A Harsh Critic on LBJ
Let's welcome Michael Rosenberg...
GREENWICH, Conn., July 8, 1990 -- Michael Jordan announced on national television he's leaving Chicago to join the Detroit Pistons. Jordan said it was tough to bolt Chicago, where he was the most popular athlete in many years, because he thinks he has a better chance to win a championship if he plays with Pistons star Isiah Thomas. Jordan said by playing together, he and Thomas "won't have the pressure of going out and scoring 30 every night."
That would have sounded absurd, right? Well, it is no more absurd than what LeBron James is doing. Jordan was 27 years old in 1990, slightly older than James is now. He had never been to the NBA Finals. He had been beaten up by the Celtics and Pistons for years. He doubted his supporting cast was good enough.
But he never doubted himself.
And it became very clear Thursday night that LeBron James does doubt himself. James will be a champion in Miami -- if not next year, then sometime after that. If you put James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh together and give Pat Riley five years to find the complementary pieces, that team will win a championship.
But James does not have the heart of a champion. He does not have the competitive fire of Jordan, the bull-headed determination of Kobe Bryant, the quiet self-confidence of Tim Duncan, the willful defiance of Isiah or the winning-is-everything hunger of Magic Johnson.
He is an extremely gifted player who wants the easy way out.
And how do we know this?
James said so himself.
Oh, not in so many words. But once ESPN was done ESPN-izing its LeBron coverage -- filling it with babbling experts, needless hype and Jim Gray submitting his top six entries in the Stupidest Question Ever contest -- the self-proclaimed King said everything you need to know about him.
1. "You have to do what's best for you, and what's going to make you happy."
This is what's going to make him happy? Sharing a stage with two other stars? Really?
I guess that's all LeBron is: A complementary player with superstar talent. We should have figured this out before: He got that giant CHOSEN 1 tattoo on his back and calls himself King James because he is desperate for reassurance.
There is no greater challenge in sports getting drafted by a godawful team, planting your flag in a city and working like crazy until you have turned that team into a champion.
LeBron James didn't want the challenge. He wanted to play with his buddies.
2. "We don't have the pressure of going out and scoring 30 every night or shooting a high percentage."
Whoa. Hold on there. Scoring 30 a night is too much pressure for one of the five most talented players ever?
Find me another all-time NBA great who would utter those words. Jordan would rather do an adidas commercial than say that. Bryant must have laughed as he heard the so-called "King" say that. Larry Bird? The next time he complains about pressure will be the first. Magic was the greatest team player of the last 40 years, but he was also so competitive that he wanted to play Jordan one-on-one in a promotional event -- and this was when Magic had won titles and Jordan had not, so Magic had more to lose.
3. "I know how loyal I am."
The man just dumped his hometown(s) on national television. Cleveland (and, by extension, Akron) happens to be the most tortured sports city in America. To do that, then say "I know how loyal I am" ... wow, wow, wow.
I wish I could sit in on one of LeBron's meetings with his advisers. Does he make them all wear mirrored sunglasses, so that when he looks at them he sees himself?
We really don't ask that much of our sports stars. Try not to get arrested for anything big. Don't curse at the fans. You know, small stuff. We even understand that 95 percent of the time, they will make career decisions based on money -- we might not love it, but we understand it.
But see, the biggest thing that we ask of our sports stars is this: Take the competition as seriously as we do.
When LeBron James loses to Boston in the playoffs, we want him to take the heat, not take the Heat's offer. We want him to spend the summer adding to his game, calling and texting his teammates, plotting to do better next season.
Instead, well ...
4. "It's about joining forces with the other two guys."
He sounds like a nine-year-old playing Star Wars games with his buddies at a sleepover. And again: I do believe this Miami team will win a title. But it won't be as easy as he wants it to be. Miami will have the weakest bench of any contender next season After that, the NBA will have a lockout, and the league could eliminate the mid-level exception, which would be Miami's best tool for adding talent.
So this is a cop-out, but it's not as easy of a cop-out as it appears. And that brings us to ...
5. "This is the greatest challenge for me."
LeBron James just jumped into an elevator and wants us to think he can fly. Sorry, but we know better. We know that he did something Michael, Magic, Bird and Bill Russell never would have done. We know he ditched Cleveland for an All-Star team.
But you know what? In Miami, anything short of a title will be a failure. Nobody outside of Miami will root for this team, and nobody in Miami roots for anybody. They're too busy enjoying the weather.
I thought he would stay in Cleveland, because I thought all he cared about was adoration. I was wrong about Cleveland, but he is wrong about adoration. He thinks he'll get it by winning a title. He has insulated himself from the world, surrounded himself with yes men. He has no idea how much backlash he is about to get.
That's one of the great ironies of this -- James is trying to flee pressure, but he will just face more of it. He is trying to maximize his "brand," but he just damaged it.
The first time I watched LeBron James live, I thought he could be the greatest player ever. The sad truth for us, for him, and for the NBA is that he never really believed it himself.
All I can say.
The person that wrote this probably does not play ball or have to deal with what Lebron deals with. It is easy to criticize and say what you would have done if you never did it. Reggie Miller said he should have stayed but Reggie never had the expectations that Lebron has had and he also never won any rings. We learn from history so we do not repeat it. Listening to Reggie would be like Lebron saying i understand I will not win any rings here but hey I am doing this all for you fans. That would be stupid because those same fans would blame Lebron for not winning one when he has had a terrible team and coach for 7 years and counting.
If you look at it another way what Lebron is doing is harder because this decision had to be hard but he made and stood firm on it because just knowing how this would play out would scare most people into staying and making it seem like they did the loyal thing when really they were just scared to take a stand what would not be popular.
I feel a little bit of this article. Unless he truly stands out as the guy on this team, his star could diminish, but he could just be remembered as the best Pippen of all time. The entire Cleveland situation was crappy, bad contracts, bad players, bad relationship with the owner, bad blood with a certain DW.... ??? ... ehem. I'm just amazed at the range of emotions this has brought out. This is legit crazy. No one feels the same about this soap opera.
There's a certain selfishness that comes with being great. People can view it as negative if they want, personanly i respect it. When a Jordna or a Kobe says "I want to be the man and I want to do this on my trems as the alpha male with everyone else stepping in line, and i'll go down swinging to accomplish that", well that is selfish and egotistical, but it's a sign of being a great and confident competitor. Lebron will always have the stigma that he lost that confidence and went and joined another top 3 player and former champ to get a ring.
y do ppl keep comparing all these nba greats to lebron. u know if the bulls wouldnt have gotten pippen and all those parts they had those 3 peats mike would have left 2. how can ppl even compare what bird did to this right here? bird had at least two other all time 50 players on his team all times. who did lebron have on his team that was any good? he took a team to finals going thru the pistons wit a team full a bums. lebron understands the game. he didnt want to b another reggie miller, karl malone, john stockton, charles barkley etc. just cuz u a great player doesnt mean u can win a championship by yourself. nobody can name a guy that did it cuz its not possible
media portays things in a lot of different ways.. its the publics main perception of him..SO none of really know anything that goes on inside Bron's head.. have any of you ever been to Cleveland? NO offense but talk about a buzz-kill.. It might be the worse city in america, seriously boring.. Why do you think Bosh wouldnt consider it? Im not saying what he should have done or should not have done, but its his life, and if you have the chance to move to the chi, newark, NYC, or stay in cleveland im going to miami..Thats just me.. Lebron transcends the market, he will get the all mighty dollar there as well.. It was his right to choose his destination and he did.. People would be haters no matter where he went. I also feel the Heats 2nd round selection can all be in the rotation immediately.. bench isnt deep, but when u have 3 guys (who dont have injury history) playing 38-40 minutes a night (and the opportunity to probably coast thru gms as wade, bosh, and james take turns) i think they will end up okay..
i would plus this article 100 points if i could, couldn't agree more
MJ, Kobe, Magic, Isiah, Larry ... whoever, these guys never would have done that. That's why no matter what happens in Miami, Lebron has forever damaged his legacy and his standing in the eternal hierarchy of basketball greatness. Lebron is not a champion, not up for the challenge, but a coward.
... you can try to defend him all you want by saying cleveland was a bad situation, but they were going further and having more success then the lakers were when kobe re-upped. Easy way out, there's no two ways about it.
this guy makes 110% seriously, but i wouldnt say lebron exactly dumped the city of cleveland, but he is right on when he says that mj wouldnt ever do the things that lbj is doing rite now
Well Lebron did admit in that interview he does not have the drive of Kobe or Jordan. He does not care about the game, and is only interested in marketing himself. He knew he didn't have the killer instinct to win championship on his own. I sincerely hope this big 3 in Miami is a complete and utter failure.
I understand that the Cavs and their fans feel betrayed....but they shouldn't. Think about the second best player on the last several NBA championship teams:
2006: Shaq (far superior to his present self)
Lebron has been around for seven years and who is the second best player he has ever had on the team? Mo Williams? Varejao? Ilgauskas? Gooden?
I read where Dan Gilbert ripped Leborn apart and it's pathetic. The Cavs had the most talented player on the planet for seven years and they did nothing to surround him with talent. He's going to a team where the third best player is twice as good as the second best player he has ever played with in the NBA, yet the Cavs feel like he betrayed them? It's a business, and it's a complete BS move to try to throw "loyalty" in someone's face after you've done jack to improve the roster.
Lebron is 25 and he is already chasing a ring. Does not like the big shot or facing blame alone. Took the easy way out. Not like his team was struggling they had best record in the league. He did not take them there. People gassed up over his numbers, but he is overrated.
i'm not gonna lie that article had some ok points but that sports writer doesn't know about ball he just tryna get people to read his crap. as much as i love kobe as a ball player do people even remember bruh was demanding to get traded to the bulls and hell even the clippers before they got gasol!?! jordan getting injured in 87 lucked up and the bulls drafted pippen. hell david robinson got injured in 97 and that's how they got duncan. magic got drafted to a team that already had kareem on it who was already a 2 time mvp and already had a ring. there is no telling what would've happened had those guys not ended up with those blessings in disguise. lebron made mo williams. this guy was in hyperize commercials after getting to the cavs for christ sake. and he was only an all star cuz someone got injured. bruh has dissapeared after that. true bron made this worst by the hour long special but i respect him more for his decision. he is willing to put his ego aside and sacrifice his legacy to win.
that's rare to find in the sports world especially an athlete as hyped and praised as lebron is. and obviously it's not about the money otherwise he would've pulled a joe johnson
It's not that he is playing with top 5 talent, but it's the way he went about it.. Yes, Jordan, Magic, or Bird would have never joined up with other top guys in the NBA. Yes, top talent went to them, but they never went to another superstar's town to win a championship, especially when said superstar has won a ring.. LeBron joining Wade would be like Jordan pre-championship joining Clyde Drexler or something.
great great post..i wish i could show sum love and give you some points
Thoses guts never had to go to another stats town because look at the players they already had with them. Bird had all that talent around him and Jordan had pippen. Ho grant rodman. Why would they leave? They didn't live in Cleveland or had mo will as there number 2 guy. I agree with sheltwon 100 percent
cleveland had the best record in the league the last 2 years ... they made every move they were able to make to improve the team ... stop putting all the blame on everyone else, lebron underperformed in the playoffs .. he's just as big a reason they lost as everyone else ... it's not like he's leaving a terrible team, he's leaving a team he wasn't good enough to elevate to a championship level - people need to stop making excuses for him
dallas had the best record in the west in 2007 and dirk was the mvp and they lost to 8th seeded warriors so what's your point? dirk was ready to leave this year too..difference with him and lbj is that dirk wants money..lbj wants to win. both will be hof'ers but james has a better opportunity to win a ring than dirk does
nice comeback to nl2ice i agree with that
Why the Lebron HATE... Everybody has a opinion, but I respect Lebron for wanting to play with other GREAT players.. Magic (played with several HOFERS), Bird (ditto), Kobe (was on his way out before Gasol came aboard), Duncan (played on STACKED teams), SHAQ (see: Duncan)... If I was Lebron I would want to play with other superstars... What did people think Lebron should do, pull a KG and stay??? To leave when he is all washed up... There has only been one ALPHA MALE in NBA history and thats MJ...
And MJ didn't win a ring until he was 28.. He could have left and join the people he couldn't beat, but he stuck it through with the Bulls. In terms of that "ALPHA MALE" status you're talking about, LeBron was supposed to be or is the best since Jordan and maybe exceed him in terms of talent, but we might not truly know now..
thats bullcrud n2nice
Through a S&T Nowitzki couldve got the money just about anywhere he wanted aside from Dallas...
I would take Lebron over any SF that has ever play the game... Lebron aint Jordan and he knows that and he also knows its about championships... I like that EVERYBODY wanna hate, I hope the Heat wins the next 7 championships...
I'm tired of people saying D.Wade's queen didnt have a cast while in Clev. Fact, since Mo Williams arrived in Clev. Queen has been name MVP in both years. Fact, since Mo Williams arrived in Clev. the Cavs have had the best record in the NBA in both years. Fact, if the Cavs were focusing on winning games in the playoffs instead of dancing they problem could of did something great. The real fact of the matter is that D.Wade's queen will win championships now but nobody can ever say that Kobe or MJ had better people around them when they went on their 3peats or whatever.
Lol Mo Williams...