I had the seed for this about a year ago. Well I’m writing it now.
Other than a callous exit from his hometown team, which can be attributed to a healthy amount of hubris, Kool-aid drinking, and youth; America you have no valid reason to hate Lebron James, and doing so only diminishes you. Let Me Repeat.
Hating Lebron James diminishes YOU.
Point to note I’m not even really that big of a fan of his, but what we’ve been watching for the last 7? years is the most dominance and amazing since Jordan and to be honest Jordan didn’t ever have to do as much as Lebron, and actually pull through as LBJ has. This was originally a larger well written piece, but alas freelance & acting pays the bills. Though I might elaborate on the ‘Realizing value & maximizing potential.’
Listed below, in no particular order, but we can go “toe for toe blow for blow” if anyone really wants to test.
– Plays ball the right way: passing, scoring efficiently, sets others up, unselfish, works hard and intelligently on D
– Otherworldly skills: passes into the shooters’ pocket from anywhere, runs the the floor, highly improved jump shot and threes, track back blocks, rotation on D (blocks, steals, lockdown D -> just ask D.Rose & T.P.)
– 50, 40, 90 club if only freethrows were better – though everybody hailed durant for this, its a bigger deal that Lebron got close IMHO)
– Along with coaches brought the small ball system to its full potential: along with their ingenious they have won 2 championships running small that was never supposed to be a winning strategy (ask D’Antoni)
– They have won back to back championships with out a reasonable contribution from the most important position in basketball, Center: they league may be moving away from it, but no team has won since Jordan without real difference makers at the pivot. AGAIN because LeBron was asked to do soo much and delivered & a great Defensive system.
– Shoulda been defensive player of the year: guards 4 positions as good as anyone, is shutdown defender on 3 positions, and can be slotted into a 5 if desperate. The only real reasoning I ever heard for Gasol winning was he took up space & communicated a lot; so in essence he won by being a fat ass & doing what basic basketball defense is about.
– Improves his game year by year & has silently bought into the new statistical metrics systems
– The most versatile player we have EVER seen, cuz noone alive who actually takes time to hate LeBron ever saw Oscar Robertson, Wilt Chamberlain, peak Jordan, or peak Hakeem.
– Watching the Heat when he is on the floor is basketball as it should be on both ends: ball movement, screens on ball and off
– Watching the Heat when he is off the floor is painful
– He’s not involved in any real scandal, that is actually reprehensible: buncha kids & baby mommas (nope), thug mentality (nope)
– He genuinely seems to care about those immediately around him and are not just a gaggle of ‘yes men’ though he may be robotic and scripted with outsiders
– Staying in CLE would be a failing experiment: they dont attract free agents, front office were just riding LeBron and not making serious moves cuz they were just good enough to slip by casual viewers but anyone watching for long knew there was nothing ever there other than LBJ
– CLE front office was trash, they are trying to make up for it with Kyrie; they know they will lose him too if they don’t put real work in. Think about this: San Antonio never attracts free agents, yet they take down championships with their superstar. Why? Great coach of course, but a real front office making the right decisions. For how close LBJ was early in his career, switch those front offices and I bet he has at least one ring in CLE.
– The big one: he is realizing value and maximizing his potential on all fronts as a player and a business entity (that is to be appreciated not envied)
– MIA were able to do what everyone dreams of being able to do work with and be successful with their friends: they did it in free agency (didnt force anyone’s hands – no different than what happens every year, in fact they did sign and trades to appease the other teams)
– They were honest and said we want to win now, they know they win and they will still cash in. NOT like the other guys who cash in their whole career while paying lip service to winning. This was clearly the best opportunity to win.
– Why is it believed its better to ring chase late in your career when you’re washed up? There’s nothing valiant in that, its just desperate.
– Its what fans always wanted to see anyway: If you admit it to yourself you’ve always said “man it would be great to see X & Y on the same team. Just think of how awesome those games would be” They gave that to you.
– The fine math of basketball didn’t guarantee that they would win
– He could legitimately switch to the NFL and be a beast there too