Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Time to Forgive LeBron



Wrestlemania XV was the first Pay-Per-View wrestling event I remember watching. Degeneration X, a group consisting of X-Pac, Triple H + Chyna, Road Dogg and Bad Ass Billy Gunn, were fan favorites. As a 10-year-old kid, there was nothing better than watching Degeneration X tell The Corporation (consisting of the McMahons and their cronies) to "suck it."

Then Triple H decided to turn on Degeneration X to join the Corporation at Wrestlemania 15, giving X-Pac the Pedigree and then sliding Shane McMahon's arm over X-Pac while the ref was distracted by Chyna. Shane McMahon won the match, Degeneration X never recovered, and Triple H went from somewhat known to a main-event mainstay for basically the remainder of his career.

Triple H was clearly the most talented wrestler in D-X at that time, and in order to compete for the championship belt he would need to turn his back on those closest to him. As a 10-year-old, this concept was completely new to me. I had no idea wrestlers consistently were going from heel to face back to heel, so I never expected to see Triple H give X-Pac the Pedigree. But he did. And then he became WWF Champion.

What Triple H did to D-X is similiar to what LeBron James did to the city of Cleveland. Not only did he turn his back on the people who felt closest to him, but LeBron James metaphorically grabbed the whole city of Cleveland and gave them all the Pedigree at the same time on national television before taking his talents to South Beach ("The Corporation") and collectively destroying the moral of Cleveland (D-X). 

But you know what? I wasn't outraged the night I watched Triple H turn on his friends, and to this day I'm still not sure why. Maybe 10-year-old me somehow understood that Triple H had to move on to take the next step. But I don't think so. I just know I found it entertaining; I liked the fact that something had happened that I never expected to happen. Obviously, anyone that had been watching wrestling for more than a year or was older than 10 likely would have expected something bizarre to happen, considering it was Wrestlemania.

I was outraged when LeBron James left Cleveland. He had promised that city he wouldn't leave without bringing them a championship, and then he bolted for greener pastures the second he had the opportunity. However, despite breaking Cleveland's heart, James is just six wins away from his first NBA Championship. The Heat are playing incredible on both sides of the ball, and right now they have to be the favorites to win it all. Had James stayed in Cleveland, it's likely he would be watching the Eastern Conference Finals from his living room rather than starring in them. 

So yes, after being outraged at the way LeBron James made his decision, I think it's time the general public gets over it*, myself included.

*Note to fans of Cleveland: You can and should hate him forever.

I've got a feeling in three years when LeBron James is holding up the Heat's third consecutive championship trophy, most of his haters will have disappeared. Of course, as long as Skip Bayless remains on this planet, King James will always have at least one hater. But all LeBron needs to remember is that Triple H became the star, while the rest of D-X disappeared into nothingness, much like the Cavs have done without their King.