The Death of LeBron James’ Legacy as The Chosen One.
We all saw LeBron James announce Miami. The moment will always be known as “The Decision.” To basketball purists, we might see this as “The Moment where LeBron threw everything away.” He had the NBA world at the palm of his hand and threw it in the trash. I knew he was going to leave, but LeBron didn’t have to do the state of Ohio dirty like that. Wow! Did this guy just do that? I’m flabbergasted. I am trying to understand this entire free agency period and the Big Network’s exploitation of Ohio.
To view a tragedy in context, we have to look back at the genesis. Many knowledgeable fans say that Beijing 2008 was the beginning of the end. Some would say that LeBron James getting swept by Tim Duncan’s Spurs in the 2007 NBA Finals was the true beginning. The truth is the genesis occurred in the 2002-2003 season. Why? That’s when the Cleveland Cavaliers decided to tank for LeBron James. The team, at the time, was irrelevant. LeBron James was being anointed as the King in the senior year of high school. Why not absolutely tank to get the number one pick?
I have stressed many times that no team in any sports should tank for position in the draft. That is an easy way out. It’s lazy and does not require any effort.
And that’s what the organization did to get the self anointed “King.” I remember telling myself that James is probably not worth it even though the kid plays really good. It’s very tempting – born and bred Ohio prodigy saves hometown team. It is very difficult to pass that up and the curse for tortured Ohio sports fans is lifted. He’s the Chosen One, correct? LeBron has it tattooed on his back. I watched that first game against the Sacramento Kings. LeBron was flat out awesome. Are we witnessing the savior?
LeBron became a statistical juggernaut and literally a walking triple double. He can do anything he wanted and was matching Kobe Bryant shot for shot. Fantasy stat players were having orgies dreaming of acquiring him through the fantasy draft or trade. Bron does not get injured and consistently delivers the numbers. He provided highlight reels, excitement, hope, and the franchise’s first trip to the NBA Finals. He grabbed back to back league MVPs and first team All NBA selections. He is legit. He has all the skills and potential to surpass “The Golden Standard” Michael Jordan. The gifts are all there!
Were the gifts all there all along?
LeBron James grew up fatherless. He abandoned them, which left a permanent mark on his psyche. He also grew up poor. Kudos to that. I grew up poor, too. Many kids do. This helps kids learn how to take initiative and lay the foundations of values – self respect, dignity, and sacrifice. LeBron had the chance to go through the rough times to experience all of this. Most likely, James did not experience enough to truly understand. Half of this is not his fault when he was growing up. The other half belongs to his crew that constantly fed his narcissism. He was scouted when he was 12 years old! It’s not out of the question that his crew was coddling and protecting him from fucking up from the start.
Never ever protect someone from making their mistakes. Let him learn to fend for himself. LeBron did not have a father to eliminate the need of a crew.
That’s too bad. Many kids grow up not having one, but the crew protecting LeBron is another tragedy in itself.
When people fuck up, it’s called “experiences.” LeBron obviously didn’t do enough of that since his people had to protect their potential meal ticket. He needed to fuck up, people. He wasn’t given free rein to experience life’s mistakes on his own. How was he going to learn from not committing many mistakes? He was surrounded by “Yes” men getting anything he wanted. You want shoes? Got them. You want that new video game? Got that. You want those fresh clothes? Got that handled. You want that Hummer? No problem. You want tickets to see Tracy McGrady play against the Detroit Pistons? No sweat. James was always found surrounded by people.
It’s not out of the realm that LeBron James, during his childhood, was not put to work to earn anything such as a part time job at the mall, taking orders at a fast food place, cleaning toilets, mowing lawns, grooming pets, or even volunteering to help someone else succeed without expecting anything in return. A King just doesn't do those petty jobs. They're beneath him. He just merely worked on his game with his God given physical talent and thought that he was entitled to everything since people gave him almost everything without much work put in to earn them.
LeBron James probably did not experience many heart breaks.
Michael Jordan was cut from his high school team. His older brother usually dominated him in one on one challenges. His dad would sometimes call him lazy. Dean Smith put MJ’s game on lock down and didn’t want him on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He eventually put in the work to earn his spot on the varsity team, dominate his older brother, and dispel notions of him being lazy. Jordan became the man at North Carolina. After all, he put in the work to earn the rewards – to struggle and overcome.
LeBron didn’t go through any of that. Again, half of this is not his fault because of the crew protecting and feeding his enormous ego.
The “King James” nickname was a huge red flag. I can handle some arrogance. Hey, even I’m guilty of it sometimes. Then again I know that arrogance has to be earned. What has LeBron James accomplished to be the king?
To this day, he’s still the King of Nothing.
No one from his childhood stepped up and humbled him. The only person that can possibly do such a thing is Gloria James, his mother. Humbling a self anointed king at a young age is hard to do unless he had a father figure to show him that he’s still a scrub. I’m not an apologist, but LeBron did not have a normal childhood. It was stolen much like how Michael Jackson had it growing up. He kept on practicing basketball while having to deal with stresses from the media just like Jackson working on singing and dancing. He did not live the life of a child. James didn’t even go to college. A lot of youth development is missing as a result.
LeBron thought that he was entitled to titles in the NBA. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to earn it, remember?
He was already looking for a way out after being eliminated from the playoffs and witnessing Dwyane Wade, with help from Shaquille O’Neal, win a title back in 2006. LeBron’s exit was in full effect after that, which led him to sign a 3 year extension with a player option for the 4th year. He was already entertaining the thought of divorce in 2006. The marriage between Cleveland and LeBron went to a bad place.
Beijing 2008 was the epicenter of Wade, LeBron, and Chris Bosh’s plan to arrive to South Beach in 2010. They spent so much time talking and planning it out. It is very possible that Wade told Pat Riley to clear up cap space by 2010 because Bron and Bosh have agreed to sign on. This is not tampering because this was player to player. This was a good move. It’s not that hard to picture. LeBron finally found his escape plan from Ohio unless the Cavs won a title before then.
Once he knew that the Cavs didn’t have what it takes to beat the Boston Celtics in the 2010 playoffs, Bron mentally quit and checked out for good. He quit on the series. The team didn’t quit on LeBron. He quit on the team and the fans. It was a big “Fuck You” to Cleveland management just like how Kobe did it to Lakers’ management in game 7 against the Phoenix Suns in 2006. LeBron learned from the best. However, LeBron took it to another level leading to “The Decision.”
He chopped off all the heads of Ohio sports fans on live national television. He also castrated himself in front of everyone including the kids. How does one do that? He doesn’t even understand what he just did. He spent the entire week ducking and hiding and not talking to Cavs management while fooling around with other teams when they were genuinely interested. However, LeBron was not interested in any team except for Miami. He already wanted to join back in 2008. The Decision demonstrated that anyone can become a quitter, liar, and noncommittal towards anything.
“The 7 years I gave to that franchise, to that city...”
He sure did give seven years. Ohio, please acknowledge him for that. He did. To the outside critics and LeBron fans, please acknowledge that Ohio gave him 25 years of support and devotion. Some people even dedicated their lives to him to get where he is today. There are two sides to every story. Leaving Cleveland wasn’t the problem. They understand the passion. LeBron wanted titles. We all want to win. We all understand. Ultimately, James and Ohio do not owe each other anything except LeBron will eventually have to pay somehow for what he did with the one hour special courtesy of the Big Network.
No one has a problem with him leaving to chase rings. It’s the way that he left is what people are wondering about. The Decision was a live public execution on national television. That’s why Ohio, and even Akron, is angry. Why LeBron why? Not like this. Not like this…
Cold blooded. Heart less.
The kid psychologically abandoned Ohio just like how his father abandoned him and his mother. Burned bridges? LeBron dropped Enola Gay on the entire state. Why did he do that? Why didn’t he just leave quietly? Why did he have to screw the fans? Why did he choose to become someone else’s sidekick?
Simply put, this entire disaster demonstrated LeBron James’ temperament. He always craved attention. People were feeding the ego since he was a kid. He ducks and hides when the going gets tough. LeBron runs away from the confrontation and the challenge. He doesn’t have the killer mentality like the greats possess – a follower, not a leader. He’s 25 years old, but cognitively, LeBron is 18 years old. He was protected by his crew from making mistakes, but this time, LeBron made an epic mistake that his “team” let him do. This was inevitable. The Cleveland Cavaliers also had to pay for what they did – purposely tank in 2003 for LeBron James. Cavs front office let him and his people run the team. They fed more into his narcissism. We reap what we sew.
He showed his true cards during the entire week leading up to The Decision one hour special. I don’t know if it was a good or bad hand that he played. Time will tell. However, it’s time for him to experience being the sidekick – Robin to Batman. He chose to step down in rank and bow down to a master in Miami. That master is Dwyane Wade. LeBron chose what's best for him and that was the easy way out instead of struggling, fighting, and working hard to earn the title. He also showed that he isn’t mentally tough like Ohio’s blue collar working class.
Karma is a funny thing.
He is a good person. We hope he wins many titles, but there is a possibility he might not get any. LeBron James has relinquished the “King James” nickname. Who am I kidding? He was never a king. He also gave up the nickname of “Chosen One.” He was never a savior. He chose to become the Anti-Christ. He was the hero who turned into a villain overnight just to play with friends and chase rings. LeBron can never be mentioned with the likes of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant forever no matter what happens. There is no legacy because it burned in the fire with his Cleveland Cavalier jersey. He probably didn't give a shit about his legacy anyway.
I'm not hating or judging LeBron. He threw it all away. I just hope it was all worth it.