Love + Basketball
Why I Don't Like LeBron
Thursday, October 4, 2018
I have an unpopular opinion: I don't like LeBron James. I mean, I don't know him personally but I know I don't like him.
I have been in countless arguments with numerous friends, colleagues and frankly strangers over the age old question, "Jordan or LeBron...Who's better?"
And you know what? My answer is the same every, damn, time; unequivocally, Jordan.
I'm tired of the general populace confusing LeBron's humanitarian work and his knocking the whole being a father-husband-role model out of the park, with being the best player the NBA has ever seen. These two things are mutually exclusive. He's allowed to perhaps be a "better" person than Mike, if there was even a scale for that, but if I hear one more argument about Michael Jordan being less than LeBron because of his political views - I'll vomit.
Let's take LeBron's latest foray to the Western front, as a perfect example of his ability to use and abuse an economic model that doesn't hard cap it's players, and allows teams to pay massive luxury taxes in order to acquire the best players in an attempt to build dynasties. Here's the thing about LeBron, he's not on the Warriors and the only team in the league actively building a dynasty like roster, doesn't need or want him. Is he arguably a better player than Steph Curry? Of course he is. Do players clearly enjoy playing with Steph over LeBron? Obviously. I think this is where I could care less about comparing James to Jordan and more about what kind of PLAYER LeBron is versus the kind of PERSON we all love him for.
The player: A ring chasing abuser of the free agent system. A player who you can visibly see berating his teammates in high profile situations (Yes we all know JR is a dummy for that play but my Masters Degree in Psychology says this, "I'd be scared to make a mistake around LeBron too.") The human: Someone we should all look up to, learn from and perhaps even strive to emulate. The opening of the I Promise school. the funding of college educations for countless underserved youth and being a powerful voice during a a political climate that anything but predictable.
Alas, as I said before, these things ARE mutually exclusive and when the history books close and the statistics are all tallied, James will always have less championships with a strong legacy of being a humanitarian when we needed it most. He's the Colin Kaepernick of the NBA with eons more talent and benefits from a league that likes progressive ideas and that isn't run by confederate flag waving southerners.
LeBron "Hollywood" James is exactly where he needs to be as far as I'm concerned; bossing around a team of his newly adopted children where at least he won't be yelling at full grown men for making mistakes on plays. He'll be super busy tasting clout and rubbing elbows with Hollywood's elite while fitting to destroy my childhood by remaking Space Jam in his own image; the narcissism is palpable people. By the way, the movie studio that signed on to produce this abomination, Springhill Entertainment? Yeah, Bronny Sr. owns that too. Space Jam is Michael Jordan and Michael Jordan is Space Jam; end of story, period.
I will leave you with this thought: LeBron James is the greatest Athlete/ Humanitarian to maybe ever play the game of basketball, but he is not the greatest basketball player ever. That title is reserved for 'His Air-ness', a royal king who brought us the Toon Squad first and made it cool, unlike someone else who is riding the clout-tails of something already established before him while also not giving it credit. For someone who bangs to Eminem tracks, Bron should know better.