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Who could forget that night on July 8th of 2010? The night in which LeBron James went from a hero to a villain in 75 minutes. “The Decision”- those two words could set off many basketball fans (particularly Knicks fans) into a rant about how much they hate the best player in the NBA. Listen, I understand that LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers in flames, but is it his fault that Dan Gilbert wasn’t able to recruit other talent, just in case LeBron James left? Unless LeBron was secretly Cleveland’s GM at the time, then no, it isn’t his fault. No less, people were expecting LeBron to bolt since he wore a Yankees hat in late 2009. The difference is, that people were expecting LBJ to move to the Knicks. This incident in which James wore his favorite team’s hat could very well be the reason that he lost so many fans.
New York sports fans are undoubtedly the most vocal, obnoxious, and argumentative fans in the USA. And the extreme example of this is the fan base of the New York Knicks. All of my friends, and most of my family members, are Knicks fans, and most of them would agree with this statement. Knicks fans get jealous of the success that other NBA teams endured during their decade of despair (the 2000s). The Knicks finally saw hope when they saw LBJ wearing a Yankees hat- when, in reality, he wore that for the sole purpose of cheering on the Yankees, and not to make pundits believe that he was moving to NY. This may sound silly, but if LeBron had gone “hat-less” on that night, he probably wouldn’t have as many haters as he does today.
Knicks fans were angered when LeBron decided to move to Miami. And instead of showing that they were mad about him not joining the NYK, they pretended that they were angry with him because he left Cleveland. Honestly, when have you ever heard of sports fans looking out for another sports team? Almost never, and absolutely not when that team is based in a city like Cleveland, which is far from being a “sports-capital of the world”.
Even Cleveland fans have forgiven LeBron. Am I the only one who remembers the crazed Cavs fan who ran onto the court during a Heat vs. Cavaliers game, and begged LeBron to come back?
I just wanted to take the time to show you a list of a few sports stars that have left their team for another during their prime:
-Reggie White left the Eagles for the Packers
-Brett Favre left the Packers for the Jets
-Peyton Manning left the Colts for the Broncos
-Curtis Martin left the Patriots for the Jets
-John Elway demanded a trade from the Colts (ended up with Broncos)
-Eli Manning demanded a trade from the Chargers (ended up with Giants)
-Darrelle Revis demanded a trade from the Jets (ended up with Buccaneers)
-Mike Wallace left the Steelers for the Dolphins
-Greg Jennings left the Packers for the Vikings
-Ed Reed left the Ravens for the Texans
-Alex Rodriguez left the Rangers for the Yankees
-Manny Ramirez left the Red Sox for the Dodgers
-Albert Pujols left the Cardinals for the Angels
-Barry Bonds left the Pirates for the Giants
-Reggie Jackson left the Yankees for the Angels
-Carl Crawford left the Rays for the Red Sox
-Josh Hamilton left the Rangers for the Angels
-Jayson Werth left the Phillies for the Nationals
-Sammy Sosa left the White Sox for the Cubs
-Nolan Ryan left the Angels for the Astros
-Dwight Howard left the Magic for the Lakers
-Shaquille O’Neal left the Magic for the Lakers
-Amare Stoudemire left the Suns for the Knicks
-Carmelo Anthony left the Nuggets for the Knicks
-Chris Paul left the Hornets for the Clippers
-Ray Allen left the Supersonics for the Celtics
-Kevin Garnett left the Timberwolves for the Celtics
-Wilt Chamberlain left the 76ers for the Lakers
-Dennis Rodman left the Spurs for the Bulls
-Kareem Abdul-Jabbar left the Bucks for the Lakers
-Marian Gaborik left the Wild for the Rangers
-Wayne Gretzky left the Kings for the Blues
-Bobby Orr left the Bruins for the Blackhawks
-Jaromir Jagr left the Penguins for the Capitals
-Mark Messier left the Rangers for the Canucks
-Bobby Hull left the Blackhawks for the Jets
-Ilya Kovalchuk left the Thrashers for the Devils
-Zach Parise left the Devils for the Wild
-Ray Bourqe left the Bruins for the Avalanche
-Eric Lindros left the Flyers for the Rangers
After seeing all of these superstars, of all sports, who left their team to join another, it amazes me why people still hate LeBron, if he did the same thing as the 40 guys that I just mentioned. Yet, I’ve never heard someone say that they hated Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Zach Parise, Carl Crawford, or Ed Reed. And even if I did, it was certainly not for that reason.
NBA fans should stop expecting so much of LeBron… They should mind their own business, and let the Cavaliers fans hate him-because they’re the only ones who have a legitimate reason…
The one thing that people should expect from LeBron- and this, he will NEVER let you down about this- is being the best player in the NBA.