Since July 7, 2010, LeBron James has been perhaps the most scrutinized athlete of all-time. As soon as the conclusion of James’ ill-conceived “The Decision” was reached, articles, blog posts, status updates, and tweets circulated, disparaging James, calling him everything from a quitter to a sidekick for teaming up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to form a brash and uber-talented, albeit unaccomplished triumvirate of hoop stars.
The others were out in full force, early. “Michael Jordan didn’t need to leave” Yeah…the Bulls were just bad enough early in his career to draft pretty high and surround him with a good supporting cast, namely Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant. “Magic and Larry wanted to beat each other, not join each other” Well, that’s true, but didn’t Magic and Larry kind of get the Derek Jeter luck? You know, drafted into a dynasty? The C’s went from 29 wins to 61 in Bird’s rookie year, and then acquired two future Hall of Famers, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish, following his rookie season. “But the way he left Cleveland!” So? He was a free agent at the time of “The Decision”. Since when are free agents obligated legally or morally to inform their previous team of future plans? Also, the Cavs were never LeBron’s team for two pretty big reasons: 1) He’s from Akron, not Cleveland. 2) Never in his life was LeBron a Cavs fan. Make other points, please.
LeBron James is the best player on the Miami Heat. By far. Yeah, I said it. Yes, Bosh is an elite player. Wade is as well, but neither are capable of doing what LBJ can on the floor. There is only one player in the league who’s a triple-double threat every night, and that player is LeBron James. I’m not talking about Jason Kidd triple-doubles of 11 pts, 10 reb, 12 ast. The game 6 that LeBron “quit” in last year? 27 pts, 19 reb, 10 ast. LeBron put up that line in a game that he supposedly quit in. Scared yet? Exactly.
The word “beast” is thrown around so often by sports fans and commentators nowadays that it seems to have lost all meaning. That is the case unless you’re referring to LeBron James. A 6’8″, 240-270-lb (yes, I’ve heard he weighs 270, which is absolutely frightening that a 270-lb man can move that fast and quickly) physical specimen of a point forward with extraordinary skills is not something you see every decade. Instead of sitting back and watching a guy who could one day be the greatest basketball player of all-time–statistically speaking–many of us choose to nitpick and throws barbs his way anytime we get the chance.
LeBron didn’t choose the Bulls. Or Knicks. Or Clippers, Nets, or Timberwolves. He signed with a franchise with a short team history. He signed with a franchise that employs one of his best friends. He’s no longer option 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, and that infuriates a lot of people who have wanted nothing more than for him to fall short of the multiple comparisons to Michael Jordan. He left blue-collar, ever-suffering Cleveland for all of the glitz, glamor, and fair-weatherness that is South Beach. The thing is, people knew that LeBron staying in Cleveland meant he would most likely never win a title. LBJ’s anti-stans rejoiced after every defeat during those days. Now, they’re scared. They’re scared because LBJ seems to be extremely motivated and finally has a somewhat worthy supporting cast, even outside of Wade and Bosh.
I predict a Heat title, in 6 games, with Mr. James as the NBA Finals MVP. I won’t cheer when it’s over, but I will acknowledge soon after that LeBron has surpassed Kobe Bryant as the world’s best basketball player. Then I will come to the realization that LeBron isn’t quite in his prime yet, and that he will only get better. I may cry after that, or pen a letter to the Bulls front office pleading with them to trade for Magic C Dwight Howard.
Whatever happens over the next 2, 2 1/2 weeks, keep cheering, members of the LeBron James Fan Club. The others are just jealous.
Luol Deng should wear an “I Am A Witness” t-shirt in commemoration of the abuse he received at the hands of LeBron James.