LeBron James Isn't The Best Role Model, But We Have Had Unfair Expectations
Of course, that’s just hypothetical, but it is unlikely that Dwyane Wade would have left the Heat to join the Cavs because unlike LeBron, he was born with the same competitive mentality as Kobe—that’s why it took so long for Wade to let LeBron take the Heat over.
But the fact that LeBron doesn’t have that same need to be the “go-to guy” that Wade does is a problem for us in a day and age where we are surrounded by constantly updated news stories and a popular culture that glorifies super heroes.
When someone famous does something great or awful, it is instantly spread all over the Internet. When a major event occurs, whether it is tragic or wonderful, you will see it on the news. And while something might happen that has a large impact on the world, it can easily be trivialized due to information overflow. And what that does is it makes it harder to care. There are just too many stories out there to connect with all of them.
So, if someone or something demands our attention…well, it better be worth our attention. Otherwise, we’ll change the channel or head to the next webpage to find something we think is more important.
The point is that when we have so much we can choose to pay attention to, we want to be excited and impressed by news stories that we feel like we have to follow.
For a true sports fan, it might feel necessary to follow LeBron. He’s the best basketball player on the planet and if you don’t know what’s going on with him then you might feel out of touch. But then, when he isn’t acting like the leader that MJ or Kobe was…it feels like he’s letting us down.
Now, LeBron didn’t help his reputation by joining Wade and Bosh in Miami and he never should have appeared in that introduction video. He also probably shouldn’t have trivialized everyone’s lives after the 2011 NBA Finals when he said that everyone would have to stop overanalyzing his failure to win a championship and go back to their lives.
At the same time, while LeBron has made mistakes, it’s our own fault for making it seem like LeBron’s role as the “Best Basketball Player in the World” means anything more than that. Just because he’s incredible at playing basketball doesn’t mean we have to look up to him as a person. In fact, it’s wrong for us to expect his behavior to be worthy of admiration just because other people in his position have become role models.