Friday, June 22, 2012

LeBron James and the Heat Win NBA Title, World Doesn't End

The New York Post rubs LeBron's first title in his face.
I'm happy to wake up most mornings, but when I opened my eyes today and confirmed that things were largely as I'd left them last night, I was particularly grateful.

Given the outpouring--and especially the vehemence--of animosity over LeBron James, from friends, on Twitter and as otherwise referenced and reported, I couldn't help but sense that, for some, LBJ winning the NBA crown was akin to the world ending.

Well, if it is the end of world as we know it, I feel fine.

Which isn't to say that I'm happy the Heat won the NBA Championship, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder in 5 games. Not only am I a Bulls fan who rues that Derrick Rose's injury curbed their chances in such a distressing way, I was rooting for the Thunder and would have preferred any team winning the title over than the Heat.

Although I can't help but admire his talent, I am also not much of a LeBron fan. While I believe the haters are being a bit extreme, I understand--to an extent--why LBJ is so disliked. From "The Decision" to the decision itself (to leave Cleveland and join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh on the Heat), to perceived instances of arrogance and petulance, to sometimes disappointing play in big games and the seeming truth--at least to date--that while he may be a more gifted athlete than Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant, his accomplishments are inarguably worse. One can't say, and even he doesn't, that he's a better player.

But for me, that's it. That's all the vitriol and venom I can work up.

At a time when a college football coach is awaiting his verdict on charges of child rape, which was seemingly condoned by a greed-fueled cover-up, and legions of Wall St. banksters continue to suffer no repercussions for corrupting the financial outlook for everyone but themselves, and corporations continue to own & operate our political system, in which the presidential campaign feels more and more like pro wrestling with its staged bluster, and millions of people in America and around the world remain unemployed or underemployed, of all the things I can be aggrieved about, LeBron James and the Miami Heat winning an NBA title is pretty low on my list.

As I wrote in this piece when LeBron signed with the Heat (I read it again last night; it holds up pretty well today):
For whatever faults LeBron may have, I've yet to hear him referenced in regards to domestic violence, nightclub brawls, DUIs, guns, drugs of the illegal or performance-enhancing variety, gambling or other issues that have plagued many athletes (and everyday citizens) of a much-lower profile.
As far as I know, that all remains true two years later, despite whatever challenges--and widespread hate--he brought upon himself when he relocated his career to Miami.

Certainly I understand that one of the great things about sports is how passionate it lets people get about things that don't really matter. So if you want to root against LeBron or even express that you don't like him, no harm, no foul.

But let's keep things in perspective.

And with a healthy DRose, who knows?

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