Q: You smell that, Rabbit?
Did you guys hear? The King made up his mind. LeBron James decided where to play basketball next season. What he also did in the process was abdicate both his crown and throne. I was just happy to see the whole thing did not get dragged out — short, sweet and right to the point.
This whole saga has not been all bad though. LeBron decided not to come to New York, and there are few things I enjoy more than seeing New York sports fans suffer through complete and utter mediocrity.
At the end of the day, I guess the guy just wants to win, so we can’t really blame him for that. There are, however, a myriad of other things that we can call him out for. First and foremost, the King decided that to become a champion potentially, he would have to become the Queen. He’s not alone though. He has an entire Court in Miami. Chris Bosh is starring as the Court Jester and Dwayne Wade is playing the role of undisputed King in Miami.
The word “legacy” is discussed too frequently in sports these days. Do we judge athletes not only by how many championships and MVPs they have won, but also how and under what circumstances those titles and awards are won? Simple answer – Yes. Pedro Martinez was quoted saying he would not trade three championships anywhere else for one in Boston. How badly would his image have been tarnished in Beantown, and among baseball fans across the country, if he had headed to the Bronx to team up with Derek Jeter and Co.?
LeBron’s leap to Miami looks worse than a Jersey Shore girl wandering home at 9 am the following morning – hair in complete disarray, her bag in one hand, and high heels in the other. Those aren’t Christian Louboutins either; these are beer-stained T.J. Maxx knock-offs. It makes you want to cringe.
Jordan was trounced for three straight years by the Pistons, before finally defeating the reigning champs in 1991 (he also averaged close to 30 points, more than 5 rebounds and 7 assists a game in the series)… LeBron let a guy like Bosh, who has never won a playoff series, dictate his hand, when he said that he would never play in Cleveland. It’s the easy way out. Why grow up to be Michael, when you can be Scottie? Why live in Manhattan, when you can settle for Hoboken?
Championships at any level do not come easily, and while each one is unique and special in its own right, the ones where an athlete has to defeat each of his greatest rivals along the way has to make it that much sweeter. Look at recent comments from Magic. (We didn’t think about it ’cause that’s not what we were about… From college, I was trying to figure out how to beat Larry Bird.”) The Red Sox had to go through the Yankees in 2004; Peyton Manning had to beat Tom Brady in 2007, and I would hope the Cubs have to go through St. Louis one of these years on their way to a World Series win.
This move has the overpowering smell of fear – fear that he’ll never be able to carry a team to a championship on his own, specifically when the pressure is on and the spotlight is brightest – the playoffs. Forget sports… in any field, the great ones have the ego, love the spotlight, and want to be the one who is looked toward when it matters most.
That dream is dead though for LeBron. It’s done and dusted. Never again will we hear “All Hail the King”. From here on out, they’ll be singing “God Save the Queen” in the streets of South Beach.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go meet Dan Gilbert and the Reverend Jesse Jackson for a drink.