As an avid fan of ‘Green and Gold Today’, I listen to the program almost every morning. And, usually, I find myself in agreement with Bill Johnson on most subjects. Maybe because we graduated from high school in the same year and have a similar mindset. Wait, that might be a scary thought. But I digress.

But I heard something this week with which I fundamentally disagreed. That the dislike for LeBron James is just the petty, jealous side of sports fans which can indeed sometimes occur.

For me (and I can’t think I’m alone in this), that is not true. In the interest of full disclosure, I used to be a Utah Jazz fan. Hey, I lived in Utah, I needed something to do, they were good. So I used to know the NBA, but for most of James’ career I have not not followed the sport much.

Of course, no one could ignore the hoopla around ‘The Decision’. LeBron was a free agent, the Cavaliers were attempting to re-sign him. Cleveland fans, of course wished devoutly that this would happen but James was being courted by many other teams, as would make sense given his talent.

When LeBron decided to do a program with ESPN to announce his decision, I was more than a little dubious as to the wisdom. One would think that this might imply he was staying with the Cavaliers, as it would have been more than a little cruel to build up a bunch of hoopla just to crush the hopes of a loyal fan base. But no….after all of that build up, he announced he was going to Miami. I follow a few Cavs fans on Twitter. They were every bit as devastated as Packer fans when Favre initially left, and especially when he signed with the Vikings. (I secretly (and now not so secretly) loved it when Dan Gilbert posted his response to this on the internet.)

To me, that in a nutshell, in one fell swoop, represents who LeBron James really is. I’ll give him credit for not being as disingenuous as Favre was about his defection, but still, the way in which he gave his notice was disrespectful to a fan base who had been terribly supportive of him. He rubbed it in.

Then he had his infamous struggles with actually winning a championship. He’d chosen to go to a place where if any combination of teammates was going to guarantee him the big prize, this was it. I admit, I smirked a bit as he failed to win a championship, it seemed like karma had fixed her sometimes steely gaze at another guy who went about leaving a team about as badly as one could.

Now, he’s won. I find it amazing the number of bandwagon fans Miami picked up along the way, incidentally.

So, was his method of leaving Cleveland a defining moment for him? I still think so. ESPN.com reported LeBron as saying “I’m happy now that eight years later, nine years later since I’ve been drafted, that I can finally say that I’m a champion, and I did it the right way,” James said. “I didn’t shortcut anything. You know, I put a lot of hard work and dedication in it, and hard work pays off. It’s a great moment for myself.”

He didn’t ‘take any shortcuts’ to get this Championship? The hell he didn’t. Even Brett Favre thought LeBron should have won this championship sooner. With Bosh and Wade, not to mention the other talent, they were seen as a lock from the day LBJ signed on the dotted line. They finally got it done.

I don’t care about which team wins the NBA Championship, other than having a deep and lasting sympathy for the people of Cleveland. It’s the lack of humility in situations that he has to know are sensitive ones for the fans who used to cheer for him that gets me. Yeah, we know you’re great, dude. Maybe it would be better if you simply let the fans recognize your superior ability and toned down the ego more than just a hair.

I’m not jealous, and I’m not petty. I just don’t like the guy. Period.

 

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  • Kevan

    I couldn’t stand the decision either, but I guess I got over it. I understand the jabs at LeBron’s character, but I pulled for him because 1. he is the best basketball player since Jordan’s retirement 2. the matchup with Durant was on the level of Magic-Bird and great for the NBA, and most importantly 3. I couldn’t stand another year of LeBron ring/choking jokes. So played. Say what you want about the guy, he had a triple double in the clinching game of the NBA Finals. He’s one of the best to ever play the game, and I absolutely love watching him.

    Also, I almost always hate finals rematches in consecutive years but I would love to see KD vs. LeBron again next year!

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