Lebron James Opts Out of Being an Icon
Lebron James will go down as one of the best players to pick up a basketball. He has the talent of the greats and abilities that surpass many of them. He has a personality and aura around him that dictates being one of the iconic members of basketball lore. However, he has a shortsightedness that will keep him out of that group.
Lebron entered the league as the next one. Named the King knowing the moment he took the court that he would be one of the most impressive athletes out there. He was an icon in Cleveland. The hometown star there to save a failing franchise. He did every bit of that short of winning a title. The Cleveland franchise was in disarray and he was given very little of a supporting cast. The 2007 team that he took to the Finals started Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes and Žydrūnas Ilgauskas.
In the summer of 2010, Lebron entered free agency for the first time in his career. The Decision as it was dubbed by ESPN was made in front of a national audience and in front of a large crowd. His decision was to leave his hometown team and move on to the Miami Heat. The Heat would put a supporting cast around him with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
His decision to leave the Cavaliers made sense. He would finally get the team he needed to have the success everyone envisioned when he entered the league. Cleveland never gave him the team he needed to achieve this success. However, the way he chose to leave left many of the Cavaliers fans in turmoil. Leaving was one thing, but to throw it in the face of an entire city was another. Many fans across the league joined in a newly developed disdain for the league's top athlete and most dynamic one since Jordan.
Time goes on and Lebron wins a couple championships with the Heat. James, Wade and Bosh talked of being a family and going in for the long haul, but a decision loomed in the distance. One that was made today. Would Lebron stay in South Beach or would he take his talents somewhere else?
Today, it is being reported he is opting out of the remainder of his contracts to leave Miami. This should come as no shock. Wade is getting older and Bosh is not enough top make them a championship team. However, by doing so he again proves that loyalty is not in the fabric of Lebron.
Part of what makes Jordan, Byrd, Chamberlain, Bryant and Irving so iconic was their loyalty to their team. By opting out of yet another city, Lebron has made himself a mercenary. Mercenaries in search of titles are not new. However, to have one of the greatest of all time to become a mercenary is a new development in sports.
Lebron will have a lot of eyes on him going forward in this decision. If he decided to go back to Cleveland, he will soon be viewed in a much more positive light as the prodigal son returning. If he moves on to a third city, his legacy will forever be tainted as a mercenary. Lebron has a big decision to be made going forward and the fate of how he will be viewed forever weighs on it.