The basketball season is underway. As teams, players and coaches gear up for the 82-game season, we have another slew of opportunities to see some of the greatest athletes on the planet return to the National Basketball Association's courts.
The endless possibilities of a fresh season offer an excitement strong enough to erase to the potentially bitter taste of how last season ended.
The unraveling of the various scenarios at play also adds to the pre-tip-off angst. Certain topics, like Kobe's durability and Derrick Rose's second return (whom are both looking to show full strength), are on everyone's mind.
Then, you have Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker — the first and second pick, respectively — who aim to prove that they belong. Their stories and many more are like built-up novels that we have been itching to read, but can't crack open until October 28, the day of the season opener.
Now that basketball is here, it is important to clear the air on a topic that has polarized the basketball community for far too long: LeBron James.
First we loved him, then hated him; then we grew to tolerate him; then we loved him again. Say what you will about LeBron James, but he is clearly the best basketball player, and maybe even athlete, in the universe.
Still, I felt obligated and honored to provide three reasons why you can and should hate LeBron:
1. Every Story Needs A Villian
A common basketball trend is to morph players' personalities into on-court alter egos, almost to comic-book-character extent. You have Duranchela (Kevin Durant), The Black Mamba (Kobe), The Splash Brothers (Steph Curry and Klay Thompson), King James (LeBron, duh) and many more.
These heroes shine throughout the seasons, putting their super-human abilities on full display with high-flying clutch performances and video game stats. All of these traits attract us to them, and we pledge allegiance to our fast-dribbling stars with gripping conviction.
Like many classic comic superhero series, however, there must be a villain. You may ask, "Why is that necessary? Can't we just like everyone?" No. There must be a villain. What good is any story without an antagonist? And, what better antagonist for the NBA's storybook-like season than LeBron?
So, hate on. Throw shade; throw salt. Hell, throw both. We can root against LeBron simply because we can. You need a villain on which to vent the frustration of your team's ineptitude. It's actually pretty fun; the satisfaction will surprise you.
2. Lack Of Team Loyalty
LeBron, protégé of Kobe, who is protégé of Jordan, is guilty to a fault with which the other two have never been associated: chasing rings.
First, there was the highly-criticized debacle, infamously named "The Decision." This was when LeBron announced he was leaving the state that groomed him to "take his talents to South Beach" to join mega stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Mr. James then promised the Miami Heat not one, not two, not three, but seven championships in a boastful gloat of his team's superiority over the rest of the league. Hate him, yet?
If history repeats itself, he'll promise another unrealistic number of rings, win a few (hopefully none), then leave when he feels his team is not good enough. After all, he only signed with Cleveland for two years.
I know he's "coming home," but LeBron, honestly, should have never left.
3. His Hairline
LeBron's hairline was his relatable factor; it made him like the rest of us mere mortals. It was his kryptonite, so he got rid of it. Arguably the most documented in history, LeBron's hairline decline has been watched since his old Cleveland days. He attempted to mask the hair recession, but then, he made it magically appear again.
We all have our favorite teams and our favorite players. Then, we have those who totally deserve the boos. As this season gets underway, I hope you can take pride in bashing LeBron. Think of him as the antagonist we so desperately need.