JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

I am Jesus

lebron_01

A final thought on LeBron.

I was working out at the hotel gym last night when I saw the entirety of LeBron’s ESPN dialogue. At one point, he said something along the lines of, “LeBron James has to do what will make LeBron James happy.” Or something like that. And that’s when I thought to myself—truly, truly thought to myself—”Sports have gone soooooooooooooo far out of hand, it’s ludicrous.”

Athletes like LeBron James think they’re Jesus. They really do. Look at the tattoos, many of which serve as odes and monuments to themselves. I mean, across the top of his back James has an enormous blue tattoo that reads CHOSEN 1. For real. CHOSEN 1. Which isn’t all that different than the other tatts spread across his body—myriad messages that scream I AM A HOLY BEING! I RULE ALL!

Dude, you’re a basketball player. Literally, your blessed skill is to dribble, pass, shoot and dunk a round object in front of well-off humanoids who can afford outrageous ticket prices and $10 beers. You haven’t invented anything, designed anything, developed anything, altered anything. I hear James talk about himself and the sport as if they have actual consequence, and I want to vomit. It’s like The Truman Show, where Jim Carrey’s character is the last to know it’s all pretend; all make believe.

The lives men like LeBron James lead are not real. There are many athletes who get this; who understand the difference between fantasy and reality. There are others who don’t; who think they’re decision to move from Cleveland to Miami rivals the BP oil spill (LeBron: “The what?”) for importance and warrants a nation’s attention.

And, in a sense, it does. Because we are fools. Dolts. We fall for the same-old tricks, time after time after time.

Crap.