The NBA Finals is one of the most entertaining events to watch in all of sports, and this year’s matchup between the Warriors and Cavaliers could not be better.
The best player of our generation came back to play for his hometown team, going against the NBA’s MVP and leader of a new generation of stars. Those who believe in conspiracy theories about the NBA being fixed might actually have a case.
However, as I am trying to enjoy the matchup of the ages, I hear many people saying they are only rooting for the Warriors because they hate LeBron James. They want to see him lose.
Why do people dislike LeBron? What makes anyone dislike any public figure?
People just love to hate.
Aside from that, many people dislike LeBron because they think he is arrogant, or because they think he is a sellout because he left Cleveland to play in Miami, shaming his hometown.
While these or any other similar reasons might be perfectly valid, they have nothing to do with LeBron James as a basketball player.
Hating LeBron or any other public figure based on personality only prevents you from enjoying watching them succeed — which in LeBron’s case, is about every time he steps on the floor.
The vast majority of us have never and will never meet LeBron James. He most likely has never been personally unkind to any of us or to anyone we know. His personality off the court does not affect our lives in any way.
Why do we allow the perceived personality flaws of public figures to determine how we enjoy entertainment?
I am not a fan of LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Kendrick Lamar or Will Smith because they are kind and virtuous people. I am fan of these people because they are great at what they do: entertaining.
I don’t choose entertainers as I choose my friends. The type of people they are does not change the fact that their work inspires me.
Let me clarify, I am not saying we should endorse people who commit serious crimes. However, it is not our job to judge them, either. Let them live.
There is so much negativity in the world today. In a society that preaches acceptance, we seem to be very quick to judge. In this digital age, we have access to people’s most intimate details, and all too often, those details are used to demean and degrade.
We need to stop letting what goes on in the personal lives of public figures rob us of the ability to appreciate entertainment for what it is. Can we simply enjoy entertainment without finding a reason to hate? Can we stop all the negativity and talk about the good these people’s talent brings to the world?
Let people do and think what they want. Getting upset about other people’s decisions that we have no control over — especially if they don’t affect our own lives — is a waste of time and energy that could be used to experience all the wonderful things this world has to offer.
Might we all delight in the wise words of 2013-14 NBA MVP Kevin Durant when he shared his philosophy on life: “I’m me. I do me, and I chill.”
Let us all relax and try to change our focus from the negatives of others to the positives of what is around us.
Basketball fans who choose to hate LeBron are only depriving themselves of appreciating greatness. That is a shame, but haters are going to hate.