King James the Pretender: Why I Continue to Hope LeBron James Fails

Thomas CoglianoCorrespondent IJune 12, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat reacts against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In 1688, William of Orange led a massive Dutch fleet into the English Channel and landed a sizable force in England for the purpose of driving out the last Catholic monarch in England's history, King James II.  William of Orange received support from members of Parliament and defections from key advisers from the noble class, most notably the Duke of Marlborough Lord John Churchill. 

After two months of conflict, King James II abdicated the throne and fled the country.  William of Orange then assumed the royal throne along with his wife, Mary, and henceforth began a joint monarchy.  This event in English history was referred to as the Glorious Revolution.  For Catholics, this event was all but glorious because this was what disenfranchised them in England for quite some time. 

Earlier that year, King James II's wife bore a son also named James.  This all but guaranteed a continued blood line for the ruling Stuart family. 13 years after his father was overthrown, the teenager James proclaimed himself as the legitimate King of England and declared that King William III was a usurper.  To some people, he was King James III of the Stuart family.  To others, he was James the Pretender, a man just masquerading as a monarch when he was merely an exiled national.  For 67 years, James "the Pretender" remained outside of England proclaiming himself a king even though he possessed no crown at all. 

And thus, this ties in brilliantly with LeBron James.  When he first burst onto the NBA scene with the Cleveland Cavaliers after being drafted in the legendary 2003 Draft, media pundits and basketball analysts were already proclaiming him to be the "King".  Before his first ever NBA game, he was already starring in TV commercials endorsing products.  He already earned $1,000,000 in his immense contract with the Cavaliers before tip-off for his first game. 

Now, do not get me wrong.  There is nothing new with this.  Other prospects had been given similar treatment, most notably Kobe Bryant after he was drafted from high school.

With that said, Kobe quickly demonstrated his worth helping the Los Angeles Lakers win three consecutive NBA championships from 2000-2002.  And yet even with the possible factor of Shaquille O'Neal being a more valuable asset during that three-peat, Kobe helped the Lakers win two more titles after the Shaq era in LA (2009 and 2010).

To date, Kobe's five NBA championships are tops for any active player in the NBA.  To date, this is five more titles than LeBron James has ever won.  And yet, between the two, who is called "King"?  And yet, between the two, who exploited his free agency in the offseason to buy an hour of television on ESPN for an announcement declaring where he intended to play? 

Yes, LeBron James is an arrogant athlete.  He is not the first nor the last.  There is nothing wrong for an athlete to possess a measure of arrogance.  After all, having a measure of self-confidence enables for success on the playing field. 

However, with that said, there is a bad kind of arrogance, an arrogance that possesses the human mind into thinking he is so good in spite of the obvious setbacks.  As of 2011, the results are in: LeBron James is not a champion.  There are no championship rings on any of his fingers.  And yet, he is still compared to Michael Jordan (an athlete who retired with six NBA titles).  And yet, he has demonstrated on no occasion that he is bothered by the obvious fallacies in these accolades or comparisons. 

James could still win an NBA title.  After all, he is still quite young.  Remember, Peyton Manning was around a lot longer in professional sport before he captured his first Super Bowl championship with the Indianapolis Colts.  But as of this writing, I am rooting against LeBron James.  He needs to humble himself down in a way Kobe had to after his issue he had to deal with in Boulder, Colorado.  Kobe bore down, refocused, and in many ways rejuvenated his image.  LeBron needs the recent defeat to the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals to humble him to the point where he blinks the next time Michael Wilbon compares him to Michael Jordan or some star-studded journalist bestows the title "King" when LeBron dumps 50 points against some meaningless team in a non-essential regular season game. 

James the Pretender of 1701 considered himself a king but possessed no crown.  James the Pretender of 2011 is still regarded as a basketball king but possesses no championship ring.