A Pickwise study determined that LeBron James is the most trolled athlete in the world. By the numbers, he receives more abusive or troll messages than the rest of the top 5 combined. So if you gravitate that many insults and jokes, that goes way past ‘haters gonna hate.’ Here’s why LeBron cops more blows to the chin than any athlete in history.
Are we sure he makes everyone better?
The oldest myth of his career is that LeBron makes players better. This is horse crap. Westbrook and Davis were not better in Lakers uniforms. Love, Clarkson, Rose, and Crowder were not better in Cavaliers uniforms. Bosh and Wade were not better, and you catch my drift.
You are now a role player when you play for a guy like LeBron. You are but a small planet circulating in his universe. It typically works best if you’re a catch-and-shoot player. There was a reason for the Wizards’ early success, with the deprived Kuzma, KCP, and Harrell - well before everyone got shot hungry.
Getting the same stats doesn’t mean he’s the same player. If you don’t believe me, show me one game the Lakers lost since the All-Star break (there’s a few of them) that didn’t have a clip of LeBron walking back on transition defense?
We all know what Kobe, Jordan, Duncan, Magic, Russell, and Bird all have in common. Hell, even Kareem didn’t leave Milwaukee until he brought them a championship. But for LeBron, it was a little worse. Cleveland was his hometown, and by the end, Dan Gilbert had given him the keys to the castle. Nobody wanted Shaq until LeBron brought him. Nobody wanted Antwawn Jamison until LeBron brought him. It was all LeGM’s doing. Once the assets dried up and the future was mortgaged, he left and left the city and the fans to deal with the consequences.
He left, but it’s not just how he left.
It’s one thing to leave your hometown; it’s another to capitalize on that attention by pulling every Cleveland fan along, all just to punch them in the lungs. It will never, ever make sense to me how LeBron - who is so meticulous about his image - thought it was a good idea to televise his free agency move to ‘South Beach.’
I’m lost for words.
Cry baby LeBron is the central figure for why all old-heads seem to discredit the modern game. As the best player of the era, a 6ft 9in freight train, how can he regress to falling to the ground flailing his arms for fouls? The following step of sulking to the refs isn’t a good look either.
You would have to be ignorant to not get the old head’s frustration. Guys like George Mikan built the league on hard hits. Jordan overcame the Bad Boy Pistons. Allen Iverson played every night like an unbalanced kid’s skateboard. LeBron? He’s the guy that falls to the ground like he got hit by a bat when Dillon Brooks misses his head.
Last Second Shots
‘LeBron makes the right play’ is nearly as funny as watching his evolution from little hair, to almost none, to overly shiny hair, back to not much hair, and now to a conspicuously average amount of hair.
LeBron can make the right pass if he likes, but the two biggest Finals shots of the last decade both had him on the floor, and both came at the hands of his teammates. That’s a fact. Can’t say that about Jordan.
The Lakers are ten games below .500 and still gain more media attention than any team in the league. If LeBron were on a team as successful as Phoenix, ESPN would take a season-long break from covering any other sport on primetime other than basketball. Nick Wright from FS1 would be caught drooling mid takes while Skip Bayless’ veins would throb to the size of a tennis ball. Either way, they’d both be just as happy as each other.
Created Superteam Era
Forming superteams changed the league, and I better not hear anything about the ’08 Celtics. LeBron joins teams to capitalize on All-Star potential, ruins the team with his abysmal trade ideas, then leaves the franchise once their future is sucked dry. Here’s a little secret: LeBron didn’t join Cleveland in ’15 because of some home allegiance; they just had the best balance of talent and cap space. Now his movement is working against him.
”LeBron James is the best because he has the most stats!” So Kareem was the Goat way after Jordan?
”LeBron James is the youngest player ever to score 30K points” - yeh and MJ did it in 147 fewer games. The mandatory college component and unlucky injury to Jordan’s second year had something to do with it.
”LeBron James is the best because no one has average these stats at his age” - that’s all well and good, but when did longevity become the be-all and end-all?
This could go down for pages, but you catch my drift. Doesn’t help that half of them are 11-year olds who jump teams as fast as him.
A 4-6 Finals record is funny whichever way you spin it. This wasn’t like Jerry West’s 1-8 record after forcing his team to the Finals each year all to get railroaded by an overpowered and outclassed Celtics squad. LeBron was in many winnable Finals, particularly ’11, ’14, and ’15.
It also speaks to the truth of how LeBron’s Eastern Conference Finals run was overrated. He was battling too-young Celtics squads, past their prime Pistons squads and a slew of lackluster and highly forgettable Eastern Conference teams. The West stacked with Duncan’s Spurs, Kobe’s Lakers, Curry’s Warriors, Harden’s Rockets, and much more were always in different tiers.
I get that LeBron had it hard coming into a faceless league with a Michael Jordan-size shadow looming over him from the get-go - but he put that on himself. So when you go into the league with a tattoo stretched across your back saying, ‘Chosen One’, wear 23, and go as far as to make a remake of Space Jam, how else will you be treated?
This doesn’t even dive into his ego, self appointing himself the King, political views, the Harlem Shake, backhanded compliments, or anything he’s ever done with Tacos.
But on the plus side, LeBron is also one of the most loved athletes of All-Time. Most of the crap he gets is a sign of respect, even if it doesn’t give off that feeling. It’s the same reason someone like Chris Paul isn’t given a twentieth of the King’s criticism.
Because as much as awesome the Point God is, he’s not on a mantle as tall as Brons - meaning he’s not worth ripping into as much as Bron. It will be a sad day when James retires, and although he is not close to GOAT status, he is still, and will always be - The King.