We all feel sorry for LeBron James now that Nike has shown us how mean we were to him. The moral of the story in his new blockbuster commercial is that we, the basketball loving public, have abused James all summer because he chose to be himself instead of what we wanted him to be. That was wrong of us.
However, the real truth is that LeBron James is the victim of expectations. The only thing he fails to understand is that the expectations are entirely his own making.
We aren’t the ones who tattooed “Chosen1” on to LeBron’s back. We didn’t hang the billboard over Cleveland declaring ourselves witness. (Don’t forget–that was an advertisement he got paid for.) We didn’t cut the deal with ESPN to hype his free agent decision as the sports event of the summer. We didn’t give him the advice that Nike and Maverick Carter and his other friends fed to him and he accepted without questioning. (To paraphrase mum, “If your friends told you to jump off a bridge, would you do that too?”)
LeBron spent his entire career telling Cleveland and the world how amazing he was going to be … someday. He encouraged and inflated and then packaged and sold that myth and now wants to wag his finger at fans for being stupid to enough to swallow it.
If LeBron James doesn’t want to be who we want him to be, then he shouldn’t have spent seven years pretending to be that and charging us for the pleasure of watching. Especially since poor Cleveland didn’t even get its money’s worth.
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