I have to admit I was hoping the Miami Heat outlasted the Oklahoma City Thunder. I really like the Thunder, but I simply had to pull for the Heat, mainly because of LeBron James.
I’ve been covering the NBA for 20, but I have never seem the hate directed at a player like James. He recently even appeared on the most hated athlete list . . . yep, right near the top of the list.
Why, simply because he exercised his right as free agent to change teams? Heck, teams trade players at the drop of a hat. The Tigers kicked Curtis Granderson to the curb, and, he was a model citizen. The Pistons kicked Chauncey Billups to the curb and he wanted badly to become the next Dave Bing and he too was a model citizen. Orlando traded Shaq O’Neil after only three years.
James stayed in Cleveland for seven years, and did what all of us would do if given a better opportunity of employment opportunity.
During an ESPN special from the Boys and Girls Club (where over $750,000 was raised for three clubs) in Greenwich, Conn., James selected the Miami Heat as the team that gave him the best chance to win that elusive NBA title.
He was right!
In Miami the three time MVP united with All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. I believe they created one of the best young trios in NBA history from the unprecedented 2010 NBA free agent group.
So what was the problem with that? It okay for players to get traded like cattle, but if they get together and do right for themselves there is outrage. I guess the thought is those boys should just do what they are told, not think for themselves. The haters would have been just fine if some rich owner moved the player around like pieces on a chessboard.
And I’ve heard the talk that James should have stayed in Cleveland and winning there would have been more special. Some say that James needed help to win the title, so it is not as special.
What a pile of crap! The Bill Russell-led Boston Celtics must have at least five players in the NBA Hall of Fame. Larry Bird’s Celtics had Lance Parish, Kevin McHale and Dennis Johnson, all great Hall of Fame type players.
And Magic Johnson had the greatest scorer in NBA history in Kareem Abdul-Jabbar along with one of the most dynamic small forwards in NBA history in James Worthy. All are in the Hall of Fame.
Even the Detroit Pistons have three in the Hall of Fame from the Bad Boys era — Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars and Coach Chuck Daley. Michael Jordan had Hall of Fame forward Scottie Pippen and some outstanding role players and shooters. No one can win a title alone.
So my point is James took his life into his own hands and made a move that gave him the best chance to win a NBA title. What is wrong with that?
The fact of the matter is James has not beaten up any old ladies, does not have a DUI, has not stolen anything, has not done drugs or missed flights, and he practices hard. In addition, he cares about others and himself.
That is all right by me!
LeBron James made the right call going to Miami.