…Title for LeBron. Why ‘King James’ put the onus of the villain on himself, and how he could have avoided this whole debacle in the first place
Well that was fun. LeBron really did this to himself. He had the NBA and its fans in the palm of his hand for his first 6 years. People loved him. They admired him. They shook off his antics because he was charismatic, an incredible performer, and apparently loyal to his home town.
Now he might be the most hated athlete in existence. The most telling stat is in the ratings. Last night’s game was watched by 22% more people than last year’s game six. For those with short memories, last year’s finals featured the Lakers and Celtics…the two most storied and popular franchises in the league. This year more people tuned in for one reason. To watch the Heat lose.
The eye test doesn’t lie either. If you stayed up to watch the Dallas celebration on the court you noticed that the arena was more than half full. That means two things to me. One, that Heat ticket holders are spineless glory whores that sold their tickets to more Dallas fans than they should have because they couldn’t win the title on that particular night. Two, that not only all the Dallas fans stayed for the celebration (obviously), but…a lot of Heat fans too. I don’t know about you, but if somebody won the title on my team’s home court I would elbow my buddy and say “Let’s get the hell out of here. I’m not watching this.” Miamians stuck around to see the beautiful people. They have no real allegiance.
Which leads to the saddest point of all for Lebron. He has no real fan base. He has nobody that will back him up when things go bad. America hates him. Cleveland HATES him. And his own fans just want to be seen on tv with shades and designer t-shirts. It’s sad because, like I said before, he used to be a good guy. I used to be a huge fan. I used to get in arguments with my friends that he might be bigger and better than Michael. And I doubt I was the only one. Wow were we wrong. And all he had to do was just make better decisions and keep people in mind other than himself.
Call Dan Gilbert before you go public with your rightful choice to play for Miami. Apologize to him and thank him for everything he’s done for you. Offer to sponsor a new part of the Cav’s arena dedicated to the fans with some gadgets and games as a gesture of your appreciation to the organization.
Take a page out of Tiger’s book and make a commercial that’s humble. That shows humility. That shows the Cleveland fans during the good times and maybe a tear or a hung head from you as the picture fades out. Think Nike wouldn’t go for that? Don’t make a commercial that is a 90 second testament to how badass and righteous you are where you use the word “I” thirty times. (Yeah, go count)
Don’t fan the flames at press conferences or in front of your locker when things are going poorly. Yes, we DO want you to lose. You don’t have to act like a martyr because of it.
Don’t let sports writers get in your head in the 4th quarter. You’re better than that. You made these moves. Back them up. It only makes it worse when you shy away from the moment and pass the ball like it’s a bowl of squash on Thanksgiving.
And for the love of God, don’t compensate for your failure by reminding people that you’re going back to your mansion in Miami and that we have to get up and go to work and worry about money.
Someday maybe he’ll learn, but until then he’s doomed to face the reality that he has created. What he doesn’t realize is that people could still be rooting for him in Miami. He could have still been one of the good guys if he had just gotten over himself and tried to be a person instead of a comic book character.
We are all witnesses to the power of self destruction.