>A King’s Defence

Posted: February 19, 2011 by Keith Stone in LeBron, NBA

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We can all acknowledge The Decision was a colossal failure.

The idea – from genesis to fruition – was fraught with unmitigated ego and PR missteps from a ragtag group of yes-men that couldn’t objectively advise their human paycheck. LeBron had allowed his friends to orchestrate his business dealings as he installed inexperienced buddies to handle his business affairs. These were guys with no prior understanding of the intricacies of properly presenting him to a public that was hungry for a hero in the wake of Jordan’s retirement; a globally-recognizable, likeable hero. Small town dude makes good and brings a championship to a maligned city. It’s a nice story but it didn’t happen (and not for lack of trying). And when the time came for LeBron to move on, everyone wanted in. He chose Miami, in an effort to model his career less after some kind of Jordan cult of personality/Machiavellian reign and more like the fun atmosphere he relished from his St. V.-St. M days.

He was buried for this. By everyone, from Jordan himself to Barkley to Pippen and even Orlando GM Otis Smith. They would never do that. They’d want a championship on their own terms, ignoring the fact that the NBA was smaller then, teams more concentrated with talent. Forgetting that those 80’s Lakers teams and 90’s Pistons/Bulls teams were the all-star teams of their time. I remember those fuckers. How different is Jordan kicking it out to BJ Armstrong or John Paxson all day for open 3’s from LeBron swinging it to James Jones or Mike Miller? Steve Kerr built his career on that premise. So anyone that thinks he ‘chickened out’ can go fuck himself. If you need any proof that staying with the Cavs was the right decision – the virtuous one – then you need to watch every single game of their 26-game losing streak ‘Clockwork Orange’ style. He no longer wanted to carry that team on his shoulders; he wanted friends to help bear the burden. I guarantee Jordan would’ve signed with the goddamn fucking Clippers if it meant having a little help.

But that’s not even the point. We want our athletes to be infallible – to fall on swords and bleed for us – but that’s incredibly naive. LeBron is in it for him and whatever facilitates him obtaining the hardware and solidifying his legacy is what ultimately matters. In due time, he’ll leave my beloved Heat as well and I’ll relish the experience of having seen him out there, slashing and dashing and doing miraculous things that even now I am completely amazed to see him consistently do in a Heat (!!) uniform. It’s fascinating and fucking awesome. Be glad that you, me, and everyone we know and even don’t know are goddamn ALIVE to really see this guy play. Pay your big money tickets cheerfully because it’s not common to truly witness (for lack of a better word) a guy with such dominating presence carry out and excel at the very thing he was put on this Earth to do. LeBron was not built to be a car salesman; he’s blessed with universal size, talent, speed and intelligence to play basketball. If he didn’t come play for your city, well, boo-fucking-hoo. Be glad we get a chance to see this when we are all alive and in the prime of our lives and save your tears for the overextension of the NBA and the overwhelming amount of needless, shitty teams. So on the eve of the All-Star break, just enjoy LeBron – whatever goddamn city he plays for.

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