Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lebron & "The Decision" Are Bad for the NBA

Do you remember all the trade and contract drama with Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson and Larry Bird? Yeah, neither do I.

Lebron James' "Decision 2.0" is controlling headlines and clogging up and delaying decisions and generally causing uncertainty that is not good for the NBA. It was bad enough when Lebron did this four years ago with"The Decision," a media circus for which he was roundly criticized and from which he should have learned. And now, he's doing it again, as the media waited while he met with the Heat yesterday and produced no contract or news or "Decision."

Ultimately, this drama is more appropriate for middle school, and critics have begun to challenge the power and significance of "King James." Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post reminds us that "Lebron Can Play, but King Tim Duncan Has a Nice Ring (or 5) To It." Lebron James is obviously "an impact player" who can compete for championships every year. And many players want to join him and many fans want to root for him and many teams want to sign him. But all this hype is bad for the NBA when:

Everybody in the league puts life on hold for LeBron.The King builds teams as he sees fit. He doesn't need no stinking title of general manager.
Hey, Houston Rockets, do you mind if free agent forward Chris Bosh puts you and your piddling $88 million offer on hold until James tells him it's OK what to do?
Think the winter is bad in Minneapolis? Wait until you check out the unbearable case of inferiority complex the Timberwolves would acquire if Kevin Love forsakes them for Cleveland, all because James snapped his fingers.
It used to be cute when Carmelo Anthony took orders from his wife before making a basketball decision. Now, like some jealous little kid, Melo is afraid to announce whether he's staying in New York or joining the Lakers in the same news cycle as Decision 2.0 by James.
James broke the hearts of Cleveland when he took his talents to South Beach in 2010. What he's doing now is making a mockery of the games, all the flyover franchises and NBA stars groveling to be LeBron's wingman.
I don't begrudge James his power. More power to him. James didn't write the rules of the collective bargaining agreement; he merely exploited them. But any league where the whim of one man is more important than the final score is dribbling down the wrong path.
The King is great. Anybody, however, who tells you James is as great as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson or Hall of Famers who relished competition instead of moving on to whatever's convenient fails to realize how hard a meaningful legacy is earned in sports.
Lebron is a really good basketball player. Can we move on now?

No comments: