NBA superstar LeBron James has been a decisive figure for the entirety of his NBA career. Since his arrival in the league, his detractors have enjoyed watching his quests to win an NBA Championship fall short.
Some despise him simply because they prefer other NBA legends like Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan, but some dislike “King James” for no reason at all. A new legion of LeBron haters was born July 8, 2010, the infamous day of “The Decision.”
That day, James was the subject of a one-hour primetime ESPN special where he very publicly ditched his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers to “take his talents to South Beach” and join the Miami Heat. Hatred towards James was intensified that night, and since then it’s become cool to root for him to fail and even cooler to celebrate his shortcomings.
Some take it too far, including the Peoria Chiefs, the Class-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.
On Thursday, the Chiefs will celebrate “LeBron James NBA Championship Replica Giveaway,” a heinous promotion that will see all fans in attendance receive a replica of James’ first championship ring.
James, of course, has never won an NBA Championship. His latest venture to the Finals fell short Sunday as his Heat lost 105-95 to the Dallas Mavericks, losing the series in six games.
So really, the fans will receive nothing. The Chiefs are mocking James in a most childish way.
Team President Rocky Vonachen has also said that his team has asked Minor League Baseball if it can skip the fourth inning, symbolic of LeBron’s major scoring struggles in the fourth quarters of the Finals games – perceived as a main reason that the Heat fell short of a title.
“We aren’t sure if the league will allow it,” Vonachen said in a statement. “But if LeBron doesn’t need to show up for the fourth, maybe we won’t, either.”
The Chiefs will also honor the Chicago Bulls that night, showing Bulls highlights on the video board. The Chiefs will take their positions on the field to the tune of “Sirius” by the Alan Parsons Project, the song used during player introductions for Bulls home games at the United Center.
This would be appropriate, because Peoria is located 128 miles from Chicago and because of the Chiefs’ affiliation with a professional sports team in the city.
According to a team spokesman, the Bulls tribute has been planned since November. The Chiefs were hoping to celebrate a Bulls championship, but the Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs in the third round. Ironically, it was James and the Heat that eliminated Chicago.
Everyone has a right to like or dislike whoever they want, but the Chiefs are taking the LeBron hatred way overboard. The team will also offer Heimlich maneuver classes inside the stadium that night, to help prevent people from “choking in a big situation.”
At this point, I’d like to point out that the Peoria Chiefs have never won a Minor League Baseball championship, and their major league big brother hasn’t won a World Series since 1908. In fact, they haven’t even been to the World Series since 1945.
In 2003, the Cubs were five outs away from advancing to the World Series, but fell short, being eliminated by the Heat’s South Florida neighbors, the Florida Marlins. It’s too bad no one was around then to give the Cubs Heimlich maneuver classes.
The Peoria Chiefs have no special right to mock James. They are a baseball team, not a basketball franchise. They are located in Peoria, not James’ eschewed city of Cleveland. If the Chiefs want to honor the Bulls, they absolutely should, but the anti-LeBron portions of the evening have no grounds and should be canceled.