Here I am. Friday night, 8:16pm. My 14 month old twins are in bed sleeping, I’m about to put my 4 year old and 6 year old daughters to bed and I just deleted 700 words I had written.
What a waste. Well, I think it would have been more of a waste of time finishing the point I was making and pressing publish. So I’m going to start again.
LeBron James is hated.
LeBron James is loved.
LeBron James is admired.
LeBron James is respected.
LeBron James is disrespected.
He’s not Jordan. Kobe got rings. Durant is better. Blah blah blah.
Just as those of us that admire and respect what LeBron is keep telling those haters to “get over it”, maybe we should to?
Haters gonna hate.
But the issue is, that hate somehow creeps into the comparisons that just have to be made.
LeBron v Jordan.
Kobe v Jordan.
LeBron v Durant.
It’s hard to find many comparisons that get made for players other than LeBron.
Why are we so obsessed with doing so?
I’m regularly outspoken on not understanding why a) players from different eras are compared b) players who play different positions compared and c) why players who just don’t play alike, are compared.
Essentially, there are few players who you can really compare and saying you’re comparing apples with apples.
In my opinion, there is one comparison that can even come close to be a reasonable argument.
Kobe v Jordan.
I’m not trying to say that you can argue Kobe is better than Jordan, or even as good as. But these guys are two players who are roughly the same size, play the same position, and if Kobe’s entire game isn’t a replica of Jordan, then my eyes deceive me.
Then of course, their eras overlapped. They got to go head to head. Not while they were both at their best, but they still got to bump bodies #nohomo.
LeBron v Durant is a comparison that can be made, but are their games really that similar? Isn’t a better comparion for Durant that of Carmelo Anthony? Which at this point in time, a big advantage has to be held by Durant.
But why can’t we just admire players for what they are?
Why can’t we simply admire a player for the best of his generation?
Jordan was the best of his generation. Hands down. Regarded as the GOAT and you shouldn’t have too much argument there.
Kobe was the greatest of his generation. The GOHG. Yep, GOHG.
LeBron is the greatest of his generation.
Durant will be the greatest of his generation.
They are all freaks. They are all THAT good. Appreciate them for that.
Durant had a coming out game, if you call it that, yesterday when the Thunder finished off the Spurs.
The LeBron haters chorus was in heaven. Durant had now proven he was better than LeBron. LeBron should hand back his MVP.
Hold that thought.
While the Heat are still far from passing the Celtics, LeBron showed the heart, determination and ability to rise to the big moment that everyone questioned in his dominating performance today.
Thankfully, the haters haven’t been too loud. Funny how they’re at their quietest when there really isn’t much to pick at.
You can hate LeBron for holding “The Decision”. It was bad judgement. It’s the biggest mistake he’s made. As someone pointed out today, the biggest mistake he has made, also put $2million into the pockets of a very worthy charity. That’s fine, hate him for that.
You can hate LeBron and the Heat for holding their celebration prior to last season. It was pretty arrogant. But they did hold it for their fans. They did just have the most successful free agency of any sporting team ever. But still, it pissed people off and it’s understandable some hold that against them.
What you can’t do, is link those two things above to any moment from there on. Hating LeBron for the Decision has nothing to do with what he is doing now.
Hating LeBron and the Heat for their celebration has nothing to do with what they do now. But why does that hate creep into comparisons that shouldn’t be made anyway?
I’ve argued the point over and over. LeBron seems to be respected and well liked by the majority of his peers. He’s close with Durant. He turned to Kevin Garnett for advice during his free agency. He’s marring his high school sweetheart, the mother of his children. He’s a father to his kids. He’s never been arrested for anything.
Yet, all these things add up to people having such a negative opinion of this one guy they use it as ammo in their arguments of greatness. People think he compares himself to Jordan because of nicknames he’s had since he was a teenager. Come on now.
Durant had a phenomenal game yesterday. Admire that game for that game.
LeBron had a phenomenal game today. Admire that game for that game.
Don’t compare the two. Doing so means the greatness one of those performances is forgotten.
At the end of the day, people are going to interpret things as they wish. I certainly don’t expect to change too many view points held by people. But as a father, I hope to hell that my kids don’t have such a narrow perspective on things that they are blinded from the brilliance in front of them.