How LeBron James changed the NBA
Lebron James is easily one of the greatest players ever to lace them up. A three-time world champ, a four time MVP, and about a dozen other accolades I can list. An absolute specimen of an athlete 6'8 265lbs, can pass and run the floor like Magic and can take it to the lane like a freight train. He has influenced a generation of upcoming kids that want to be like the King and he's changed the way the game was played being a Point Forward a majority of his career. Yet possibly his greatest impact on the game was felt on the Fourth of July 2016 when Kevin Durant join the Golden State Warriors.
In the days of Michael Jordan you would never see this and it can be seen and heard by every sports analyst with an opinion. Yet there is one thing in common all those spots analyst. They grew up on MJ and are still stuck in the old NBA. Today we live in a millennials NBA. The social media, connecting network, 24 hours’ news cycle NBA. Where we watch our highlights on vine clips from our phone in between putting heart eyes emoji under a girls picture we like. This new era was ushered in by none other than Lebron James.
The night of the decision once thought would be a night that would live in infamy, the night Lebron became "the villain of the NBA", but if you look clearly all Lebron did was decide to take his faith in his own hands. Play with his boys, he dictated the terms, he dictated the location. In the MJ days the Owners and the GMs had the control until Lebron realized I’m the reason people are in the seats, I'm the one driving revenue yet I take all the blame if we lose. My legacy is on the line so why can't I control where and who I play with. Lebron did not do anything different in his years in Miami in fact if you look at the statistics they are somewhere along the lines of 26, 7, and 6. He didn't get better, he just had better teammates to get better success. Yet the old get off my lawn NBA did not like this because the tide was changing and what do older generations hate most? CHANGE. Which brings me back to the millennial NBA, today's millennial generation is all about change, growth, evolution and finding the best solutions.
So it comes with no surprise that Kevin Durant decided to play for the Golden State Warriors. KD took a view of the landscape of the NBA and saw that all we care about are RINGS so I'm going to get rings. I will also take the path of least resistance, why you ask? Because that's what millennials do. We create faster and smarter ways to get better results. Yes, KD will face a backlash similar to the one LeBron faces every day for the decision, oh wait no one brings that up anymore. Isn’t it cool living in 24hr media news coverage.
You must come to grips with the change. This isn't your grandfather's NBA; hell this isn’t your dad’s NBA. This is the players NBA where they decide where and who they want to play not a billionaire in suite whose legacy and livelihood is not determined by a bounce of a ball. Whether you like it or not players have more leverage than ever before and you can only thank Lebron James for that. His finger prints were all over the Kevin Durant signing to Golden State. If this were a game of poker Steph Curry and Kevin Durant saw the Miami Heat big three and said we'll raise you the GS four horsemen. OK still working on the name (fantastic four maybe) but you can't tell me you can't wait until Christmas day when we have the rematch of the finals Cavs vs Warriors Lebron and Kyrie vs KD and Curry. The new NBA doesn't look too bad does it.