Screw Your Star Player(s)
Even if you think that it’s been long enough since “The Decision” aired and that people should forget it, some people won’t. Namely, fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers won’t and they don’t have to. While most of us know that the blame can be spread a long way in James leaving Cleveland – specifically to owner Dan Gilbert – some Cavs fans will simply never forgive James. NBA fans with no tie to Cleveland other than they’ve watched the Cavs play may never forgive James because no free agency announcement has ever been handled so poorly, with James and Maverick Carter using the Boys and Girls Club as a shield and ultimately playing the race card.
Aside from the Decision, though, perhaps no other athlete in the modern era has been held under a microscope as much as James. Hell, Alex Rodriguez is the highest paid player in baseball, was busted for using steroids and lying about it, and he was forgiven in a matter of months. James, on the other hand, is dominant and exciting to watch play, but he just seems to mishandle every major thing that he does or says. He’s constantly digging himself a hole without ever stopping to say, “I’m only human.” It’s that expectation that we should adore him while he’s given us very little to adore that makes us hate him.
What goes for James in this discussion also goes for any other superstar face of a franchise. If fans don’t like the main man, they’re not going to like the team. James and the Heat, Bryant and the Lakers, Rodriguez and the Yankees, Tom Brady and the Patriots – they’re all hated by so many people, for various reasons obviously, but only one ultimately matters. We hate what we can’t have, and we hate what we don’t get.