The Many Ways to Hate (and Maybe Like) LeBron James, Champion

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We aren't even going to pretend to know your thoughts on LeBron James, but we will try and give you a barometer of feelings out there now that basketball's most polarizing figure (oh, and his Miami Heat teammates) has his championship ring.

No More Loser LeBron, and We Don't Like It

Feelings: Misty-eyed nostalgia; Reluctant respect 

Probably held by: NBC New York's Josh Alper, Kobe Bryant fans

Now that he has his ring, the knock on James for not being able to win the big one goes out the window. And so does the image of the ring-chasing Gollum, the "quitter," and the loser jokes that brought us all together. "Shared experiences have gone the way of spats and bipartisanship, except for heaping scorn on James for his inability to win, or even show up for, the big one." writes NBC New York's Josh Alper. "There's no more doubting James' place in the firmament of basketball stardom, even if it is impossible to believe that the man who put on a Roberto Benigni-style burst of overacting (see leg cramps, Game Four) and flopping (see every game and please do something about it)."  

Looking forward to: LeBron coming up short next season.

Congratulations, I'm (Not) Really Happy You Won

Feelings: Quiet rage

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Probably held by: "Classy" sports fans, Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert

Chin up. Even though the Miami Heat, the biggest villains in the NBA, won doesn't mean you have to show your contempt. So put on an icy front, like Dan Gilbert and offer up your congratulations in a completely civil way (and just take solace in the fact that you never wrote that immature letter where you guaranteed Cleveland a championship before James would get one):  

Looking forward to: The next time the Heat get whooped.

Let's Start Next Season Already

Feelings: Optimism; Relief

Probably held by: LeBron James; The Miami Heat; Everyone who wants to forget this season; Miami fans; ESPN's Kevin Arnovitz

This is an interesting reaction here, as everyone already seems to be looking to next season. For some it's because they want to see the Heat win next season, while others want to just forget that this season ever happened. And ESPN's Arnovitz seems to be an amalgam of the two groups: "I simply wanted it all to be about basketball again, because the public exercise of trying to probe James’ inner life had grown tiresome," writes Arnovitz, explaining why he was "quietly pulling" for James and the Miami Heat. "In recent months, those takedowns had also become boring, and the prospect that they’d continue to dominate the NBA for at least another year was excruciating." 

Looking forward to: Next Season, obviously.

LeBron James Is as Good as Michael Jordan

Feelings: Admiration; An appetite for trolling; Caught up in excitement

Probably held by: Journalists; Analysts; Heat Fans; Jon Barry

James has his first championship at 27, while Jordan had his first at 28. So let the parallels begin.  We didn't stay up for the broadcast (we start early here), but from Twitter reports and Internet reactions, apparently former player and analyst Jon Barry said that the ring puts James and Jordan on the same playing field--a sentiment perfect to get thousands of hate-clicks on your next column or a sentiment shared by people just caught up in the hoopla. 

Looking forward to: The next column, The next argument, Lebron James proving them right

LeBron James Is Not as Good as Michael Jordan

Feelings: One of being slighted, Frustration, That Jon Barry must be taking crazy pills

Probably held by: Basketball fans; Basketball fans who are invested in debating this on message forums

Michael Jordan has six championships, Lebron has one. And Jordan, for many people is the standard for great NBA players. And for the New York Daily News sports writer Manish Meta, apparently comparing the two is idiotic ... and so is Jon Barry: 

Looking forward to: Getting on the ESPN message boards; Tweeting about Jon Barry's stupidity.

I Think I Might Be Skip Bayless

Feelings: Resentment; Depression; Denial; Anger

Probably Surely held by: ESPN's Skip Bayless; LeBron James's most passionate haters

Skip Bayless hates LeBron James. And if you are tweeting this much negativity about James' win, you too might be Skip Bayless. "Heat just won easily with LeBron James making zero shots outside paint. Zero! No surprise here," Bayless tweeted shortly after midnight (and the Heat's win) last night. Adding, "This series turned on LeBron's obvious foul on Durant that went shockingly uncalled with 9 seconds left in G2 in Durant's house," Bayless tweeted

Looking forward to: Your next ESPN segment; Your own ESPN segment

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.