If you’re a fan of more than one team in the same sport or have ever stated that you like certain teams because of a particular athlete, you are no longer allowed to criticize free agents for following money or success.
When Lebron James left a Cleveland Cavaliers team that was content to ignore the fact that he’d needed to be surrounded with better talent to win a title, he was viewed as a traitor. Fans from his home town protested, ridiculed him publicly and burned his jersey. Standing right beside those fans was the team’s owner. To this day, the move was so petty, immature and unprofessional that I’ve elected not to mention said owner’s name during the course of this article (I can be petty too).
When Kevin Durant, one of the nicest guys on Planet Earth, left Oklahoma City for Oakland to join the Golden State Warriors, he faced with some of the same type of criticism. All of a sudden, a man who had never been described as selfish was described as just that. Fans, again, took the streets to protest and burned the jersey of a man that they celebrated for years.
James was also criticized for his decision to announce his move to Miami via a televised broadcast on ESPN. The move was seen as self centered and brought him even more criticism. What’s almost never mentioned, and relatively unknown by many, is the fact that the broadcast raised $2.5 Million for charity. Hey, that doesn’t sound selfish to me, but I’ve been wrong before.
Durant has been accused of taking “the easy road to a title” by quite a few, much like LeBron was when he went to Miami. Free agency causes debate for one reason or another, year after year, in every major sport. There’s just one problem.
If you’re a “free agent fan” and you’ve cheered for a team only because they’re winning, you’re no longer allowed to participate in the discussion.
Free agent fans:
Social media, cable, satellite television and the internet have made it possible for people to become die-hard fans of teams who play in cities they’ve never lived in or visited. That’s normal these days. The same outlets have been used to build connections, relationships and businesses. Rarely have I seen executives take the more difficult road to success. They, instead, would rather find ways to make life and the workday easier. We like what makes life easier as well. That’s the reason we use Google.
So if someone “professional” can move to work in an area he/she wants to live in because he/she wants be surrounded by better talent, because he/she wants to make more money or because he/she wants to win more quickly, we’d say this person is serious about their success. Why, then, are guys like Durant and James villains for doing the exact same thing?
You’re more than welcome to disagree with the sentiment. All I’m saying is if you follow teams because you’re actually a fan of an athlete on that team and you lose interest when that team’s success begins to wane (Jordan’s Bulls, the New York Yankees, Magic’s Lakers, or the Dallas Cowboys teams of the nineties for instance), how are you, the free-agent fan, any different from the athletes you criticize? Why is LeBron wrong for switching jerseys when you aren’t? Where on Earth did all of these Golden State Warriors fans come from in the first place?
Exposure Magazine Sports Editor
Geoffrey Knox is the creator and the owner of The Thunderstorm Hip Hop Sports & Entertainment Network, co-editor for Inside The Iggles and a contributor for Saturday Blitz. Bookmark Thunderstorm Media on BlogtalkRadio.com, iTunes, TuneIn and Stitcher. Follow him on Twitter @GQ_4_Eva, @stormradio66 @stormsports66 & @insideiggles.
You might also like
More from Sports
With Boxing's subtle but resounding bow out from the mainstream eye of America over the recent years, the question has …
Training camps begin at the end of July, and Colin Kaepernick remains unsigned by an NFL team. There are two sides …