LeBron James is the most relevant, discussed, hated, and known player in professional sports right now. He is this generation’s version of Magic Johnson. At this point in time, LeBron and the Miami Heat are up 3-1 in the 2012 NBA Finals on the young Oklahoma City Thunder. LeBron has absolutely carried Miami throughout these playoffs with his outstanding consistent play. He scored 26 in Game 4 and it was considered a letdown as far as scoring goes for him. The pressure and precedents he sets for himself have never been higher for a player. He scores 30 in his sleep just by driving to the basket and posting up. He is the best player in the world and in his prime. Yet, he is the most hated player in the game. Why?
LeBron’s haters say he is scared of the moment, that he isn’t clutch. They say he is a terrible jump shooter and shoots it too much. Those are his only two criticisms yet he is the most hated player in the world. Sure he left Cleveland in a terrible way, deserted his home city where he played and lived all his life and he “quit” in Game 5 of the Boston series in 2010 because he was finished in Cleveland. Now, all those fans that loved LeBron like their own son have turned their backs on him and hate him for making the best business and basketball decision he could have made. Staying in Cleveland was suicide for his career. He had no chance of winning a championship there. They had no cap room to give and had no trading pieces to make them a better team. Their draft picks with LeBron would always be low first round because they would be in the playoffs but never get a ring. It wasn’t worth it for him to stay there. Now I do agree that “The Decision” and the celebration afterwards made people absolutely despise him. My question for those people is, “Where is all the hate for Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh?” They did the same EXACT thing as LeBron yet he gets all of the venom and hate placed on him. Why only hate LeBron and the team as a whole and not hate Wade and Bosh as much as LeBron? There is the first hypocrisy.
Second, yes LeBron played terrible in the Finals last year and didnt show up in the 4th quarter, but that defeat was needed for him to realize that talent and better teammates were not the only reason he wasn’t going to get it done. He has completely changed his approach this year in the playoffs. There is not one game where you can say LeBron has had a bad game in these entire playoffs. Who else can you say that about? Also, in critical closeout or series-saving games, LeBron has been unconscionable on the court. 40/18/9 in Game 4 of Indiana down 2-1 at their place. Down 3-2 at Boston in Game 6 he had 45/15/5. In the Finals so far he has averaged 30 and 10. Last night he went back to old LeBron playing point-forward and scored “only” 26 but had 12 assists, 10 in the 1st half. I expect nothing short of amazing from LeBron in Game 5. This is the moment he has been waiting for his whole life, he understands and embraces the pressure at this point and he will get it done. The hypocrisy from his detractors is that you have to nitpick to look for things he hasn’t done in these playoffs in order to prove your point. If any other player, such as Kevin Durant, did this game in and game out, he would be considered approaching Jordan status. Dwyane Wade did not show up in Boston, Chris Bosh missed all of the Indiana series except for a half, and pretty much all of the Boston series yet there was a constant that kept them alive, LeBron James. While he was scoring 30 a night, he had no help until the end of the Pacers series when Wade picked up his play, and in Game 7 of the Boston series when Bosh played great. Now he is finally receiving some help in the Finals and the Heat are about to close out the Thunder. I saw a stat today that said LeBron is the first player in NBA history to score 650+ points, 200 rebounds, and 100 assists in a single postseason. Not even Magic Johnson did that. That is how great he has been. It is a foregone conclusion he will be the Finals MVP when they win it all and his detractors still will nitpick saying he can’t do it again, that he will get complacent, succumb to the lifestyle, etc.
These detractors are the same people that supported him his entire time in Cleveland and never dared say anything bad about him because he was the savior of Cleveland. Blame Dan Gilbert and Danny Ferry, not LeBron for the Cavs failures. Thta’s the simple fact. He played his heart out for seven years in Cleveland, gave that city everything he had and it wasn’t enough. What makes you think the next 7 would have been any better? Kyrie Irving was only drafted because LeBron left. I am from Ohio, but I do not hate LeBron. Why? I appreciate greatness when I see it and this man has it. Why should I spend all my time hating on the best player in the world when I can appreciate what he can do on a basketball court. I only hate players when it is warranted, such as criminal acts or just being a bad human being. LeBron is a model citizen and a great human being, he made one mistake. My final message Cleveland fans: You have Kyrie Irving and a new piece coming in this year, let it go. Stop worrying about LeBron, move on, start a new chapter in your life and let it go. LeBron has figured out what it takes to win a championship and he is not going away. It’s time to sit down, shut up, and let it go. You look more and more foolish every time you criticize him and it has turned into sour grapes.