LeBron, I'm Not Mad at Ya

The country has gone a bit insane in its reaction to LeBron James having a primetime special on ESPN to announce his intentions in the NBA for the next several years. The Miami Heat won his affections, while the New York Knicks and his former home of Cleveland Cavs lost. Cleveland should be used to losing, so I'm not sure of the big deal there.That's part of why the self-appointed "King James" chose to go to Miami. But LeBron jerseys in that city were burned, murals torn down. As if LeBron doing what he feels best for himself and his career was a personal slight to the city. In short, Cleveland lost it's G-D mind.

The Cavs owner, Dan Gilbert, published a letter to LeBron that was like nothing I have ever seen. The kind of thing that maybe someone in that position might think, or write and save as draft, but never publish.  Gilbert rightly received a $100,000 fine from the NBA for his antics.

As if the story hadn't gotten insane enough, Jesse Jackson felt some type of way that someone else was getting so much attention. So he had to figure out how to insert himself in the situation. That's right, Jesse Jackson decided to weigh in on the LeBron scandal. Rev. Jackson said that Gilbert's comments were motivated by a "slave owner mentality," viewing LeBron as nothing more than a runaway slave. Hmm. This did lead to some interesting discussions via the blogosphere, but I agree with the verdict of the majority of pieces that I read: To compare the situation with a multi-million dollar athlete with the plight of slaves is to diminish to the horrors of slavery.

As all professional athletes, and most people, LeBron acted out of self interest. His decision to go to Miami was based on what he feels is best for his career. It's business, people--it's not personal. So many felt the prime time special was distasteful and arrogant of LeBron. This is news? Do we really expect much else from pro athletes? It is a sad state of affairs, but what is more newsworthy (because it's downright shocking) is when athletes seem humble, moral, and occasionally act ouf of selflessness. And what about ESPN's role in this? Why is LeBron getting all of the blame? None of this could have happened without their willing participation.

Lebron, I'm not mad at ya. If a network approaches me for a prime time special where I divulge my future career plans, I am totally in.

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