King James? Come on, people…

“Back in 07, I took my 13 year old son to a Pistons Cavs game. We normally sit in the nosebleed section but had courtside seats because it was his birthday. We got there several hours early and watched LeBron in the shoot around. As he walked by us I asked if he could sign the program for my son’s birthday. He looked at us and said ‘Get the f… out of here, I would not p… on your son if he was on fire.’ A simple no thank you would have been fine.”

…the words of a very disappointed father from a sports blog I follow.

If you’ve spent any length of time on chipur you know I can be, shall we say, um, outspoken. And you also know I publish the occasional social commentary.

I believe our lives are so much more than our mood and anxiety issues. And social awareness and perspective are very good things, don’t you think?

A little over a week ago LeBron James announced he’d play basketball for the NBAs Miami Heat, having signed a contract worth millions and millions (and millions). In doing so, he left his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers; who drafted him right out of high school.

James is 25 years old.

Now then – I believe it’s the right of anyone walking the face of the earth to make as much money as he or she can – going anywhere at anytime to do just that. Of course, doing so legally and with a sense of honor would be my preference.

I have no problem with LeBron James making mega-zillions to leave Cleveland for Miami. His life, his business…

I do, however, find the media circus associated with his free agency and signing incredibly hard to take. I don’t know if any of you watched “King James'” hour-long “live” special during which he announced where he was going to play ball. I certainly didn’t, but found the accounts sickening.

This is not a nice man – reference the quote at the beginning of the article. But his noted egotism and horribly bad manners go well beyond that. It’s known, for example, that after his incredibly poor behavior at the 2007 NBA All Star game, the commissioner’s office sent word to USA Basketball that they wouldn’t “force” James on them in terms of being a member of the 2008 Olympic Team heading to Beijing.

According to an NBA official, “Legacies were on the line, and they weren’t going to let LeBron [expletive] it up for everyone in China.”

Okay, where am I going here? I guess what upsets me is the impact such a man has on society as we know it. To watch video of cheering and crying fans at a Miami bar after James announced his contract was curious – to say the least. And equally as “curious” was watching video of Cleveland fans burning LeBron James jerseys (crying, as well).

We’re living in very hard to understand times; as ego, greed, disregard for life, violence, lust, and quick and easy gratification are so casually accepted – even applauded. And, at least in my mind and heart, the media and fan hub-bub over LeBron James just seems to be so indicative of our societal ills.

LeBron James bashing is really not the purpose of this piece. The real mission is to provide a realistic peak at the state of our society; and shout a call to action for all of us to live, recognize, and support – life, each other, peace, goodness, common sense, respect, and manners.

We need comments from you, chipur readers – what are your feelings and thoughts?

image courtesy – Sports Illustrated