Thursday, July 08, 2010

Goodbye Lebron?

Although we don’t know what the final decision will be, all signs do point to Lebron’s departure from Cleveland. Considering all the stories about Lebron, the boy from Akron that loves his neighbors and his hometown, I find it shocking that people -- fans and reporters alike -- could've been so wrong about Lebron. All we ever heard about him was that he was the anti-Kobe: he was a great teammate and friend and a down-to-earth guy (or as down-to-earth as one can be when they've been called “The Chosen One” since age 15).

Turns out we were all wrong about Lebron. While there’s nothing inherenty wrong with his decision to leave -- loyalty in sports is a projection of our own expecations and shattered hopes -- it does reflect poorly on him in the manner in which his likely departure is being handled. Most athletes tell you it’s not about the money when they leave. In this case, Lebron is clearly saying that it IS about the money, namely that Cleveland's money isn't good enough for him anymore.

Although in the long run I don’t think this will do as much damage to James’s image as everyone might think, the one thing that cannot be denied is that the irrevocable trust between James and his fans has been broken and that, once again, the cynics were right and the idealists were wrong. James was never different or special, after all.

(This is a reprint of a comment I left on Laz’s thread directly below. I am making it a full column because, frankly, I wanted to have my thoughts on Lebron and free agency saved for posterity).

1 comment:

Gutsy Goldberg said...

Well said. I also think it was blog-worthy... as in it was worth posting as a full column.

I will be posting an article shortly...