Anyone who follows this site, or has followed my social media accounts during the past 5 NBA Finals will probably know that I’m not the biggest LeBron James fan in the world. I hate that he was given the label “King James” before he even made it to an NBA Finals, and I hate how our collective sports media (especially you, ESPN) is stepping over themselves to heap endless tons of praise upon him as if their economic survival is tied to the systemic dismantling of Michael Jordan being seen as the greatest ever. I hate that the media creates excuses for him that past superstars were flamed for (i.e. the amount of shots he takes) and I hate how ignorantly his diehard fans try to force his greatness down our throats without just allowing us to take his talent in. But, of all the things I find easily detestable about LeBron James treatment by fans and the media, I don’t hate LeBron James and I DEFINITELY don’t hate him calling himself the best basketball player on the planet – because he CLEARLY is.
I can’t even begin to understand how anyone could think this was a statement of arrogance, ignorance or abject cockiness, when the gap between him and the next best guy, whoever the hell you think that is, is fairly substantive. Let’s be honest, what active player is REALLY in the conversation of BEST ON EARTH with LeBron?
Chef Curry? While I will give you the fact that he’s had an AMAZING season, he is NOT a better basketball player than LeBron, especially when you take into account the fact that ‘Bron has no Delly (some midlevel nobody outdoing him on the biggest stage on Earth). The Warriors may close out the Cavs tonight but that is due to Golden State fielding the better players, NOT because Steph is BETTER than ‘Bron. Let them switch teams and tell me how THAT would go.
James Harden? After their embarrassing exit to the Warriors and Harden’s incredible CHOKE job, they are NOT in the same class.
Maybe KD? Durant is still YEARS away from being able to LEAD his team in the same manner ‘Bron can.
Westbrook? Not clearly the best player on his own team yet.
Anthony Davis? Maybe someday – but definitely NOT today.
The truth is, as much as I dislike the LBJ-hype machine, it would be asinine to act lie he’s NOT the best player in the league right now. But what’s even more asinine is the socially constructed ideology that self awareness should be confined, metered and only doled out in portions that make everyone around you comfortable.
There is absolutely NOTHING to be gained from pretending that you aren’t great when you’ve put the work in. No human being on Earth should wake up in the morning believing that they are just barely adequate, or, when directly asked about their abilities, deflect any and all resonance of their inner strength because that has NOTHING to do with being humble. If you have put in tireless work to perfect your craft, and you continue to outwork your peers, humility isn’t a virtue – it’s a detriment. Being humble is about letting your work speak largely for itself, but it is also not a vow of silence.
Let’s not pretend that LeBron is holding “KISS MY BLACK ASS CUZ I’M THE BEST!” cookouts every Sunday morning outside of Quicken Loans arena. He gave us all a brief look into his level of confidence, and the idea that he should be ashamed for thinking he’s the best is nothing more than the machinations of a mind that doesn’t have a fucking clue what it mentally takes to be the best in anything.
This Is Your Conscience