Is Lebron James, Miami Heat small forward, really the black hat-wearing villain that everyone loves to hate or is he just another misunderstood athlete who no one gets.
Everyday someone is either defending or attacking James as if the juryís decision is in and his career fate has been decided. Isnít it a bit early for that?
So far, we really donít know because James hasnít finished writing his own story yet. What we do know about James is that in a short amount of time he has already become the most polarizing figure in the NBA.
Love him or hate him, how did we come to this?
Once upon a time King James or the chosen one (depending on which circle you were in) was one of the NBAís most beloved players. Fans couldnít wait to heap praise upon him for his potential.
Now, in almost every sports forum I visit, basketball fans say one of two things. Either James needs to win a championship this year in order to get everyone off of his back and prove all the naysayers wrong, or even winning is still not going to be enough to satisfy some fans.
I can honestly say I truly enjoy watching James play. His opportunity to lead the Miami Heat to their second title and his first win will not sway me either way.
I donít blame James for leaving Cleveland. That was his prerogative. The Cavaliers had seven seasons to surround him with talent good enough to bring a championship home and they didnít.
The best the team ownership and management mustered during Jamesís tenure was Shaquille OíNeal who was very much on the wrong end of his prime.
However, I do understand the frustration with some of Jamesí interactions with the public.
Whoever was Jamesí public relations manager during his departure from Cleveland should be still be in hiding.
In 2010 James did a 30-minute, ESPN interview special called, ďThe Decision.Ē On national TV James told the world that he was leaving Cleveland and taking his talents to Miami.
He wanted out of Cleveland and thatís fine. ďThe DecisionĒ and his proclamation that he was going to win not one, not two, not three, but up to eight championships, was a bad public relations move.
Iím not saying that Lebron James doesnít have his faults. Heís made more than enough errors early in his career to have plenty of haters, but he certainly isnít what he is being painted as. He is not Metta World Peace (Ron Artest), Bill Lambeer or even a Latrell Spreewell.
Those are real NBA villains. They are and were, enforcers on and in many cases, off the court. James is just a young man who has made some poor choices, but then havenít many of the greats made mistakes? Right now he is just a great basketball player with a great opportunity to be legendary.