He’s expecting it. He hears it every arena he walks in, except the one he calls home. But when he comes to Oklahoma City, I say we do something different.
Don’t boo LeBron James.
Not because we’re trying to be classy or show just how wonderful we are as people. But because there’s really no reason to. You may think LeBron is an evil, villainous person that eats babies and kills puppies, but all this animosity that’s built up with him has kind of gotten ridiculous.
Following LeBron’s decision, every player in the league was asked what they thought about it. Kevin Durant was one of them. And KD said, “A lot of people really don’t get to see what kind of person he is. He was trying to look out for himself, his family and trying to make the right decision for his family. You can’t blame a man for that, no matter what you do, (whether it’s) playing basketball or being a teacher. People with different professions leave their jobs all the time for better places. So you can’t judge him for what he did. He’s just looking out for himself.”
Durant was one of the few players that never questioned what LeBron did and never said something negative about it. So I think Thunder fans should fall in step behind their leader. Leave LeBron alone when he comes to Oklahoma City Sunday.
You can boo him when his name is announced, because every player gets that treatment. Even Danilo Gallinari was booed when his name was announced and really, who boos Danilo Gallinari? But all this thought that LeBron has to be yelled at every time he touches the ball or any time he steps to the free throw line? Nah, I don’t buy it. Not in OKC. Because really, why? Why boo him? What reason do we have?
I get it. LeBron is a bad guy now. He represents everything that’s wrong with basketball, sports, the NBA, life and the afterlife. He’s a horrible person. A traitor. He stabbed Cleveland in the back and humiliated them. I know people think this. But really, he just switched up his laundry. Just like you might make a career change and switch jobs if one situation was better than the other, that’s what LeBron did. But for some reason people have him next to Michael Vick and Tiger Woods in poll questions about who the worst person ever is. I don’t get it. And neither did KD.
After LeBron’s decision, a lot of people wanted to crown KD the anti-LeBron and the Thunder the anti-Heat. Just like that, the Thunder were the good guys. They were what’s right about professional sports. Things are more fun when it’s good versus evil so it made for a good story. It didn’t necessarily make a lot of sense, but a good story, yes.
No doubt Sunday’s game has a little extra meaning to it though. The Heat are the face of the league right now, one of the best teams and they’ve got three superstars. The game’s on national, NATIONAL television and everyone will be watching. It means a little more than usual. And as a result, Thunder fans will be a little more rowdy than usual I suspect. Which is definitely good.
I’ve noticed that when most teams come running out of the tunnel in OKC, they actually hear a little casual applause from the crowd. There’s never a whole lot of booing or yelling. When the Lakers or, well really just the Lakers, come out, fans boo. But that’s because I think it’s in the NBA rulebook that you have to.
There’s the Laugh At LeBron movement which I’m not sure has worked anywhere yet. I’m not advocating for that necessarily. I just think LeBron should be treated like any other superstar player. If you boo him, boo him for the same reasons you boo Kobe Bryant or Carmelo Anthony. Boo him because you respect him. Because you know he’s that good. Because you know that at some point during the next two hours, he’s going to kill your favorite team.
So don’t boo because of some decision LeBron made during the offseason. Boo him because he’s a great player. Boo him because you respect what he’s capable of. Fall in line behind KD and just go about Sunday’s game as usual. Cheer hard for the Thunder, boo the officials when they make a bad call and forget about the Heat. It’s not really about them anyway.