LeBron James is not a clutch player. He will never be as good as Michael or Magic. He left his city high and dry without any trace of remorse at the time. He values his high school friends opinion more then his coaches and management. He’s proclaimed as the king but has just as many championship crowns as myself. With that said, LeBron James deserves a break from all the bashing.
We are talking about the most physically gifted player in basketball history. He’s attained 2 consecutive MVP awards, an Olympic gold medal, and made the Cleveland Cavaliers a relevant franchise again. He was the most hyped prep athlete in history, and proceeded to back up the praise. To top it off, the young man has never had any issues with the law. In the world of professional sports, especially the NBA, that is something to brag about. So this begs the question, Why all the scrutiny and hate?
The problem is that LeBron has been built up by the same media machine that is now tearing him down. When he started his career, all the talk surrounding him was positive. He was heralded as the next Michael Jordan, and the successor to Kobe Bryant’s throne. The general rule of thumb for superstar athletes is to be loved just as long as they win something relevant within three to five years. If they fail to do so there labeled as underachievers and overrated. Are you listening to this Kevin Durant? As soon as LeBron failed to get past Boston and crumbled under enormous expectations, he was deemed a choke artist. The critics seemed to overlook his inadequate supporting cast, and the Cavaliers lack of creativity on offense. Both of these items were out of his control, and had nothing to do with his own abilities.
Without a doubt, the event that turned public support into hatred was the ill conceived decision. Cleveland was crushed, jerseys were burned, and the leagues best player was seen as someone looking for a shortcut. The fact that he was a free agent, took less money, and went for the best chance to win was irrelevant. James and his handlers tried to pawn the event off as a charity event instead of another glaring self promotion extravaganza. When Miami failed to win the title this year, it was a joyous moment for the basketball world. Once again, James gave his critics another opportunity to question his legacy and mental toughness.
LeBron James has been under the microscope for a decade, and has handled the pressure about as well as can be expected. With only a few small missteps, he’s still on his way to becoming one of the all time greats. We are all witnesses to one of the finest athletes in sports history. So the next time your friends are rejoicing at another Miami playoff disappointment, hopefully this will provide a little more perspective. The LeBron James story is only beginning. You can all now go back to the same life and problems you had before you read this.