There are just some people in sports, whether a coach, player or owner, that you love to hate. From the Mark Cuban’s, to the Brett Favre’s, to the Ozzie Guillen’s, there are those who can’t stop from running their mouths or creating constant drama in the media.
And while it appeared he was one of the “good guys,” LeBron James has now joined the fraternity of sports figures most of us can no longer stand. \
First, there was “The Decision,” an hour-long special in which James kept the nation on the edge of its seat before making the obvious choice of signing with the Miami Heat, who had also snagged Chris Bosh from Toronto. Joining Dwayne Wade, one of the best players in the NBA, the Heat have its own “Big Three” or “Three-headed monster,” however you want to put it.
(Speaking of their nickname, The Onion, a satirical newspaper, has done wonders with their selections, none of which can be printed but are well worth looking up.)
But, last week, James reached an all-time high of lowness, calling out any critics on his Twitter account.
“Don’t think for one min that I haven’t been taking mental notes of everyone taking shots at me this summer. And I mean everyone!” James wrote Tuesday.
Well let’s put his theory to the test. It’s time to add my LeBron, because you have quickly proven how egotistical and selfish you really are.
Within a three-month span, James has done what takes some players a decade to do, completely alienate a majority of the fans in the sport he plays. Cleveland hates him, and one can only imagine how many No. 23 jerseys have been burnt during the offseason. The NBA still loves him, because of the money he brings in — especially since a new team and new number mean high jersey sales — but there are more than enough people who James has fallen out of favor with.
Starting with the best player to ever play the game: Michael Jordan.
Jordan commented soon after James’ decision that in his day, he wouldn’t have teamed up with other superstars because “they were the people he was trying to beat.”
Makes sense, and no one can fault the best for wanting to prove he is the best without the help of other superstars — although it is up for debate whether Scottie Pippen fits into that category or not.
Charles Barkley — of course — has also spoken out, calling James’ one-hour special a “punk move.”
“He knows where I’ll be,” Barkley said. “I don’t run. I’m on TV every week. I’m easy to find.”
Now, while some sort of fisticuffs between James and Barkley would be the delight of many, it is more likely that this feud between the self-appointed “King” and former players, in some cases some of the best, will be drug out for the entire upcoming season.
And that is the truly disappointing thing of this whole situation. As much as the media caters to crazy athletes, because that means ratings, there comes a point when enough is enough.
Most of America has reached that phase with Favre and his flip-flopping ways, and it looks like James is well on his way to dethrone the Kiln, Miss., gunslinger.
While the NBA isn’t one of my favorite sports to watch, it did provide the occasional distraction necessary. But after seeing this circus unfold during the offseason, thinking what the season will hold doesn’t bring a smile to my face.
That is, unless, the Heat don’t win the NBA championship.
So remember LeBron, that’s Carey with a ‘C’.
Nate Carey is the assistant sports editor for the Columbus Telegram. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments and story ideas.