LeBron James is a wonderful athlete, this year’s Most Valuable Player in the NBA. Some like to compare him to Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan or Jerry West. Only problem is, MJ won six championships, Kobe five, and West one. LeBron: so far zip. He’s getting old in terms of basketball mileage and wants to be on a championship team, maybe challenge the others’ numbers, before it’s too late.
So James, who had become a free agent after playing out his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, agreed to leave for the Miami Heat, a team already with two superstars, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, that looks like a better bet to win it all. LeBron is leaving his home state and the team he’s played for all his seven seasons in the pros.
While James is a free agent, both legally and ethically, and free to go wherever he gets the best deal, ethics doesn’t allow him to ignore the feelings of the fans who worshipped him for years. The very foundation of ethics is the ability to imagine yourself in others’ circumstances. It’s the Golden Rule.
The ethical thing for James to have done, having decided to leave Cleveland for greener pastures, was to be considerate of the fans’ feelings. He owed them, not a life sentence with the Cavs, but a gentle let-down. Perhaps a news conference as soon as he made his decision, in which he could say something nice about the Cavs’ fans.
Instead he set up an hour-long ESPN infomercial, in which he announced his decision only after 27 minutes of soft interviews and commercials. He left his loyal fans to suffer for two days waiting for the decision, then 27 minutes more, then BAM! Ugly. And unethical.
James did to the city of Cleveland what the devil tried to do to the city of Washington in the fictional Damn Yankees: build them up to a heartbreaking letdown. He was worse than the devil, who failed in his heartless scheme: LeBron succeeded.
Tags: championships, Chris Bosh, Cleveland Cavaliers, Damn Yankees, Dwayne Wade, Golden Rule ESPN, Jerry West, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Miami Heat, Michael Jordan, Most Valuable Player, MVP, NBA, the devil