What’s the worst thing you can say about LeBron James, who has lived up to every expectation, who has played in three Olympics, who married his high school sweetheart, and who by all appearances is a good dad, a good citizen, and has been an exemplary representative of America for all the world to see.
Well, eight years ago today, LeBron wore a purple gingham shirt, nervously sat down in a high school gym, and told Jim Gray he was taking his talents to South Beach.
This event was unpopular.
It seemed weirdly cruel to make such an event out of this in Ohio only to crush the entire state in end. And it didn’t help that James looked like a teenager who was about to tell his parents he got his girlfriend pregnant. His obvious discomfort with the whole affair only made the reaction more intense, and in retrospect I think everyone can agree that, while his decision to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami was understandable, The Decision was misguided.
And so there you have it: The worst thing LeBron James has ever done.
There isn’t much bad you can say about the guy, unless you happen to know him personally, and know of faults and misdeeds not visible to the rest of us. You can say he’s passive-aggressive and whiny, and you can say he’s probably not as good at putting together teams as he thinks he is, and you can fairly criticize the way he plays the game.
But if you’re looking for evidence LeBron is a “bad guy” you’re pretty much forced to hearken back to The Decision, and even at that point you’ve still got some work to do.
So happy 8th birthday to The Decision, without which we’d be left with nothing.