By Lance Dixon
Miami Heat forward LeBron James, who has faced intense media attention and scrutiny, has finally been crowned as an NBA champion. “King James” has been criticized since
“The Decision” in 2010, making the Heat a villain role for the past two seasons.
But how can you hate the most gifted athlete in the game?
James put on a historic performance averaging 30.5 points, 9.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists a game in the 2012 playoffs—averages matched only by Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson.
Prior to James’s departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers he was a celebrated two-time league MVP who had averaged no fewer than 20 points a game in seven seasons and delivered the Cavs to five straight playoffs appearances. These games were capped by appearance at the NBA Finals in 2009, the first in team history.
Media and fans seem to have a short memory in regard to James; he brought sports success to a city that hadn’t contended for a title in any sport in more than a decade. It’s time for people to look at the totality of James’ career and celebrate his accomplishments and not focus on one horrible public relations move.
James is not the first athlete, nor will he be the last, to leave a team after many years. Some athletes in the 1990s did the same in search of success. Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler, left the Portland Trail Blazers after 11 seasons and fellow Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, left the Philadelphia 76ers after eight seasons.
More recently, the Boston Celtics won the NBA title with the “Big 3” composed of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett and their decision was not as heavily scrutinized as James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. James is only polarized because of his success, and that’s counter-intuitive.
Why bash a man who has accomplished so much? The only thing he’s guilty of is poor execution of a decision hundreds of athletes, star and scrub alike, have made.
Now that the king has officially backed up his title—don’t hate, celebrate.