So it begins. The backlash against "King" James, who will now be called "Queen" James and other derivatives for years to come in Cleveland and elsewhere. In ESPN's Bill Simmons' column today ("Welcome to the All-LeBron sound-off"), he had a good summary along with fan emails on what just happened in the sports world:
"For LeBron not to understand what he was doing -- or even worse, not to care -- made me quickly turn off the television, find my kids, give them their nightly bath and try to forget the sports atrocity that I had just witnessed. He just couldn't have handled it worse. Never in my life can I remember someone swinging from likable to unlikable that quickly. I will forgive him some day because I like watching him play basketball, and whether you're rooting for or against him, his alliance with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami created one the greatest "Holy s---, how is this going to play out?????" scenarios in recent sports history. Sports are supposed to be fun, and eventually, this will become fun -- for everyone but people in Cleveland -- because we finally have a Yankees of basketball.
But I will never, ever, not in a million years, understand why it had to play out that way. If LeBron James is the future of sports, then I shudder for the future."
My comments with my friend, Sam, earlier today on Lebron confirming he's not in the same league as MJ:
"Dude, not just in MJ's league but even Kobe's neighborhood. Lebron settled 100% for me that he doesn't have that killer instinct. A man-child that never grew up.
Reminds me of Barkley's old quote on Derrick Coleman. How if he had Coleman's body and skills with his drive and passion that he would have been the greater ever."
Another chat with Frank:
"For LeBron to build his legacy and be considered in the conversation of the top 5 greatest evers, he should have stayed in Cleveland. Built up a title team like MJ, Duncan, Olajuwon, etc. Second choice would have been Chicago where he would have been alpha dog and he would be the one leading them to championships. In Miami, it won't be considered his team. Wade has already won, so in some sense LeBron is following Wade, which is fine.
I don't think it's bad that LeBron doesn't have the same selfish drive that MJ has, but as a sports fan it is a bit disappointing that LeBron is not living up to his potential. I guess I bought into the hype too early.
On a good note, Kobe and MJ are considered assholes, so it seems LeBron doesn't have that rep or demeanor that usually comes with having an extreme killer instinct." Of course Cleveland fans now have different names for him.
More from SI's Michael Rosenberg, "LeBron hardly a king for taking the easy way out with star-laden Heat"