Posts Tagged ‘LeBron James’

LeBron James makes a phantom apology for breaking hearts in Cleveland

May 16, 2011

Basketball superstar LeBron James broke new ground last week with an original kind of non-apology. Let’s call it a phantom apology, apologizing for a non-offense instead of for the real offense.

James left the Cleveland Cavaliers after last season to join two other superstars on the Miami Heat. No problem with that: he was a free agent. But he did it in a particularly ugly way that was gratuitously hurtful to his fans in Cleveland. The hurt damaged his image with fans everywhere.

Last Wednesday James led his new team to a victory in the quarter-final series of the playoffs over the Boston Celtics, the team that had knocked out his old team (the Cavaliers) last year. In the flush of victory he tried to repair his image. But a real apology would have admitted he did wrong. So James came up with the phantom apology.

Instead of apologizing for the ugly hurt he had caused, he semi-apologized for jumping to Miami—an act that was entirely honorable and ethical. Semi-, because he went on to explain that his move was a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to get past the Celtics and compete for the championship, His entire statement is here.

So James gets credit for apologizing without accepting blame for what he did.

But no credit from EthicsBob: that’s not a real apology.

A real apology is (more…)

LeBron James Ethics

July 13, 2010

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. (more…)