LeBron James Isn't The Best Role Model, But We Have Had Unfair Expectations
You’ve been working at your hometown restaurant for a few years, but you and your friend have always worked incredibly well together. It is likely that you will become even more successful by teaming up with him and one of your dreams is to open up your restaurant with your buddy.
Every day this happens. People switch companies for all sorts of reasons. And sometimes they are judged for their decision to make a change, but for the most part everyone understands that they are making a business decision.
One of the most famous days that one of these decisions ever took place on is July 8, 2010. With the entire world watching, LeBron James announced that he was going to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.
Now, LeBron played “The Decision” pretty poorly. He came off as pretentious and ungrateful and Cleveland fans have every right to be upset with him for that. And then, of course, he compounded his mistake with that tacky introduction with Wade and Bosh, as they promised they would win eight championships.
But, looking at it more generally, LeBron did something that people do everyday. He switched cities, so he could work with his friends and become more successful, and then he celebrated as anyone would after making an important career decision.
The problem is that a lot of us think that LeBron should want to win a title without the help of another superstar let alone two, so what he did seems like a cop-out.
The truth is that while we are fortunate to have been able to have watched alpha dog players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant among others, it is also unfortunate because they raised our expectations for how a star player should behave, which forces us to wonder why LeBron doesn’t have the same competitive attitude.
MJ won six titles and he didn’t switch teams during his prime. Certainly, he had friends in the league, but you didn’t see him head to Phoenix to team up with Charles Barkley or New York to join Patrick Ewing. He was lucky that Phil Jackson was hired to coach the Bulls and terrific players like Scottie Pippen ended up in Chicago, but he was always the unquestioned leader.
Meanwhile, Kobe was also lucky to have Phil and he had Shaq for his three-peat. Of course, he kicked Shaq out of L.A., so it would be clear to everyone that he was the leader, but even though Pau Gasol joined the Lakers soon after, it was obvious that Kobe was still the go-to guy.