July 08, 2010

An Open Letter to LeBron James

Dear LeBron,

We have a number of things in common, presumably the biggest is that we both play basketball. I love the game and I am going to guess that you do as well. But while I know who you are there is no reason to assume that you know me or have a clue that I exist.

That doesn't bother me. Why should you know about the 41 year-old Jewish kid in L.A. I am not famous, can't dunk the ball now and couldn't do it when I was 20 either. Not that it matters because I never had the talent that you have, though I had ample desire.

The fellas that I play with will tell you that much. They'll tell you that I fling my ancient body all over the court. They'll tell you that it is dangerous to get in front of the freight train as I drive the lane. I suppose that we have that in common too, both of us have enough muscle to force the opposition to do what we want them to do.

But the reality is that for me it is more of a dream. I picture me flying through the air with grace and skill but if video footage existed it would probably be pretty ugly to watch. But not as ugly as the spectacle that you have created.

This overblown hype about which team you are going to sign with is shameful and you should be embarrassed. I don't begrudge you the opportunity to make a living. I don't really care that some team is going to pay you more money than you can possibly spend. If someone is willing to pay you than it is not my business to tell you that you shouldn't take it.

But the fashion in which you are doing this is what I take issue with. I am killing myself slowly to provide for my family. Our troops are literally dying in Afghanistan to protect you and yours. My friend John is dealing with a real challenge with class and dignity. The New York Times reports that your generation is finding the American Dream to be nothing more than a dream.

The oil spill in the gulf has created devastation that has an impact that we cannot begin to conceive of and you have the gall to agree to a one hour television special to announce whether you are coming or going. This is foolishness, idiocy and just wrong. I want to grab and shake you, drag you into the real world and remind you what life is like.

I am angry and you should be too. You should be pissed off that you let this nonsense turn into something that could haunt you for years. It doesn't matter whether you decided to do this yourself or were talked into it because it is wrong and ultimately you will pay the price.

Or maybe you don't care. It is possible. You have already earned enough to retire. You have a brand that will probably overcome the boneheaded move you are making. The country loves celebrity. You could go have sexual relations with three sheep, a goat and a cow and people would forgive you, provided that you can still play.

So the rest of us have to take some blame for establishing a foundation that allows you to think that it might be ok to do something like this. But ultimately the buck stops with you. You have created quite a situation for yourself. I hope you are happy with it and I hope for your sake that you recognize why this is wrong because if you don't, then I feel sorry for you.

Good luck LeBron, for the record I am still confident that you are on track to become the next superstar not to win a championship, but maybe you'll prove me wrong. I hope you enjoy your day- the rest of us non media types might catch the news on Twitter, provided that we are not caught up working like most normal people do.

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