Is LeBron James the Most Hated Man in Sports?
Now that the NBA Finals have started, it’s the time of year where usually, LeBron James puts in his worst work. At least, that’s what the media would like you to believe. LBJ has come to be known as a player who folds in the clutch, when in all actuality, he shows up more often than not. As a Detroit fan, I remember him scoring 29 of his team’s final 30 points to beat us. I remember the clutch shot he hit against the Orlando Magic in 2009. I’m sure Boston and Chicago fans remember what LeBron did to them in last year’s finals. Yet, the media would like for u to believe that he isn’t clutch. He passes too much when the game is on the line. He folds. He doesn’t show up. Would we rather him force shots that damage the team, kills chemistry, and for him to completely not trust his teammates? Or would we rather him make the pass IF there is a better shot in a clutch situation? I have said this to come to this: LeBron James is the most hated man in sports for three reasons.
1. The Decision
First off, I will admit that the “Decision” was in bad taste. Never before has a NBA player held a one hour special to decide what team would be graced with his “talents”. People say “Well people in Cleveland deserved better”. IT IS A BUSINESS! Do NBA GMs and owners inform all players that they are about to be traded? NO! How often does a GM trade a player get to decide what team he is traded to? Besides Derek Fisher, I honestly can’t think of one in recent memory. LeBron did what was best for him as a basketball player. He was not going to win a title in Cleveland. Free agents could not be lured to come there. Cleveland isn’t a big market, and players wouldn’t get as many endorsements as they would in a big market city. LeBron took a 2007 Cleveland team to the Finals that was full of great players like Anderson Vareajo, Daniel “Boobie” Gibson, Ira Newble, Eric Snow, Shannon Brown, Scot Pollard, David Wesley, Donyell Marshall, Larry Hughes… You know what, if I name one more player from that team, I may cry. That was the WORST team to EVER make it to the NBA Finals. THE WORST. You take LeBron off of that team, and I would be shocked if they won 10 games. But yet, him leaving those great, hall of fame players (sarcasm) that Cleveland liked to place around him leads me to my second reason why he is hated…
2. Creating a “Super-Team” in Miami
When the “Heatles” first joined, I thought of an old wrestling stable in the late 80’s. They reminded me of the WWF (E) group The Mega Powers. LBJ would be Hulk Hogan. Dwyane Wade would be Randy Savage. Chris Bosh would be Miss Elizabeth. The Heat made the first TRUE super-team (I am not counting Boston because Pierce, Allen, and Garnett were all past their prime, thus not making them that super, even though they won a title). You have the best small forward, 2nd (or first in some people’s eye) shooting guard in Wade and a top 10 power forward in Chris Bosh. Surround them with shooters and they shouldn’t lose. LBJ didn’t make it any better by semi-guaranteeing titles there (Not 1, not 2, not 3…) This team led to the super-team that was built in New York, that was attempted by the Lakers (which is funny, because fans hated the super team idea until their team was presented with the same situation) Again, LBJ did what was best for him. He was courted by the Clippers, where he would have played with a Blake Griffin who was coming off of a knee injury. He had New Jersey and Cleveland, which was pretty much going from one bad situation to another. He could have gone to New York, but the criticism there would probably have driven this man crazy. Miami made the most sense. LBJ played up to his villain role, and became a different man than he normally is. Gone were the smiles and adoration, instead replaced with boos, jeers, and the classic jokes of Black Twitter.
3. Skip Bayless
More than anything, the biggest reason why LBJ is hated is because of “analyst”-closeted Lebron lover, Skip Bayless. Bayless works for the ESPN show First Take. He makes it his duty to attack LBJ for EVERYONE bad basketball decision his makes and discredits the good things on the court. This is the same man who feels LBJ shouldn’t be MVP because he plays with Wade. Yet, he thinks Kevin Durant should win, who also plays with Russell Westbrook. The same man who hounds LBJ for being unclutch all year, then when James hit 6 free throws in the last minute to beat Detroit, and scores 17 points to beat New Jersey, says “Well that doesn’t count”. The same man who calls him “The Frozen One” yet discredited LeBron late-game heroics against Boston and Chicago last year. In many fans mind, LBJ is the King sitting on a fictional throne, and I don’t blame them. But I say to that, Michael Jordan was “Air” Jordan before he won a title (That wasn’t a comparison of their games, just the nickname myth). LeBron James will forever be hated. All great athletes are. But over the past 2 years, LeBron James has become the most HATED man in sports. You can even make a slim case that LBJ is underrated, solely on all the hate he receives that causes fans to discredit his stats. I believe this is LeBron’s year to win the title. As a NBA fan, I hope he wins it. As a Detroit Pistons fan, I hope every team in the Eastern Conference lose. Either way, in 2 months, we will either see a King crowned, or possibly the breakup of the Mega Powers. You can take that to the bank, BROTHER!
AND SHAVE YOUR DAMN HEAD!!!
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