9 Reasons Why We Hate on LeBron James Too Much
Whether it be for leaving his hometown Cavs for the championship-destined Miami Heat, or shrinking under the spotlight in the 2011 NBA finals, we all have our own excuse for hating Mr. James.
And we are all wrong.
I am here to tell you that you are incorrect in your judgement of LeBron. He is one of the best players in the league and, in my opinion, when it is all said and done, could be one of the greatest players ever to play in the NBA.
In this article I will give examples of haters going out of control and overreacting to certain events throughout LeBron's controversial career.
The 2007 NBA Finals
In LeBron James' first finals appearance, the Cavaliers were swept in four games by the Spurs. This came as a surprise after Cleveland swept the season series with the Spurs.
In the four games, LeBron scored 14, 25, 25 and 24 points each game, in that order. The Cavaliers were relatively routed in the first two games, losing by nine in Game 1 and 11 in Game 2.
Obviously, LeBron was criticized after the series for not being the same player he was in the prior several series.
Honestly, though, what did you expect from a fourth-year player in his first ever finals appearance? Very few players, let alone players in their fourth season, can even get their team to the finals.
You have to remember, LeBron was just 22 at the time of the series.
Think about that.
Not Getting It Done in Cleveland
LeBron spent seven years in Cleveland, and during his time with the Cavaliers he was a two-time MVP, led the Cavs to the playoffs five times, including the previously discussed finals appearance in 2007.
The problem with the Cavaliers was their lack of surrounding LeBron with the talent that could earn them an NBA title. LeBron was a one-man show throughout his time with Cleveland.
The Cavaliers made many half-hearted efforts to keep LeBron happy, but an old, fat Shaquille O'Neal, and a non-motivated Antawn Jamison isn't good enough to keep many superstars with a team.
When the best players you play with are Daniel Gibson and Zydrunas Ilgauskas, you know you won't be keeping your superstar for long.
Okay, I agree LeBron could've chosen a better way to exit Cleveland than with an hour-long special on ESPN, but I'm sure he was pushed by everyone around him to do so, and if he had it to do all-over again, he wouldn't of participated.
But when LeBron James left the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat, seeing Cavs' fans burning LeBron jerseys, it made me angry.
In a split second, the entire state of Ohio seemed to forget everything LeBron had done for the franchise, becoming the face of not just the team, but the entire state.
He gave them hope.
He gave them a reason to remain fans of the Cavaliers.
Also, what would you do? First, you have the Cavaliers, who just fired their head coach in Mike Brown and were stuck in the second-round every year because LeBron was forced to do it all by himself. Second, you have Miami, who has just signed fellow USA teammates and NBA superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
If you stay with Cleveland, you may never get a championship and go down as one of the most underachieving NBA players of all time. If you go to Miami, you have arguably the two best players in the league on the same team and have the opportunity to win multiple titles.
You don't need a coin flip for this one.
Bad Start as Member of Miami Heat
It all started with the infamous, "Yes. We. Did." campaign. Miami Heat fans cheered, as other fans were angered, and NBA analysts scratched their heads.
It created an unprecedented amount of hype around the newly-formed Miami Heat squad. With a complete makeover and very few players returning from the year before, the Heat wanted everyone to know that they were going to beat every team they played that season.
Well, it didn't turn out that way.
While the Heat were one of the most dominant teams in the league last year, they started off a measly 11-8, a mark worse than that set the year before by the Miami Heat.
Even I had to grin and giggle a little inside, as I saw a huge threat to my hometown team tear apart at the seams.
But with such a new team having so little time to learn the system, what did you expect? Once again LeBron and the Heat proved us wrong and put up an amazing season.
LeBron's Return to Cleveland
In what was the ultimate display of disrespect to a player who gave the city of Cleveland a reason to be sports fans, Cleveland made it known that they were disgusted and hated LeBron for his decision to move to South Beach.
Like I said earlier, the fans seemed to have forgotten the years of playoff success that LeBron brought them.
There have been many returns to teams that I have enjoyed watching, such as the flamboyant announcement of Chauncey Billups as he made his return to the Palace of Auburn Hills as a Denver Nugget, the recent return of Monta Ellis to San Fran as a Milwaukee Buck as fans requested for autographs and cheered to no ends as his name was announced. Even the return of Allen Iverson to the 76ers after playing with the Nuggets, Pistons and Grizzlies.
But the way LeBron was treated, even as a Lakers fan, was difficult for me to watch.
But what does LeBron do? He responds with an outstanding game that shut the city of Cleveland up.
2011 NBA Finals
Okay, I'll admit it. LeBron's more-than-disappointing performance in the 2011 NBA finals gave LeBron James' haters a more-than-valid reason to hate on LeBron even more.
Even I questioned whether or not LeBron was really as great as I had thought.
But once again, it was blown out of proportion.
It changed the way people looked at LeBron and his capabilities. It made people wonder if LeBron would ever win the championships everyone expected of him. There were even rumors of trade. Of course, they were completely made up, but come on, do Miami Heat fans really want him to leave?
Saying He Wouldn't Rule out Going Back to Cleveland
During an interview, LeBron James was asked if he would be willing to go back to Cleveland. In response, he essentially said he wouldn't rule it out if Cavs fans were willing to welcome him back.
The media pounced on this one faster than you can say,"LeBron back to Cleveland....what?!?"
Criticized for being distracted, not fully devoted to the Heat, and regretting his decision to leave Cleveland, rumors swarmed that LeBron was to be traded back to the Cavs.
Again, none of it was true. Rumors are going to be rumors, I guess.
LeBron's answer was completely hypothetical. He would only leave the Heat if he was forced out or they couldn't win a championship. Obviously, neither of those will be true anytime soon. LeBron isn't leaving Miami anytime soon.
And even if these things were true, I doubt LeBron would rule out going back to any team.
Passing Up Final Shot in the All-Star Game
This one doesn't even make any sense.
1. It's the All-Star game.
2. LeBron James wasn't even open.
3. It's the All-Star game.
When people start criticizing a player for messing up in the All-Star game, you know it's starting to get out of control.
When a few players started laughing at LeBron and bugging him for not taking the final shot in this last year's All-Star game, people thought that it was just another example of how LeBron doesn't show up in the fourth quarter.
Give me a break. The All-Star game is a joke. Everyone knows that.
Passing Up Final Shot
After the All-Star incident, this is exactly what LeBron haters wanted to happen. Not just once, but twice LeBron passed up taking the final shot.
The first was against the Utah Jazz. With four seconds to go, LeBron drove, was attacked by a triple team, and passed it to open teammate Udonis Haslem for the final shot. What's worse is that he missed the shot.
LeBron was once again labeled "too scared" to take the last shot. Well, If you look at the game tape, LeBron wasn't open. Udonis was open. LeBron passed it to the open player. Most coaches would be elated at such a decision from their star player, and Mike Spoelstra probably was, but because it's LeBron, we had to turn it into something bigger than it actually was.
The second time happened in a home game against the Indiana Pacers. LeBron pulled up for three and missed the shot that could have won the game, but the Heat got the offensive rebound and another chance to win the game. LeBron called Dwyane Wade to the ball and handed him the final shot. Wade made that shot, which led to a victory.
Well, once again, people didn't think LeBron responded well to the pressure, and thought that he should've tried once more to give the Heat the win.
This is unfair criticism for a couple of reasons.
1. He tried to take the final shot. He missed.
2. After missing, LeBron probably wasn't the most confident player on the court.
3. Do you really want a player lacking confidence shooting the final shot?
Didn't think so.
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