LeBron James: Hating the Player, Not the Man

One of the toughest parts of the sporting world is separating the love of the game from everyday life. We hang on to our passion for our favorite teams with such vigor. The lines often get blurred between the entertainment of sporting events and life accomplishments. At times, we carry over our passion into untethered and unwarranted disregard for athletes to do so much for their community and there’s no bigger target than LeBron James.

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With his recent signing with the Los Angeles Lakers, it’s easy to push the hate to the next level. Not only is he LeBron being hyped as the savior to one of the NBA’s more historic franchises, “haters” will push his willingness to jump shit a 3rd time as disloyal. They’ll say he’s chasing championships and vying for more spotlight on one of the biggest stages in the largest cities in the world. Even as the next NBA season is upon us and the hate wagon gains new members every day, the basketball court is where it should end. 

While I’m one of the biggest critics of the future Hall of Famer’s success, off the court you have to respect his hustle. Outside of his feuds with politicians we won’t name, LeBron has his endorsements, developing television shows, he’ll be in the reboot of Space Jam, opening his own school, pushed the boundaries of traditional education, and has been an outspoken advocate for human rights. Off the court, he’s one of the hardest working, likable, community first celebrities in the spotlight. 

Unfortunately for LeBron James, the spotlight only shines on the court. Due to rabid fan bases and NBA superstardom, most people focus on his on-court competitive persona. Admittedly so, there are times I can’t stand to watch him play. Even more so, the talk of him being the greatest all-time doesn’t sit well with many of his critics. Make no mistake about it, he’s not everyone’s cup of tea on the court. However, at the end of the day, he’s still a man and he’s doing more with his fame and fortune than a lot more well-off people in the world are. It’s easy to hate LeBron James the player, but it’s ridiculous to hate LeBron James the man.

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