Today, I woke up to the the craziest news that LeBron James has agreed to 4-year, $154M deal with Lakers.
LeBron James is a Laker.
Let. That. Sink. In.
LeBron motherfucking James is a motherfucking Laker.
Holy shit! It’s been hours and I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that LeBron is a Laker. Magic and Pelinka really made it happen. Lakers did it. We didn’t even have to do a #TrustTheProcess because we did a “#FuckTheProcess we got LeBron”. My goodness. I still can’t believe it. I mean, it’s not a total surprise as rumors have been circulating about this. It’s more of an anticipated “shock” to me, really.
Seriously, I’m still #shookt.
As we all know, I am not fond of the guy. As early as 2014, when there were news that the Lakers were pursuing LBJ and Melo (the latter wasn’t washed up back then), I did not want any part of him in the Lakers organization.
Just to be clear, I have nothing against the 4-time MVP. I’m just really not fond of him… at least not yet.
The Decision (a.k.a. The Traitor)
Back in 2010, during the peak “LeBron the Villain” era, his horribly executed “The Decision” created a firestorm of criticism. This lost him some fans and hardened the opinions of those that already disliked him.
I was one of those people.
hated didn’t like him back then along with the Cavs fans who called him “traitor” with passion.
The concept of creating “super teams” was quite unacceptable at that time. Everyone was complaining about it (except, of course, for the Heat fans). Even MJ had something to say about it:
“There’s no way, with hindsight, I would’ve ever called up Larry [Bird], called up Magic [Johnson] and said, ‘Hey, look, let’s get together and play on one team,’ ” Jordan said in 2010 (via ESPN). “But . . . things are different. I can’t say that’s a bad thing. It’s an opportunity these kids have today. In all honesty, I was trying to beat those guys.”
When a GOAT speaks, everyone listens. MJ’s statement spoke volumes to each disappointed soul that LeBron left so it added fuel to their burning hatred.
Even before The Decision, LeBron already had a lot of other issues. One criticism was when he was still in Cleveland (pre-Miami), he self proclaimed himself as the King. The common argument brought up was that “kings have rings” but he didn’t have one back then. I mean, I understood the sentiment because how can you be King if you don’t have anything to back it up. Even Erik Killmonger had to fight the Black Panther before he could call himself the new King of Wakanda.
Afraid to Take the Last Shot
Another thing that was put into question before was his inability to take the last shot. He would always shy away from taking game-winning shots, thus, made it an accountability issue for most people. “He doesn’t have the MJ/Kobe DNA” and “He doesn’t have the killer instinct” were some of the most widely used argument against him. When people are used to seeing the best player of a team take matters into their own hands (i.e. MJ and Kobe) in crunch time, this was understandably bothering.
Through the Years
To be fair, LBJ responded to the myriad of criticisms thrown at him in the best way possible– by actually erasing them one by one over the years.
The “no rings” tag evaporated when he won 2 with Wade and Bosh in Miami. Although, this wasn’t completely an All-Lebron show, this boosted his confidence when it comes to finals and playoffs performances.
The “the traitor” was erased when he “came back” to Cleveland and eventually gave them a championship in the sweetest way possible– beating historic records by overcoming a 1-3 deficit against a 73-9 Warriors team.
The “afraid to take the last shot” stigma was completely erased this past few playoffs performances alone. (I won’t post clips. I know you’ve seen them)
Respect Begets Respect
By overcoming these through the years, I believe he earned my respect as an NBA player. Apart from this, what I like about him is that he respects Kobe as well. The Black Mamba even talked to him on the phone before he made the decision to come to L. A. As a diehard #24 fan, I don’t necessarily cheer for LeBron but since I never heard him say anything against #MyGOAT, we can start from there.
It’s gonna be a long way for me to process this change but as long as he doesn’t stunt the growth of the young core and he delivers like a true King that he says he is, “WE GOOD”. Maybe somehow, someday, I’m going to eventually like him with no reservations. But until then…
For someone who splits her meds in half to be able to take it, this “LeBron is a Laker” thing might be the hardest pill that I’d ever have to swallow.