LeBron James Decision: No Longer a King, Barely Even a Grown Man

Bryan GoldbergSenior Writer IJuly 9, 2010

GREENWICH, CT - JULY 08:  (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE)  Jim Gray of ESPN speaks with LeBron James at attends the LeBron James Pre Decision Meet and Greet on July 8, 2010 in Greenwich, Connecticut. Proceeds from tonight's 2.5 million dollar event will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Estabrook Group)
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

LeBron James is not a king.

He's barely even a man.

The guy exhibited the mind and integrity of a little boy, and a cowardly one at that.

In one fell swoop, he has made a mockery of the sport that he supposedly holds dear, committed an act of self-regicide, and looked like a complete buffoon in so doing.

What a day.

A lot of people are mad at LeBron right now, though not all of their reasons are logical...

Cleveland's ownership can issue any statement they want, and certainly one feels bad for them, but LeBron's decision to skip town was perfectly fine.

For that, he deserves no scorn.

He made a business decision, and leaving Cleveland was possibly the right one. They had seven years to give him some talent and they failed.

Yet there are some things for which he deserves to get ripped. 

First, he has brought the same lazy, half-assed attitude that he exhibited during this postseason and has replicated it during this free-agency period.

Rings are worth something when they are won in competition. LeBron looked nothing like a competitor tonight. Sure, he was never going to match Michael Jordan's almost fetishistic love for beating the opposition, but at least we expected him to embrace a level playing field.

Instead, he has somehow replicated the New York Yankees, only he has baffled the world by doing so in an environment that has tried to avoid the "moneyball" antics that destroyed MLB. That's right... he has turned basketball into the same "tale of two leagues" that baseball became in the Steinbrenner era. 

Great, just what we all needed. Cross another sport off the list of true competitions.

Second, his big announcement was one of the most pathetic and amateurish displays ever to grace primetime. He looked and sounded like a recent college graduate entering his first job interview.

And while it's fine to be nervous and awkward under normal circumstances, it is absolutely not alright to do it after demanding that every diehard sports fan put down their dinner plates and gather around to hear you talk.

How fortunate for those smart fans who got their two-word answer over Twitter.

The truth is, he had nothing to say beyond the five-second answer to the night's big question...

And when asked why he chose Miami, he outlined a "process" that was transparently un-thorough and staggeringly poor in how it was thought out.

If we weren't talking about a man devoid of an education, it would beg many more questions than answers...

If you just finalized your decision this morning, then why did you set up a press conference more than two days ago?

If your advisory committee of three or four people is comprised mostly of fans and old friends, then why were they so painfully bad at concealing your important secret?

You want to win—right? Then why didn't you go to Chicago, where they have several excellent players signed to rookie contracts and enough cap space to add a top free agent? Miami still lacks enough bodies to field a basketball team, let alone a bench.

Perhaps LeBron James stopped watching the 2010 Playoffs after his team lost early—because the Lakers thrive as a result of their deep talent. I also wonder if he's ever heard the name John Paxson.

Probably not. 

The good news is that he will not stand in Jordan's shadow now that he has bypassed Chicago—only Dwayne Wade's. 

In short, LeBron's decision was so cowardly, and his 'big announcement' was so painfully amateurish, and his decision logic was so immediately flawed... that this has proven to be a man behind the curtain moment.

Who will consider him a king now?

The few real fans present in Miami, the networks that want to maintain their access to him... and that's about it. 

He ran like a kid to a candy store when he heard about his friends joining Miami, and he has arrived in a city that has no passion for the sport that he supposedly loves.