Drew Sharpe is a very good writer, he writes for the Detroit Free Press and he makes a great point in one of his articles I read recently. He says “you know it’s funny, Lebron James does not merit much sympathy or compassion because he willingly placed a bull’s eye on himself – the whole crowning himself King and all. But the level of animosity directed at him and the Miami Heat for their hubris reeks of hypocrisy by America sports fans” Continues Drew Sharpe “I suppose those same people, who cried that the Miami Heat violated some code of competitiveness by amassing as many good players as possible, they must also hate the original Olympic Dream Team right?” After all, the concept of a “super team” and the swagger brought was born in 92’ in Barcelona. Why do I suspect that some of the strongest Miami Heat bashers remain as some of the strongest supporters of what the Dream Team represented and created?
Never forget that U.S. basketball opted against the long standing conventional approach of taking the nation’s best college players. Why? Because it had grown outdated and less reliable against gradually improving foreign players, U.S.A. basketball needed an alternative for accelerating America’s return to world basketball dominance. The Dream Team was also a great marketing tool, whether you liked it or loathed the concept; you simply could not ignore it. The same is true with Lebron James and the Heat. Had they lost Game 7 against Boston, the NBA season would have officially concluded before the Finals!
Outrage by the Dream Team and Miami! No, we loved that entire swagger! The Dream Team was virtually taunting the other countries, with them pounding there chest regularly. I still contend that sometimes in life, you think you hear something but you hear something else. Like when Lebron James held that press conference talking about championships, it went something like this “…not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7 – and when I say that, I really believe it. We believe that we can win multiple championships if we take care of business and do it the right way”. Did you read that carefully? He said “We believe that we can…if…” that’s not that much hubris. For the record, we all play to the crowd – I try to cater to Ohio State diehards when they have a good game and rip on Michigan. If I talk about Lakers, I’ll bang on the Phoenix Suns and the Utah Jazz. If I talked about Utah, I’d be banging on the Lakers. All Lebron James said was “we believe we can if…”
I may be wrong on this, but I think this is what you all THINK you heard him say “I will rule over the NBA for the next decade, winning every MVP award and championship possible. I am the King and you people are my loyal subjects, bow before Lebron, Jordan and Kobe have nothing on me. I am the greatest player the NBA has ever seen. No more questions, the King exit’s the room” I think that’s what you all thought you heard. Again, he said “I believe it’s possible that we can if we work hard” Come on people, slow down. I can imagine that anyone in the public speaking business, you always try to play to the crowd – that’s just part of the business! How many of you have been public speakers? Less than probably 1% of you, I included. I know someone whose been doing it his entire life, he always talks about playing to the crowd. If he does a remote in Columbus or LA, he plays to the crowd, it’s called knowing your audience. He was telling me that when he goes and does a speech the first thing he asks the person who hired him “who’s the crowd? Are they men or woman? What’s the break down? Cocktail served or not? Is it a clean audience or not?
So when Lebron goes out and says “we believe we can if …” he wasn’t demanding anything, wasn’t guaranteeing anything, he was just playing to the crowd. It’s what every radio personality in the country does. If you listen to Alabama radio – who do you think they are rooting for? Alabama! Listen to New York sports radio, who do you think they are rooting for? New York teams! Dallas radio? Talking about the Cowboys, Rangers and Stars – they’ll all just playing to their audiences, you better your bread. You know who that celebration was truly for when Lebron and co. came out and did that presser for the fans? It was for Miami Heat Season ticket holders – once they signed Lebron and Bosh, they invited them all in and it was kind of like a butt kissing and all. For the record, 20 years ago if that had happened, you would’ve never seen tape of it. You do something and like 10 minutes later it could be on YouTube, it’s up on the blogs and you perhaps didn’t even intend for it to end up on the blogs.