Everyone wants Freedom. Freedom to do and say what they want. Freedom to live their life the way they want to.
It is in our National Anthem for goodness sakes.
Land of the FREE and the Home of the Brave.
The United States of America is where people go to be FREE.
But I will let you in on a little secret. Would you like to know what it is? Come a little closer and I will whisper it in your ear.
Nothing in life is FREE.
Lebron James learned that the hard way. See, Lebron believed he was FREE. A FREE AGENT that is. He had fulfilled his contractual obligations to the Cleveland Cavaliers and he was FREE to go wherever he wanted to go.
In his mind, it didn’t matter where he went, people would understand because he was a FREE AGENT. All athletes in all sports leave franchises and people understand because they are FREE to do so.
Sure, a few Cavs fans would be upset, but why would anyone say anything negative about him. He has never been anything except an exceptional basketball player. Doesn’t get in trouble with the law, no personal issues, doesn’t appear on TMZ and no reports of being an asshole.
A logical person couldn’t be upset for someone trying to improve professional life right?
You would do the same wouldn’t you? Especially if you were FREE to do so correct?
Sometimes when you are FREE to do what you please you take a couple of missteps, you are a little too giddy in choosing your destination. Maybe you are a little bold with your predictions. Maybe you thought it was going to be easy.
Minor things though, because in the end you were FREE to do whatever you wanted.
But, when you are on the cover of Sports Illustrated at 15 years old, you are never FREE, in reality you are a Prisoner of your fame.
Unlike the Kardashians your fame is built on a foundation of immense talent and with that immense talent people expect greatness.
That is when FREEDOM gets thrown out the window and emotions take over. Emotions are what had Cavs fans saying to themselves he was “OUR” King, he was suppose to lead us to the promise land, we “OWN” him. He is a traitor, fraud, turncoat and other things that I can’t print.
What happened to Land of the FREE?
Fans and media think that athletes owe them something. They don’t. But when you don’t do what they want you to do they turn on you and they do it quickly.
Lebron didn’t understand this and why should he?
What exactly did he do wrong? Ill advise press conference and a couple of bad comments? In a sports landscape where every single day a player is getting arrested for rapes, DUIs, drugs, assaults and etc, Lebron was made the biggest villain in sports because he took his talents to South Beach?
In the immortal words of the Allen Iverson, what are we talking about?
You are never FREE from perception.
Reality doesn’t matter when they want to label with mythical phrases like “clutch gene” to justify their criticisms of you. They will manufacture hate because it is easier than giving credit.
Media members will use manipulation on weak minded fans to push their agenda and make themselves relevant in the process.
Facts don’t matter, the loudest person in the room who screams at the top of their lungs has to be right because they are on TV. You know why people Troll? Because trolling is an effective way to get attention. I would expect that from Twodels not respectable journalists.
It isn’t easy as it looks being FREE is it?
Lebron James helped create the prison he was in.
People say that Lebron chose the easy path, but they are incorrect. He might have not known it at the time, but the risk he took was monumental.
How many players have the guts to leave their hometown to go to a place where another superstar is established and a champion? We weren’t talking about any superstar, we are talking about D Wade. D Wade has one of the Top 5 NBA Finals series performances of all time and is completely untouchable in Miami.
It was Lebron who didn’t use common sense in the way he went about announcing his decision. It was Lebron who took a soft ball question and turned it into a prediction that would come back to haunt him.
Freedom works both ways, it is great to have, but with great power comes great responsibility. It was only until the backlash that Lebron truly realized the power her had.
But he always had the key to get out of jail, it just took him some time to unlock the puzzle. He walked himself right into a trap and he was going to have to figure out how to get himself out.
He will never be like Kobe Bryant, he isn’t that type of person, but he did do one thing this year that was 100% like Bryant.
He made an even bigger decision than the one he made when he went to Miami. He simply decided that if he was going to fail, he was going to fail playing how he wanted to play, not how “we” wanted to play.
My uncle once told me this many years ago.
“I rather fail on my own accord than succeed trying to appease others.”
For a long team Lebron was trying to appease everyone. Cleveland, family, friends, D Wade, media, fans and anyone who had something to say about him. He tried to be a villain and failed miserably, because he didn’t understand the puzzle.
Being a villain isn’t about snappy comebacks, Twitter beef or fake tough guy quotes. Being the villain is with half the world waiting for you to fail and dropping 45, 15 and 5. Being the villain is hearing the whispers……
“Kevin Durant is best player in the world and he is clutch”
And then totally outplaying him on the biggest stage and breaking his will.
Lebron never made the wrong “Decision”, he just made the unpopular one, he didn’t do what YOU wanted him to do. He didn’t announce it the way YOU wanted him to say it. He didn’t fit into what YOU thought a franchise player should be. Because YOU thought you owned him.
But, you didn’t because he was……
By doing what HE wanted to do, he has figured out puzzled, unlocked and has escaped from prison. The prison of perception. The prison of expectations. The prison of social media.
Athletes careers are like books with multiple chapters, you can never make a blanket statement until the book is closed.
Lebron’s legacy isn’t finished being written, but this chapter is closed and a new one begins and it is titled.
Once that chapter starts what happened before becomes irrelevant. The MVPs, the Decision, the hairline, the all-star games, the scoring titles, the Cavs years and etc are all irrelevant. No one will be universally love, no one is beyond constructive criticism and just become Lebron has won a title doesn’t mean he will be forgiven by those who won’t accept the concept of FREEDOM.
But from now until the end of time he will be referred to Lebron James as a NBA Champion and that is more important than media with Water Pistols thinking he is clutch or fans who are still acting like bitter ex-girlfriends.
Simply put, Lebron upgraded and the grass was greener on the other side. It is too early to speculate on if Lebron will win not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4 and etc championships. It is too early to put him in the same breath as a Jordan, Kobe, Magic and etc. Let him enjoy the fact that he is no longer the Dan Marino of the NBA.
When I think of Lebron’s 2012 season I will think of these lyrics from Watch the Throne.
Human beings in a mob
What’s a mob to a king? What’s a king to a God?
What’s a God to a non-believer who don’t believe in anything?
Will he make it out alive? Alright, alright, no church in the wild
Once Lebron stopped worrying about people who didn’t “believe in anything” only then was he truly FREE to do what he has always been destine to do…
Become the KING of the NBA