LeBron James doesn't care about any of that.
It looked like it weighed on him in the post game press conferences last spring but was that because he cared or because everybody was dumping on him. Most hourly retail workers don't care about their jobs but if they had to end each shift with people dissecting their every mistake they'd sure look bothered.
The real proof comes in LeBron's latest commercial for McDonald's. The chain is running its annual Monopoly contest and boasts a one in four chance of winning. The James commercial opens with LeBron eating and the voice over asking "what are the odds of LeBron James winning 7 NBA championships?"
LeBron meekly answers with "C'mon guys".
Like a nerd having his backpack taken away and tossed around by bullies LeBron musters up a weak, whiny "C'mon guys". Perhaps the vice-principal will come around the corner and make the mean old voice over stop picking on James.
Yes, I know it is just a commercial but can you imagine MJ allowing this?
"Hey Mike, you lost to the Pistons in the conference finals again. We'd like to do a commercial where the voice over says 'Just like MJ can't beat the Pistons nobody beats the prices at Chicago Stan's House of Hardware'."
I'm pretty sure the person pitching that to Michael would've melted under the intense glare he would've received in response. It ain't happening. And it goes beyond Jordan.
Obviously the great NBA winners- Bird, Magic, Russell- would never be in a commercial that mocked their athletic failure. Beyond the winners, even the stars who were denied titles by MJ had too much pride to appear in this type of commercial. Ewing, Reggie Miller, Stockton and Malone none of the great stars who came up short would allow McDonald's to mock them to sell Chicken McNuggets.
Shaq might allow himself to be teased for not winning. Of course, it is pretty much accepted that basketball was the third or fourth most important thing in his life behind having fun, rapping, acting and being a cop. And he wouldn't have answered with a "C'mon guys", he would have some philosophical answer from Shaqoclese about waiting for your time.
The reason none of them would do the commercial? They cared. The NBA championship meant something to them. It was an accomplishment akin to climbing a mountain. It put you in a class with all the great players in NBA history. James has already put himself in his own class. So why should he care? Bill Russell is no LeBron James.
Going through all of the players currently in the NBA the only one I can picture whining "C'mon guys" other than LeBron is J.J. Redick. But that's only because I witnessed a group of bullies playing keep away with his backpack while at Duke.
To top it all off LeBron's wimpy response is only half the story. As the commercial continues BronBron pulls back his game piece to reveal that he's won a medium fries!
With a sly smile and a look of accomplishment LeBron glances around waiting for somebody to acknowledge his victory. "I won fries! Where's my ring?" LOOK WHAT I DID!
Not only does LeBron not want to take responsibility, as evidenced by his signing on with proven winner Dwyane Wade, but he also wants credit for anything good that happens no matter how random.
Lebron- One in four game pieces wins. There are four game pieces on an order of large fries. An autistic child who is afraid of french fries would have won something in your situation. The surprise isn't that you won, the surprise is that you didn't ask Wade to pull the game piece off for you.
And you only won a medium french fries. This is the McDonald's equivalent of beating the Raptors in mid-January. Nobody cares. The only worse prize is the "free" boat prize that police departments will send out to people with outstanding warrants. When the best thing about your victory is that you weren't arrested when you went to pick it up, well, that ain't much of a victory.
Even his response to winning is passive. He looks around, waiting for somebody to notice his greatness and give him the praise he thinks he deserves. You think MJ wins a medium fries and sits there passively waiting for attention? Hell no!
Jordan jumps up on the counter and starts pumping his fists in the air. Everybody in that restaurant is going to know that Jordan has free fries and they all pale in comparison to his greatness.
Ahmad Rashad would show up and interview MJ about how difficult the journey was and what it feels like to finally win a free medium fries.
Phil Jackson would take some credit for having Jordan read Ray Kroc's autobiography on road trips. Scottie Pippen would get credit for super sizing the order. MJ would then spend two years eating at Burger King because it was something he always dreamed of doing.
And he'd come back, not because he wanted free fries, but because he didn't want Karl Malone to win free fries. That will, that desire, is what made him great. Until LeBron gets that desire he'd be better off getting out of the way and going as far as Wade can take him.