball under him.
His ability to score and get to the basket is unmatched. His will is frightening. His work ethic is impenetrable. The love he shows for the game and his fans is without comparison. Now all there is left is to see how he treats the hate he has received.
James may not be the best ever…but with that said, Jordan may also not be the best ever.
All in all, good luck in Miami, King James. You have some true fans out there and I hope you forget about the image you’ve “tarnished.” True lovers of the game know your real image.
And for one final time, LeBron James, or LBJ, or King James, is in a class….by himself.