Now that the LeBron James dust has settled (or has it?), time to weigh in on just what he was trying to say after yet another failed attempt to put a championship ring on one of his fingers.
It seems LeBron’s tongue was way ahead of his brain shortly after the Dallas Mavericks postponed his trip to the National Basketball Association throne room a few days ago.
Reacting to the notion that Cavaliers fans were experiencing an enormous rush of schadenfreude following the elimination of his Miami Heat, he reacted childishly when asked if it bothered him that so many around NBA Nation were overjoyed to see him fail.
“Absolutely not,” he said, “because at the end of the day, all the people that was (sic) rooting for me to fail, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life they had before they woke up today.
“They have the same personal problems they had today. I’m going to continue to live the way I want to live and continue to do the things I want to do with me and my family and be happy with that.”
Wait. There’s more.
“(Fans) can get a few days or a few months or whatever the case may be on being happy about not only myself, but the Miami Heat not accomplishing that goal. But they have to get back to the real world at some point.”
That, folks, is called rationalization. LeBron was wounded and felt the need to retaliate. And the only way he could do that was to belittle the people, many of whom had his back when he wore a Cavaliers uniform.
His visceral feelings overcame his sense of good judgment and he cut loose. He was hurt and he wanted to hurt back. It no doubt felt good to him at the time. Until someone in his posse pointed out how silly and stupid it sounded.
The following day, he tried to explain what he meant. And failed.
“I think it’s interpreted different than what I was trying to get out there,” he said. “Basically, I was saying at the end of the day, this season is over and regarding hatred, not only myself and everyone has to move on with their lives as well. They have to move on with their lives and their day-to-day, good or bad, as I do, too, at the end of the day. I’ve got to move on with my life.”
Then he further explained.
“So it wasn’t saying I’m superior or better than anyone else, any man or woman on this planet. I’m not. I would never, ever look at myself better than any of you guys sitting here or anybody that watches our game or anybody that would look at me as a professional basketball player. I’m not superior to anyone. So it may have come off wrong, but that wasn’t my intent.”
Two thoughts. The feeling of superiority had nothing to do with the interpretation of his after-the-game remarks. Anyone is his right mind would not have even thought superiority was a factor.
And as for it coming off wrong, it came off wrong only in LeBron’s mind. It came off just the way he intended.
After taking season-long abuse from fans, he couldn’t help but strike back. He wanted no part of their schadenfreude. Who could blame him?
He would have been much better off to just smile, bite his lip, skirt the original question and do the right thing by congratulating the Mavericks.
As it is, LeBron will now be remembered for something other than “taking my talents to South Beach.”
Somehow, he’ll survive. And when he finally arrives in the NBA throne room, maybe he will have learned to be much more diplomatic with his remarks.
Humility is a wonderful trait. He needs a gigantic dose of it.