WRECKORDER - FGS Gujilde (The Freeman) - October 22, 2020 - 12:00am

I didn’t know many people seriously hate LeBron James until I came across with social media posts spitting bitter vile against the greatest basketball player in the post-Michael Jordan era.  Or, is Michael Jordan the greatest in the pre-LeBron James era? Even Jordan concedes and the numbers agree. Statistics are matters of record, not opinion, unless its inaccuracy is conveniently called error margin. In media reporting, it’s called interpretative news.

LeBron has more career points than Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryant. He rebounded many more times than Larry Bird or Willis Reed. The 6’9”, 250+ pound mammoth blocked more times than Scottie Pippen or the Great Wall of China, Yao Ming.

We don’t even have to go far back to set him apart. Among his contemporaries, LeBron dominates the statistics by his lonesome, leaving the rest grappling for far second, be it in points, assists, defensive rebounds and steals. All right, the guy is not perfect, he is second best to Stephen Curry in the 3-point department.

At 35, he is well past his prime by NBA standards and had to buck the most serious injury of his career. But he defied age in this year’s finals to average 29.8 points, 11.8 rebounds and 8.5 assists, shot 59% from the floor and 41.7% from the 3-point arc.


It’s a no-brainer he was named finals Most Valuable Player the fourth time, next only to Michael Jordan, to become the first player ever to earn the ultimate individual accolade as part of three different franchises – twice in heat, once a knight and now a laker. It’s not about the team. It’s about him.

Ok, that would be too arrogant and selfish. Even LeBron wouldn’t like it. The guy is selfless, devoting his time off-court to philanthropy and advocacy against racial injustice in the mold of Muhammad Ali whose body of work to better the world is greater than his greatest ring status. Yes, winning four championships with three different teams doesn’t mean it’s about him. It’s too mean, his teammates worked as hard, including benchwarmers. I concede. It’s the team, but with him.

What’s not to like about King James then? Everything, if you don’t like him. Nothing, if you like him. It boils down to polarizing personal choices of people we iconize, be it a leader, celebrity, player or anyone we’re awed at. It’s pointless to argue with choice, no matter how bad or stupid it is, especially when it’s both. Nothing replaces personal choice except voluntary reversal that rarely happens due to pride, that all-consuming enemy of humility and reality.

Arguing involves reason, but there is little reason involved in liking another, if at all. Again, it’s personal, until public interest impresses it. By then it should no longer be condoned, just as LeBron warned his teammates who played while playing it ain’t over yet. Prophetic, they were almost pushed to sudden death.

But LeBron played a juggernaut in game six, raked in 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, his 11th triple double in career finals that doused the brewing heat, petrified and rendered inanimate. LeBronzed. Makes sense now? Oh, I forgot nothing does to those who dislike him. Exactly why we should never engage in trash talk, not even try to talk them out of the rubbish they relish. Just like the fanatics blinded by even the most gruesome antics.

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