LeBron James, for those keeping score at home, is still a horrible person. Over the course of a season where he went from admired to disliked to absolutely reviled, he has learned zilch – equal to the amount of championship rings he has amassed during his career and his worth to the Miami Heat in the fourth quarter of big games.
After letting his team, fans and legion of investors -- who put their money into LeBron Inc., like we would into GOOGLE -- down, the petulant child who we have come to know and deride over the past few years came out in full force. The self-proclaimed King who rules with an iron fist over three quarters of his kingdom, had this to say when asked about his critics after Game 6’s 105-95 defeat to the Dallas Mavericks:
“All the people that were rooting on me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today. They have the same personal problems they had today. I'm going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things that I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that. They can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing their goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point."
There you have it. Really, James should have just been more succinct about it and offered up this response:
“I’m still rich and famous, so f**k ya’ll.”
It would have been the same general message, just with fewer words. Better yet, he should have simply flipped the cameras off with that big, goofy grin on his face, and walked out of the room, kicking a puppy along the way.
Let’s be very clear on this, every little bit of criticism that James has gotten over this entire season came as a result of his own ridiculousness. He decisions, mistakes and dumb comments along the way to coming up short -- yet again -- are the marks against him, not something deep-seeded natural predisposition humans have to hating him. The fans don’t create situations, they react to them.
None of this was supposed to happen, mind you. LeBron wasn’t supposed take his talents to South Beach during a one hour freak show co-starring the ghost of Jim Gray. He wasn’t supposed to pop out from the stage like Hulk Hogan during team introductions. He wasn’t supposed to promise not five, not six -- and ultimately, deliver not even one -- championships.
And later, with redemption in sight and victory within his reach, when his team needed him most, he wasn’t supposed to crumble like a piece of trashed paper – averaging 17.8 points in the Finals after putting up 26.7 during the regular season. Choking like he pretended to when he mocked the eventual Finals MVP, Dirk Nowitzki, a man whom he should take notes from.
James, master of self-inflicted wounds, put icing on the what-not-to-do-over-the-course-of-a-season cake by squashing any notion that he would be anything other than a sanctimonious, pompous jerk in defeat, by essentially telling his critics that he’s still richer, more famous and happier than they are during the postgame news conference. It was the perfect conclusion to the perfect year for LeBron - Karma’s biggest fan and, as of yesterday, victim.
Maybe a summer away from the media and cameras will do this guy some good. Maybe there is still hope for the ego formerly known as LeBron James. I doubt it, though. You can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved
LeBron should have been at his most humble on Sunday night, but instead he was as self-absorbed and out-of-touch as always.
Enjoy the money and the fame LeBron, too bad it can’t buy you peace of mind.