The LeBron James Situation
Since every single person on earth has some kind of opinion on this LeBron James spectacle, I figured I might as well throw my thoughts out there. I’m sitting here watching him ham it up with Wade and Bosh on SportsCenter, which has to make most true basketball fans sick. I really don’t think that James has considerded the implications of what he’s done. With one press-conference, he’s single-handedly galvanized a pretty good majority of the country against him. Sure, they’ll love him in Miami, but from what I can gather the consensus amongst basketball fans seems to be that he’s a traitor.
I don’t think that James should be criticized for leaving Cleveland so much as he should be criticized for the way he went about leaving it. To hijakck an entire television network the way he did, keep his team up in the air, and then hold a one-hour press-conference telling them he’s leaving, speaks of an unbelievable level of arrogance. I don’t blame LeBron for leaving, though. If you have a chance to play with Dwayne Wade, and possibly win multiple championships, well, that’s a chance that many players would have taken.
The weird thing in all this is that LeBron is one of the most image-conscious athletes of recent-memory. This is a guy who will do anything to grab a headline or two, like when he announced that he would consider playing basketball in Europe to improve his status as a global icon. He’s also talked about becoming a billionaire. He does those horrendous puppet commericals. The man will do anything he can to become the most famous person in the world. Yet despite being so cognizant of how he is portrayed, he goes out and does something that will, in my opinion, have a hugely negative impact on how he is perceived, both in the United States and around the world. People dont like quitters and by leaving Cleveland LeBron quit on his team, his town, and the people who cheered him on for seven years.
So the question remains: will the Heat be any good next year? It’s hard to say without knowing what the rest of their roster will look like, but let’s be honest: they could fill out their roster with my men’s league team and still probably win 40 games. Still, I’m predicting a second-round exit this year. I think there are going to be a lot of problems in terms of sharing the ball. LeBron, for instance, has never not been the best player on his team. The sun has rotated around him for years. In Cleveland, every part of their offense ran through him. Same thing for Dwayne Wade. So to expect these two guys to just seamlessly come together and for their not to be any issues, particularly in late-game situations with the game on the line, is unrealistic.
One thing is for sure: there is going to be a ton of hate directed towards LeBron this year, much more so than anything he’s experienced. We’ll see how he handles it.