Seems like a lot of people in the country who have previously rooted against LeBron James are now coming around. He’s the best player in the world, he’s paid his dues, he’s served his time, he’s playing out of his mind, let’s see him get his ring, let’s let go of the past, etc. etc. etc.
In fact, the main groups still resisting this sentiment might be the forsaken fans in Cleveland, and the small but insane posse of actual Wizards fans who lived through three straight playoff series against LeBron, and who couldn’t unsee what they saw then. That’s why he was booed for so many years in this town.
“It doesn’t happen in other arenas,” a Cavs beat writer told me in 2009. “They cheer him in other arenas.”
Just this week, Wiz fan Brad Parker wrote a piece on why D.C. sports fans should still root against LeBron. His key points.
1. LeBron James is an incredible athlete and the best basketball player on the planet.
2. I do not like LeBron James and I want him to lose.
Anyhow, that’s all by way of introducing a brief segment from ESPN 980’s The Sports Fix on Wednesday, starring Eddie Jordan, who coached the Wiz during each of those playoff losses to LeBron.
“Eddie, don’t let me down here,” Thom Loverro began. “You’re rooting against LeBron James, aren’t you?”
“You know, Pat Riley coached me,” Jordan answered. “I’ve had a number of conversations with Erik Spoelstra, before the season, over the last few seasons. We’ve talked basketball a number of times. I like Miami. I like the East. Hey, we’re in the East. We’ve got to root for the East.”
Jordan laughed again.
“He didn’t ask you if you were rooting for Miami, he asked you if you were rooting for LeBron,” Kevin Sheehan pointed out.
“I’m rooting for Kevin Durant, he’s a hometown kid,” Jordan said. “I’m rooting for Pat Riley, and I’m rooting for the Eastern Conference.”
He laughed again.
“It’s clear,” Loverro said, as Jordan, laughed some more. “We can read between the lines.”
Thank you, Eddie. Seriously. Thanks.
Before the segment ended, Sheehan asked Jordan what he’s up to professionally.
“I’m coaching the D.C. Assault AAU 17 and under,” Jordan said. “They’re all high Division I prospects, and they’re terrific kids. We won an AAU championship in Arkansas, we’re going to Vegas and Milwaukee in the middle part of July for the Nationals. Curtis Malone and Troy Weaver — who’s now an executive for the Thunder — are our owners.
“And it’s a great program. I’m having a lot of fun in the gym, they’re great kids, I’m watching my son Jackson play in the Good Counsel League. So I’m having a lot of basketball — I’m with my children, and it’s a lot of fun. One thing I’m not doing, I’m not waiting around for the phone to ring. I’m having fun in basketball.”