It was only a matter of time till someone stepped up and said something about the recent LeBron James free agency auction that has been going on. And to no surprise that someone was TNT’s Charles Barkley. Its good to know that I wasn’t the only sports fan out there getting tired of the day by day LeBron sweepstakes, that were being discussed nearly 2 years ahead of time. I could only imagine how I would feel if I were a Cleveland fan.
In a time where we hear about tampering more then ever, and we have actually seen teams penalized for such a crime, this has to be the worst example of this from a players standpoint. LeBron has done nothing to quiet down these rampant rumors of his future move to the New York Knicks. When MJ was on display at Madison Square Garden he used it to prove himself on the biggest stage and to stick it in New York’s face. LeBron on the other hand just uses it to develop a second city to hand him a check. I am just sick and tired of hearing any comparison of these two players. It has to end now. It even bothers me to hear that some think LeBron is better then Kobe Bryant. Kobe is clearly the most complete player in the NBA. Yes, LeBron might excite the fans with his highlight dunks and his knifing to the hoop, but when defended properly in my opinion he is stopped. Besides the one occasion vs. Detroit in the playoffs, this guy hasn’t proven that he can knock down that big jump shot time after time when it counts. But that discussion is for another time. Getting back on the subject, from his new, “Big Apple” sneakers to his Yankee hat wearing, I don’t know how you Cleveland guys handle this. Year after year I have to hear how he doesn’t have the players around him. Then every preseason I hear how this is finally the year he has help, and then when the seasons over where does all the blame go again, but on his supporting cast of course. Don’t get me wrong LeBron is a great player, and I respect him on the court as much as the next guy, but when’s enough, enough. Even I picked LeBron and the Cavs to make the finals this year, and after a 15-3 start, all he wants to be involved in are talks of joining the Knicks two years from now? Couldn’t LeBron stepped up like a man and a true leader and say, “ look guys it’s the 2008 season, we are looking great so far, and I’m doing all I can for us to win it all for the city of Cleveland.” Boom, that would have shut the rumors down instantly. Yes, NY would still be confident of signing him but maybe these talks would come up at the end of the year, instead of in the beginning of a championship run. But this was way to difficult for LeBron.
We know what wasn’t difficult for Lebron and that was responding to these Charles Barkley quotes, “If I was LeBron James, I would shut the hell up,” “I’m a big LeBron fan. He’s a stud. You got to give him his props. I’m getting so annoyed he’s talking about what he’s going to do in two years. I think it’s disrespectful to the game. I think it’s disrespectful to the Cavaliers.” And how would the so-called face of the NBA respond to this little criticism by Sir Charles? “He’s stupid,” That was LeBron’s mature reaction and response to his criticizer, spoken like a true King if you ask me. There was definitely a better way he could have responded to this situation, but he obviously decided to take the high road. And its time like these that really get me mad when I see him wearing the number 23 and hear people speak of him as a Jordan caliber player in the league.