I was happy when the Lebron James decision came last night. I couldn’t even turn on the news without seeing a report about it or being told to go to their website to answer their poll on where I thought he would go. Now, here I am diving into the conversation. Just to get it out there, I didn’t think LeBron would stay in Cleveland, I was leaning towards New York, after all, that’s what everyone has been talking about for two years now. After all, that’s what was going to be the best for Lebron’s brand, his bank account, and his ego.
Okay, great, that’s out of the way….
With every athlete there is an ego. I personally didn’t think Lebron’s television “Decision” on ESPN was the best decision. In fact, I thought it was quite egotistical, a little self-centered. I had a slight change of heart when I found out proceeds from the television performance was going to the Boys and Girls Club of America.
I also had a change of heart in Lebron’s choice from last night to this morning. When Lebron mentioned that he was going to South Beach in Miami, I at first wanted to tweet that he would never be seen in the same light at Michael Jordan, even if he did win multiple championships, I still believe that, but that’s the point of my change of heart.
I read an article on ESPN from Bill Simmons about a pact that Lebron James, Dewayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Chris Paul made two years ago. In the article Bill reports that the four players made a pact that they would all play with each other in a single city one day. It has been widely reported all over the media that Wade, James, and Bosh are all good friends and in the end, I have no doubt that is what made the final decision for Lebron.
I find it interesting that most of the outrage surrounds the decision by Lebron to go to Miami, however, the fact is, it is requiring a huge sacrifice on his part to attempt to win a championship. After all, that’s what professional sports are all about, winning championships. Lebron hurts his brand, he sacrifices his ego, and he sacrificed a lot of money (although Florida’s no state income tax may have helped there too). Chris Bosh and Dewayne Wade are also sacrificing many of the same things that Lebron is sacrificing, all to play with each other and to win a championship. That’s truly unheard of with All-Star athletes.
The media questions why things are progressing the way they are with the ego and selfishness of professional athletes, yet, we feed it. I think a majority of people who followed the Lebron situation wanted him to make a choice that would “benefit” him the most. Even his entourage advised him not to go to Miami because of the things he would be sacrificing. Instead of celebrating an athlete that would give his television proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club, sacrifice at least 30 million dollars in salary, sacrifice his legacy as a player that could win a championship in a “cursed” city and be the “leader” of the team; we make him the black sheep. We would rather celebrate greed and self-centeredness over sacrifice and selflessness.
I am sure there are plenty of things that we can fault Lebron on and I can definitely understand Cleveland’s hurt and pain with Lebron leaving, however, the fact is, this is a business and Lebron has to make the best decision as someone who is employeed in the industry. I am sure his decision was tough, but in the end, I think relationships trumped ego and that is at least one lesson that should be taught to our kids and at least one thing that should be praised throughout this situation.
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