LeBron James: A ‘King’ who burned himself with the Heat
Have you ever had a really tough decision to make? Maybe you just couldn’t decide what internship to take over the summer or even just what to eat for dinner tonight. Well, a man named LeBron James had a huge decision this summer, and as you all know, it is the most talked-about “decision” in recent basketball history. If you live under a rock, LeBron James, former member of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, was the most talked-about free agent in the history of the NBA. Teams had been waiting for this summer just because they had the chance to sign this talent that many have compared to the likes of Michael Jordan. Naturally, every team’s fans had been looking forward to it too.
People around the world watched as on July 8, the self-proclaimed “King James” held an hour-long special to announce “The Decision” on ESPN. The proceeds of this hour-long special went to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, but this was merely a shadow of what James really wanted to do. We all know that James can donate as much money as he wants to any charity he wants. So, why did he have this hour-long special? Twenty-nine minutes into the special, the king finally announced his decision. “I have decided that I will be bringing my talents to South Beach [Miami],” James said, and then the riots began.
The reactions to the decision were huge. All across Cleveland, James jerseys were being used as firewood for street-side bonfires. When reporters showed James the scene going on in Cleveland, he responded with one of the most shocking statements he could come up with. “I give them permission to be mad right now,” he stated. The reactions were not limited to Cleveland Cavaliers fans, however. All-time greats like Charles Barkley and Magic Johnson claimed that they would never have done what James did, labeling him a backstabber in the process.
Probably one of the best reactions to the decision came from Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Throughout James’ years in Cleveland, Gilbert was much maligned because it was thought that he pampered James, so much so that the star player had no respect for Gilbert as a person. After the decision, Gilbert released a statement, written in Comic Sans, proclaiming that the Cavs would win a championship before the Heat and insinuating that James is coward and a backstabber.
He also accused James of quitting during the playoffs, especially in the final games against the Boston Celtics. Although this letter is immature and purely irrational, Gilbert does have a point. Any NBA fan can tell you that James’ performance in games five and six of the Eastern Conference finals was lackluster, to be generous. We know now that he was just tanking the playoffs in order to end the season quickly, so he could move on to the free agency summer and start planning where he would go next.
One of James’ greatest goals has been to become a global icon as the best player in the NBA. He currently sports the number 6 on his jersey, which he recently changed from Jordan’s old number, 23. Lebron says he did this “out of respect” for the all-time great, but his plan is clear. He wants to make his number the new icon, the new number that everyone knows. However, as he plays on the Miami Heat, he will never achieve this. Choosing the Heat does allow him one of the best chances to win, but the Heat always won their championships with the team on their backs. James can basically just sit back and relax and be called upon when needed in Miami. The Heat will always be considered Dwyane Wade’s team, and nothing James does can change that.
So what is to come of this decision? Obviously, the Heat is in prime position to win the title. However, will the team be able to do it? Many players across the league say that this really is not a big deal, as the Heat only has three star players and no other impact players. The Heat will be playing with a target on its back all year round, especially the egotistical “king.” A date to circle on your calendar is Dec. 2, as that is when the Heat visits Cleveland for the first time since this summer. Expect tons of well-deserved ridiculing, heckling, and profanity from the fans in Cleveland.