Pulling for the Heat


Of all the mistakes I have seen athletes make, the poorly executed public relations/chairty event known as “The Decision” is treated way worse then it ever was. Dan Shanoff Asks:

What I don’t understand is pundits who tell me/us that I/we have to like LeBron.

Why can’t I simultaneously appreciate that LeBron is jaw-droppingly awesome — as he was yesterday afternoon — yet still root against him?

It’s not liking or not liking LeBron. It’s about some people “hating” LeBron and instead of questioning that directly, pundits, not wanting to offend their viewership say you “have to like him” instead of risking offending the hateful by asking “you hate this guy for what?”. I think he’s just easy to hate until he gets some hardware.

The Decision, an hour of faux suspense that I nor anyone had to watch (and I didn’t):

It’s all part of the commitment James made last summer, when his hour-long “The Decision” special on July 8, 2010 — in which he said he was joining the Miami Heat — raised more than $3 million for charity.


“Very few people, with one hour of their day, one hour of their life — that’s all that show was — can impact this many people,” said Boys & Girls Clubs Vice President Frank Sanchez.

I’ve kinda taken to asking people “why” when they say they “hate” LeBron and they’ve all pointed to the decision first and then the dance party press conference in Miami (which Pat Riley, Magic Johnson and Alonzo Mourning all seemed ok with). Both are blown out of proportion. When people talk about playing basketball “the right way”, he does it. I’m OK if his PR is done the wrong way.

You can’t care about loyalty either if you are pulling for OKC. LeBron is a player that left a bad team, with bad management when his contract was up, the Thunder are a team that was pulled out of Seattle when the good taxpayers of that town wouldn’t donate 300 million in public money to build an arena for the billionaire owner of the Sonics to build a stadium, in a recession. A whole team, gone. Dave Zirin’s article on this is excellent. So if you hate LeBron, you should hate billionaire owners that hold sports teams hostage so they can extort money from cities and states even during a recession.