July 8, 2010
© David Herrera
Do you know where your kids will be at 9 pm tonight? I know mine will be glued to ESPN for the "The Decision" according to King James. Now if you don't know what I'm talking about, you've had your head buried in an air conditioner. The biggest news this past week, with the exception of the heat wave, has been which team NBA free agent and superstar LeBron James will choose now that his contract is up with his beloved home team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. The world has watched as grown business men and celebrities from major basketball empires (New York, Miami, Chicago to name a few) have traveled to Cleveland and practically knelt at his feet, begging him to come to their home courts for countless millions (earned by them and him). He will announce which team he has chosen during a prime time special tonight and speculation is rampant: Will it be New York (because he's making the announcement in close-by Greenwich, CT)? Will it be Miami (because two of his big name basketball buddies have already committed to forming this dream team with designs on a championship ring)? Or will he stay in Cleveland (where his roots and his friends are)?
As a mom of two basketball-loving school-age sons, I can't decide how I feel about this spectacle. I think LeBron James has done a lot of good things with his fame and money, and he has mostly been a good role model for young athletes. But has his ego veered wildly out of control? Has the LeBron James who impressed the world with his leadership skills in the 2008 Olympics been replaced by a relentlessly self-promoting villain who is putting an NBA title ahead of his loyal fans? Or is he a victim of greedy handlers and the incessant media circus?