By Brooke Kelly
I wouldn’t call myself a “(Miami) Heat hater,” but I definitely joined those who were somewhat disappointed Thursday after the Miami Heat won the NBA Championship and LeBron James received the Most Valuable Player award.
Maybe my feelings will change in the near future. There is a part of me that is kind of happy for the team.
After the Heat beat the Boston Celtics to win the Eastern Conference championship, I watched LeBron respectfully talk to the Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. Last night, after the Game Five win against Oklahoma, I heard James say he had to humble himself after losing last year in the NBA Finals. The after-game commentators seemed to agree that since last year’s championship loss to the Dallas Mavericks, a lot has changed with the Heat and LeBron.
Even though James has made efforts to be more humble, I can’t get beyond his past.
My irritation with the James goes beyond the overblown nature of “The Decision,” when LeBron publicly announced he would be “taking his talents to South Beach.”
My dislike for James dates back to 2009 when he visited my hometown, Jackson, Miss. James visited a youth summer camp in Jackson that was hosted by then teammate Mo Williams. James angered many of those in attendance. He showed up extremely late and with a security detail fit for President Obama. He refused to sign autographs and was rude to some of the children whose families spent their money to be a part of the event.
Do a Google search on “James, not yet fit to be ‘king’” by former WLBT-TV reporter Scott LaPeer and you can read a blog about it.
The incident doesn’t faze some people in Jackson; they’ve forgiven him for his rudeness. But others, like me, were left with an impression that’s hard to shake.
James is not the only professional athlete — or, for that matter, Miami Heat player — whom have not cared for. He is not the only one who I thought of as arrogant. And maybe James is a nice guy.
But first impressions are lasting, and though I applaud the determination and teamwork shown by the Miami Heat, it’s probably highly unlikely that I will ever be a part of Heat Nation. But I don’t consider that hating.