The things which belong to others please us more, and that which is ours, is more pleasing to others.
- Publilius Syrus, Syrian-Born Roman Writer of Aphorisms (fl. B.C. 42)
Haters gon’ hate and yeah, I’m gonna keep on hatin’ too, because LeBron James is the most unlikable, least charismatic player in the entire league. Take the top 50 players in the league, and it would be a pleasure and a privilege to meet 49 of them, but I’d rather shake hands with a dentist who’s about to tell me I need a root canal than shake hands with this guy.
How much do I dislike LeBron as a player? Put it this way, if he got traded to the Lakers tomorrow, that would be the end my lifelong love affair with them.
And I am not at all a player hater, you have to go all the way back to the NBA days of the goofy little short shorts to find the last time I really couldn’t stand an NBA player this much, all the way back to the days of Bill Laimbeir and the “Bad Boy” Pistons.
Laimbeer was a guy who specialized in the flagrant foul (as a matter of fact, it’s said the NBA instituted rules addressing the flagrant foul because of Bill Laimbeer) and yet no matter how obvious most of the calls against him were, almost every single time you’d see him launch into a wild, gyrating protestation like he’d just been dealt the greatest injustice in league history.
And yet even with all the elbows and the cheap shots and the histrionics and even adding to that some of the most blatant flopping you’ve ever seen, even with all that, I still don’t think Laimbeer was any more annoying than the guy who began calling himself King James back in his high school days. I’m pretty sure none of that will change now that the ringless “king” has become the “chosen one” of the one ring.
Q: What kind of asshole does it take to hold the hearts of an entire city hostage through an entire season, only to let them know on live TV that he’s going elsewhere?
A: A king-sized asshole.
But beyond the infamous “Decision” on live TV that broke Cleveland’s heart and looking past the fact that LeBron has shown himself a poor sport in dissing fellow players on the post-game handshakes and ignoring for a second the way even the most clever commercial writer can’t make this guy seem affable for a mere thirty-second spot, I think it was the way LeBron took to the Heat management’s lame idea of a parade and celebration before they’d ever won a single game that really sealed the deal for me as far as being resolved to root against LeBron and Co. for as long as they play the game:
I can’t even stand to watch that whole dog and pony show with all the premature fireworks and hoopla, so I included the transcript if you can’t stomach it either.
Here’s LeBron, asked about bringing a championship to Miami:
Not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven . . . hey, and when I say that, and when I say that, I really believe it, you know, I’m not just up here blowin’ smoke and none of these fans, um, because that’s not what I’m about, I’m about business.”
I can only wonder what Michael Jordan was thinking watching this, sitting at home with his six rings while LeBron, having won absolutely nothing up to that point in his career, was talking about winning eight rings like it was nothing, as if it was already a done deal.
I also love the fact that there were 1,343 people who voted “dislike” on that video as opposed to the 330 Miami fans that liked it.
. . . we gon’ challenge each other in practice and uh, the way we gon’ challenge each other in practice, once the game starts, I mean, it’s gonna be easy.
Wow. There are some unwritten rules in the league, first and foremost being that you never snitch on another player for leaving the club with a woman who’s not his wife, but I’m pretty sure there’s also somewhat of an unspoken rule among these professional athletes that you should never make an ass of yourself by disrespecting your fellow players and dismissing the talent of the entire league by saying things like it’s all going to be easy once the games start.
So after nine years in the league, LeBron finally came through on his third trip to the NBA Finals. Hooray for you, LeBron, but you still suck. That’s not just Cleveland saying that, that’s just about everyone outside of Miami saying that. You suck because you’re the least likable man in all the NBA and you suck because you’re still seven championships shy of your own prediction.