@KingJames LeBron James Crazy. Karma is a b****.. Gets you every time. Its not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything! 17 hours ago via ÜberTwitter Favorite Retweet Reply
The tweet above set twitterverse ablaze last night. LeBron tweeted this while the Cavs were in the midst of driving the van directly off of the cliff. It’s obvious who this is directed at. It’s directed at the Cavaliers and more specifically Dan Gilbert. Of course, everyone had an opinion on this. Even I had an opinion this (stunner, I know), but I’m not going to talk about my opinion of this specific tweet. Instead, I’m going to talk about the opinions of other people.
Blogger after blogger rushed to defend LBJ. They couldn’t understand that somehow people hated this tweet from LeBron. I get it. Some people really like James and want to defend him. It makes just as much sense as those who hate James and want to rip him apart. I get it. For the first time, I also think James gets it. He is finally understanding that most of what he says sounds fairly stupid and is now saying said things on purpose. He wants you to hate him now. He is trying to play the villain. Good for him. He’s trying to make the most of his situation. So be it. However, if you are going to actually play the villain, then that means people aren’t going to like you. That’s why you’re the villain.
That brings me to this piece written by Zach Harper last night http://tinyurl.com/4zevbc6 . It’s a fantastic post written by a really good writer. However, this is also the same guy that doesn’t understand why it is people hate LeBron James. Yet, he’s able to write a piece about how LeBron is purposefully becoming the villain? Someone help me out here. If you can understand that a guy is choosing to be a villain, then you should be able to understand why it is that people dislike him, no? THAT’S WHAT A VILLAIN IS!! It’s a person people dislike.
Understand, I’m not picking on Harper, he just happens to be someone who I read regularly and I saw this article that fit the bill for what I wanted to talk about. The idea that people shouldn’t hate LeBron runs deeply through the NBA blogosphere. Again, THAT is fine. However, where it really starts to take an odd turn is when I see these NBA bloggers writing about how silly it is for fans to hate any player. They tell us that fans should just treat the game like the players do; they want us to treat it like a business. Now, this is fine for Joe down the street to say this to you, but it simply boggles the mind that people who get paid to write about the NBA beg and plead for you to do this. Do they not realize the consequence of their ideas if every fan took it to heart? You remove the hate, and then you remove the love that goes with it. Like it or not, fans connect with players. If you tell a fan he shouldn’t hate players, then you might as well tell a fan he shouldn’t love players either. They go hand in hand. It’s impossible to love a player, watch that player screw your team over, and then still love the player. The only natural reaction is to now hate the player, even if just for a time. Remove this, and you remove the passion of the fan. Remove the passion of the fan, and you remove the investment from the fan. Remove the investment, and you might as well begin tearing down the arenas right now.
Without passionate fans, the sport wouldn’t be popular. These writers would have nothing to write about. No one would read their stuff. These NBA bloggers should be begging NBA fans to hate more, not less. Emotional investment is what creates a buzz. It’s the reason so many people watched the Miami Heat vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers game early last month. If no one hated sports athletes, and no one loved spots athletes, then no one would have cared at all about that game. How exactly would that help the sport and the league that these guys write about? I simply don’t understand it at all.
It even goes beyond that, though. It’s as if they don’t understand fandom in general. To ask a fan to not hate a player is to ask a fan to not be a fan…that simply doesn’t make logical sense on any level. Does it?
So, here’s what I say. Do what you wish. Love players. Hate players. Defend players. Mock players. Either way, STAY EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED. If you don’t, then the league that I love will cease to exist. Your hate is needed.