In the world of sports, there will always be debates. In the world of sports, there will always be favourites. In the world of sports, there will ALWAYS be hate. Hate and personal animosity are some things that with a lot of sports fans, will be the quickest gate to stupidity.
Some fans are brighter than that; sometimes a person will admit that despite not liking the player, his talents cannot be ignored. In a perfect world, that is what every sports fan should sound like.
However, it's simply undeniable that sports fans can be downright stupid sometimes.
Just to be clear, no I'm not saying it's wrong to have an opinion. However, with that opinion has to come a good justification as to why you believe it is correct. Something that has stuck with me to this day is when I was in high school, one of my English teachers said, "no opinion is wrong when you can back it up with a good argument."
In a perfect world, that's what each sports fan should bring to the table when debating two players—trying to prove why one team is better than another, why a player is being given too much credit, etc.
The worst offenders are definitely basketball fans. Yes, I am going to talk at LeBron James. LeBron is a very controversial figure, without a doubt. However, things being said at times are not only lacking an argument and proof, but are downright stupid.
With LeBron, the first thing is usually the great Kobe vs. LeBron debate. Now this thing can be settled very quickly when you actually sit down and look at it properly. It's as simple as this: Kobe is a living legend. He's had one of the greatest careers in the history of the NBA and is undoubtedly one of the greatest players to ever play.
However, at this point, in the year 2012, there is no doubt that the better player is LeBron James.
This is the common mistake people will make: They compare career vs. career rather than what they see on the court today.
People have to sit down and realize that Kobe is at the end of a great career where he has done it all. On the other side of the ball, LeBron is only 27 and still has a lot of career left in him. So when the sports fans start an argument with, "Look at what Kobe has done in his career..." There is really no point in even acknowledging that person.
When it comes to the best player in the league now, LeBron is really the closest thing to unguardable that we have in the NBA.
He's a walking triple-double waiting to happen with his great combination of scoring, rebounding and dime-dropping. LeBron is better on the defensive side of the ball at this point as well. If you want to take a shot at any aspect of LeBron's game, he is averaging 3.7 turnovers this season. He's never been good at taking care of the ball as his career average is 3.3.
However, until you can find me someone who can do everything LeBron does on the court, and better, there should be no doubt he really is the best player in the world.
Speaking of taking shots, one thing people really love to do with LeBron is take a shot at him being a choke artist. While it is true that LeBron is not always the most reliable player in the fourth quarter, that does not mean that he never shows up in the fourth.
That's really another common mistake I feel people make. They think that every game LeBron plays, he chokes. Part of that blame really does have to go to the media, however, there should be no excuse for a person to say that before he has seen it all.
I beg of you, go watch the Sixers, Celtics and Bulls series from last year's playoffs and tell me who was doing the deed at the end of those ball games. I'll give you a hint: he doesn't wear a No. 3 or a No. 1.
LeBron really has shown that he can get it done in the fourth, but he doesn't have that killer instinct a player like Kobe has. LeBron has to want the ball more. He has to realize that not every shot is going to be a game winner, but it doesn't mean he shouldn't take it. Kobe doesn't hit every shot, Jordan didn't hit every shot—no one did.
The big reason as to why people have all this hate for LeBron is obviously "The Decision." Now, he did take things too far by having his own segment on ESPN, but that doesn't mean he deserves all the hate he receives. In a nutshell, he has an ego. A lot of great players do and honestly, he doesn't even have the biggest ego in the NBA.
People didn't like when Bosh, Wade and James formed The Big Three because they felt "They should do it on their own"? Please tell me who you are trying to kid. Do you really want to sit here and tell me guys like Jordan, Kobe, etc. really did it on their own? Believe me when I say, Kobe and Jordan needed guys like Shaq, Pippen, Rodman, Gasol and co.
This is always a controversial statement, one that some fans will not agree with, but Jordan needed Pippen, Pippen did not need Jordan. I can honestly say to you that if you put Pippen on a team of his own where he is leading the charge, he would have been fine. Would he win a ring? Probably not, but the real question is would Jordan? Maybe, but would he really win as many as he did? No.
Can you really blame LeBron for wanting a better supporting cast than Jamison, Williams and Varejao? I wouldn't think so.
It's obvious that the manner in which he did it in was uncalled for, but to blame him for doing it is just stupidity. It wasn't a popular decision, but it was the right one.
What I'm really trying to get at is this...
The fact of the matter is, whether or not you liked "The Decision," whether or not you like LeBron, whether or not he slept with your girlfriend, stole your cash or punched you in the face, that really has nothing to do with his basketball talents.
What he does off the court does not take anything away from how great he is on it. We don't value a player by what he does off the court, off the field, the type of ego he has or anything else along those lines.
We value a player based on what he brings to the court, field, ice, etc. every single night.
Please take some time to read that over so it gets etched into your brains.
This is what I'm trying to preach to the sports community, whether or not you like the guy doesn't matter, what matters is how talented he is. Please do not let your hate, personal animosity, vendetta or whatever type of issue you have with a player keep you from admitting whether or not he is talented, and in LeBron's case, that he is the best player in the game.
When you do, and you have absolutely nothing to prove you right, you are really just making yourselves look bad.
This is part one of a series which will have several more. I will be addressing several other sports figures and how we have to stop the stupidity when it comes to that individual. If you liked this first piece, I encourage you to keep up with the rest of it.
If you didn't, I encourage you to prove me wrong and give me a valid argument as to why anything I have said or will say in the future is untrue.