By Jared Meyer, Contributor
You may be asking yourself, ‘how the hell did this happen’? The villain of the NBA and also one of the best players in the league is retiring from the NBA after winning the Mega Millions jackpot of $640 million.
No, it wasn’t anybody who deserved it, like a hard-working man or woman trying to make ends meet, it was Lebron freaking James.
On Saturday afternoon, James announced his retirement from the NBA and said that winning the jackpot was a dream come true. While sports fans might have thought winning an NBA championship was James’ ultimate goal, it appears that would be incorrect.
The ring-less James, who leads the team in scoring (26.5 ppg), rebounds (8.2rpg), assists (6.6) and steals (1.9 spg), won the jackpot and, as if he wasn’t before, is now set for life. Apparently $16 million a year is not enough to satisfy “The King” who said that he would be keeping most of the money to himself.
Almost two years ago when James announced he was “taking his talents to South Beach” he became maybe the most hated athlete in all of sports. The announcement on Saturday seems to be just the sequel to “The Decision”.
The first time around, James’ announcement to take a contract in Miami created enough backlash to last all summer and through the NBA season. His planning and follow through on this second announcement seems to indicate that James learned little. Or he simply doesn’t care.
The sequel title to LeBron’s decision…”The Decision 2…I’m Super Rich and Who Needs a Ring Anyway?”
Teammates Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh said they were happy for the guy and wish him the best after collecting his earnings. But without James it seems unlikely that Wade and Bosh will be able to win not one, not two, not three, not four, or however many championships they had in mind.
The Twitter feeds were blowing up about James’ announcement. One Miami fan tweeted, “Well that’s just super messed up” and another said “How in the world are we going to win eight championships now?”
Fans of James old team, the Cleveland Cavalier, responded with tweets like “Now you know how we feel” and “Sucks to suck doesn’t it?”
James didn’t comment on what he was going to do with his $640 million, but did hint that he might start a jewelry shop making championship rings for professional sports. If you can’t beat ’em join ’em right?
James’ early retirement raises the question about his legacy now that his career has ended sooner than expected. Hall of famer? Seems like a long shot.
There may be players in the hall without championships but it would be hard to argue that James matches those players in terms of professionalism. If the first decision wasn’t bad enough, the second one probably disqualifies him altogether.
Yes, the superstar with the receding hairline covered by a headband is super rich now. But chances are James is not about to remove himself from the spotlight anytime soon.