”I want my damn respect.” That was LeBron‘s closing line after winning the 2020 NBA Finals MVP. If you were scratching your head, wondering what the hell LeBron is talking about as he held his FOURTH FINALS MVP TROPHY, welcome to our group. You are not alone.
I find this to be an unfortunate side effect of social media and “having your own platform.” Before the Orlando bubble, we were dealing with information bubbles – closing ourselves in social groups that only think alike. One of the side effects is that everyone else is a “hater and against us.”
So when LeBron said he wants his damn respect, I went to Wikipedia to check if I got something wrong, and the site confirmed my memory still works fine. 4 x Finals MVP, 4 x regular season MVP, 16 x All-Star, 13 x All-NBA First Team, 2x All-NBA Second Team, 5 x All-NBA Defensive Team, Rookie of the Year. If that wasn’t enough, LeBron is 3 x AP Athlete of the Year, 2 x SI Sportsperson of the Year, and USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year.
The most hillarious reaction to LeBron’s comment came from “The Heat Beat,” a Miami Heat podcast. LeBron’s departure still stings there, particularly the way he explained his decision. People tend to remember what you said when you dump them. Here’s how one of the hosts reacted to LeBron asking for respect.
Fu** you man. Honestly….God damn it. Fu** you man, you get fuc**** respect. Act like you’ve fuc**** been there LeBron. Jesus Christ man!! You’re the best fuc**** player to play the game. You are. You’re unbeliveable!! You proved you’re great, and you’ve proved your greatness on multiple fuc**** teams! But Jesus Christ man, will you just fuc**** take your fuc**** trohpy, and be happy, and come back next year and try it fuc**** again? Why do you have to be such a dick like this, man? It’s unbearable.Miami Heat Beat podcast
LeBron is universally considered to be one of the two best players in the history of the NBA. In a league that had Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Magic, Bird, Kobe, and a lot of guys I didn’t just name, to get up to “MJ or LeBron” sounds like a lot of respect and recognition to me. Not to mention ESPN being his personal hype machine, showing LeBron highlights even if the Lakers get smoked.
If players want us to use nuance and context when talking and writing about them, I’d like to see them lead by example. Criticizing is not disrespectful. Disagreeing is not hating.
LeBron, I respectfully disagree that you don’t get enough respect.