LeBron James shows Michelle Wie - it has nothing to do with hype
LeBron James shares the same birthday as Tiger Woods. And now, like Woods, James is looking to add “champion” to his resume. But this week, with Michelle Wie, another well-promoted youngster in Michelle Wie, failing, James has taught us all something valuable.
It all has nothing to do with the hype.
Now that James, 22, has helped carry his Cavaliers to their first NBA Finals, and possibly the first world title in Cleveland in more than 40 years, one can truly say the young man was much more than his press clippings.
Because regardless how much Michelle Wie has been hyped, LeBron has seen double. ESPN was televising his high school games, for gosh sakes. And much like Wie, many more people had heard of him than had actually seen him play or could form an opinion of him. He was high on the pedestal before making his first shot in the NBA.
And somehow, he’s lived up to it all. And then some. James’ 48-point explosion in Game 5 of the Easter Conference Finals was the type of thing that took the hype to the next level. Comparison’s to Magic and Michael Jordan were in the air. And no one flinched. At this stage, Lebron James can at least be mentioned in that rarefied air.
There’s still work to do, of course. James somehow has to lead Cleveland past the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA Finals, and Tim Duncan, Tony Parker form as good a team as the NBA has ever seen, and they could really care less about LeBron’s destiny.
But in the end, that’s what it’s about - LeBron’s destiny. Maybe the Cavs fall to the Spurs in four, but it won’t be looked at as a failure by James. It will be just another building stone for him. Another piece for a resume that’s starting to scream greatness.
Like Michelle Wie, the world expected everything from Lebron James on the field of play. Unlike Wie, however, James has done everything one could ask to measure up to those expectations. For NBA and sports fans, he has been a pure delight since he was ushered into the NBA with all the quiet and calm of a royal wedding.
And most of all, James has shown us that it’s not about the hype. It’s about the individual. While calls of “overhyped” now follow Wie, those words are not even whispered now in the presence of James.
Is media hype ultimately unfair to an athlete? Yes, in many cases it appears that way, though there are positives to it as well. Michelle Wie may not own a professional title, but one look at her bank account will tell you that she’s done all right with her unchecked popularity.
In the end, it comes down to the individual. It is interesting that James shares the same birthday as Tiger, as Woods is one of the few who was more hyped than even King James. And now for both of these great athletes, that hype is little more than a footnote to their careers.
And the lesson to Michelle Wie is unmistakable: It’s about performance, not hype. Either you can’t live up to expectations, and the hype dies, or you become like Woods and James, and the hype becomes the soundtrack to your success.
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What you say is all very true, but I'd like to add a little something more.
James was indeed a prodigy, a boy in a man's body.
And although he didn't have a college career, he did play four years for his high school team in which he emerged as a super star against amateur(HS) competition.
Michelle Wie has just now finished high school, but she never had any competition during that time against her peers in which she emerged as dominant. Therein lies the difference. And apparently it's a big difference.
I think I want you as my agent. Call NIKE for me will ya. I am 57, grey hair and occassionally break 80. Lately however,I have been mostly in the 80's. But, I feel confident, I can take on Wie. We could call it the Ol' v the Hyped!
The animosity was there back in the Spring of 2004 when Wie was given a special exemption to the US Womens Open because her perormance in just a couple of LPGA events earlier in the year would have earned her an exemption had she only been an LPGA pro. It was there in 2005 following the US Open where the big story was not Birdie Kin's win, but the fact that Michelle finished back in the pack tied with Annika--and of course, US Open loser Morgan Pressel was given an opportunity to complain in SI that not enough attention was given to Michelle's 82--all this while Wie was still an anateur.
I don't know much about basketball and obviously you don't know much about golf.
Someone mentioned that Le Bron is 22. Firstly that is 5 years older than Michelle but that's just one factor.
As I said, I don't know much about basketball, but I would imagine that people at 22 who have lots of energy would be quite commonplace at the top teer of the game, given that they do a lot of running around. I would also hazarrd a guess that a 50 year old guy would be unlikely to play on one of these top teams. How about another guess. I doubt a 40 year old would be on one of these teams not to mind winning many titles at the top level like Vijay has in golf.
William, you are comparing apples to oranges. Le Bron James is right in his prime. In golf a the majority of top players peak in their thirties. Golf is a different ball game to put it mildly.
It is also the case that Le Bron can have a bad game or even a bad section of a game and rely on his teammates. Golf doesn't afford such luxuries except in the seldom held team events.
Anyway, that has successfully dismantled your blog. The lesson for you is that there is much more time to live up to the hype, and that basketball and golf are not similar games.
Michelle did play at the Ginn Tribute. A wd will count as one of her sponsors exemptions, she cannot play another instead of it.
She is having physio on her wrist and is going to take some swings and then decide if she should play the lpga championship.
As you pointed out, she has qualified for the lpga championship so people won't be able to complain about her taking a spot away from anyone which was a bogus argument anyway.
I seem to have missed it. What score did Bubbles post at the Ginn Tribute?
She and Young Jo were the only two withdrawls without a score after their names.
By the way, Big Stan, how close, in your opinion, is Bubbles to that sure-fire 2007 win that you predicted?
She posted a WD Alex, sorry you missed it.
Actually, I didn't miss Bubbles' non-score.
It appears that her favorite scores of late are not in numbers at all.
Rather, she posts in letters---WD, MC---and, I almost forgot, DQ.
Bravo, with that last post you shot a 62. Very well put.
By the way, I was at the Ginn last week and saw her tee shot off of number 3. Had the ball not slammed into the side of a pickup truck, it would have ended up in another time zone as it was still screaming to the right.
Looked like one of my shots!!!
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