When you think of the most scrutinized athletes, most of it is bound because of their inconsistency, the fact that they can’t get over the top or because of their nonchalant attitude. LeBron James doesn’t suffer from neither but yet still he is the most polarized and hated athlete of his and maybe all generations.
As a high school phenom, the basketball world knew that there was something special about this kid. The way he dazzled us with the between the legs dunk in an actual high school game gave us an indication that he was not the ordinary hype. Most hyped players out of high school look like men amongst boys i.e. Shaquille O’neal and Chris Webber, but James played like a man amongst boys. Once he entered the NBA he not only lived up to his expectations but surpassed it. So why is he the most hated?
Let’s start with the media. Of course we know it’s a new day and age in which the media controls everything about sports. We see what they want us to see and hear what they desire for us to hear. Case in point, Carmelo Anthony goes for 62 points and breaks the Madison Garden scoring record on January 24, 2014. They talked about that performance for maybe a total of three minutes on the “Four Letter Network” while showing the players he passed up. James scores his personal record 61 on March 4, 2014 and they not only spent at least 10 minutes on him but also played a “LeBron James Top 10 Moments” later during the program and talked about it all week.
We can’t forget about deeming him King James. James hadn’t stepped on a basketball court and he was already given the name King. It’s understandable that the NBA has to have a poster child of the NBA but force feeding James whether he records a triple-double or commits eight turnovers gets a bit redundant which will make fans turn on the great one. Picture your mother buying you orange sherbet every time you go get ice cream as a kid just because she likes it. After a while you start to hate it because of the overload. Maybe we shouldn’t bring up the commentators or should we? If there’s a great pass provided by James, then hear comes the overzealous comments. Mark Jackson might be the biggest James fan in the media. His comments of “LeBron James is the best small forward ever” without any thought can be annoying to basketball fans.
You know that team you hate but can’t put your finger on why you have this indescribable hatred for them. It’s probably because someone you know boast about that team to the point you hope the team fails just so they can shut up. Well LBJ fans, you have a big responsibility of why he is prosecuted the way he is. The commentators were mentioned earlier about the exaggerated criticism of James but the fans take the cake. Usually his fans seem to think that God created James as the second coming. It’s not a problem rooting and defending your favorite player but calling him the greatest ever after his seventh season is going a bit overboard.
Yes, the so called James “haters” want to bring up Michael Jordan once LBJ showcases his greatness but that doesn’t mean start labeling him as the best ever. He hasn’t even played enough games to start comparing the two. When he goes for a remarkable triple-double then the social media post or water cooler talk at work persist of how great he is or as if no one else has ever recorded a triple-double. Now let him have a bad game or miss the game winning shot, now it’s the teammate’s or coach’s fault. He is clearly the best player on the planet but to be constantly reminded or crown him as the greatest ever while he still has at least four great years left is ludicrous.
Finally, the last person left to blame is, yes you guessed it, LeBron James himself. Don’t get it twisted, James is the perfect superstar. He’s charismatic, he gives back to the community, not self centered or arrogant ( well at least before the Finals) and he’s speaks up for what he believes is right. The complaining after not getting calls is a major contribution to the animosity towards him. It’s speculated that he gets a lot of calls to go his way or gets away with traveling (which every superstar gets away with) but for him to so call “cry” when he doesn’t get call puts a bad taste in most of his adversaries.
When you are the best player on the planet, you tend to get a bit of hate comes that comes your way. In saying that, the hate that follows him isn’t warranted until the media, his fan base and even sometimes James himself cause to be unleashed on him.