LeBron James had the entire sporting world interested in him this past summer while deciding where he was going to take his talents for the upcoming NBA season. The Decision, an hour-long program which I watched on TSN via ESPN, centred entirely on LeBron while he was sitting in a chair talking to Jim Gray on what he thought about the entire ordeal since the Cavaliers were eliminated in the playoffs last year by Boston. The program received high ratings, but it also received an abundance of negative feedback, targetted at James. LeBron held the Cleveland Cavaliers and the entire state of Ohio in his hands; he knew what he meant to that team and that city. He promised to stay with the Cavaliers until he reached his goal of winning an NBA title for his hometown. So when LeBron announced that he was heading to Miami to play with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, the entire world was shocked.
In my opinion, this was a very cowardly move. LeBron couldn’t make good on his promise, so he decided to take the money and the lifestyle and travel to Miami to be D-Wade’s “Robin”. All-time greats, such as Charles Barkley, publically called out LeBron, calling him and the big three “punks” for The Decision and for the meet-and-greet they had in Miami—which resembled a Justin Bieber concert.
Since the start of the NBA season, the focus has, not surprisingly, been on Miami. Some analysts were predicting that the team could possibly win 70 games this season. Because of this, every possession is critiqued; there is already talk of trading Chris Bosh because his stats are not where they should be. With all the buzz and media attention LeBron is getting, Time Magazine couldn’t ignore it and decided to name James one of the 25 finalists for its “Person of the Year” award. Other nominees are Lady Gaga, the Chilean Miners, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and the Unemployed American. LeBron knows he shouldn’t be even close to being a nominee: “That’s just crazy,” he said. “What those guys did, the courage and what they stood for, I should be nowhere near that list. Nowhere near it.”
Stalin and Hitler have also been nominated for this award in the past—not that Lebron is as bad as those guys, but his image represents those guys right now compared to, let’s say, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
LeBron isn’t the most-liked person in the world and now he knows it. The description of his nomination talks about how his reputation has been tarnished; personally, I see the subtext as a figurative middle finger to LBJ, because he should now realize how much of an impact he has had on the state of Ohio and how we view athletes now. As a counterexample, I thank God for athletes like the Minnesota Twins’ Joe Mauer, undeniably the best catcher in the Major Leagues. He took an eight-year extension worth $186 million. This might seem outstanding to some people, but the fact is, Mauer is from St. Paul, Minnesota, and could have played the market and easily made several million more a year from New York, Boston, or Los Angeles.
I hope no one votes for LeBron James; he does not deserve an award that such great people have won, including Martin Luther King, Pope John XXIII, and the American Soldier. I hope you can sleep at night, Mr. James.