Regardless of what LeBron James says tonight about where he will be playing basketball for the next four to six years, the process of how he’s gone about this has touched a nerve with a great many people. Wade and Bosh’s course of action also has managed to rub a lot of people the wrong way. But should it?
So many people are comparing, and unfavorably, how these guys are handling their free agency as opposed to the way Michael Jordan may have handled his. But is that fair? The comparisons aren’t limited just to MJ either, it’s a comparison to players of other eras.
That’s where the problem lies. How do you use the comparison of their handling of this free agency bonanza to guys who never even had a chance to be a free agent? How do we know what they would have done? Or how do you compare the way they’ve milked this saga for everything its worth with someone who didn’t have the ability or resources to do the same thing themselves?
It’s a different world that we live in than when Jordan was up for grabs, or even Tim Duncan. 2000 was ten whole years ago, and while there was obviously a plethora of information and coverage available regarding similar instances of superstar courtships, or non-courtships, whatever the case may be, it simply wasn’t the same.
The twitters of the world, the countless array of bloggers, and “sources”, the grand scope of having three really huge names available at the same time, have made this an unprecedented situation. Is it wrong to capitalize as much as possible from it?
After all, the market for them to be able to capitalize in the manner in which they are has been set by the very people who seem to be first in line to harp on these players for having huge egos, or a lack of perspective. It’s the mass public and mass media, the very resources they are tapping into to do this, that made them to begin with. So what’s wrong with making use of that? So they wish to reap all the reward they can from this situation, and the problem with that is?
If you want to deride or chide these players for joining together in this manner from a basketball standpoint, that’s perfectly fine. I myself don’t like it at all. However, I think criticizing them for letting their egos get in the way, or for not being very low-key and humble about the process, isn’t fair.
It’s especially not fair when the criticism comes with a “well, so and so wouldn’t have done it this way”. We don’t know what other people would or wouldn’t have done because they didn’t have the opportunity to do it.