June 13, 2011
The King still doesn’t have his ring.
I can’t tell you how fun it was to write that sentence. Then again, if you’re anything like me — a homer with an allegiance to all things Ohio sports — you probably have at least some semblance of an idea.
After watching him crumble in the clutch, there was one thing about LeBron James and the other night I didn’t like, though. After Dallas’ 10-point win in Game 6 of the NBA Finals in South Beach, while watching the press conferences following the game, James failed to take the high road yet again, dishing a heaping helping of hate on those who decidedly don’t have his back.
A reporter asked the “King” how he felt about all the people who were undoubtedly happy he didn’t get his title. The reporter then asked if it bothered him to see so many rooting against him.
“Absolutely not, because at the end of the day all the people rooting for me to fail have to wake up tomorrow and face the same life they had before they woke up today,” he said. “They are going to have the same personal problems they had today, and I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live with my family and be happy with that … they have to get back to the real world at some point.”
As one of those rooting against him, I was amused.
I’m going to live the way I want to live, too, so take that.
James might be compensated for his hard work a bit better than I am, just a bit, but that doesn’t mean I have trouble finding a way to get out of bed in the morning. I’m married — expecting my first child next month — have a great family, great friends, a great support system and a job I love to go to. The sun shines in Ohio just like it does in Florida and I even have a dog that I can tolerate most of the time.
I wasn’t praying for a Miami loss so my life could be whole again, as James suggested. My life did change when he jumped ship … I knew it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun to watch the Cavaliers play, and I wasn’t thrilled about it.
I know what he meant, basically telling those who root against him to get a life. If he had it to say again he would probably change a thing or two, or not say it at all. I appreciate the amount of pressure he is under, but am obligated to remind those who may have forgotten that he put most of it on himself.
Look, I’m 27 now (one year older than James), not some bitter old man. I’ve had a few hurdles to clear in my life, as we all have, but up to this point everything’s been pretty smooth. Interestingly enough, with sports being such a big part of my life, one of the biggest “problems” is the simple fact none of the teams I cheer for seem to win anything.
And I think I speak for most Cavs fanatics. We, as passionate Ohio sports fans, knew the Cavaliers were going to stink for the foreseeable future (hopefully the draft changes that). That was the root of the rooting issue. He betrayed us so we betrayed him. I’m tired of people making a bigger deal out of it than it really is. James has to know this. He can’t really think he ruined our lives by leaving.
I don’t hate James. He’s worked hard to get where he is and should be proud. He needs to remember, though, not to let that pride get in the way of how he carries himself from now on. The world doesn’t revolve around him and it never will, no matter how much he wants it to.
I guess we made it easy for him to think so highly of himself. That’s the problem. The way Ohio reacted when he decided to leave gave him a sense of power over us. It made him believe the only thing we had going for us was him. The only thing the city had was him, “The Chosen One.”
You and I both know that isn’t the case, though. We also know these shenanigans have gone on far too long.
Now that Dallas delayed what many believe to be the inevitable — James getting a title — we need to make a truce. James is gone, and he’s not coming back, lets move on and see how these draft picks work out.
You too, LeBron, no more low blows. We’re officially over you.