"In this fall, this is very tough, in this fall I'm going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat... I feel like it's going to give me the best opportunity to win and to win for multiple years, and not only just to win in the regular season or just to win five games in a row or three games in a row, I want to be able to win championships. And I feel like I can compete down there."- Lebron James
July 8th 2010 will forever be an infamous day in Ohio sports history. I really don't HAVE to explain why because of the above quote, but in case you're absolutely clueless, that was the day Lebron James exercised his right to free agency and signed with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat. This nationally televised 'Decision' left Ohio sports fans furious as Lebron went from hero to Enemy of the State in a matter of minutes.
Is Lebron James the best player on the planet right now? In my opinion he is. But despite his talent and the superstar teammates he has, he may never become an NBA champion and here's why...
He's Not Michael Jordan And The 2011 Miami Heat Are Not The Chicago Bulls Of The 90's
The comparisons to Michael Jordan HAVE to stop. One player is arguably the best to ever do it, has all kind of awards and accolades, including 6 championships, while the other is extremely talented, has a few awards, but hasn't experienced championship success since high school. There will never be another Michael Jordan. As times change, so do the players and their skills. MJ doesn't want his greatness replaced. He wants it surpassed. You can tell this by his admiration for the new generation in the NBA. And like I said, the teams don't compare at all. Lebron James, Dwyane Wade & Chris Bosh were already superstars when they teamed up. Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and the other Bulls players were not. Are they legends now? Of course. But it was through Michael Jordan's leadership. Talent-wise there is a variation; Jordan is better than Lebron, but D. Wade & Chris Bosh are better than Pippen and Rodman were. In my opinion, anyway.
Lebron Doesn't Respect The Grind
In a conversation I had with someone, I was told "Lebron is the first player that was expected to win a ring his first year in the league". Perhaps this is where the problem lies. He came into the NBA fresh off of a dominating high school career. That, paired with the tremendous hype surrounding him, could've very well put him in the mindset that titles and awards would just fall into his lap and he wouldn't have to work as hard. People say things like "he left Cleveland because he didn't have a team". I can't agree with that. The year he left, Cleveland had the best season in franchise history. They were four wins short of the record. Sure, they didn't make the Finals or win rings, but that says a lot about the team Lebron had around him. Were they superstars? No. But their hard work combined with the fact that he made them better by instilling confidence in them, speaks volumes. Although it's water under the bridge, who knows what would've happened had Lebron chose to stay put. I personally felt like better things would come the Cavs' way as they seemed to be improving with each season.
Dude Has To Grow Up
All this self-proclaimed stuff needs to stop. Calling himself 'King' and the 'Chosen One' tattoo (just to name a few) are things that he clings to and when you think about it, it kinda makes him seem insecure. When you're a great athlete with no championships, you'd think you'd be a little more modest when receiving praise. Not Lebron. He embraces it and flaunts it like he's the most accomplished athlete in history. He has gone on record to say things like "I've spoiled the Cleveland fans with my talent". If anything we spoiled him, by putting up huge billboards and making him our sports savior. That's where we messed up. But arrogant comments like that are what made me no longer support Lebron. When he first left, I was like "cool. I wanna see him do well". Then he said that. Not to mention "I'm from Akron. We never liked people from Cleveland anyway", which has NOTHING to do with basketball. People often act like residents of Ohio have no right to dislike Lebron James. They don't understand. They say things like "y'all was just cheerin' for him last year" and most of us would still be, had he not went the route he did. Very few of us are mad THAT he left. It's HOW he left that doesn't sit well with people. Even he knows it, hence the apology he recently offered.
It's not about compiling a star-studded team in hopes that winning a championship will be easier. If that was the case, the Miami Heat would be undefeated NBA Champions right now. It's about working hard and doing the best you can with what you have. Look at the Dallas Mavericks. The only real 'star' on the team is Dirk Nowitzki. With all due respect, everyone else on that team is C-List at best. But Dirk displayed the ability to be a leader and make everyone around him better. That's why they are where they are right now. Hopefully a lesson is learned from this. Chill with the premature celebrations and dancing. Save it for when there's actually something to show for it. Until then, stay humble and work hard.