You have seen it by now, Steph Curry mocking LeBron James’ recent workout post to Instagram with Kyrie Irving cheering him on. I have to say, I am not surprised at all by the latest episode in what feels like a TV show that has gone on too long.
Many have been shocked over the weekend that maybe some players don’t think of LeBron in as fond of a light as the fans and media do. But here is one thing we do know, James is great. How great? Well that is a different conversation for a different day, but we can all agree he is great. We also know that people love to hate and respect greatness. We hear this all the time about Tom Brady, that people hate to play against him, but respect what he consistently does. For LeBron, that second part only seems partially true. If the respect was fully there, would we really be watching Curry and Irving mock LeBron? Probably not.
Greatness in sports — especially basketball — leads to teammates not enjoying their experience as much as one would think. Dion Waiters, who has played with both Kevin Durant and James, was asked about the difference between them on Fox Sports 1 and said the following:
“LeBron is so lock into the game. Basketball is everything for him. LeBron is more of a vocal leader and Kev is more of a lead by example guy. I was closer to Kevin.”
That last line is really telling. Of course he, and most teammates, are going to have a harder time getting along with LeBron. When someone is as focused on being great at what they do as LeBron or Brady are, it can be tough to have a “normal” relationship with them because of their obsessive nature. How does a 25-year-old Kyrie Irving deal with that? By asking out of the relationship instead of trying to make things work.
As you can probably tell, I mostly lean towards defending LeBron in this situation. However, as I wrote not too long ago, LeBron has a social media issue. No, he shouldn’t be posting his workouts on Instagram. Tom Brady almost never, if ever, posts his workouts on social media. Why? Because that is what is expected and necessary to be great, we don’t need to see it. You add on top of that the fact James sends out cryptic tweets when he is upset, and being his teammate can without a doubt be exhausting.
Now you say, ‘Nick that isn’t a big deal’ and you are right, all this individually aren’t big deals. But when you put his cryptic tweets on top of the exercising videos and corny hashtags on social media, that can get annoying. Then when you consider how difficult it can be to play with a player who is in the elite of the elite category and I think you can see begin to see where this mocking comes from. Being great comes at a cost and one of those costs, is people around you not always understanding your actions. When you lose in the NBA Finals two out of three years, those problems feel magnified. Welcome to NBA’s best drama of 2017.
-Article by Nick Friend
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