The decision of a lifetime

This fall, I will be taking my basketball viewing talents to my living room to witness the spectacle of the “Three Kings” in Miami. But no matter how dominant the team, how numerous the all-stars on the team’s roster, and how ridiculous their ultimately collective and individual stats, I will never forget how LeBron James announced his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to join Dwayne Wade’s Miami heat along with Chris Bosh. Critics have called his one-hour SportsCenter special, “The Decision”, egotistical, narcissistic and downright disgusting. I prefer to use a much more simple term: disappointing.

Basketball fans should not be disappointed in his decision, but rather in the way he handled this entire free agency fiasco. Many were, and still are, opposed to James’ conceited approach to announcing his next team. Many also dislike James’ decision to team up with his buddies in order to win. However, true basketball junkies should only be disappointed in how he tried to cover up the knife that he wedged deep into the back of the entire city of Cleveland with a donation to a Boys and Girls Club. ESPN does not deserve the blame for the once-in-a-lifetime one-hour SportsCenter special because if they had said no, CBS, TNT, and other sports networks would have jumped at that opportunity in a heartbeat. Fans should not be disappointed in his lack of a “killer’s mentality” by wanting to play with Wade instead of wanting to beat him. And they definitely should not be disappointed in him for “giving up” and needing to win with another superstar.  Think about it. Everyone in the history of basketball needed somebody else to help him win. Michael Jordan needed Scottie Pippen, Kobe Bryant couldn’t win a ring without Shaq or Pau Gasol, and Chris Santo (’11) needed Seth Friedman to pass him the ball.

The summer of 2010 will forever be remembered in the sports world as the Summer of LeBron. But as of right now, it’s way too early to tell if James singlehandedly ruined his brand by ditching the Cavs for a beach party with his best friends. The Heat could win three NBA Championships in a row; they could even possibly win five during the next six seasons. But on the contrary, James and his crew could also win absolutely nothing more than a bunch of regular season games. For now, don’t judge the guy just yet. Sit back, relax, and watch the Miami Experiment unfold.