Down with the King: Top 10 Reasons Why We Hate LeBron James
For some of us, it may have started while he was still in Cleveland. For the rest of us, it may have developed during the summer of 2010.
Anyway, in light of LeBron's recent efforts (if you can call it that) in the NBA Finals--I have decided to take my talents to this slideshow and attempt to rank the top 10 reasons why the vast majority of basketball fans hate"The King."
(Although this may come off as an angry fan rant, just seriously consider the points. By no means was this article composed to tarnish LeBron's reputation, but just to highlight why many fans regard him as the league's top villain.)
10. He Is the Self-Proclaimed King
LeBron committed a cardinal sin before he even stepped on an NBA court...he gave himself a nickname.
Yes, he was a huge deal at the time. And yes, he was the next big thing hitting not only the NBA, but professional sports.
But, to quote Uncle Ben from Spider-Man, with great power comes great responsibility. Although he was fresh out of high school, LeBron should have realized that he shouldn't be petting his own ego.
Crowning himself "King James" was actually contradictory to his philosophy with the Miami Heat this year.
The Heat took a "shut them up (critics) with your play" approach. So earn a nickname with your play, not your mouth.
9. Pre-Game Routine
Not only did LeBron base his pre-game routine on Kevin Garnett's, but he makes himself look like a five-year-old child playing with his mother's Johnson & Johnson powder.
It is necessary? No.
Does it improve his game? No.
So why does he do it?
Because with LeBron, it's all about being a show. With LeBron, it's all about being flashy and ostentatious.
And to prove my point, take a look at his comments regarding the powder toss before this year's playoff series against Boston. He stated he wouldn't go through with his usual pre-game routine because he "wants to be more focused on the task at hand."
So he's either telling us his attention span is so tiny that a five-second routine of throwing powder will throw off his game or he's saying the powder gig is just for show. I think I'll go with the latter.
It's stupid, it's unnecessary and it's a bit old now.
8. ESPN Coverage
If anyone still watches SportsCenter they realize it is cut down into segments. 30% is devoted to highlights, 45% is devoted to Brett Favre, and the last 25% is given to LeBron.
But with Favre "retired", where is the other 45% going? I know, pick me, I know the answer...LeBron and the Heat.
It seems like the only segments SportsCenter airs involves the Heat and Rachel Nichols.
Isn't anyone else sick of it? ESPN should just rename itself JAMESPN. (Get it? A hybrid of James and ESPN.)
And not only are ESPN viewers subject to at least two segments of LeBron and the Heat every SportsCenter, but they had their own tab on the "Bottomline"--where scores are displayed.
Even though the tab would come up as "NBA" and even though there were 10 other games going on at the same time, ESPN would just show the Miami Heat score and move on to the next sport. Really?
But wait, there's more. Haven't you ever noticed that LeBron's plays are always overrated on the "Top Ten Plays" reel? Just because he is LeBron James, his plays are automatically better.
If a guy like Al Thornton produces a play that is exactly the same as LeBron's, LeBron will always be ranked higher in the countdown because of who he is. Don't believe me? Then watch any episode of SportsCenter.
Finally, James still receives more airtime than the Mavericks despite the Mavs' Finals victory. The minds at Bristol make it seem as if the Heat lost the Finals, not that the Mavs won it.
7. Zero Clutch Factor
To mention LeBron in the same breath as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant has now become a sin.
Being that James has proven, time and time again, that he simply can't close out games makes it is difficult to regard him as one of the best ever to play the game.
Throughout these NBA Finals, LeBron has continuously passed up open shots, clanked late field-goal attempts, and eventually refused to rebound or play defense in the fourth quarter.
I will take note of his 2007 Eastern Conference Finals game where he scored Cleveland's last 25 points in a double-overtime victory.
But that seems to be it for him. Can you really remember a moment where LeBron carried his team to a meaningful victory?
6. His Backhanded Comments
Over his eight-year career in the NBA, LeBron has produced a bagful of questionable comments.
Whether it is about how great he thinks he is or how important he thinks he is, James has constantly putting his foot in his own mouth.
However, one comment has just jumped them all:
"All the people that was rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today."
"They have the same personal problems they had today. I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that.
"They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal, but they have to get back to the real world at some point."
This statement was made by James fresh off the Game 6 loss to Dallas and shouldn't be mistaken for anything less than a blatant shot at NBA fans. He clearly spoke his mind and put himself above, for lack of a better term, "average" person.
At the end of the day, as LeBron is so fond of saying, he continues to handle his statements extremely poorly and has now decided to go after the fans.
5. Jordan Comparisons
This one doesn't even have to be explained...so I'll be brief.
Six rings to zero.
(And for Scottie Pippen and the rest of you who argue LeBron is a better defensive player than Jordan, riddle me this. Which of the two actually has a Defensive Player of the Year award?)
4. Disrespect for the Game
Yet another point that doesn't need arguing. Just watch the video...
He is dancing on the baseline as the game is going on! Not even in the timeout, as the game is in progress.
Then he has the gall to approach Joakim Noah like he is doing something wrong? Are you kidding me?
Noah is trying to stand up for his team who is being blatantly disrespecting by dancing players. I don't care if they're having fun, I've never seen Kobe or MJ dance around in circles as the game is going on.
It's also a funny thing how LeBron references a fine line regarding disrespect in the beginning of the video. So what's more disrespectful? Sticking up for your team or constantly dancing during a blowout?
In addition to his dancing outbreak, James also took a shot at Dirk Nowitzki during the NBA Finals by faking a cough.
It's really difficult to understand why LeBron made fun of Dirk after LeBron dropped a measly eight points in a loss.
3. Giving Up on Cleveland
Hey Cleveland, does any of this sound familiar?
"I got a goal, and it's a huge goal, and that's to bring an NBA championship here to Cleveland, and I won't stop until I get it."
If you make that kind of promise to a miserable sports city that hasn't seen a championship since 1964 from the Browns, you have to stick by it. And did LeBron stick by it and fulfill this promise? You guessed it, no.
In perhaps his most disappointing playoff performance in his career, James completely mailed it in against the Boston Celtics. In the last three games of 2010 Eastern Conference Finals, James shot a miserable 33.9 percent from the field, averaged just 21.3 points, and committed 19 turnovers.
Coincidentally, the Cavs lost all three of those games to Boston.
He looked as if he didn't want to play and it translated into his poor performance. James had finally decided to put away with all the pressure, played a weak series, and probably knew, at that exact moment where he was walking off the court, which team he was going to that summer.
Whoa, this is pretty tiring. And since this category has multiple points, I'll just bullet point the ideas.
- He couldn't handle being "the man" for the Cavaliers, so he left to join two other superstars. This allows the media and his critics to lighten any blame on him, since he isn't the guy.
- Above is the infamous tape where LeBron was dunked on by Jordan Crawford. Crawford, then a collegiate player, dunks on/past/near LeBron during a pickup game at James' camp. So instead of allowing the tape to be released, James and Nike kept the video under wraps. He wasn't man enough to have the world see him in such an embarrassing and vulnerable moment.
- James simply shut down in every fourth quarter of the 2011 NBA Finals. It seemed as if the pressure of carrying his team to victory was simply too overwhelming for him. So instead of lightening the scoring onus on Dwyane Wade, LeBron was about as useful as a poopy-flavored lollipop in crunch time. (Yes, I took that joke from Patches O'Houlihan of Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.)
1. "The Decision"
Yup, you knew this was coming.
So where shall we begin?
Let's go with his carelessness for Cleveland for starters...
Since his first game on the court to his very last, the people of Cleveland and the fans of the Cavaliers put everything into this man's hands. In fact, they put him on an undeserving pedestal for his entire career. They loved him, they rooted him on, and they treated him like the second coming of Jesus.
And how does he tell them he's leaving? On a ridiculous, too say the least, one-hour show on ESPN. He took his "talents to South Beach" and pressed a knife into the back of the city of Cleveland on national television.
Though his decision dented his legacy, he was completely within his rights as a free agent to sign with any team he desired. However, you do not go on a 60-minute show devoted to your "greatness" and shove it down the throats of your once loyal Cavs fans.
He concocted this entire circus show for one reason only...to feed his constantly growing ego.
Now for the second part...the children in the program.
Are we supposed to think putting children in the background of "The Decision" and donating all proceeds to the Boys & Girls Club as an admirable gesture. Well guess what, it wasn't.
Throwing kids behind you will not hide the fact that you are self-centered. And donating all the cash made in a Greenwich, Connecticut facility was another insurance policy for his public image. It's Greenwich! They don't need money!
The only thing LeBron should have donated was his shirt to a picnic table.