I think we can all pretty universally agree that LeBron James is a bit of a narcissist on par with Brett Favre. The whole build-up to and the execution of "The Decision" was an odd circus show that did more to expose the NBA's player ego problem than highlight anything meaningful that the pro sport had to offer paying fans.
I mean, they held a friggin victory party in Miami with James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade as honored guests. I mean, don't you do that kind of stuff when you actually win the championship?
Well, anyway, like everyone else, former-Colts coach Tony Dungy has an opinion on LeBron James.
Here is Coach Dungy on LeBron:
My question though is what exactly was his rationale for going to Miami? I’m still not exactly sure. If he does, in fact, think that this gives him the best chance to win, then I applaud his decision. If, however, he did it primarily to play with his friends Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh then I am disappointed.
I also understand the reaction of the Cleveland fans, but I don’t agree with it. They feel that LeBron hasn’t shown any loyalty to the city or the franchise. However, he has given everything he had while he played there. He also witnessed many of his teammates traded or released when the organization felt it was best for the team–enough so that he understands that professional basketball is a business as much as it is a game. We all enjoy our favorite players and want them to stay with our home town team forever but it rarely works out that way. Most of the great players in any sport will end up changing teams before their career is over–one way or another. It’s OK to be disappointed, but don’t be vindictive.
While Dungy's words certainly make sense, he's probably one of the last people the citizens of Cleveland want to hear from on the subject of... well, anything. They still hate Dungy's guts for what happened in 2007, when (as the head coach of the Colts) Dungy rested starters in a meaningless Week 17 game against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans won the game and were awarded the final AFC playoff spot over the Cleveland Browns. Cleveland fans felt that if Dungy had "played to win," the Browns would have made the playoffs. Forget the fact that Cleveland had, just the week before, choked away a game to the then-lowly Cincinnati Bengals.
Clearly, the Browns missing the playoffs in 2007 was Tony Dungy's fault, as is Global Warming, the Wall Street bank failures, the BP oil spill, and Kate Perry's taste in men.
What Dungy often fails to understand is that the word "fan" is derived from the word fanatic. While I certainly do not condone violence from fans, I personally see no problem in Cleveland residents getting pissed at LeBron for both going back on his own statements and dragging this stupid thing out the way he did. Cleveland fans, and fans in general, can get over someone leaving. Unitas left the Colts for the Chargers way back when. Jordan played for the Wizards. Montana was a Chief. However, fans cannot help but feel "vindictive" when some self-important, elitist multi-millionaire strings them along for months and then ditches them to go play in Miami.
Also, I'm going to take Dungy to task on this little bit:
However, he has given everything he had while he played there.
Uh, no he didn't. The guy quit in playoff games. I know it. You know it. The media knows it. The Cleveland Cavalier's owner knows it. LeBron James is now synonymous with half-assed effort and back-handed tactics. If LeBron were a football player, and he had quit in the middle of a playoff game the way he did in the Celtics series this year, I highly doubt Tony Dungy would be praising his effort.
He'd have cut the gutless slug the next day.
Dungy is a great person and I enjoy his new role as a spiritual sports sage, of sorts. But, in the case of LeBron James, he's wrong. And he'd be wise not to scold Cleveland fans too harshly. I think they've kind of earned the right to take a few shots at "The King," who never delivered on the promises he made.