I always thought this was an interesting debate.
When former players become television/radio analysts, how are they perceived by active athletes? Lebron is right and wrong when he took his talents to Twitter to speak on Trent Dilfer going in on Peyton Manning.
He is right that Dilfer was nowhere near the quarterback that Peyton Manning is, that goes without saying.
Where the King of South Beach is incorrect is believing because of that reason, Dilfer or any ex-player can’t be critical of current players.
If that was the case, Trent Dilfer couldn’t say anything about half the quarterbacks in the league. When athletes make the move from the field to ESPN or any network, they are getting paid not to be buddies, but to give their opinions.
Athletes who watch their words or only have good things to say about their former buddies are quickly taken off the air— you have to be willing to rub some people the wrong way if you want to succeed in the media.
If you go a little bit deeper, Lebron is still salty at Charles Barkley and other former NBA players who were critical of his “Decision”, so this is his way of venting.
If John Clayton of ESPN said the same thing about Manning, it wouldn’t have driven a tweet—but since it struck a nerve because Lebron probably looks at himself in the class of a Peyton Manning (with no ring), he could relate to what was going on.
I can confidently say that Manning doesn’t care what Trent Dilfer, Lebron or I have to say about his performance, but ESPN pays Dilfer and Section 8 pays people like me to tell you what we think.
You don’t have to agree, but just say you don’t agree— don’t say because Dilfer wasn’t on a Manning-like level, he should bow to the King of Indiana—that only works like that in Cleveland.