Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Decision

Yesterday, I overheard two students debating the Lebron James versus Kobe Bryant issue. Lebron is way better. C'mon Kobe played with a broken finger and still won!

Before "The Decision", I think this was a valid and worthwhile discussion.

However, since Lebron decided to "take [his] talents to South Beach," this argument has become a moot point. Critics - ESPN, ex-basketball players, barbershops - have dethroned The King and labeled him a second fiddle.
"The Miami Heat's cast of superheros -- or villains, depending on your point of view -- will not be led by King James. TNT's Reggie Miller said the Heat's star system is simple: "Dwyane Wade is the Derek Jeter here. LeBron James is the Alex Rodriguez. One of those guys will have to sacrifice, and it will have to be LeBron. This is still Dwyane's team." -- Reggie Miller (via Miami Herald)
LeBron James is willing to play second fiddle to Dwayne Wade who is possibly the best player on the team. It will remind us of that Jordan-Pippen duo of the Chicago Bulls dynasty that went on to win two three-peat NBA titles. Only this time, James is stepping back to play Pippen’s role.
I believe that James doesn't have the heart to be "the man." That killer instinct is not in him. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

The fans also spoke. An advertising firm looked at James' popularity since "The Decision." He was rated the 6th most disliked sports figure. While still a member of the Cavs, James one of the most liked sports figures in history ever.

Despite the backlash, I thought "The Decision" was past us. Training camp opened up. Miami is the favorite to win the East and challenge the Lakers in the Finals - a showdown The Association would die for.

But, then James decides to explain the backlash... "And why you want to go and do that love, huh?"

CNN correspondent Soledad O'Brien mentioned that James' brand and name were "tarnished" because of his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers in such a public fashion, and asked if race played a role in the backlash.

"I think so at times," James replied. "It's always, you know, a race factor."

-Courtesy Of The Huff Post

Woah...Slow down, now. "A race factor?" You know Charles Barkley had a response.
"The only criticism I've heard about LeBron, and it was my biggest criticism, that decision thing was just stupid. It was stupid...The second thing when they all came out there dancing around on stage, that was silly. That's the only thing I've heard LeBron get criticized about. That has nothing to do with race...It's like watching a movie. Just when you think it couldn't get any stupider, it gets more stupid."
- Charles Barkley
Here is another reaction.

You get a sense for who people are when stress, opposition, and criticism hit home, and I think that everyone who has followed this backlash now realizes that LeBron James isn't the person that we thought he was.

He isn't an evil guy, I still think that he is a nice dude.

But, LeBron has come off as immature, and rather selfish through the decision.

What are your opinions about Lebron James?