Almost two weeks ago, I sat in front of the television and anxiously waited to hear what LeBron James’ free agency decision would be. The boy from Akron had a decision to make: Cleveland, New York, Chicago or Miami. Bill Simmons (my favorite blogger on ESPN) outlined it this way… LeBron had to choose loyalty (Cleveland), immortality (New York) or winning (Chicago). Simmons didn’t even put Miami on the list.
Personally, I thought he was going to New York or Miami — until he the man announced he would be holding a special one-hour event on ESPN to announce his decision. Whenever I heard that news, I knew for an absolute fact he would go back to Cleveland. No one could possibly have such an absolute lack of awareness to go on national television to announce his decision to turn his back on every single one of his fans. Or could he? He could, and he did, and chaos ensued in Cleveland. Fans burned their jerseys, sports commentators said LeBron could never be considered a star player anymore, and the Cavaliers’ owner wrote some silly things in a letter.
I couldn’t believe everything that transpired. In one hour, “King James” went from everyone’s favorite sports icon to absolute scum. All it took was one hour.
I don’t think anyone will ever put so much thought into anything I do, but I can’t help but relate to poor LeBron, in a weird way. It’s like when you break up with a girl. The two of you can’t simply accept the situation for what it is and move on. Oh, no, it’s war now, son, and you better dig into the trenches.
So I’ve felt like LeBron before. I feel his joy and his pain, and I also know all of this hate will eventually blow over. But it makes me wonder why we have to go through these transition phases of temporary malice and hate? It’s incredible, really.
But sometimes a person can go from hated to beloved overnight, too. Have you seen “Wicked” yet? The Wicked Witch of the East, turns out, isn’t so bad after all. Who knew?
Another example is my boy Rod Blagojevich. How crazy has his turn-around been? The man took the state’s poor approval ratings and his FBI investigation and turned it into something endearing. I’m watching Blago on TV and amazed at how much I like him now. He went from being the nation’s worst governor to everyone’s lovable loser — someone everyone sort of understands and sympathizes with.
I can relate to Blago, too. Blago is the ex-girlfriend who keeps texting your best friends and Facebook messages your mom. “Hey, I hope everything is going okay, I just wanted to say I miss you.” That’s how a villain portrays herself in a positive light. Make some noise, work the crowd, come out on top. That has to be Blago’s plan, right?
LeBron is the ex-girlfriend who is shoving it in your face that she’s dating your best friend. Blago is the ex-girlfriend who somehow lied and manipulated her way into looking more favorable than you to even your own family. And, behind the scenes, the ex-girlfriend is really letting you have it. Don’t expect to get your things back. Don’t even think about it.
“I’ve got these CDs and they’re (bleeping) golden. I’m just not going to give them away for (bleeping) nothing!”
Damn you, Blago, give me my things back. It doesn’t have to be this way.
But there’s never an easy break-up. No two people will ever happily depart… it doesn’t matter if it’s LeBron and Cleveland, Blago and the state of Illinois, or you and the former love-of-your life. I don’t know why it has to be this way, but I’ve finally accepted it.