Because Lebron is Not King

I had a choice tonight: to watch “Black Robe” on Netflix or the Lebron James Sweepstakes on ESPN. Where are my priorities—The story of Jesuit saints among the Hurons and Iroquois, or the King of the World, Lebron James, making the Choice that Changed the World? I went with Lebron.

I don’t think you can understand The World We Live In if you don’t pay attention to the Lebron-Stakes. So many people saying so many empty words about a guy who has never won a game in an NBA final? Are you kidding? This is What It’s All About!!!

Let me give you some sound bites. It’s 8:53 and the tension mounts: “The King has arrived. We are minutes away from Lebron James announcing where he will play next season . . . Jon Barry, what’s the best fit for Lebron? . . . I don’t think it’s Miami. To me a straight basketball move would be the Chicago Bulls. His Decision is Coming Up Next! . . . At stake, the NBA’s balance of power. His Decision, Next!”

In the history of the league, the world, we—have—never—seen—this!

All indications (at 9:02) are that Lebron joins the Miami Heat, but Jon Barry says, “I am really shocked by this, I thought Lebron would join the Chicago Bulls.” And Michael Wilbon says, “Lebron is staying home in Cleveland.” Stuart Scott says, “Not in the history of American sports has an athlete generated this interest!”

Do I really need to go to Mass in the morning?

“Now, he is in the chair. Coming up next: Lebron James will tell the world where He will play next season!”

It’s 9:22 and Jim Gray is with Lebron in Greenwich, Connecticut. . . . Lebron says, “It has been a real humbling situation to be in this position.” Jim Gray says, “President Obama has said seven times that he would like you to go to Chicago” and asks, “When did you decide?” Lebron says, “This morning. . . . I had a great conversation with my Mom . . . and then I was set.”

I give Lebron this degree of credit. In the end, he asked his mother, and his decision was . . . Miami.

You may win the NBA title next year, Lebron, but sorry, Christ is King.

One final note added in the morning, in fairness: In the nearly 30-minute interview that followed his annunciation, sorry, his announcement, Lebron James proved to be a pretty good guy. The problem is not Lebron. The problem is us.

  • Frank

    LOL. Lebron James, who really gives a rip?!

  • Sandy

    As someone born in Cleveland, I think it was mostly a Cleveland story, and I'm sorry the rest of you had to be so afflicted.As for Clevelanders, well… we will keep working on forgiveness for every sports "great" who pulls a team out of our city under cover of darkness, or who pulls himself out as an athlete.According to the same espn report later, in an interview on location in a downtown Cleveland bar, the following was heard: Announcer: So, tell me, is there anyone there who feels some empathy or compassion for Lebron's decision?Reporter: No.See, even with LeBron there's a spiritual lesson. Somewhere.

  • Anne

    Love this! I live in a household where women are the minority and sports truly is king, at least at the dinner table where the topic seems to revolve about sports almost every night. Last night the tension was at an all-time high as my husband and four sons ecstatically discussed this important decision in the life of a man they have never met and will never meet but who seems to hold so much importance in their lives. I haven't heard this much talk about a sports hero since Brett Favre left Green Bay!My only contribution to the discussion was "Who's Lebron James?"

  • Webster Bull

    @Sandy, As a sports fan, I cannot imagine living in Cleveland. As a Catholic, I think, hmmm, a contemporary form of martyrdom, or at least penance. I wonder if the Church gives indulgences for living in Cleveland?@Anne, As the father of two daughters and no sons, I can't relate but I can smile! Nice contribution, Mom.

  • Anonymous

    I don't understand adult men and women's infatuation with making sports figures idols. yes, when I was ten I knew every player on the Oakland A's but today I cannot name one player. It is time for adults to give up childish things. how many of us know as much about the corporal and spiritual works of mercy as they do their favorite sports teams.

  • crazylikeknoxes

    I live in Cleveland (well, Euclid) and am indifferent to sports. But I received this report from my teen-age daughter who, between the hours of nine and ten last night, was watching boys play in the pony leagues. As word of the announcement spread, the games in progress were stopped so that the players could compose themselves, as many of them had taken to throwing bats or gloves, kicking the dirt, and, yes, even some tears were reported. Reactions were similar in the bleachers. Later, she informed me that others were posting pictures of Lebron memorabilia going up in smoke, much, I suppose, like the Cavs' playoff chances next year or, on a more biblical note, our prayers rising to the Lord (Ps. 141). And you say the problem is us?A last footnote: Lebron attended St. Vincent-St. Mary's highschool in Akron. Makes one wonder, Sandy, what sort of spiritual lessons he might have learned.

  • Anonymous

    I am sorry, but Lebron has zero class. I know I do not know him personally, but from where I am sitting, but he needs a dose of reality. Everyone around him tells him how perfect he is. I don't think he cares for anyone but himself. I know that is wrong of me, but that is what his actions and those of ESPN left me with.

  • Anonymous

    Small world. I was on Netflix last night to do a direct streaming of "Black Robe". Netflix has a decent crop of Catholic movies you can now watch direct from the site. Blessings, Scott

  • Steve D

    E Michael Jones PhD has written extensively about the death culture that we live in.This is all bread and circuses and is the inevitable by-product of rampant narcissism that has degenerated to a borderline personality-like nation of addicts.The end product of all addiction is alternating surges of rage followed by utter emptiness. The culture is all about the control & exploitation of appetite for monetary gain….keeping us addicted to materialism.Sex, sports, any thrill-distraction to fill the frantic, often violent emptiness of a God-less culture. A dirty dangerous flood and I'm not saying I'm any less in it than the rest of ye. Us sinners need a whole lot of Our Captain, Lord & King. A few more Black Robes would help…

  • crazylikeknoxes

    … I was just thinking it would be better to be a Black Robe among the Iroquois than Lebron among the Clevelanders right now. At least until the emptiness sets in.

  • Becky

    I married a Cleveland man in 1977, converted to Catholicism in Cleveland, and have endured countless taunts about my adopted city and sports teams – "As a sports fan, I cannot imagine living in Cleveland. As a Catholic, I think, hmmm, a contemporary form of martyrdom, or at least penance. I wonder if the Church gives indulgences for living in Cleveland?" Really Webster, aren't you a better man than this?

  • Sandy

    @ Becky, I rather took Webster's comment as an understanding. I think he was saying he understood how we felt. But that was just my read.@crazylikeknoxes, I can't say much about St. Vin's, but I do know a bit about St Ed's… met some wonderful people from that school, specifically the wrestlers when they would wrestle Bay. The problem is definitely not the wonderful Catholic Schools of Cleveland and vicinity.I have to say, the story about the kids stopping their play to grieve made me very sad.

  • crazylikeknoxes

    @Sandy: Our current pastor was a teacher at St. Vincent's while Lebron was there. I have been tempted to ask him, "So what was he like …?" But I always manage to convince myself that it is not that important. I did not grow up in Cleveland so I am not that familiar with the different high schools. The teenager begins Lake in the fall and I'm looking forward to it as much as she is.@Becky & Sandy: Regardless of how the comments were intended, I've always had the sense that Clevelanders are sensitive about the way others see us.

  • Webster Bull

    Sorry to hit a nerve with my comments. Irony has a way of sounding sarcastic, cynical, nasty. Two days after the Announcement that Shook the World, can't we all just smile?

  • Judy Bowman


  • Sandy

    @crazylikeknoxes I hope she enjoys Lake! I remember it well, actually. If I knew someone who had such an inside look into a person's formative years, I think I wouldn't want to know… if you know what I mean.@Webster, Boston is one of the places equally passionate about sports, so… smiling.

  • Ferde

    Laughing and shaking my head…

  • bt

    I recognize the name, but don't know who he plays for or where he was possibly headed. And I use to love watching NBA ball. I would have picked Black Robe.