The noted former basketball star, sports commentator and commercial pitchman Shaquille O'Neal recently took to Instagram to convey his thoughts on the LeBron James commotion.
For the benefit of our many reader in Latvia, Mr James is a professional basketball player from the state of Ohio who stepped right out of high school and went to work in his home state, playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers for a few years. Then, sensing a chance to play with better players and make that big championship money, he left Ohio to move to Florida. Capping off the media frenzy that had all of America agog, LeBron went on live TV and said "Um, in this fall -- man, this is very tough -- um, in this fall I'm going to take my talents to South Beach and, um, join the Miami Heat." Spurned Ohioans revolted, burning his replica jerseys and posting "LeBum" signs all over town. They seethed as he played in Miami and won several championships, yet they had no way to know that somehow, deep within, he yearned to return to Cleveland, home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Drew Carey.
So this year, after the Heat lost in the championship series, LeBron's restless feet took him back to Cleveland, where he will once again resume playing for the Cavs this fall. And now, people in Miami are all worked up about it, sort of like when the guy your girlfriend left you for hollers because she came back to you.
It's so confusing, but O'Neal puts in perspective with this fashion show of the many jerseys he wore during his storied career. He's making a good point. We love the American Way, where a person can develop a product and sell it for whatever the market will bring, right? And we love the rags-to-riches story of Bill Gates, after being picked on by every other kid in his school, coming up with this computer thing so they can play World Of Warfare all day long while he warms up his quiche with lighted hundred-dollar bills.
If you work at a grocery store and another store offers you more money and better hours, you are free to turn in your apron and scoot on out, and the customers don't find you disloyal, but let an athlete change jobs, and the air turns blue with people screaming that he lacks devotion.
As long as they don't do it in the middle of a game, it's got to be OK.