I’ve had a feeling that this day was going to come for about a couple weeks now. It had always seemed like a small possibility throughout the 2017-18 season but slowly it seemed like a borderline inevitability once the season ended and we approached the start of NBA free agency on July 1st.
Still, no amount of preparation could have got me ready for seeing these words pop up on my phone from Adrian Wojnarowski.
A million thoughts went through my head once I saw this, but the main thought was this: my favorite team, the Los Angeles Lakers, are back.
Time for some personal hypocrisy
I don’t want to talk about the terrible basketball that me and other Lakers fans have had to deal with the past 5 years. To me, being a Lakers fan is probably the most privileged fandom in all American professional sports. I’m not going to throw a pity party for us just because of 5 bad years when some teams have always been terrible. I also don’t want to go into whether or not the Lakers and LeBron will have enough to win a championship (they won’t at first).
Instead, I want to talk about how hypocritical I’m personally going to be for the next 3-4 years with LeBron James on my favorite team. I am truly ecstatic that he is on the Lakers and he is officially my favorite player in the NBA. If you know me then you probably know that that is the most hypocritical thing I’ve ever said. Just take a look at a blog I wrote on June 1st, 2017, regarding my feelings towards Bron Bron.
You can read the blog and see the history of why I’ve been a LeBron Hater in the past. For this blog though, I wanted to highlight one of my last paragraphs about how I was maybe starting to like LeBron:
So with everything being said, me and my boy Bron Bron’s relationship is in a weird place, a sort of “crossroads”, if you will. I’m a huge hater, I know this and I’m not afraid to admit it. At the same time I’m a huge fan of the game of basketball. I love it. You can only hate a goddamn basketball beast of a human for so long with him crushing your soul every chance he can get. Eventually, you just have to appreciate the fact that you’re watching (POSSIBLY) the greatest basketball player of all-time. With that being said, I’m not ready to call him the GOAT if he wins number 4. But if he does win number 4 over these next two weeks, then I will learn to admire and appreciate LeBron more. Who knows, someday I might even…can’t believe I’m saying this…LIKE him
(This was before the 2017 NBA Finals. LeBron and the Cavs lost to the Warriors in those Finals and it did bring his Finals record down to 3-5, which is now 3-6 after the 2018 NBA Finals)
After those NBA Finals where LeBron was helpless, he became even more helpless in the 2017-18 season when Kyrie Irving was traded and his team had to do a huge overhaul before the trade deadline just to continue to compete. The playoffs then came around and LeBron bulldozed his way through the Eastern conference. I had never seen anyone (other than LeBron) just individually carry a team like he did for the Cavs this past season. Once the playoffs were all over LeBron averaged 34.0 PPG, 9.1 RPG, and 9.0 APG. Did I mention that he did that at the age of 33 in his 15th season in the NBA? That shit is unprecedented and even though he got swept in the Finals by the Warriors, you could make an argument that he had one of the best individual performances in playoff history.
Because of those playoffs and the continuous success he has always had, LeBron has won me over. I just can’t continue to hate on him anymore no matter how cheesy he is. And trust me, he’s going to continue to be that cheesy type of dude.
Just a few days ago he posted a corny video of him attempting to hype himself up while jumping from a high hill into an ocean while on vacation with his family (video below). Then there was the reports that LeBron was going to make his long awaited free agency decision in what was called “The Decision Cave”. Yes…”The Decision Cave”. There’s no doubt in my mind that that was coined by LeBron and we should definitely never stop making fun of him for that.
But as I said, I just cant convince myself to hate on him anymore. Its debilitating. I feel like this is exactly what fandoms like the Knicks went through with Michael Jordan. I feel as though they hated him with a passion in his days, but now they, and everyone else, respect and admire him as the best basketball player of all-time. There’s only so many times that a player can prove you wrong again and again and again until you give up and just admire the guy.
And you know what, since I’m a LeBron fan now, I’ll just say it. He’s the best basketball player of all-time. The GOAT. Stand aside, Michael Jordan.
So yeah, I’m just going to get this out of the way. I’m the biggest hypocrite. I don’t have a choice other than to embrace my new favorite player, LeBron James. He’s now on the Lakers and they have, and always will be my favorite team in all of sports. I’m moving past my regretful hate for him over the past 8-10 years and will be entering a new stage in my relationship with LeBron. That stage will hopefully be filled with some championships in the great purple-and-gold.
To end I just want to say this:
I love you, Magic Johnson.