There's no doubt the man can play ball. He's an elite player, and he's on some people's lists of the greatest players of all time. Beyond that, he's a worldwide sports icon and a hero to many aspiring young basketball players.
I thought his meltdown actually had an endearing quality to it: he looked more human. He showed himself to be more susceptible to tense situations than his talk insinuated, and more reliant on the people around him than his contract stipulated. So as the final buzzer sounded and the Dallas Mavericks won their first championship, I thought I'd see a humbled James stroll to the microphone.
But, in his comments (even though he tried to clarify "what he meant" the next day), we saw his true colors shining through:
Who does this guy really thinks he is?
Have the dry ice, lights, and microphones convinced him that he is more-than-human?
He has a job that pays him millions of dollars because normal folks like us (the people whose lives suck with mundane regularity, according to James) tune in and show up to watch him demonstrate his talents that he took to South Beach.
Why would he heap criticism on the consumers, the people who actually pay his paycheck?
My dad had a saying for that: "Don't bite the hand that feeds you." Those "haters" include the people that wear your jersey and look up to you as a hero. You just told them their lives suck ("same personal problems") and yours is awesome ("I live how I want to live")...good job Mr. James.
In all honesty, he has a compelling story: coming from a single-parent home and becoming the incredible basketball player that he has. I guess that rather than remembering "the struggle," he decided to make it clear that he's above that now, and it's too bad for everyone else who isn't. Per LeBron: Y'all suck.
It's too soon to tell whether there will be any repercussions for LeBron's words. I doubt there will be any. It takes quite a bit to dethrone a society's heroes. I think posters of Tiger Woods would be pinned on the walls of many a child's bedroom if he had returned from his sex scandal as a winner on the golf course. But he didn't, so the posters sit in a Wal-Mart distribution center waiting for the day he sits atop the leader board again.
It's time for fathers to have a discussion with their sons about who is worth looking up to and modeling themselves after. I think that a quick glance around any church will yield plenty of candidates: the faithful husband, the loving wife, the involved grandparent, the single mom who is doing the best she can with what she has, the guy who volunteers for a cause he believes in, the nursery worker who changes diapers so parents can participate in the Sunday service, and the pastor who lingers long over the God-breathed text to offer life in the midst of death.
Yes, ask any of those people about their detractors and I think you'll get a different kind of response than the one given by LeBron James. They'll tell you they're aren't heroes, but saints. I think that James should be brought down from hero status immediately. Great basketball player: yes. Hero: no.
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