Sunday, 11 July 2010

Be Like Mike? The Lebron James fallout pt 1

So Thursday (Friday morning in the UK) saw Lebron "Chosen One" James get up and move down to South Beach and the Miami Heat to play with his Team USA buddies Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Shocked, Surprised, Confused.

Some of the words thrown around by some reporters. Not about his move to the Heat, but the way that he did it. Really, Lebron's "The Decision 2010," broadcast live, in a Prime-time TV slot on ESPN, an internationally watched Sports channel, was one of the biggest legacy-suicide moments I have seen since Tiger Woods' marriage implosion. That bad. To go on National TV, and basically stick one finger to the Cleveland fans that begged him to stay, that he promised and failed to give and NBA Championship to, was shocking. It was like Brad Pitt leaving Jennifer Aniston for Angelina, except doing it on Entertainment LIVE.

The Lebron that is marketed by himself is the big, spectacular image not to different to the stars of football (soccer) in Europe. However, not even the David Beckhams or Ronaldos of this world would take 1 hour of Prime time TV to tell us they were going to play somewhere else. This was totally out of the usual Lebron image we get fed to us by ESPN UK. And then there was the manner of it. Lebron tried to tell us that winning a Championship in Cleveland would feel the same to him as in Chicago, Miami, LA. Not possible, the man is born and bred Akron, trying to justify his decision like that only serves to make him look even more heartless than before. Nothing can beat winning a Championship of any kind in front of your home crowd. See: Tiger Woods, Andy Roddick and countless European stars of various sports.

So, where's Michael Jordan come into this?

For years now, the debate has raged: Lebron, Michael or Kobe - who's the greatest ever? By signing to the Heat, Wade's team, Lebron has given up any chance of winning 'his own' title, instead, he will be a tool to help WADE 'win' the titles for Miami. So now James can't be mentioned in the same sentence as Jordan and Bryant, two leaders that dragged their teams to titles on their own skill and courage. By becoming a partner to Wade, Lebron joins the Scottie Pippen debate for the greatest ever playing-partner.

And to further remove James from the 'greatest ever' equation, Would Kobe or Michael have ever gone on national TV to announce a decision like that, in the manner he did. Jordan and Bryant are very much the egotists, but even this was a step beyond them.

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