Monday Ramble #43 Down With The King: Why LeBron James Is Better Than All Of UsPosted: June 13, 2011
Man I wish I could talk about something other than the NBA Finals. But since baseball season is everyday, I feel obligated to extend the sport I love by speaking on it although the season has ended.
A few weeks ago I wrote this long ramble voicing my opinion on Scottie Pippen’s comments about LeBron James. It started out insightful, then it got a little critical, and then I realized I didn’t want to write anything negative about millionaire entertainers.
Ironically LeBron’s post-game statement about his detractors was similar to a realization I made in my own piece.
He mentioned his haters would have the same issues today that they had yesterday. He actually said the people were “rooting on me to fail.” Rooting on? Man he needed a year of college but anyway…
To me that says, “eff the fans” or in the words of Jalen Rose, LeBron is saying, “I lost a game, but I’m not a loser in life.”
I admit I was one of the haters of “The Decision.”
I was totally pissed that he joined an offensive player like Dwyane Wade, who we would rather see him matched up against.
But now I realize that my opinion doesn’t matter. Most of the time I’m watching LeBron play on television I speak to the screen, I yell obscenities, I ask questions that get answered by no one and that’s when it hit me.
I am a fool. I might as well root for a villain in the X-Men movie that I know is going to lose, I am the person telling the game show contestant which door to choose even though they cannot hear me. It’s like I’m wishing Bishop didn’t shoot Raheim or I’m trying to stop Arnold and Dudley from going to the bike shop, these occurrences are going down and there’s nothing I can do but witness.
Is LeBron better than Kobe?
Is he anywhere near Michael Jordan?
His hairline is but when you have to shoot 3s or dunk on people to score then obviously something’s missing from your game.
I don’t want to get into that crap because then I’ll sound like a sports analyst and you’ll think I care when you dispute my opinion.
What I do care about is our reason for comparing everyone and everything. Why do we need to ask if Dirk Nowitzki can be compared to Larry Bird, if Shaq was better than Wilt, if your ex was better than your current?
We compare all day. The price of name brand grocery to the store brand, your first kid to your second one, do you like breasts or backsides, light skin or dark, Jesus or Allah, Hangover 1 or 2, Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle, Star Wars or Star Trek, Tyler Perry or Spike Lee? It goes on and on.
We love to say things like “it wasn’t better than the first one” or “it wasn’t as good as last time.”
I do it all the time. One thing can be great but we wonder about its greatness contrasted against another thing. A while back, our weekly radio show took a look at love vs. money. We wanted to know if money was a factor in people’s decisions when dealing with relationships.
Some people called up and said love rules all, others said if you’re not financially stable then you’re not ready to be in a relationship. One caller even said men should “holla back when they get their weight up.”
I tried to reason with her and let her know it would be tough for anyone, male or female to be told to go and fix themselves then return. “Go get your money right, come back and we’ll see what it is.”
That’s like telling someone to get their weight down, or let their hair grow, or get a better wardrobe, or go read a few books, get a better personality and I’ll consider you.
Does it mean you take someone “as is” all the time? Not technically, but it does mean that you see something in the person you chose that outshines the things that you don’t see. And sometimes you are the piece that’s missing in their life that makes them want to workout, make more money, eat right, sacrifice sleep, or simply become a better version of themselves.
But it’s much easier to compare them to your last person, or the next person you’ll meet or some celebrity on a screen or website.
So what’s my point you ask?
LeBron James is a professional athlete. He is not worried about how he’s going to pay for daycare or when he should get his brakes fixed, there aren’t any bill collectors with his cell number.
But he does have a receding hairline, pressure to win, and a city that despises him. All of those are issues most of us would take on if it came along with his salary and endorsement deals…but would we really?
How good must it feel to know that you can buy almost anything? How weird it must feel to know that everyone else sees you as someone that can buy almost anything? And now Bron hints that his haters and former fans are just peasants with problems and poverty that can only talk about him with contempt while they live their miserable lives and are subjected to viewing commercials, highlights and footage of him living the life most can only dream of. King James worked so hard to be what he is today.
But Michael Jordan may have out worked every human being that did any job ever.
He knew how to score before he learned how to shoot, then he decided to play defense, then he figured out how to win and get his team involved, then he became semi-cool with his competition but only to get inside their heads and beat them again and again as he made up false rumors about himself to get motivated.
He retired and returned after feeling lost. He fired himself up, won 3 more titles and walked away on top only to come back just to see if he still had it without the springs. He did, but it wasn’t the same. And now he’s in the hall of fame upset that he can’t play again and prove to this era that he’s better than them. He gave a speech that expressed he felt sorry for his kids, was still irked about a decision his college coach made and he invited the guy that took his spot on the team in HS to the ceremony.
These aren’t your typical “I’m happy I’m the greatest ever” moves.
And with all that there may be a slight possibility that in years to come, LeBron James will realize his own greatness, a sense of competitiveness will kick in and we will truly witness a player like no other. Size, speed, strength, shooting, scoring, stopping others and a will to be on top. And what will we do?
Search for a comparison.