Why isn't it enough for fans to enjoy watching athletes based only on their skills and accomplishments? Why do we need to know about a player's personal life? Why do we need athletes to be nice people?
Those questions lead me to the most polarizing sports figure today: LeBron James.
Why do fans hate him so much? By reading Twitter and Facebook, many believe James is a spoiled, arrogant, self-centered crybaby who gets all the calls he wants.
The angst LeBron conjures has me thinking about another superstar who continues to sell sneakers years after he retired: Michael Jordan.
I suggest you read "The Jordan Rules" by Sam Smith. The book gives an unprecedented look into the man behind the endorsements. When I tell people about it, they say they don't want their perception of Jordan to change.
My retort to that statement usually goes like this: Is Jordan the greatest basketball player of all time? Yes, no doubt, but is he the nicest person of all-time? Absolutely not.
Some of the stuff Jordan did to his teammates and opponents makes LeBron look like a saint.
Read about how Jordan told a flight attendant not to serve Horace Grant because he had a bad game, or how he once told a teammate to not have tickets set aside for his family because Jordan thought he wouldn't play.
You don't even have to read the book. Just watch Jordan's Hall of Fame speech on YouTube.
I'm not bashing Jordan; I'm just pointing out the hypocrisy. The James "haters," especially the local ones, don't seem to want to acknowledge that.
Think Jordan wasn't arrogant and didn't want calls? No one who rooted for the Bulls during the championship run seemed to complain about the whistles that went Jordan's way.
If James had signed with the Bulls in summer 2010 instead of Miami, Chicago wouldn't be having this conversation. Everyone you know would all of the sudden become the biggest Bulls fan ever.
Some people are too busy critiquing James' every move to accept him for what he is: a really, really good basketball player. We shouldn't expect him to be anything more.
Evan F. Moore is a RedEye special contributor.
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