Ryan Isley and I have been butting heads lately. We have different views on a few things, and this one is no different.
Isley has been telling the bitter Cavalier faithful to lay off LeBron and look at him through a more objective set of eyes.
Cavalier nation, and NBA nation outside of Miami, you keep on giving it to LeBron, Dwyane, Chalmers, and the rest of the Miami Heatles.
The minute LeBron James uttered those infamous words, choosing to spurn the Cleveland fanbase to head to Miami, he wrote an invitation. From that moment on, he invited fans to criticize his each and every move. That’s what he wanted, that’s what he got. From that moment on, LeBron decided that the fans meant nothing to him. Nothing they could say or do could affect him. He could handle any criticism, any praise, or anything at all that the fans would give to him. That’s how strong a person he was. He was willing to leave the best fans in the NBA on an ESPN Special and head to the worst fans in the NBA. He was willing to take all sorts of heat, no pun intended, and he expected that if he won championships, he would be loved by all.
When LeBron decided to take this path, he really had no idea what he was getting himself into. He thought he was so strong, but in reality, he was much weaker than many. Not only did he listen to what the fans had to say, he took it to heart. That outer layer of tough-guy was penetrated pretty quickly. The fans got under his skin real quick. He wasn’t half as tough as he thought. Not even a full two years into his Heat career, LeBron was already talking about coming back to Cleveland, and underneath it all, apologizing and realizing that he made the biggest mistake of his career. He can’t handle the fans. He can’t handle the hatred and the dislike. All LeBron wants deep down is to be loved. Why do you think he got married, finally? That’s the only way he could be loved. Everyone else in the world thinks he is a coward, which he is, and has no love, much less respect, for him. Well, LeBron is the first one to deserve every piece of criticism he gets.
LeBron said that the Heat would win a handful of titles in his time at Miami, and presumably, they would win those titles right away. He gave the fans of the NBA the bird and walked away as selfishly as one could.
So why should fans lay off LeBron? What has LeBron done to take the target off his back?
He invited us to criticize every move he makes when he decided to tell the world that he would be joining the Miami Heat. So when LeBron doesn’t give 100% on a given play, he should be criticized for it. When LeBron misses two clutch free throws, he should hear all about them. He told us that he didn’t care about the fans, and much less about what they said. He was too strong for them. At the end of the day, he was still LeBron James and we would have to go back to our normal lives. He doesn’t care about what we say, so we should be able to say what we want.
As for the rest of the Heat, they deserve it too. They are the self-proclaimed Big 3, super team. They deserve every ounce of criticism they receive. After Dwyane Wade’s miserable game 3, he deserves it all too. He was there with LeBron making the same claims that LeBron was. After all, regardless of what you may say, regardless of LeBron’s MVP season, the Miami Heat are Dwyane Wade’s team. It’s still Wade county, LeBron and Bosh just happen to live in it.
So when you bash LeBron for his lack of heart, his lack of effort, or anything for that matter, don’t feel bad doing it. You have earned the right to bash LeBron. LeBron gave it to you since the day of the Decision.
If the Miami Heat lose this series, regardless of Chris Bosh, the Miami Heat big three will be a big three no more. People say that Riley won’t trade LeBron, but I’m not so sure about that. It’s clear to me that James wants out of Miami. Dwyane doesn’t want out of Miami, but indeed does want LeBron out of Miami.
If the Heat lose this series to the Indiana Pacers, LeBron will be gone. It is then and only then that you can lay off LeBron a little bit. He realized quickly that he made a mistake. Humans make mistakes. LeBron, whether he looks like one or not, is a human being and is therefore allowed to make mistakes. It doesn’t mean he shouldn’t pay for his mistakes, because as I have been saying all along, he certainly should. I believe if LeBron leaves Miami without a title, he will have paid his dues. But let’s not speak to soon. A lot more will have to go wrong for the Heat in order for LeBron to leave town. LeBron and Wade will have to endure a lot more criticism if they aren’t going to win this series.
Until LeBron leaves, NBA nation, pour in on LeBron. He deserves everything he gets. He made sure of that when he came out with the decision. He decided to take his own route and not care about the fans. Why should the fans lay off of LeBron when the fans mean nothing to him?
So Ryan, I expect a reply from you. Of course, this is all in good fun, we just seem to disagree on certain issues. But what I’m getting from Ryan is that, he always seems to embrace the unpopular opinion. LeBron tried to embrace his unpopularity, but he can’t seem to do it.
Follow Hayden on Twitter @H_Grove