LeBron James has made his decision and he chose the Miami Heat. Now in earnest the LeBron backlash can begin.
In the history of sports perhaps no athlete has destroyed their image in just eight days, barring being arrested. In just 24 hours no sports network has sold their soul to the devil quicker than ESPN for airing “The Decision”.
The backlash that will hit LeBron will also land on ESPN. Mainly, on ESPN for helping him drag out this decision and go on national television to rip the heart out of Cleveland and his home state of Ohio.
No athlete in the history of sports has enjoyed a love-fest from the media and fans, like LeBron has enjoyed for a player with no championship rings. Now that he has ripped the heart out of his home state and the team that drafted him, the love-fest will end.
For two years, James has more than likely known he was going to leave. He just strung the city of Cleveland along while he bid his time to free agency.
After being bounced in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009 and the second round of the NBA playoffs in 2010, the die was cast for LeBron to leave. LeBron’s last two seasons in Cleveland saw the Cavaliers with the best record in the East and James won two MVPs.
But Cleveland could not get past the Orlando Magic in 2009 and the Boston Celtics in 2010. The weight of those defeats fell on James; much like the finals defeat in 2007 fell on him as well.
That is the kind of heat (no pun intended) that superstars have to take. Much like Kobe and Shaq had to take the heat for their loss in the NBA finals to the Detroit Pistons.
Several questions come to the forefront since LeBron made his decision. The first question is that is James the great player we think he is if he cannot win a title without the help of Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh?
There is no question that Wade is a great player. He is the only player of this trio to have a NBA title.
Bosh on the other hand has not done much in his seven year NBA career. Before you go nuts, Bosh has only two playoff appearances and he led his former team the Toronto Raptors to one .500 season and one season with an above .500 record.
The media or fans cannot declare a player a superstar with a record like Bosh. Also Bosh has led his team to two playoff appearances but was bounced in the first round both times.
If LeBron wins a title with the Heat can he really call himself the “King” anymore? Most of the NBA’s greatest players won a championship with the team that drafted them.