The ongoing saga that is LeBron James hit another high with his rant and roast of Charles Barkley. This came after LeBron’s Cleveland Cavaliers lost their fourth straight game to the hapless Dallas Mavericks. Feeling that he has worked so hard and has had so little help lately, it is fair that he went off. How he lashed out and who his targets were became the real story.
Just recently, Barkley made some comments about James saying he whines and does not want to compete. He spoke about how LeBron has it all, yet seems unable to handle things like other NBA greats. Sir Charles made it clear before that he thinks James may end up with the greatest career of all after he is done. He has played at such a high level in so many facets of the a game . . . a treat never seen before from a man his size. Yet, there is more to this story line than two NBA legends verbally sparring.
Going back to the days of the Lakers and Celtics of the 80’s, they played in an era of brute force and physicality the NBA does not know today. They played with a fear of never playing again as the league shaky ground gathering a fan-base until the Magic and Bird rivalry brought it life. These two, along with the great teams never displayed this type of behavior. They would complain like others, but the will to compete and win were more than most could understand.
For James, this is not the first, second or even third time we have seen and heard his public laments. Make no mistake, I have no doubt this man will go down as one of the best ever. The doubt comes in when he has the largest payroll in NBA history, he is the defending champion, and he has one of the best complimentary players in the world in Kyrie Irving. His achievements and ability remove the warrant for any whining, bitching or moaning. Why does he feel the need to talk about his legacy when it is all but written?
We live in a time where instant gratification is no longer enough. No, we have to make it worse by bashing those that paved the way for us. We feel the need to put our needs before the team and before respect for history. Charles Barkley was not a role model, but do I want one that whines and looks to blame others when things go wrong? No — we want a hero that falls on the sword. One that tells us he is failing us instead of pointing fingers at others. One that is willing to take the blame along with his ability to take the glory.
It wasn’t that LeBron should not have replied to Barkley, he just didn’t need to bring up old baggage. Who cares what Barkley did twenty or so years ago, LeBron ? What we do care about and what your fans care about is what are YOU going to do? Are YOU going to stop this losing streak? Will YOU be able to elevate your team?
Lastly, please remember that there were many that blazed the trail for you, LeBron . Men who played the game for the love of it because they sure did not play it for the money. There were no TV contracts back in the days, or huge advertisement deals you can live off of. Being great requires heart and guts mixed in with the ability to handle adversity. Hey LeBron , maybe you should be grateful for what you have accomplished, know you are already a legend and just shut up and add to that.