James has been an NBA soap opera worth watching


Love him or hate him, LeBron James was finally crowned with the title that has eluded him.

Me, I am on the fence with James and his Miami cohorts, which is something that is not heard to often. It is usually a love them, hate them line in the sand.

That is because there is a lot to like about James and the Heat, and there is a lot to dislike at the same time.

For me, the Heat have become basically the soap opera team of the NBA, which is kind of funny since Miami lost to Dallas last year and the famous TV show Dallas is back on television again on TNT, one of the main channels the NBA is shown on.

As a friend of mine pointed out when I mentioned that, look for TNT to now pick up a new version of Miami Vice. Hey, Don Johnson is still alive and kicking.

Is it out of the realm of possibility to think some deranged fan would get all mad and take a shot at James, giving us the ‘Who shot Lebron?’ episode.

Everything else has played out like a soap opera it feels, granted I am not a connoisseur of that television genre. I just know that storylines can change more than a weather forecast and someone can go from being the good guy to turning heel very fast.

James was one of the most well-liked NBA players when he was in Cleveland. But he started to push his likeability down when he had “The Decision” and said he was going to Miami in an hour-long special on ESPN.

That was not the best call, but maybe the worst part of the special was having Jim Gray ask the questions. I have seen slow-pitch softball pitchers lob better balls than Gray can. Just ask Pete Rose.

Right away, Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert released a statement that had him condemning James and his off-spring like they had started the plaque or something. Note to Gilbert, when you balk at a J.J. Hickson trade for Amare Stoudemire deal, that is one of the reasons he left Cleveland.

More than a few James’ supporters followed and said he sold out. Enough so that James decided to play the bad guy the upcoming season. Even though he already had the spotlight, he wanted even more attention. Coming up with stupid names for the Heat like the “Heatles” and making fun of Derrick Rose when he was sick.

The kicker came when Dallas knocked off Miami in last year’s NBA Finals and James told his “haters” that they still had to wake up in the morning and their lives will not change.

Valid point, but it only made people dislike James even more. But that is not the person James is he even admitted it before this season began and he was just going to be him.

That is exactly what he did. He went out, did not listen to the distracters and did his own thing. It was like Phil Jackson had a talk with him because James could be seen reading books before playoff games.

Basically, James found his inner chi and it showed in the playoffs. He just had a different look and feel to him. He stopped caring what people said, good or bad and focused on being a great NBA player. He did not go out of his way to make fun of his fans, but did not go out of his way to please him. He found the perfect balance, making him even more fun to follow and watch, because even with his title, everything about him will be scrutinized until he retires.

I plan to follow it as well, just like I am watching Dallas even though I missed the original over two decades ago. It is just too fun to turn away from.