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King Of The Lost Boys: LeBron James Is Peter Pan
The jaw-droppingly horrendous The Decision decision by LeBron James to announce his exit from the hometown Cavs to, well, South Beach, was made more baffling by the optics – why was he surrounded by a bunch of kids, who were never addressed once?
Well here’s a theory. LeBron James is Peter Pan, the 25-year-old kid who refuses to grow up. It’s why he’s going to Miami, it’s why he was surrounded by the “lost boys,” and it’s what separates who he is from who we thought he was.
LeBron James doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand that the decision he made to ditch Cleveland and play for Miami has a crippling, massive effect on millions – and not just Cavs fans. He wanted to play basketball with his friends, so he went. Some will call it selfish, others will say it was uncaring. They’ll ask, ‘what about loyalty’ (that he has tattooed on himself)?
But we didn’t pick up on the signs. This is a boy we watched play his high school games regularly on the Worldwide Leader In Sports. He was a star, anointed from Prince to King before he could even drive or legally buy cigarettes.
Here’s a brief overview of Peter Pan:
Peter is mainly an exaggerated stereotype of a boastful and careless boy. He is quick to point out how great he is, even when such claims are questionable (such as when he congratulates himself for Wendy’s successful reattachment of his shadow).
Peter has a nonchalant, devil-may-care attitude, and is fearlessly cocky when it comes to putting himself in danger.
The Decision special was boastful and careless – as was the ultimate decision itself. Five self-references? No apology or reference to the Cleveland fans? And re: pointing out how great he is – on Twitter, James uses the moniker King James. Sure, it’s his nickname, but the other three Mi-Egos go by @DWadeOfficial and @ChrisBosh. And although all three came into the NBA in the 2003 draft, LeBron is still the baby. He’s 25 years old, compared to Chris Bosh, who is almost a year older, and Dwyane Wade, the father figure of the group, who is nearly three years older than LeBron.
LeBron Pan made a decision to play with his friends and (hopefully) win, to join the group of buddies rather than forge his own path. It’s a choice many of the top NBA players of all time – Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson – have found inconceivable. There are competitive reasons to be sure, but it goes beyond that – they think like grown-ups. LeBron is thinking like a boy who won’t grow up.
This isn’t to take anything away from LeBron James the person – all indications are that he is charitable, giving and an upstanding citizen. It certainly doesn’t take away from LeBron James the player – he’s one of the best players in the NBA, possibly ever. But would MJ, Chuck or Magic ever tweet this, even when they were 25?: “I’m playing College 11 Season with O State. My lil bro T Pryor going nuts on the Nation right now like he will this coming year.”
Now he has taken his talents to South Beach, to rub his hands together and throw some pixie dust, before flying through the air. King of the lost boys, enjoying perpetual childhood.
LeBron James: second star to the right…next to Dwyane Wade.