LeBron James hatred...explanations, please?

So let me get this straight…

LeBron James is a horrible, horrible traitor, in fact the moral equivalent of That Guy, because he’s a superstar who left the team he started with. And the reason I didn’t hear about this with Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Shaquille O’Neal et al is that…they didn’t have as much control over their destiny. Or weren’t that awesome. Or something. And it was incredibly stupid to leave the Cavaliers because they were on the verge of a long, glorious dynasty, and hey, Cleveland is always a great place to be*.

Oh, and there was that one-hour special. Truly a crass act of overweening arrogance illustrating just how off the deep end he has gone. Which was a one-time deal planned well in advance, an eyeblink compared to the months and months of hype preceding it, and hosted by a network with a long, long history of overhyped spectacles.

The crux of the matter, of course, is that he should have gone to Chicago. Or Detroit. Or was it New York? Well, anyway, Miami was completely the wrong place to go because…well, it’s Miami. So a huge number of fans hate him now, which 1. matters and 2. would not have happened at all if he signed with Chicago/wherever.

But the worst part is that a true superstar wins the title all by himself, y’know, like Michael Jordan**, and I’ve said my piece on how he didn’t reeeally win it all by himself enough times, but that doesn’t excuse James, right? It’s disgusting to go to a team with two capable teammates and actually surrender the starring role to one of them, because everyone knows being with star teammates encourages laziness. Oh, and it’s incredibly selfish to be part of a team and let someone else bask in the spotlight.

No, no, I’m overthinking this. It’s really very simple: An NBA player has to make the right choices. The right choices being determined by (in no particular order) popularity, wealth, and the chances of winning a title. And since no one franchise is going to be the best in all three, well…loyalty! That’s the ticket. And failing that, Chicago! But the bottom line is that there is one definite best choice. Or maybe two, in this case. Which James should have known because…uh…well, he’s had so much time, how could he not know?

And finally, a sports owner going off on an insane tirade and making idiotic predictions*** is not the least bit pathetic, embarrassing, or worthy of ridicule. Nor is Cavaliers fans burning expensive replica jerseys that they already paid for.

And hey, if all else fails, jump on the Lakers bandwagon! Nothing at all wrong about that! (Any more than jumping on the UCLA bandwagon**** whenever the subject of the Duke Blue Devils comes up!)

Guys, Mortal Kombat isn’t this bad. I’m gonna need some help here.

  • Seriously, a whole nation mourned the fate of the Cleveland Cavaliers. I am shocked to the core by this. The huge upsurge in interest in the World Cup after yet another frickin’ 2nd round exit wasn’t as much of a bombshell.

** Has anyone considered the possibility that James knows damn well that a massive percentage of the NBA fanbase will consider Jordan the absolute 100% most awesomely greatest player in history who did everything by himself forever and ever and ever, and nobody’s ever going to take this crown, so why waste the effort? I know that if I ever got into cycling, the last person in the world I’d ever want to be compared to is Lance Armstrong. Or Floyd Landis. But mostly Armstrong.

*** When he puts two million bucks on it, I’ll respect his bravado. Until then, whatever, wimp.

**** Or Kentucky. Yeah, they’re pretty good too. So I’ve heard.

It’s really simple, and we’ve been over this quite often. It’s not that he left, but the way he left. He just avoided the team for a while, prepared a special talking not about how grateful he was to the team, but how great he was, and how great it was that he was moving. And to top that off, he doesn’t even tell them he is leaving until an hour before he does the special. It’s quite clearly a way to say “Fuck you guys! I’m leaving.” And of course people are going to be upset about that.

You seem to make it sound like it’s not a big deal. Did any of your other guys do that? No? Once you’ve said fuck you to the fans, that’s when all the other crap comes out. That’s when they thing they have the right to tell you that your other decisions are crap. And it makes them suspect his motives are not so pure in the first place. If they were, why didn’t he just articulate them?

You’ve got to realize that people rarely talk about solely what made them mad. Little things that wouldn’t matter before now do.

I loved LeBron James. I’m not even very much of a basketball fan, but damn, that motherfucker can play; and he’s got charisma; and presence; and showmanship.

Then he booked an hour special on TeeVee so he could utter once sentence. And that sentence: “I’ve decided to take my talents to South Beach.”

Take your talents and shove them up your charismatic ass. You’ve turned into a typical big-headed celebrity empty jersey. It’s only a matter of time before he starts referring to himself in the third person exclusively.
I’m so glad I hate basketball.

I am not an NBA fan, but I’ll give you my perspective, since I did consider myself a LeBron James fan, and I no longer do.

These are my own opinions, and I’m not a Cavalier fan.

The only team he should have played for is Cleveland. There are so many reasons why this made sense to me, and yet, he took an easy way out to (try to) get his rings.

The NBA is not like the MLB. Smaller market teams can sign their stars to max contracts, and they are given a significant amount of money over the cap to keep their stars at home. Cleveland had every right to want to keep their hometown hero to stay and play for their team. The Cavs offered him as much money as they were permitted to, so it wasn’t that the Cavs weren’t willing to pay.

Chicago wasn’t an option because Jordan will always be THE basketball God there, regardless of what James may have been able to do there. There are only two teams in the NBA that have histories long enough to take superstars and they can add to the history. LA and Boston. That’s it. Chicago was nothing before Jordan and they haven’t done anything since Jordan. That destination made no sense.

NY made no sense for so many reasons. The biggest one is that’s the most dysfunctional franchises in the NBA in the last 30 years. Why go there?

None of the other possibilities are worth talking about. Which brings us to Miami. Why go to Miami? The only reason is to win a ring. I have no problem with a player wanting a ring, but he should have wanted to win a ring for his hometown team. He’s going to Dwayne Wade’s team, and it will always be Wade’s team. Which makes me wonder if James actually believes he can be the number one guy. Jordan was a number one. Jordan could will his team to win by himself. James clearly has not been able to do that.

I’m also one of those people who like to see a player stay with the same team throughout his career. Part of my reasoning for this is that a team like Cleveland rarely gets a chance to have a Lebron James. When Pittsburgh drafted Mario Lemieux, it was the beginning of a Stanley Cup run I dreamed of my whole life. He could have gone to greener pastures, but he stayed. And he’s a God in Pittsburgh because of it. And Mario didn’t have the advantage of taking the biggest contract in the league. I think Cavs fans deserved that. In a place like Cleveland, it may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to be at the top of the NBA mountain for a few years.

The NBA also is a league where you can be in Cleveland and make a ton of money. You are a global icon. NYC isn’t necessary. LA isn’t necessary. He would be making as much money as possible in the NBA in Cleveland, a city that loved him and wanted to watch him win a championship there. It’s a huge loss for the fans. It’s like a death. He can’t be replaced.

From a rational standpoint, he had the right to do anything he wanted. So he did. But from an emotional standpoint, I can understand why Cleveland hates him, as well as people like me, who (although I don’t hate him), are very disappointed he didn’t stay. And let’s not forget the way he left. That bloated, ego-stroking King James jerk off on ESPN. Embarrassing is all I can say. Jim Grey might as well have been a monkey to LeBron’s organ grinding. It was a pathetic display of 3rd person egotistical bullshit that turned me off completely.

I won’t be rooting for him, and I won’t be rooting for Miami to win a championship. I hope LeBron walks away from the game with no rings.

Because he didn’t personally approach the owner of his team of seven years, or any member of that team, or any employee of the team, to say that he was leaving. Instead, he booked an hour-long prime-time special to inform them, shocking those millions of people who were hoping he would continue to play for their team, represent their home, contribute to their region’s tenuous financial stability.

People who have held parades for him, grandmothers who have formed clubs to support him, little kids who wear his name to school. He could have thanked them for their incredible support and praised the city of Cleveland for its steadfast embrace of him since his early teens.

He never said a word of acknowledgement. He talked about HIS talents and HIS future and the championships HE will win.

He burned every bridge in Cleveland from Hope Memorial to the Superior Viaduct.

Fuck him.

I have a soft spot for the heel. I may have to get a LeBron shirt and hope they lose in the conference finals to the Pistons.

Good use of local landmarks, but those two bridges are only about 1/2 mile apart. James’ perfidy is worse than that! I’d have referenced the Main Avenue Bridge to the I-480 Valley View bridge. :wink:

I love my sports as much as anybody but let’s not kid ourselves,
these are highly talented performers performing for large sums of cash.
Nobody’s out there doing it for the love of the game, or for a ring, or whatever. They’re doing it for the money.
You really think Jordan, A-Rod, Favre, Beckham would play their hearts out if the typical salary was $40K/year? B.S. They all chase the money and if it wasn’t there they wouldn’t be playing.
I think Barkley (who’s now criticizing James) admitted this years ago.

So if James can make more money in Miami go for it. You don’t owe fans or a city anything. As soon as you can’t “perform” they’ll forget about you anyway.
The Cavs owner wasn’t angry that James left. He was angry that the money was leaving with him. “Oh crap. How am I going to fill all those seats next season?”

So enjoy your sports but quit taking it so personally. They don’t call it sports “entertainment” for nothing.

The basketball money was going to be the same wherever James went. Endorsement money isn’t likely to be much different because of a different venue, either.

According to some online analysts, the tax differences between Miami and Cleveland (or many other cities) means that, even though his nominal salary may be lower in Miami, his take-home pay is anywhere from one to four million dollars more.

I was always neutral about the guy but the way he performed (or, more accurately, didn’t perform) in the series vs. the Celts this year drove me away. I watched that whole series and Dan Gilbert is right - LeBron gave up in at least two of those games when there was at least a theoretical chance to win. Magic, Bird, Jordan - the guys LeBron aspires to surpass in basketball lore - wouldn’t have done that (Kobe, maybe, though nowadays I’m not so sure).

I can live with statements like wanting to be a “global icon” and some of that other head-scratcher kinda stuff - the way he’s been handled by the media since HS, the endless line of ‘yes people’ he’s been surrounded by, he’s not going to be a real grounded guy. But quitting on your team, especially as a supposed team leader, is unacceptable.

I think the most appealing part of being in Miami for him is the chance let Wade be the leader. There’s nothing wrong with that; some people embrace leadership while for others it just isn’t there. And he’ll learn about leadership first-hand from Wade when he tries to quit in the playoffs again.

I’ll just make one comment …

If you knew you had arguably comparable innate talent and maybe even better physical gifts than Armstrong, and the whole world also knows it and says so, except for your lack of that “killer” competitive instinct, do you still feel the same way? Or do you want to go out there and prove the world wrong?

It’s a metaphor. :smiley:

Personally, I don’t care if James plays for Cleveland, Miami, LA, Boston or St. Hibiscus Prep. It’s the – ‘I need a prime time, hour-long special to talk about my talents and where I’m bringing them’ – shit that rubs me the wrong way.

What’s wrong with, “James Signs with Heat,” in the morning paper?

Also: Omar Vizquel left Cleveland for the Giants, but then the Rangers and later White Sox, and continues to receive a warm reception when those teams come to play the Indians. The guy is on the opposing team and gets an ovation, because of the decent way he acted when he was here. Albert Belle? Not so much. Like the Dope, the rule is: Don’t be a jerk.

Jordan almost certainly would have.

It’s interesting that you brought up Mario, because the way James is leaving reminds me of when Marian Hossa went to the Red Wings, and said it was because he felt they had a better chance at winning the Stanley Cup. Then the Wings lost…to the Penguins. :smack:

And no, Hossa wasn’t QUITE the asshole James is, but he still acted like a dick to the fans and his teammates. He wasn’t obligated to stick around – but the way he left didn’t make him any friends.
I think it would be hysterical if the same thing happened to James – if Miami got their asses kicked by the Cavs.

The Cavs at the very end of the last game of the series were definitely very frustrating to watch as a neutral fan. On the other hand, “Gilbert was right” seems to go a little bit further than saying that, since Gilbert said it was an unprecedentedly bad performance by a superstar. Which let’s just remind ourselves:

Pts	Ast 	Reb	TO 	Stl 	Blk 	PF 
27	10	19	9	3	1	2
15	7	6	3	1	0	3
22	8	9	7	2	1	4
38	7	8	1	1	2	1
24	4	7	5	3	2	1
35	7	7	2	3	2	1

Game 6 at the top, 1 at the bottom.

I’m actually curious about that hour-long special, but not enough to watch it.

How did they fill out a whole hour that only contained 2-3 minutes of news?

Since when does Barkley speak for all professional athletes? As you say, he is now criticizing James, so was he right then or now? There are countless athletes all over the world who play their hearts out for the love of the game in college athletics, minor leagues, arena leagues, and other venues, often for very little or even no financial reward.