It never fails. Every time LeBron James looks like he’s starting to come around and genuinely wants to become someone that the fans can root for, he makes a comment that makes him look arrogant. With Dwight Howard set to become a free agent next season and Orlando Magic fans desperately hoping he stays, it would be fair to draw a comparison between this season for Howard and two season ago for LeBron when his contract was expiring in Cleveland. LeBron is obviously a bigger superstar than Dwight, but the situation is similar — superstar in his prime currently playing for team that desperately needs him but will have a tough time keeping him. If you ask LeBron, however, what he went through is totally different than what Dwight is experiencing.
“No, he ain’t going through what I went through, don’t say that,” James said Wednesday before the Magic played the Heat according to the Orlando Sentinel. “He’s nowhere near going through what I went through.”
No two situations are exactly alike. LeBron’s situation was unique for a number of reasons. For one, he grew up in Akron and was beloved by the people of Ohio for more than just his Cavs career. He promised the people of Cleveland a championship and came up just short several times. He also strung them along and made it look like there was a chance he would return to the Cavs last season, when he knew all along he was going to take his talents to South Beach.
Howard, on the other hand, has requested a trade. He has made it very clear that if Orlando cannot improve its team and bring in more players, he wants out. We call that honesty. Honesty is a word that may not even be in LeBron’s vocabulary.
What exactly did LeBron go through? We know he didn’t feel the need to apologize for the way things ended in Cleveland, so does he feel that he is owed an apology from the fans? There is only one way to interpret his comments about Howard: LeBron feels he was a victim throughout his final months in Cleveland.