Dear Lebron, Be Great

Chicago Bulls at Cleveland Cavaliers Eastern Conference first round playoff game 2


Dear Lebron,

In an article published in the New York Times on Monday, April 27th, sports writer William C. Rhoden wrote you a letter. I read this letter and though it was addressed to you and not to me, I was incredibly insulted by it.

Mr. Rhoden got straight to the point and brought up your impending free agency. You see, Lebron, Mr. Rhoden seems to believe he has some priceless business advice for you. He believes in this plan so much that he is publishing his advice in the world’s most famous newspaper.

You may not have had time to read the letter, since you are somewhat occupied at the moment trying to win a championship for the Cleveland Cavaliers, so I will give you a brief rundown of what Mr. Rhoden had to say.

Mr. Rhoden thinks that this summer, the place you could make the most impact (Impact on what, I don’t know. Mr. Rhoden doesn’t say) is in Charlotte, playing for the Bobcats.

I didn’t say it would make sense.

The reasoning behind this idea seems to have something to do with Michael Jordan and the fact that he is now the majority owner of the Bobcats. Mr. Rhoden wants you to honor “His Airness” by “joining forces” with him.

To quote Mr. Rhoden:

Forget the number, LeBron. The greatest tribute you could pay him — dollars notwithstanding — is joining forces with him next season and creating a dynasty in Charlotte. The two of you could forge a powerful alliance and achieve in an unprecedented way.

Imagine the story line: Charlotte became the 30th member of the N.B.A. on May 3, 2004. Six years later, LeBron James joins the franchise and takes it to heights previously unknown.

Why didn’t you see it before, Lebron? The best way to make the biggest imprint on the history of basketball is to join a franchise and take it to “heights previously unknown.”

Er…forgive me, because I am not one to meddle in other people’s business but couldn’t you do that, in say, CLEVELAND? Wouldn’t you be taking the Cavs, a team who has never won a title in it’s 40 years of existence, to their first championship qualify as “heights unknown?”

No, not according to Mr. Rhoden. According to him, winning the city of Cleveland its first sports championship since the Browns won it all in 1964 would be meaningless.


Because, like you, Jordan was drafted by the Bulls and lead the team to it’s first title, so doing the same in Cleveland would be nothing new.

Mr. Rhoden also seems to be very worried that unless you do something drastic like er…joining the Charlotte Bobcats, you may very well be overtaken by another superstar. That’s right, Lebron, he is worried that like the fairies, you may be forgotten.

“That’s the thing about sports, LeBron,” writes Rhoden. “Fame is so fleeting. What is hot today is old news tomorrow. A good friend was recently lamenting that his teenage son couldn’t understand all the fuss over Jordan. LeBron James was the hero of his era.

Most athletes are destined to be overtaken by the next new thing — unless they become Babe Ruth, Joe Louis, Jackie Robinson or Ali.”

Yep Lebron. You apparently have no chance of becoming the next Ruth, Robinson or even Jordan if you stay and win your titles in Cleveland because…um..wait…why can’t you become a legend in Cleveland?

Oh wait, oh good, he clarifies.

“The only way to achieve such stature is to do something bold and timeless, like taking an unpopular stand or making an unpopular move.”

Quick Lebron! Do something bold and crazy and unpopular, fast! Slap a Nun. Kick a small child in the face. Buy a Miley Cyus Album!  For God’s sake man, hurry! Your star is burning out as we speak! You have to do something unpopular and bold and timeless. You need to take an unpopular stand like staying in Cleveland…uh, I mean going to Charlotte.

You need to do something different than Jordan like joining Jordan’s team. Jordan never joined Jordan’s team…except, you know, the time he came out of retirement and joined the Wizards, a team he had an ownership stake in and played out the end of his career on a loser instead of the winner he created in Chicago.

Wait a second. Now that I think about it, Mr. Rhoden is right but he has it twisted. If the road to greatness is paved by doing something unpopular and bold, why don’t you just stay in Cleveland?

No one outside of the Buckeye state wants you to stay in Cleveland anyway. Why not reign in good old Ohio and spend the next 10 years kicking the crap out of the Knicks, Celtics, Lakers, Heat and any other tourist destination that gets in your way? What would be more bold than making everyone admire you and the place you came from? What is so courageous about running away?

And why should you run away? For what?

To play follow the leader with Michael Jordan?

Hey, if your goal is to spend your career honoring the career of some other dude, go for it. Be a Bobcat.

In the end, Lebron, I guess I am trying to say that you should just do what you want for the reasons you want and to hell with everyone else. To hell with New York and the Knicks, to hell with Jordan and the Bobcats and to hell with the New York Times and Mr. Rhoden’s pretensions advice!

To hell with me, too. If you leave Cleveland, I’ll still be rooting for the Cavaliers so don’t worry about what I think. Ill be fine. Clevelander’s are used to getting ditched for brighter lights and bigger contracts.

You know why I think Jordan was so amazing? Apart from his brilliant play, he was his own man. He did what he wanted, when he wanted and how he wanted. I doubt he regrets his 6 titles, his minor league baseball playing or even his years in Washington.

Jordan is a legend not because of where he lived or what uniform he wore. He is a legend because he was the greatest basketball player ever to step on a court.

You want to be a legend, Lebron?

Just be the greatest.

Wherever you are.


Patrick Allen

Contributing Writer, King James Gospel

P.S. Yes, I understand the irony that the site that I write for would have to change names if you were to leave.

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