Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert said it best in his open letter to the fans when describing both LeBron’s and our society’s current mindset. We live in an entitlement culture, one were things are owed and not earned. Everyone gets a trophy and the end result takes precedence of the process. Long gone are the days where the blood, sweat, and tears are cherished as much as the final parade in this culture.
Some claim that LeBron has shown strength in his weakness by admitting he needs other stars to win it all, other celebrities to deflect attention, and another champion to lead his team. However, this is far from the truth. Charles Barkley made a great point when he explained that at age 25 LeBron should be more concerned with winning on his own and wait until later in his career to ride others’ coattails to a crown. I couldn’t agree more.
To me this is the ultimate cop out for a professional competitive athlete. It would be hard for me to enjoy a championship won by an all-star team, but then again I won’t be in that position. Rarely do I agree with Boston homer and ESPN columnist Bill Simmons, but his comments on the situation really struck a cord with me.
Simmons explains that “I think it’s a cop-out. Any super-competitive person would rather beat Dwyane Wade than play with him. Don’t you want to find the Ali to your Frazier and have that rival pull the greatness out of you?”
I don’t think anyone doubts that this new Miami super team will be able to multiple championships over the next few years, but the importance and meaning of those titles can and should be doubted. Specifically LeBron’s legacy as a (potential) champion will surely be looked upon differently. He is clearly not aware of the impact presently, but with this decision I believe he longer has a chance to be considered the best to ever play the game.
LeBron will now never be able to dethrone the greatest, Michael Jordan, even if he and his newly christened “Miami Thrice” are able to outnumber MJ’s six world titles. Jordan was the ultimate competitor and always held it as his goal to turn the run of the mill Chicago Bulls into one of the leagues feared franchises. It wasn’t easy either for Jordan either who spent his first six seasons without a title. However, instead of quitting on his goals and dreams, MJ got right back up and began working harder again to get to the top.
LBJ on the other hand decided after a second round exit in the 2010 playoffs that he was not longer willing to fight and compete for a championship on his own and that he needed to create a super team to fulfill the prophesies he has in his head.
Even beyond his decision to create a super team, the hardest thing for me to grasp is the manner in which this all went down. It wasn’t enough for LeBron to get his wish to play on a team with two other superstars, but he had to handcuff his former team and a handful of others while he lead them all to believe they had a chance to land his services.
All signs point to this being in the works for months if not years and the fact that LeBron did not have the decency to speak to Dan Gilbert and other teams like a man and let his intentions be known even as late as July 1st. But the fact that LeBron kept everyone in the dark and eventually had his henchmen notify the Cavs really shows what kind of character he has as an person.
I know this whole thing was over when he showed up nervous and shaken to the Boys and Girls Club in Greenwich Connecticut. LeBron showed the whole world then that he was about to cut down his hometown and hometown team on an hour long ESPN special under the guise of charity. Everyone knows this had nothing to do with the kids and everything to do with THE kid, LeBron James.