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LeBron James, The Most Hated Athlete in the United States?

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Lebron James

My parents always told me that hate was such a strong word. I’m sure most of you were told similar things by somebody prevalent in your life. But sports is the one tragic outlier to this rule. Sports can end relationships, friendships and put you at odds with family. It’s a consistent mess and for me, its almost unhealthy. There are millions of fans around the world that are just like me. Where there is love in sports, there is hate.

The National Basketball Association doesn’t necessarily grab my interest. Being born in Philadelphia in the early 90’s, I had the Allen Iverson driven 76ers of the early 2000’s. The prime of my basketball viewing career. I’m much more interested in college ball. LeBron James decided not to take the college ball route, being drafted in 2003 out of St. Vincent-St. Mary in Akron, Ohio. Miraculously the Cleveland Cavaliers had the first pick in the 2003 NBA Draft and no draft pick has ever made more sense. James instantly became one of the most popular players in the NBA. James rejuvenated a blue-collar city like Cleveland, Ohio. LeBron even took his Cavaliers to the NBA Finals in 2007, only to be swept by the San Antonio Spurs. Things started to change for James, as the talent that they brought in for him didn’t work and LeBron couldn’t win a championship for his home state. In 2010 LeBron went from basketball hero, to an unforgivable villain.

James and his publicity department decided what was best for him was to publicly televise his announcement of where he was going to play next. James chose the Miami Heat, a team that won the NBA championship in 2006 under star Dwayne Wade. LeBron decided that it was his best decision to team up with Wade and star power forward and former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh. James not only publicly denounced Cleveland on national television but decided that he would rather join a group of stars instead of stars coming to Cleveland. Alas, LeBron was headed to South Beach and continued gaining attention by holding a “welcoming party” where he stated how many championships he intended on winning. He is quoted saying “We didn’t come here to win one championship, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven…”, his arrogance was just blossoming. The Miami Heat would become the most closely watched basketball team in all of the NBA. The first season for the Miami Heat was extremely unforgettable, as they would lose to the Dallas Mavericks during the 2010 NBA Finals. LeBron once again fell flat. The Heat though would rebound and would win the NBA title the next year. LeBron would finally be able to hold the championship high above his head. LeBron now is working on his second NBA championship, down 3-2 to the San Antonio Spurs, the team that beat LeBron back in 2007. LeBron heads home for games six and seven, which looks to be a thrilling finale. But how does this make him the most hated player in the NBA?

LeBron for me, makes me want to watch basketball. Not because I want to root for him, but I want to see him lose. I loathe him when he wins, and cheer when the Heat lose. What bothers me most about James is that everyone assumes that he is going to be the greatest of all time. I don’t even think he is the greatest player in the NBA right now. Kobe takes that one. LeBron ditched Ohio and their fans. James is also all over national media for his efforts. ESPN and NBAtv, can’t get enough of the LeBron James conversation and comparing him with the greats like Jordan, Magic and Kobe. Who else has gotten this much publicity in sports? Tim Tebow owns a majority of the NFL coverage, when he is relevant but unfortunately for LeBron, Tebow isn’t even a starter. Tiger Woods has rejuvenated his image from past years and Michael Vick has stayed squeaky clean as well. Another reason why LeBron James is my most hated athlete in all of sports is simply because he does still have a huge following. You’re either a huge LeBron fan or you can’t stand him. He is the NBA and the NBA needs a villain, and James was inserted beautifully. My friends call me a hater, I think i’m a realist. We have to be true sports fans and admit that we generally don’t like some of these stars.

I can’t think of anyone else that intrigues me more in the world of sports than LeBron, he brings out a hate, simply because of my love of sports.

Who do you think is the most hated athlete in the United States? Does LeBron top your list?

Corey Panati is a graduate of York College, and he's also the latest addition to Guys Gab. He's excited to bring his love of sports and movies to a browser near you. If you're on Twitter, you can follow his ramblings @coreypanati

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. the_Big_G

    June 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Lebron is great. Not the greatest but great. With that being sad I hate that mother***** more than life itself. I hate the smugness in which he has and that air of greatness he doesn’t deserve. Bottom line is the Spurs are a true team. Greg Pop is a true coach. Tim Duncan has put together a 16year career in which he molded into the team. He deserves yet another ring…. Lebron, well Mr Southbeach, deserves this loss.

  2. Corey Panati

    June 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Thanks for the comment! There is no doubting his greatness, but I think you make an awesome point about the Spurs being a true team. I don’t doubt that and I appreciate Pop and Duncan and Parker, and I felt good after they won last night. However, if this was the Spurs vs. the Pacers, I don’t think I would be watching. LeBron is simply the reason why I am watching and rooting for the Spurs.

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  4. Brent Sterkits

    June 17, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    I respect your points of view and am open to anyone’s about Lebron. The main reason everyone hates on him is because of the “The Decision.” Everyone can agree it was a mistake. The media has hyped him up always comparing him to MJ and Kobe putting some unfair pressure on him that definitely is in the back of his mind. Truth is, I want Lebron to be Lebron. He is one of the best players of this generation. The dude can just flat out play and affect the game in everyday. Sometimes he isn’t fair. The hate stems from him deserting Cleveland. I’ll take that over half the guys in the NBA settling child support issues with different women. Ill also take that over guns and gambling disputes that many players partake in. Also all the steriods and PHD im professional sports. Bron is a family man, gifted athlete, and a presence. Sure there is hate but how much hate can you really have for the guy? Parts of me hate him and love him but I would not say I completely despise him and want him to lose. People love to see him lose cause he has been winning his whole life.

  5. Eli

    June 17, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    to me basketball is not relevant enough for James to be the biggest villain in sports. although it seems as though all ESPN wants to talk about is the nba I refuse to watch sportscenter. but going along with ESPN and their passion for football I feel as though bill bellichek needs to be included as a hated sports figure. although he is not a player non New Englanders can not stand him. as for athletes there is no doubt in my mind that James is the most hated nba. but I would say to me as a baseball guy Aroid whoops I mean arod would be my most hated sports figure. to me baseball is different from any other sport because players will not leave to win a championship but for the money. than again for me being from Maryland seeing mark texeria in pinstripes when he a born and bred Marylander outright said he would love to play in Baltimore but left for the money of the arch rival and most hated team in sports. good article though a lot to honk about

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Sports

I Just Came Back From The Final Four In San Antonio, And It Was Incredible!

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2018 Final Four in San Antonio

Back in March, our friends at Buick (an official sponsor of the NCAA) invited us to take part in their March Madness Buick Bracketball Challenge, pitting me against a group of my peers as we battled it out for bragging rights… and a trip for two to the Final Four!

Talk about some high-stakes! According to the rules, whoever managed to outlast any bracket busters and secure a top spot on the leaderboard would win a trip to San Antonio for the Final Four games, complete with tickets, a hotel room, and a Buick loaner to get around town.

Game on!

The only problem? I’ve never actually participated in a March Madness bracket before, so my odds were slim to none. But I decided to give it a shot anyway, going with some of my favorite teams, and picking my beloved Villanova for the win.

Virginia’s first-round upset by UMBC was a HUGE blow to me (and pretty much everyone else), as I had them facing off against Villanova in the end. But amazingly enough, my other picks performed much better, and I was holding steady in the top 5 for much of the series.

Buick March Madness Bracket

After the Elite 8, I got an e-mail that was a total game-changer – “You’ve landed yourself a top spot in the Buick Bracketball Challenge leaderboard and will be headed, along with a guest, to San Antonio for the Final Four games next weekend on behalf of Buick!”

My jaw about hit the floor. I was going to the Final Four!

Buick was awesome, hooking us up with some incredible seats for the games (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was actually sitting in the same section as us, only MUCH closer to the court), a hotel room within walking distance of the Alamodome, and a Buick Enclave to get around town.

Guenther House

San Antonio is such a cool town, and we made the most of our time there exploring the city. The guy sitting next to us on our flight suggested that we check out The Guenther House for breakfast. The food was amazing (their waffles are like nothing you’ve ever had before), and it’s a really unique venue, an old flour mill from the 1800s.

Rally On The River

After breakfast, we made our way downtown to the Riverwalk for the Rally on the River, where the team bands took to the water for a floating Pep Rally. People’s excitement levels were off the charts, it was really something to witness. We walked the length of the Riverwalk, taking in the sights and just people watching..

The Alamo

Of course, we had to visit The Alamo (no sign of Pee-Wee’s missing bike), which was located right down the street from our hotel. As the day went on, it got pretty warm, so we decided to escape the heat and check out Fan Fest. There were tons of cool exhibits here, and Buick had a huge activation as well, complete with a basketball court, a bunch of vehicles on display, and their Fandom University.

Before long, it was time for us to make our way to the Alamodome for the first two games, and it was a memorable experience for sure. Devoted fans were out in full force rooting on their teams, and the action on the court was intense. Michigan put an end to Loyola’s Cinderella story, and Villanova was on fire, making short work of Kansas with 3-pointer after 3-pointer.

Monday night’s game was one for the record books, with Villanova decimating Michigan and taking home the win with a score of 79-62. ‘Nova was on fire all night, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end this amazing weekend.

Buick line-up at the Final Four

Thanks again to Buick for an incredible experience, it’s one I won’t soon forget!

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Sports

Harry Kane Achieves The Century

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Photo credit: Harry Kane / Instagram

Harry Kane is comfortably one of the best strikers in world football right now. He has started this season in the rich vein of form that he finished the last, and so far the 24 year old has hit 31 goals in 32 games in all competitions. It’s set to be another hugely impressive campaign for the 24 year old Spurs striker, as Kane prepares to feature for England at the World Cup in Russia in the summer; and it’s also very likely that he will skipper the Three Lions too.

You could say that this has been a year to remember for Kane for a lot of reasons. It wasn’t so long ago that we were talking about his surpassing Alan Shearer’s record for scoring the most Premier League goals in a calendar year (36) when he took his tally in 2017 to 39, after a superb hat trick against Southampton in a 5-2 victory for Spurs. Kane had another target in mind, the Premier League 100 club.

Kane headed into the game at Anfield knowing that he only needed one goal to reach the landmark of 100 Premier League goals. While Spurs had beaten Manchester United last time out, Kane drew a blank in front of goal, but he wasn’t about to pass up the opportunity again, or was he? Spurs were actually behind in the game through Kane’s main rival for the Premier League golden boot, Mohamed Salah, before Victor Wanyama got them back on level terms with a powerful effort from distance. In the 87th minute, Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius was adjudged to have fouled Kane, with Spurs awarded a penalty as a result.

This was the moment, it was Kane to take the spot kick to score his 100th Premier League goal but he remarkably missed it, with Karius saving it. Salah then added a second for Liverpool just a few minutes later, and it looked like Kane’s day would be put on hold once again, before Spurs were awarded another penalty. The Spurs striker made no mistake this time, equalizing for Tottenham to make it 2-2 and scoring his 100th Premier League goal in the process. He managed to hit 100 in just 136 games, with only Alan Shearer completing the feat quicker (124).

Kane recently overtook Teddy Sheringham to become the all-time leading Premier League goal scorer for Spurs and he’s the only likely candidate to break Alan Shearer’s all time Premier League goals record too. He currently stands at 24th on the list with 100 alongside Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier and has 160 more goals to score to equal Shearer’s record that has looked unbeatable at times. Anyone who has the feeling that Kane can go on to squash a few more records, should have a look at the betting.com online betting news site, to ensure you get the best odds and bonuses on offer.

The best chance of someone equaling it and then surpassing it rests with Harry Kane. He’s the right age at 24 and still has plenty of time to do so. He’s scoring goals for fun and you could even say that he hasn’t even hit his peak yet. If he continues as he is now, he will undoubtedly become the all-time leading Premier League goal scorer within the next few seasons.

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Sports

The Grand National: The Race That Stops A Nation

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Bangor on Dee horse racing” by Paul (CC BY-SA 2.0)

There are many big horse racing meetings and races in the UK, but one race stands above all the others as the race where everyone places a bet, and everyone stops to watch it. That race is the Grand National, an event that takes place in April (the 2018 edition of this fantastic contest will take place on April 14th) so mark that day in your calendar as one to remember.

The build up to this unique test for horses is huge, and there are many trial races where horses will battle it out against each other to prove they are worthy of taking their place in the 40 strong field that will head to post on the day of the race. What makes the Grand National unique is the challenge of both the distance and the fences that require jumping.

The fences that the horses jump are extremely unique, and they require a special horse to just get around the course safely, let alone win the race. Then, there is the test of the distance, which is four miles, two and a half furlongs, a huge test of stamina and one that certainly favors the bravest horses and jockeys out there.


2011 Grand National winner Ballabriggs” by Carine06 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Betting on the Grand National is huge, and many people will place their bets either on the day of the race or well in advance. People who only bet once a year will turn out in force to head to their local bookmaker and place their bets, before sitting together as a family to watch the fantastic spectacle live on TV. Oddschecker has many free bet offers for the Grand National available already and many people will have already placed their bets on the race, such is the importance of the event.

The favorite for the race right now is Blaklion, a horse who finished 4th in last season’s race. That experience will have done him well, and he has proven that he has the ability and heart to jump around these fences not only once, but twice before. That puts him in pole position and he looks to have a great chance of running well in the race.

Last year’s winner, One For Arthur, will unfortunately not try to repeat his heroics of last season as he has been ruled out of the race due to injury, leaving the door open for a new champion.

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