LeBron James Failed To Be a Leader When NBA Needed Him To Be
LeBron James has done a lot of great things as the biggest star in the NBA. Let’s stop there. Read that sentence a couple of times. Got it? Okay. But since the days of high school, everything has been handed to LeBron. Do you want a new coach? We got you. Need a new star player to run beside you? Yep, we’ll get it done. LeBron doesn’t get told ‘no’ often or at all. James also wants people to know that it is his idea, his plan, his way forward. It is ultimately about him. There is nothing wrong with that. Some people are like that, others are more into sharing the wealth. LeBron James did not step up and be a leader in the NBA Bubble. Instead, he looked like a grumpy teen mad that this wasn’t his plan.
NBA Reporter Chris Haynes is in the bubble. He is working for TNT while also being a reporter for Yahoo!. Haynes is extremely well-connected and wrote a great piece about what happened in those 48 hours. Haynes paints a great light on what happened there. What stood out was the work done by Chris Paul, Andre Iguodala on the positive front, and the misogynistic nature of Patrick Beverly and James’ bad attitude. Everything that I theorized about yesterday was accurate.
Udonis Haslem is one of the oldest players in the league. He is an elder in the league and a former teammate of James. When he asked James what he wanted to do, James just quit and left. Instead of trying to hammer out a hard decision and think through different ways to make this happen, James walked out. He took his ball and went fucking home. That’s pathetic. James and Lakers showed up 45 minutes to the call yesterday in their little protest furthering driving the point home of NBA’s biggest star being a follower, not a leader.
Star players are not the ones that usually make this type of thing happen. They have too much other stuff going on that they rarely get in the nitty-gritty. But with the pedestal that James has put himself on, this was a moment for LeBron. He backed away from it. Almost like it scared him. Instead of working with Paul, a close friend, on solutions, it made more sense for him to leave and stop playing.
Credit to Haynes for putting this out there in the open. The national media rarely flames James in fear of retribution from him and Klutch. Mav Carter yields a huge stick, and LeBron has his people inside the media that paint pretty pictures versus the one Haynes painted. It is rare you get an anti-LeBron piece at this level unless it’s Clay Travis going on a rant about China and the NBA. I’m sure ESPN and others will paint this story different than what Haynes did by noontime today.
At the end of the day, this is bigger than basketball. It is not a pissing contest to see who does what. But there are times when great athletes need to be criticized for their actions too. LeBron nearly let this crumble and thankfully, people like Paul, Igoudala, and others were there to save it.