Monday, June 20, 2011

Lebron the Villain?

I was never a big Lebron guy. I didn't dislike him but I didn't particularly root for him or watch him play. When his free agency began part of me wished he would have stayed in Cleveland just because as a Houston sports fan I know what it is like to lose a favorite player (especially when the rest of the team stinks) but it didn't move the meter much for me either way. If I were a 25 year old basketball player I'd probably rather live in Miami than Cleveland- especially if I'd never left home (he's from Akron, OH).

The whole ESPN "Decision" spectacle was not my thing. It turned me off... even though I certainly tuned in (wasn't that the point?). Still, it is his life. He wanted to play in a cool city with a couple of his buddies. He was willing to score less, distribute more, and bust his tail on defense to be part of a glamourous star-laden team that had a blue-collar approach. The team is in a work-in-progress mode as they fill in around the big stars and they still came within two wins of a championship. I'm not a fan of the players or the team but this crew will win 3-5 rings.

So what's the big deal? Why do so many people hate Lebron James? Because he took a better job? Because he wanted to live in a nicer place? Because he wanted to work and play with his buddies? Because he wanted to win more and was less concerned with his legacy? Sports talk radio and the rant and file sports fan villifies this guy. Why? He is controversial? Why? Has he broken laws? Abused his spouse? Done drugs or toted guns? Nope. His biggest crime has been sticking his foot in his mouth and his second "felony" is having a big ego. Those things will change with age but even now, do they deserve the hate?

I guess the bigger issue is why we feel the need to create villains and have someone to aim hate toward. This is the bigger issue. If you catch yourself watching a sports game and feeling hate toward a player, team, or ref you need to turn off the TV, walk outside, look up and realize the mercy of God is keeping you alive. Go back inside, enjoy the game, root for your team, and remember it is not personal. Don't be distracted from the real spiritual enemy that would stir that hate inside you.

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