Monday, May 30, 2011

the curious case of LeBron James

Basically I posted those blogs, so that I could post this one. I think they serve to offer the proper context for what is about to follow.

How do you become incredibly unpopular? Let LeBron James show you the way.

LeBron James plays basketball in the NBA. Last summer as a free agent he decided to leave his home town Cleveland Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat with two other top level free agents, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

He was roundly critiziced for the decision and especially the way he went about it, an hour long show on ESPN where he announced his new destination to the world. People generally resented the fact that he would abandon his home team (his jerseys were burnt in the streets of Cleveland by former fans), that he'd do so in such a self-absorbed fashion, and that he would join forces with other high level talent instead of plugging away on an inferior team where he was the unquestionable alpha dog.

This week LeBron and the Miami Heat prepare to play in the NBA finals. I'd say that in hindsight he has been vindicated in his decision. If you had the option of playing in Cleveland with a bunch of scrubs or Miami, where there's better weather, more hotties per square mile than anywhere else on earth, and where you get to join players who can contribute far more than what you're accustomed to getting from your teammates, well, you'd likely make the move too.

This is what I can't understand, the consensus was that LeBron should have stayed out of a sense of perverse loyalty to the city of Cleveland and the Cleveland Cavaliers organization. To which I say bullshit. If you're a free agent you have the right to move to any place you choose. You make the decision that is best for you. Does anyone think for a second that if LeBron was ever injured that the Cavs (let alone the Heat) would have any moral issues about dropping ass? The NBA is a business pure and simple, the players in this system are there to make old rich white men richer.

This is the part I love, 3 young black men gamed the system; did something that's never been done before: have 3 premiere free agents still in their prime go to the same team in the same year; and barring injury have ensured that the team they chose to play for will dominate the NBA for the next decade. This is a classic story of the tiny rebel alliance (Bosh, James and Wade) taking on the evil empire (the NBA franchise owners) albiet while playing their game.

I can't understand why the general populace would side with the bosses when the majority of us are workers. Sure LeBron and co aren't exactly classic examples of the prolitariat, they're multi-millioniares, but they're still working class heroes in my book. Who doesn't want to stick it to the man? People who love their jobs I guess. As for me I've been an LBJ fan from the beginning and I'm not about to stop now. Go the Heat!

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