(Written on Dec. 27, 2010)
By Chris Lehman
– A look at why “The Decision” was the wrong decision.
I’m getting absolutely sick of people trying to defend LeBron in this situation. I’ll start of by saying, yes I’m a Lakers fan, so its only natural that I’ll have a natural dislike for James. With that being said, I’m not trying to take anything away from him either. He IS a remarkable player, and will go down as one of the greatest ever. This isn’t my main point, but one thing that is particularly frustrating is when people call him the greatest ever. He’s not.I will admit that he is one of the most physically gifted (athletic) and versatile players ever, but sheer physical gifts cannot make one the greatest. In order to be the best, you have to understand it better than anyone as well as perfect your actual basketball SKILL. That’s what separates Jordan and Bryant from anyone else (perhaps include Jerry West). And while both of those players were incredibly gifted in terms of athletic ability, that’s not what made them great. What defines the greatest player, is someone with that drive to win AT ALL COSTS. (Flashback to the playoffs: Cavs. vs. Celtics – LeBron gave up because he didn’t like how his team was playing), whereas, you watch someone like Kobe who on Christmas Day of this year, his team was down 20 with 2 mins left and you could still see the fight in his eyes as he competed for every rebound…or Jordan dropping 38 with the Flu when he easily could have chosen to sit out. (just examples). So if anyone can give me an actual reason why LeBron is better than Kobe or even the greatest ever (which he’s not), hit me with a reason why. NOTE: If you’re just gonna drop some message about his stats, don’t bother! If it’s about stats, then Wilt Chamberlain is and always will be the greatest…so I want a real reason.
The main point of this note is because of LeBron fans backing up his decision to head to Miami. (Those are the same people who always blame his team when they lose, and leave none of the blame on him).One argument Kobe fans use to defend him is his rings. Then LeBron fans come back with, “oh well if James had an all-star team, he’d win one too.” So here’s my question : If the reason LeBron doesn’t have a ring is because of his old teams, why did they have the best record in the regular season back to back years? Living in Cincinnati, all I heard was about how THIS is the year. Three years in a row, all the cavs fans (if u can really call them fans) told me that the Lakers didn’t stand a chance because the Cavs finally had the team they needed. Then after each year, when they fell short, all the blame goes back to the supporting cast. But at the beginning of the year you all said THIS was the team you needed, THIS was your year. But once you lose you go back on that and say LeBron had no supporting cast?? How does that work? Then we go back to the All-star team reference. Lebron fans tell me, ooh well Jordan had pippen and rodman…Kobe had shaq and horry…then pau and odom…u go back in history..every team to ever win had not only a star player, but a strong supporting cast. The Celtics of the past, and present. The Spurs with the Twin Towers. The legit all-star team in detroit (billups, hamilton, prince, R. wallace, B. wallace), the Showtime Lakers. The one player who did it with the least help was Dwyane Wade. Granted he had Shaq, and James Posey (who locked Dirk down). He was able to win because of his desire to win. He sacrificed his body for his team, shooting 97 free-throws in the 6-game series..thats just over 16 a game!! But I digress… Back to LeBron. People have a right to not respect him anymore. He promised the city of Cleveland that he’d stay there until they won a championship..unless I missed something, he broke that promise. Granted, I understand that things change. My main concern is this: People backing up his decision to join Wade and Bosh. If someone told Jordan (in the 5 years he played be4 he won a ring) that he could join up with two of the best players in the league, he would have been insulted by the idea. The same goes for Kobe and the rest of the greats. The fact is this, LeBron, as talented as he is, will never win a ring. Wade won one in Miami without the new additions,and now that they are there, he will sadly never win another because that drive, sense of urgency and desperation & the ability for him to control the game is no longer there. Once the Heat fail to make the finals this year, more talk will arise about what the problem is. From there, the team will slowly deteriorate and all that will be left is a sense of what could have been (James and Bosh not coming in, but instead the addition of Amare Stoudemire would have brought Miami to the finals).