LeBron James Still Just Doesn’t Get It

Lebron James Still Doesn't get it

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

It’s unbelievable. We have all heard the phrase “sometimes it’s like talking to a wall,” but that particular vernacular has never applied more to a professional athlete than it does LeBron James right now. The man just does not get it. Just when I think maybe I  have finally started coming around to the guy, he pulls another egotistical, self-serving stunt that makes me shake my head in disbelief.

You would think after “The Decision,” “Taking his talents to South Beach,” and “The Letter,” that he would learn to just stop. Literally, just stop. Sometimes a body at rest should stay at rest. After his latest fiasco — “The Homecoming” — where James literally invited all of Cleveland to watch him throw himself a party full of pyrotechnics, break dancers, and piano solos to commemorate his return home to Ohio, the embarrassment level has reached an all-time high. Even Dennis Rodman in all of his theatrics is sitting somewhere right now in utter shock.

I have never seen anything like this. James is a basketball player, nothing else. That means that he shoots a ball in a hoop for a living. That is all. He is not Jesus, he is not God, he’s not Gandhi for crying out loud. Yet somehow, we as a society revel in this travesty, this train-wreck of a human being that is LeBron James.

I mean, let’s be brutally honest. If we are going to have extravagant homecomings to honor individuals, why don’t we have them for people who have actually dedicated their lives to serving others, not just themselves. For example, every soldier who has risked their lives to make sure we can live our lives in freedom and with opportunity — a person who is actively willing to leave their family, friends and loved ones to travel to a far away country in order to take a bullet to ensure the safety of others — deserves pyrotechnics and a piano solo, in my opinion. Not some pompous, self-proclaimed “King” who has shown that loyalty is only as deep as the amount of money on the table.

Also, what type of example and message does this send to our youth? It says that somebody like James doesn’t need to have character, integrity or loyalty because he has things like money and fame that will replace those lacking components. When Dan Gilbert, the Cleveland Cavaliers and their fans accepted James back, it didn’t signal a moment of forgiveness and atonement, it sent a clear message that loyalty can be bought for the right price. James can quit on his team in the playoffs, trash and publicly embarrass them walking out the door, rub it in their face by winning multiple championships in Miami, and then return to them as the Messiah. But all of that is forgiven when you attach a $500 million revenue stream James will bring in just by re-signing with the Cavaliers. So let the butt kissing begin, Cleveland fans.

For the record, all the comparisons of who is better, Michael Jordan or James, should die with this latest stunt. Do you know what the huge, larger than life difference between James and Jordan is? Jordan didn’t need to let you know he was good. Regardless of whether you like Jordan or not, he didn’t need to throw himself parties to exemplify his greatness or hold press conferences to update the world on his latest venture, he just DID IT. Everyday day, every game, every moment of every second he outworked you, outplayed you, and outperformed you. In the time he played, he gave Chicago Bulls fans everything he had and never once turned his back on them for greener pastures. If we are talking about loyalty, THAT is loyalty.

The point is this, we let “The Decision” and “Taking my talents to South Beach” slide; we let “The Letter” slide, we even let all the egotistical, self-absorbed commercials, promotions and other nonsense slide, but enough is enough. This issue goes way beyond sport to the realm of what we as a society truly value and where our convictions stand as a whole. If that line wasn’t already crossed with “The Decision,” it has been now with “The Homecoming.”

It is time for people, especially Cleveland fans, to look in the mirror and see they are being done a disservice. Until then, the clown car rolls on.

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  • charles cohen

    As is obviously, LBJ is an insecure person who needs to celebrate himself at very turn. He craves attention and headlines, and because of the groupies at BR and ESPN he gets them to cover him as this he is a special person, not just a gifted athlete who has still won but two championships.

    By the time the season starts, many fans will be rooting hard for the Cavs to fail. But given his history, he may decide to play in greener pastures. Sorry DWade, sorry Chris, Sorry Andrew, sorry Kevin. I’ll send you some cupcakes.

    • Steve Pastor

      You really should read your posts before you post them. “As is obviously”,
      “very turn”. Your nonsensical arguments make even less sense when you have zero understanding of the English language.

      • charles cohen

        Steve, you are correct about the carelessness of my post, but it doesn’t change the way he preens and celebrates himself like he is the anointed angel from God. And I would strongly surmise that you had a different opinion of him when he jumpe to Miami. The Cavs are still a flawed team with Love and Him, better but no champions.

        • fatnumber

          If you don’t like what he does, then why are you so interested in what he does? If you weren’t, you wouldn’t even posted anything. Cavs aren’t flawed. Get your facts straight. You haven’t a clue. They had the youngest team in the league 4 years in a row.

        • Steve Pastor

          I did have a different opinion of him four years ago, but as I explained in my response to the article he made up for that. Just wait till we sign Marion and Allen. And as fatnumber explained, Akron threw the party. He’s not the one celebrating himself

          • anthonyglamis

            But he is celebrating himself. It may not ultimately be his fault but it kind of is. If ESPN puts him on a pedestal and the latest news story is how he’s rocking those Jorts, (that’s true btw) then he can’t help that. He can hold himself better though. Forgive some of us for wanting the greatest basketball player in the world to be a little humble.

        • jhan408

          Charles don’t let this man’s judgment about your grammar bother you…This is the internet not a English class. He wants to be anal about other people’s grammar on a website well then go back to college and be a teacher. And about the whole LeBron situation all I can say is actions speak louder than words and lately his actions have had a more negative effect on people than a positive one(yeah let me abandon my home team…go to Miami play with their team to use them to my advantage…be done with them and convince their players to come with me to play for the home team i abandon) REALLY…those are GREAT ACTIONS from a role model kids look up to! WOW!

          • charles cohen

            Thanks although it didn’t bother me at all. The thing is Lebron craves attention and approbation, and most of his fans jump ship when he moves from city to city. If this team falls short, mainly because it is defective on defense, he is either stuck with his decision or will move on. He really has no loyalty.

            If OKC wins this year as I believe, given their youth they could be the next dynasty.

  • Steve Pastor

    I wonder if you would be spewing this kind of venom if Lebron signed with your team? Probably not. Your article is so full of ignorance that I don’t even know where to begin. Obviously you have never been to Cleveland because you have zero understanding of the fans that you are calling so shallow. To imply that the only reason we are ready to forgive Lebron is because of his “revenue stream” is absolutely absurd. How dare you accuse the Cleveland fans of being that shallow. He is not doing us a “disservice” in any way, shape, or form. We have endured more hard times than any other fans and all that’s happening now is that we are getting what we deserve. In Cleveland we are all about good values and hard work. Our sports fans are no different. We stick together and stand beside our teams through the good times and more importantly the bad times. That is the mark of a true fan. We are not insincere fair weather fans like so many others in the league. You act like we are accepting him so superficially but let’s not forget he was BORN here and he played here first. We are accepting him because he is one of us and he is making a commitment to better the place he came from. Sure, he made mistakes but he is making his amends. We have the most loyal, faithful, passionate fans in the country. Who are you to claim that all we care about is the money he brings in? We realize that there are more important things in life than money and basketball. The fact that we are willing to forgive those who have wronged us is a testament to the size of our hearts. This homecoming is about the values of home, family, and making the world a better place. Those are the values we hold dear in Cleveland.If you’re too ignorant to see that you need to get out of your high rise corner office and spend some time in the real world.
    Let’s talk about Lebron’s lack of “character” and “integrity”. If you watched “The Homecoming” at all, which you probably didn’t, you would realize that party wasn’t for him. He said at least six times “Tonight is not about me. It is about these kids.” He was referring to all those kids from the Lebron James Foundation that were there Friday night. In what way does shoving the message “Finish School” down the throats of hundreds of underprivileged 5th graders make him a bad influence? The man lives on television, he sells out every arena he comes to. Do you really think he threw that party for himself? Do you really think that after living his entire life in the spotlight that another rally really means anything to him? How do you think those kids felt being on that stage? That was the moment of their life. He’s not a god, he never said he was. All he is doing is using is influence as a professional athlete to do good in the world. I totally agree on your point about the soldiers. But guess what? That’s not how the world works, and that’s not Lebron’s fault. He was born into this society. He didn’t turn himself into a larger than life figure, everyone else did by buying his jerseys and coming to his games. A returning soldier will never sell out a football stadium. I’m not saying it’s right, but that’s how it is. That’s not Lebron’s fault so you can’t put that on him. At least he is using his power to try to make a difference. How many other athletes have foundations that are that active and influential? Why can’t a man show pride for his hometown without being raked across the coals, being accused of pursuing money and boosting his own ego? He realizes that being a basketball player is not the most important thing in his life.He uses basketball as a vehicle to inspire the next generation. He always says: “I am more importantly a father, a husband, and a mentor than a basketball player.” He does too much good here for any accusation of returning home for selfish reasons to make any sense. How many athletes have raped women,shot guns in public, beaten their wives, ran dog fighting rinks, abused their housekeepers, been accused of murder, had DUI’s, or anything else of that nature? How many athletes cheat on their wives and go through nasty divorces (*cough, tony parker, dwayne wade *cough). How much of that kind of shit has Lebron been involved in? NONE. He is the father of three and has had one girlfriend since high school. How does that make him a bad influence? He is not this pompous, arrogant king who looks down from his throne at all the pathetic little people. He gave himself as an influence to those kids because he has been there. He grew up in the inner city with one parent. He had to work for everything he had. He would stay with coaches because he had nowhere else to stay. Sure, he’s talented. But, glory was never handed to him. Basketball is something he worked at every day of his life. Hard work, that is why he is great. Now he wants to give back to the community where he came from. He even said at the end of his speech “I didn’t come to make me happy, I came home to make my hometown fans happy.” He made mistakes, we all do. But now he is doing the right thing. When are you people going to learn to let go?
    “Loyalty is only as deep as the amount of money on the table.” Wow. That is off base on so many levels. Lebron could have made more money staying in Miami than he could have signing with Cleveland. He could have made more money in endorsements signing in a bigger market like LA or NY. He could have had a much better chance pursuing rings in Houston, LAC, or any number of better teams. If he was really that pompous and selfish he would have sought out a more advantageous situation in terms of money and basketball. You know damn well that there would have been parades in any other NBA city if he signed there. Cleveland is not the only place that would throw a party, it is just the only place where it would matter.
    Everybody needs to stop accusing him for pursuing endorsements. He is a businessman. He makes money. Not every athlete can generate revenue like him, it’s because he has talent. He shouldn’t be made out as a villain, he is a genius business proprietor. If you had a chance to grow an empire, wouldn’t you?
    Everybody needs to stop attacking this guy for returning home. This in no way compares to “The Decision”. Returning with “The Essay” was the classiest thing he possibly could have done. What did you want him to do? Just re-sign with the Heat and make no noise about it? He is an international celebrity, and by putting the kids of his foundation on his display he used his celebrity as a tool for charity. To some people basketball is all about money and winning. But Lebron knows better, Cleveland knows better. If you are too ignorant to see that, you are the one who just doesn’t get it.

  • fatnumber

    Akron threw him the party you stupid jack ASS!! GET THE FUCK OUT OF DODGE YOU FUCKING HATER!!!!

    • Steve Pastor

      Amen. Enough of these ignorant assholes!

  • Adam Pfeifer

    Not sure I understand how this article is accurate in any way. Sure, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it’s difficult to warrant one when it’s relatively ignorant.

  • Kyle

    how is it Lebron’s fault that someone threw a party for him??

  • Bspeed21

    Love these post defending Lebron, when just 4 years ago these same post were F Lebron, Lebron is Selfish, Lebum. Come on Cleveland fans you all of a sudden love the guy who you hated when he left. Only reason you all praising him cause he brings you a chance to win, not because he is from Akron!! Hypocrisy at its finest. Good luck to Lebron, Thanks for the 4 years hope to see a Heat vs. Cavs eastern conference finals.

    • Christian Kyllonen

      To preface this, I used to be a huge Lebron hater so I have very little reason to defend him, but some people change and mature throughout their lives. Also, this article, as is the case with most rantsports articles, is littered with inaccuracies. How are you gonna blame a dude for other people throwing him a party like it was all his idea? HIRE A FACT-CHECKER ALREADY, RANT.

  • Steven

    Lebron is a bitch.

  • born2ovrcome

    Let these young men live. Opinions are like butt holes …..everyone has one. If you love him you applaud . If you hate him you boo. Its the public that makes him relevent and marketable. You can call him King James or LeBum and your reaction makes him money. His stardom is set for now……haters will have to wait for the fall…….that may never come. Enjoy Basketball……..its only a game.

  • TwoFirstNames

    It’s JUST a fuckin party. And not even one that he threw himself