Friday, May 14, 2010
Hey LeBron: Who Died and Made You King?
"Who died and made you ______" is a common put-down of a person who usually doesn't have that high position, but aspires to it. "Who died and made you boss?" is cited in print since at least 1940 and there have been many variations of this expression in circulation since the 1980s, coincidentally the same decade "King James" was born.
When LeBron entered the NBA draft as an 18 year old I was amongst those who was hoping the the number one pick would go to the Miami Heat so they could select this basketball prodigy who was going to dominate the league for the next 15 years. Carmelo Anthony was seen as the great consolation prize, and Darko Milicic and Chris Bosh were presumed just a notch below. Of course, Miami had the fifth pick in the draft and settle for an afterthought named Dwyane Wade.
It didn't take long for Dwyane Wade to get into the discussion about whether he, LeBron or Kobe Bryant was the best player in the league. A freak injury to Wade's shoulder the year after Wade had the most legendary NBA Finals performance in history derailed the argument and it has been all Kobe and LeBron for about four years now.
LeBron's crushing elimination at the hands of the Boston Celtics has sent shock waves throughout the land. Many will say all sorts of negative things about LeBron James, but I won't - after all, I want him to consider signing with the Heat. I am not concerning myself with whether it is a lack of killer instinct, a hurt elbow or if it was the supporting cast. The lesson learned is that there is no King in basketball. It remains a team game and no one player can win a title by himself. We are all witnesses.
As far as Mr. James's impending free agency, I say expect the unexpected. When everyone thought he would stay (except fans of teams with cap room), I thought he might leave. Now that everyone thinks he will go (except Cleveland fans), I think he stays - nobody tells a King how to run his life. My prediction: he commits to Cleveland and goes ringless for another three years.
As far as our BiW, I think he will do whatever is in his power to align himself with the best talent available and re-enter the discussion about who is really number one. Let's hope that opportunity is in Miami... I really think it will be.