Unless you have been living under a rock in the recent months you should be aware that Lebron James is a basketball villain. After 7 productive but ultimately disappointing seasons as a member of his home states Cleveland Cavaliers, Lebron James took his talents and the hopes of many Cleveland fans down to South Beach to team up with fellow free agent superstars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
The backlash for the other two players wasn’t even a tenth of what James felt. Jerseys were burned, angry hate mail flew to local and national columnists. Every seemed to have an opinion and the consensus was that Lebron James was a bad guy. So the question remained: was Lebron James a bad guy because of what he did or because of the color of his skin?
The truth is that Lebron didn’t do anything that hadn’t been done before. He isn’t the first high profile free agent who signed with a different team. He’s not the first player to want to play with his friends. He’s not the first guy to leave his team for a more attractive city(at least from a national perspective). And he isn’t the first guy to go somewhere where he thought he could win a title with much less stress.
So then race had something to do with it? Well, maybe not. It’s true that LBJ wasn’t the first to do those things but it might be the manner in which he did it that set him apart. Having aired a special on ESPN called the decision he effectively chose his another city over his hometown on National television. This couldn’t have gone over well and it seems to be that and that alone that is drawing the ire of the fans. It may not have anything to do with race, but to rule it out completely would be ignorant in it’s own right.