The Lebron James Hype

I found this at Blunted On Reality: The Lebron James Hype.

So the Cleveland Cavaliers will more than likely be drafting high school phenom Lebron James on June 26th. Good for them. Ever since Brad Dougherty left and Shawn Kemp became a crackhead, things haven't been the same in Cleveland.

A lot of people have a lot of things to say about Mr. James. No one doubts his skills on the court, but a fair amount of people have questioned his maturity and ability to play the NBA game after having his head pumped up full of hype. Some people are altogether opposed to basketball players skipping college, saying that the additional schooling is necessary to build maturity and add experience.

The funny thing is, other athletes slip right past the radar on this issue. Teenagers are often drafted into the National Hockey League and granted multi-million dollar contracts, and there's rarely a complaint. Tennis, soccer and golf players regularly go pro before their 16th birthdays, and no one seems to care. So why should the NBA be any different?

The maturity argument needs to be squashed as well. When Kevin Garnett became the first high school athlete to declare for the NBA draft since Moses Malone in the 70's, a lot of people questioned his maturity level. Same with Kobe Bryant and Tracy McGrady... and currently, all 3 are not only stars in the league, but are examples of upstanding human beings, as well. Meanwhile, Allen Iverson, Rasheed Wallace, Ron Artest, and Kenyon Martin, considered the NBA's "all-thug" squad, all attended college.

Lebron James didn't ask the media to hype him... he didn't call ESPN and request that they broadcast his high school games. What he did is show a tremendous amount of talent, which was then touted by NBA scouts, sportscasters, and fans alike. The ironic part about this is that should James become a 12 point per game scorer in his rookie year, he'll be labeled a disappointment by the same media that set the bar so high for him (see Harold Miner aka "Baby Jordan" for more on that). I'd hate to see this kid, who seems like he's kept a pretty level head, get pumped up only to be deflated and used as a punchline (see Harold Miner, Bo Kimble, Yinka Dare, Sam Bowie, Ed O'Bannon, Pervis Ellison, ad nauseum, ad infinitum).

Oh, and here's to hoping the Lakers don't draft another Mark Madsen!

July 2, 2003 in Sports | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack