Well, it’s happening a lot sooner than I had anticipated.
ESPN created a monster in producing and airing “The Decision,” the hour-long special in which LeBron James revealed he would be leaving Cleveland after 6 years with no rings.
The weeks leading up to “The Decision” were filled with shameless advertising and hype. News segments were mere rumors and speculation. In one day, LeBron would start out leaning towards New York, by noon it was Chicago or New Jersey, and by the time the actual day came around, most everyone already knew LeBron was going to leave to go to Miami.
All signs pointed to him leaving!
And the Cleveland fans knew it because the media knew it (more or less). Therefore, you saw the Cavs fans making pleas, literally begging LeBron not to go.
All I’m saying is, James’ decision did not shock anyone.
What did shock me was how quickly the media turned its back on its involvement in the whole “Decision” debacle. Sports T.V. shows, sports talk radio hosts, and the overall sports community spent easily the entirety of the next week speaking of nothing besides the Miami Heat and specifically LeBron James.
They gaged the country’s opinion on “The Decision” and when they found it to be overwhelmingly negative, they washed their hands of LeBron, painted a picture of a villainous fiend, and tossed him under the bus.
The regular season talk was focused on different players throughout the year but one theme rang true loudly: The national media have withheld spotlight from James as an individual when it applies to praise for excellent play. Instead, they direct the praise to the Heat as a whole, or to Dwyane Wade.
This is not to say that LeBron is under the radar. The media are more than happy to talk about James’ shortcomings, missed opportunities, etc.
Now that the Heat have shown brightly the first round and beginning of the second round, the national media is catching on to something: This Miami Heat team is good. Very, very good.
In the sports news business, it’s all about being first to break news or being the first to predict the champion. When their horse goes down (i.e. Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs, etc) often times, the analysts or radio hosts will simply pick a new team he/she claims to have known all along would win it all.
As a lonely passenger at times on the LeBron bandwagon, it has been, at times, hilarious to watch these analysts pretend other players deserve the MVP, blowing losses out of proportion, and force-feeding the masses inflated and irrelevant stats to dismiss LeBron’s dominance.
I figured it would take more time before the same people who threw James under the bus would crawl back and play nice.
LeBron said way back when this whole media frenzy started getting vicious that he was going to keep track of the nay sayers.
I hope he unleashes on someone to be honest. I hope he throws down on a reporter who ripped James’ integrity during “The Decision” hot bed. I hope he calls one of these smile-fakers out, quoting the outrageous attacks on his leadership qualities, finishing capabilities or work ethic.
There won’t be much left to say when Miami’s “Big 3” are raising the Larry O’Brien Trophy.