Don't get me wrong. I'm not blind to the sheer physical talent, or his ability to flip a switch and become seemingly unstoppable. But I think, underneath it all, this decision reveals a real character flaw in LeBron James. It's imposslbe to imagine Michael Jordan making a similar decision, or even guys like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant or even new teammate, Dwyane Wade. Joining the Miami Heat suggests that LeBron prefers to be a King in name only.
Depending on the length of his eventual contract, this decision could do some real damage to LeBron's legacy. He's joining a literal all star team. Listening to him try and compare this setup to Jordan's Bulls and Magic's Lakers was downright laughable. Those were incredibly well-constructed teams, full of role players, built around one legendary talent.
The kind of team Cleveland should have been able to build around a talent as massive as LeBron's.
He's more athletic than Jordan and built like Karl Malone. If LeBron James worked half as hard as Kobe Bryant, the Cavaliers would have at least two NBA titles right now (I'll give the Celtics '08, but '09 and '10 could've gone to the Cavs.)
It seems like he hit an early plateau, and his ego won't allow him to burst through it. Go back and look at game film from 2007 when LeBron led the Cavaliers to the finals. He was humble and focused, playing his heart out. Scoring 25 points in a row for the Cavs. What happened to that guy? Where'd he go?
I'm not going to deceive myself and suggest this Miami Heat lineup somehow benefits the Orlando Magic. And I'm not saying it hurts LeBron James, per se.
I'm saying it reveals a lot about his character. It suggests that he's content to focus on showmanship, revel in his gifts rather than putting them to work (now he can leave the real work to DWade, when necessary.) Somewhere along the way, his priorities shifted. He may say his focus is on winning, but his actions show otherwise.
LeBron James is focused on LeBron James. And joining Wade and Bosh in Miami will allow him to win AND remain focused on his top priority. But unless something drastic happens, this will ultimately prevent him from ever being the player he could've been. He'll of course make the Hall of Fame, and be remembered for his unrivaled talent and flashes of brilliance.
But not greatness. Not like MJ, or Kobe, or even DWade. Not really. His career will likely always smack of untapped potential.