"The Whore of Akron": Analyzing the Dark Side of Lebron James

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of LeBron.  I first started following him when he had that huge game in the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons.  He had one he*l of a performance, and it was remarkable how he single-handily beat one of the best teams at the time on his own.  The thing that I liked the most about LeBron when he was in Cleveland was the fact that he always beat the odds and found a way to get the Cavaliers a win.  He even made everyone around him better and brought out the best from his teammates.  Besides a brief flirtation with Shaun Alexander, I don’t think anyone has come even close to grabbing my attention as “King James”.
Enter Scott Raab and his book “The Whore of Akron”.  Obviously a lot of time has passed since LeBron has donned a Cleveland uniform, and Raab has done a great job capturing both his struggles and Cleveland’s now that life lacks LeBron.  There’s no way this can be Raab’s first book because it is just too perfect.  It does an excellent job of capturing the suffering Cleveland fans go through.
On a side note, one of the reasons why Cleveland sports fans are like Seattle sports fans is because both fans are virtually the same in their struggles.  They know what it feels like to lose a team.  Once upon a time the city of Seattle had a basketball team called the Sonics that was stolen by an a$$hole named Clay Bennett.  Guess what, some jerk named Art Modell stole the Browns and moved them.  Seattle also got screwed in that 06 Super Bowl.  The Indians let two easy 90’s World Series wins get away from them.  The Mariners got 116 wins one season, but didn’t win the world series.  The Cavaliers had two straight 60 win seasons and had a superstar walk away despite that (like A-Rod in 2001 for the Mariners).  Cleveland fans know what it feels like to get cheated, stabbed in the back, robbed, and hurt just like Seattle fans.
    
Now let’s get back to the topic of LeBron.  He was supposed to lift the city to a title, but he failed to do so.  He was also supposed to be my path to my first major sports team winning a title (sorry feminists, Storms basketball doesn’t count).  So a lot of you are probably wondering why a kid from Everett, Washington is cheering for someone from Akron, Ohio?
2008 was a crappy sports year for Seattle sports fans that will live in infamy.  The Mariners spent $100 Million dollars and got 100 losses, the Seahawks were supposed to win the Super Bowl and went 4-12, the Cougs went 2-11, and to top it all off our Sonics got taken away.  I had been a Cavaliers fan for a while (and there was no way in he*l I was going to be a Thunder fan), so they were a symbol of hope for me.  They had one heck of a year in 2008-2009 and LeBron won his first MVP.  He lost to the Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals, but I knew that next year was going to be great.
2009-2010 was a big year.  Once again the Cavaliers were the only one of my sports teams that didn’t suck, and I followed both them and LeBron with earnest.  They honestly looked unstoppable, and I thought that barring any miracles from above they’d win a championship and fill a black hole for me.
Enter the playoffs.  LeBron hurts his elbow after winning MVP #2, and he puts up no fight in an Eastern Conference Semifinal loss to the Celtics.  I was so mad during that series.  I couldn’t understand how an inferior team could beat a strong contender like that, and at that point it made me question the heart LeBron James had.  It’s a pain that still kind of hurts.
After reading Raab’s book I can understand why Cleveland fans hate LeBron James.  That circus act he put on July 8th 2010 was narcissistic and rude for the city.  As a fan I always found some way to excuse his behavior.  Any time he says something to an opposing player I think “well he’s the best in the game he can do what he wants”.  When he went to Miami I thought “well he obviously doesn’t have what he needs to succeed in Cleveland so he’s going to win a title in an environment that’s a better fit for him”.
Part of the appeal that LeBron has to me is he’s from a small town jointed to a big city like I am.  He also calls himself King James, and I also happen to have a name of kings as well (you know King Arthur, King James haha).  I guess part of the reason why I like him so much is because I see him as an athlete that I’ll never be even in my dreams, but hey who can, he’s a once in a generation type find.  He’s a great athlete, but he also has some character flaws to work on.  You left a job half-done and you need to go back and fix it.
I was pretty jacked when the Heat won that first title.  I celebrated, I pounded my fists, I hooted and hollered, and I was happy.  For the first time in my life one of my teams won something.
It was missing though because it was hollow.  I just knew that it would have been so much better if it would have been in Cleveland.
So you’re probably wondering if I’m still going to be a LeBron and a Heat fan?  Well the answer is still sadly yes.  I look up to him and I see him as someone who’s a good role model even if he betrayed a city.  He does a lot of community work on the side as well, and heck I could probably choose someone so much worse than him.
Does he deserve the criticism…well yes and no.  An ego that big is obviously going to have problems no matter who the individual is.  I’d probably be a jerk much the same if I had that amount of talent (but thankfully I’m not).  Maybe LeBron will redeem himself like Darth Vader at the end of “Return of the Jedi” and overthrow emperor Pat Riley to get the Cavaliers a championship.
So LeBron, if you ever read this.  You are allowed to get seven titles.
But at least one of those has to be in Cleveland
*This is too depressing for a hohoho*
   
FootballFemme

A Site For All Things Fantasy Football

Basketball Greatness

Home of Basketball News and Updates

Blogging With Andy

Sports, Iowa & More

Sports Thoughts

Predictions and reactions to your favorite sports

Dome and Bedlam

Baseball somethings from baseball nobodies

Sports with Neil and friends

Hawt sports taeks for the people

Year of the Teen

A teen's humorous pursuit of self betterment

The Big Lead

Sports News and Media

Dubsism

What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions

stadium nerd

A fine WordPress.com site

%d bloggers like this: