So many people began to hate LeBron James when he announced he would leave Cleveland to go to Miami and play for the Heat.
Personally, I don’t think it was that big of a deal. Yes, he might have received less negative reactions had he told the Cavaliers privately first his intentions to leave, but he also made a lot of money by announcing it on the ESPN special “the decision”.
Let’s not forget… basketball is his job and I would have sold out for much much less than LeBron received so I can’t judge. I think people forget that LeBron has been famous since his junior year of high school. He is very much used to the spotlight and if he acts a little differently than you or I would, it’s got a lot do with that. And honestly, if the worst thing that LeBron James has done in the 6 years he’s been in the league is the way that he announced his decision in free agency, then that’s a stand up guy.
He doesn’t have gambling problems, hasn’t shot himself in the leg, hasn’t killed someone driving drunk, hasn’t been accused of sexually harassing anyone. He just handles his business on the court. LeBron has the skill and ability to be the most dominant player the NBA has ever seen. He can score at will with amazing ball handling and shot accuracy from short to deep, deep range. He can jump through the roof and is one of the best defenders in the league as well.
LeBron’s most amazing talent, I think, is his court awareness. At any time, it seems LeBron knows the exact location of every team-mate and will dish an around-the-back pass to one with perfect timing and accuracy. LeBron draws the attention of not just his defenders but the entire building. Everyone wants to see what LeBron will do and it’s easier to break off and get open as a teammate when LeBron is driving to the hoop, easily capable of throwing it down, but instead kicks it out to the open teammate for 3. All because of the attention he draws on offense.
Alone, yet surrounded by a cast of competent enough players, James can beat 85% of the teams in the NBA and showed that the last 3-4 seasons with the Cavaliers. Now that LeBron has all-stars around him nightly to give an outlet pass on the breakaway to, it’s a thing of beauty.
The Heat are now finally in their groove and have won 21 of their last 22 games.
LeBron is making himself most useful as a facilitator. James will get his whenever and however he wants, but Wade, Bosh, and even the rest of the Heat are benefitting from James’ ability to draw off defenders and make a good player look great and a decent player look good. Given 2 of his teammates are great players already, safe to say the Heat are the top contender in the East.
Plus, have you seen the Cavs lately? They went from best record in the NBA 2 years in a row, to last place in the NBA halfway through the first year without James.