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LeBron James – Love Him or Hate Him?

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By Anthony Elio

The NBA season is over. The championship trophy has been held, kissed, and cried upon. The piles of confetti are probably still being swept up. Because it’s really hard to clean that stuff up. And now there’s one question on everyone’s mind: should we still hate LeBron James?

OK, maybe that’s not the question on everyone’s mind. But just hear me out.

Now, if you’re in the Cleveland area (or never really hated LeBron at all) I should probably give you a brief recap of why people hate LeBron James. First, he played for his hometown team in Cleveland. Then he left for Miami and won a couple championships. And now a lot of people don’t like him. And that’s pretty much it.

To be fair, many people have a problem with the way LeBron went about it. You see, some people quit their old job by finding something new and giving their employer two-weeks’ notice. LeBron held a televised special of the DECISION to sign with the Miami Heat. Not exactly a subtle way to move on.

But here’s the thing: he came back to Cleveland. Eventually. And as you may have heard, if you care even a minimal amount about sports, he led the Cleveland Cavaliers over the favored Golden State Warriors to win the NBA championship in Game 7, inside the opposing team’s arena. Not that it was a dramatic ending or anything.

And so, after coming back to his hometown team and leading them to an underdog championship, will people still hate him?

On the one hand, people may see his return to Cleveland and championship win as redemption, showing that not only did his heart belong in Cleveland, but he really was good enough to bring home a title. Many people believe this is exactly what he needed to do to silence his doubters and be considered perhaps the greatest NBA player of all-time. But I’m not going to start that debate. Because people may already be mad at me for what I’m about to say.

On the other much bigger hand, people have a long history of disliking winners. One major example is Mr. Tom Brady. Before you comment, “I H8 Tom Brady the cheating s&$#@head, UNSUBSCRIBED”, please allow me to offer a point.

You see, well before the recent Deflategate story (I know, I don’t want to talk about it either) and the 2007 videotaping controversy of Spygate (man, they really need better names for these), people hated Tom Brady and the Patriots. I remember in 2005, when they had won their third Super Bowl, seeing Tom Brady holding the trophy and not liking him. I was barely interested in football at the time and had no real reason not to like him. And yet, I didn’t.

Because he was a winner. And that’s why it’s hard to see people changing their minds about LeBron while seeing him holding the championship trophy.

Should people dislike LeBron James still? I’d say no. But will they dislike him? Keep in mind this is the era of social media. People will find a reason to hate LeBron James. And they will Tweet about it.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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