It’s that time of year again. School is starting to let out, pools are opening, and the sun is shining.
That can only mean one thing—LeBron James is gearing up for another NBA Finals. James will be competing in his eighth straight NBA Championship series, dragging along his band of Cleveland misfits with him. And along with his ninth career Eastern Conference Final victory come the Skip Baylesses of the world, crawling out of the woodwork to try to refute the undeniable: LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of all time.
Leading a Kevin Love-less Cavs team to a game seven victory in Boston has effectively put the arguments about MJ vs. LBJ to rest. Just about everyone who follows the game has now come to terms with LeBron having overtaken Jordan’s throne as the G.O.A.T.
Yet you still get pundits like Bayless, old-timers who refuse to let go of the past, and 13-year-olds who have “always been Warriors fans” —and are also fond of the Patriots and the Crimson Tide—trying to discount his legacy and denounce his dominance.
Speaking of those teams, they seem to get as much hate as King James every time they start to heat up in their respective seasons. In the last seven years, LeBron, New England, and Alabama have combined for nine championships. James has dominated professional basketball as Bill Belichick and Nick Saban have built unstoppable dynasties in football.
As these men have become the tycoons of their leagues, and as NBA fans gear up for the Finals, one thing has become clear: people love to hate on greatness. If you’re not an Alabama fan, chances are you don’t want to see them win another championship. You probably are tired of pretty boy Tom Brady winning the MVP or the Super Bowl just about every other year.
But if people would stop being so bitter about their teams under-performing compared to these giants, maybe they’d be able to sit back and appreciate the remarkable skills of these coaches and athletes, the likes of whom we may never see again.
Brady, Belichick, Saban, and James are all arguably the greatest at their jobs in sports history, and they’re all doing it at the same time, right in front of our eyes. The fact that so many sports fans attack them, rather than applaud their talent, shows stubbornness and close-mindedness. Imagine if any American spoke badly of Michael Phelps after everything he has accomplished at the Olympics.
Just because these guys aren’t competing on behalf of the United States does not mean you can’t admire what they’re doing and respect their talent.
Now, I’m not saying I think everyone who follows sports should root for the Pats to win another Super Bowl next year. I’m just saying that if you find yourself getting angrier and angrier as Bama continues to steamroll the entire SEC, try to relax and enjoy watching one of the greatest college football dynasties of all time. Sabans don’t grow on trees, after all.