Let me start this by saying, I am a huge NBA and NFL fan. I love the games, the thrilling rush, the schemes on offense and defense, who can outsmart who, who can be more physical, etc. I am going to tackle a huge NBA topic that has been talked about for YEARS, it really annoys me when it is brought up. I am a huge Lebron James fan. I believe 12 years in his career he has achieved things that most people can only dream of, on and off the court. One of the things I can’t stand is the unjustified hate for Lebron James. I think it really started back in July of 2010, when he made his “I’m taking my talents to South Beach” statement, and decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Lets take it back a step further. Lebron James was drafted number 1 by the (very bad) Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003. In that draft class, you had fellow future NBA AllStars such as Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Josh Howard, David West. Lebron was drafted out of St Vincent-St Mary Highschool and had a lot of expectations. He won the NBA’s Rookie Of The Year award, improved Cleveland’s win percentage from 35 wins in 2003-2004, to 42 wins in 2004-2005 to 50 wins in 2005-2006.
He helped Cavs get to the playoffs for 5 straight years from the 2005-2006 season to the 2009-2010 season. In the 2005-2006 season (Lebron’s 3rd season in the league), not only did the team make the playoffs for the first time since the 1997-1998 season, but also got their first playoff series win since the 1992-1993 season. After they got past the 1st round against the Washington Wizards, they eventually lost to the Detroit Pistons in the 2nd round. A season later in 2006-2007, they won 45 games and went to the NBA Finals, losing to the San Antonio Spurs. After 3 more seasons, winning 45 games in 2007-2008, 66 games in 2008-2009, and 61 games in 2009-2010 and losing in the playoffs in the 2nd round to the Boston Celtics in 2008, a loss to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2009 and losing to the Boston Celtics(again) in the 2nd round in 2010. Lebron a free agent in that summer of 2010 decided to leave Cleveland and go and sign with the Miami Heat to play alongside Dwyane Wade who already had a championship with Miami in 2006 and Chris Bosh, who was also a free agent who played for the Toronto Raptors and decided to leave as well. For the past 4 years from the 2010-2011 to 2013-2014 seasons, the Miami went to 4 straight Finals, winning 2 championships out of the 4.
The first year in Miami, they won 58 games, lost to the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. 2nd year they won 46 games and won the championship against the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2012. in 2013, the Heat won back to back championships against the Spurs after winning 66 games and lost to the Spurs the following year in 2014. So Lebron was able to not only get 1 but 2 titles after he left Cleveland and joined Miami.
When Lebron came to Miami, the heat really started(no pun intended). People was mad, cause one, Lebron left Cleveland to play in Miami with Bosh and Wade. 2nd the fact that Lebron had the “Announcement” live on ESPN, rubbed people the wrong way. Let me start this off by saying Lebron was a free agent, which means he is alowed to sign anywhere he wants to go. From 2003 to 2010, Lebron had to do a lot by himself in Cleveland. During his 7 years playing with the Cavs, Lebron was doing everything for the team. He was the team’s best scorer, passer, defender and at times their best rebounder. When you bring the best out of yourself and you don’t see success coming your way, you will get frustrated. Lebron was fed up with the team, so he decided to go to Miami who already had a superstar in Dwyane Wade who knew what it took to win a title. And adding Chris Bosh, who up to that point was the Toronto Raptors best player and a 5 time AllStar, was frustrated with his team as well. It does not hurt to say that all 3 guys are friends off the court.
So I will like for people to think about this for a second. You have been the best player on your team for 7 years, one of the best all around players in the league, the management for your team didn’t get no true 2nd option for you to help the team to win a championship, you are now a free agent, and not only do you have a chance to go to a organization that has won before, but you will be playing for Pat Riley(Miami Heat’s team president), a guy who won 4 championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 80’s as a coach, helped build the New York Knicks as one of the best teams in the 90’s with their gritty defense despite not winning a championship with them, and helped the Heat win a championship in 2006, and be able to play with your friends(Wade and Bosh), I can’t speak for everyone else, but I would jump on that opportunity, and I THINK a lot of other people will do too. No disrespect, but if you are with a team for 7 years and the best players you have in that 7 year span are Drew Gooden, Daniel Gibson, Damon Jones, Sasha Pavlovic, Ira Newble, Scott Pollard, you wouldn’t be happy either. Lol
Let me state this tho, Lebron did play with known good players in Mo Williams, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Larry Hughes and Ben Wallace. But Ben Wallace who was a tenacious and is one of the greatest NBA defenders ever, was broken down and hobbled by injury by the time he came to Cleveland through a trade in 2008. Larry Hughes who was a talented player, was another one that was injury prone only playing 2 and a half seasons with Lebron in Cleveland from the 2005-2006 season to the first half of the 2007-2008 season before he got traded to Chicago. Zydrunas was a good player and actually made a AllStar team. Mo Wlliams came to Cleveland in the summer of 2008 through a trade, despite playing good with Lebron the regular season, he was not able to continue his good play in the playoffs. So Lebron had to deal with a lot of stuff in Cleveland. He even tried to convince Bosh to come to Cleveland, but that didn’t work, so it’s not like Lebron didn’t try to stay, he just finally realized he had to do what was best for him and his family.
People also gave flack for Lebron for making his decision live on T.V and not giving the Cavs owner Dan Gilbert a heads up on what he intended to do. I will be fare, he should have gave his owner a heads up, but the “Decision” that was made live on T.V helped donate money to the Boys and Girls Club for a total of 3.5 million. How can you be mad at that?
A lot of great NBA players has had their off the court problems. Kobe Bryant had the rape scandal incident in the summer of 2003, Charles Barkley threw a guy through a window at a bar in 1997, Richard Dumas was known for taking drugs and was arrested in 2013 for theft, Shawn Kemp went to rehab for alcohol and cocaine abuse, Gilbert Arenas was suspended from the league for having a unregistered gun in the locker room, the list goes on and on about NBA players and their troubles. I understand no one is perfect, but my point is Lebron has not gotten into any real scandal through his 12 years in the league. the worst thing I have heard about Lebron was about him making the decision to join Miami, if that is the worst thing people can really publicly say negative about you, you should really sleep good at night. And Lebron is not the only one, Tim Duncan, Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Ray Allen and others has kept their nose clean for most part off the court. I don’t know these players personally, so I don’t know what these players do privately, I’m just stating things I have heard for years. there is this great saying “where there is smoke there is fire”, and some players are always in some mess time and time again. Lebron just happens to be one of the players that don’t fall in that category
Lebron has given back to a lot of charities such as “After School AllStars”, “Boys And Girls Clubs, “Childrens Defense Fund” and some others. Lebron does commercials with his wife Savannah(who he has dated since high school) and his 2 sons Lebron Jr and Bryce, and just welcomed a new member of the family, daughter Zhuri. Too me, I love seeing that. Someone in Lebron’s position able to do things with his family and donate his money and start his own charities. Last year summer Lebron decided to come back to Cleveland. Which was an amazing thing to do. Most times in sports, you don’t have players leave a team in their prime to go another team and then come back to his or her original team still in their prime. If they do come back, they usually are past their prime and broken down physically. Him doing that made me really feel that his heart is really in Cleveland. And that made me like him even more.
We as a society have a strong tendency to put value and applaud people who are talented in their craft but do a lot of questionable things. Lebron just so happens to be a VERY RARE person, someone who is great at what he does, displays his love for his family, gives back to charities, plays with his fans, he has his childhood friends who he calls the “Fab Horsemen”, Maverick Carter, Rich Paul, and Randy Mims working with him and involved with his business ventures, showed appreciation more than once to his mother during his MVP speeches, who raised him by herself in Akron Ohio. I have heard people call Lebron cocky, but they forget to mention this guy by the name of Michael Jordan who is KNOWN for being cocky, asshole, arrogant. Jordan is the same guy that punched his teammates Steve Kerr and Will Purdue in the face during practice over a little disagreement, he once told rapper Chamillionair, who is a fan of Jordan, that he will only take a picture if he pays $15,000 for one of his jerseys. So if Lebron is so called “cocky’,then what is Jordan?
Lets stop for a second and give credit where credit is due to someone that has accomplished great things as a basketball player, husband, father, son, and friend. I will end this post with this quote “If you are not being hated by people in someway, you might be doing something wrong”
Lebron James NBA Achievements
2x NBA Champion
2x Finals MVP
6x Eastern Conference Champion
4x League MVP
11x NBA AllStar
2x AllStar MVP
9x All NBA First Team
2x All NBA 2nd Team
5x All NBA Defensive Team
All NBA 2nd Defensive Team
Rookie Of The Year
NBA Scoring Champion