For all the LeBron haters out there—for those of you still left—The King has a message for you.
James put a stamp on his crowning achievement Monday when his latest Instagram post called out all the haters, officially putting them on blast for tugging on his cape all these years.
And when he hit share, LeBron James officially morphed into yet another version of himself; one that's seen him transition from prodigal son to hated villain to returning hero. But the summer of '16 may have ushered in our favorite LeBron yet: Petty LeBron.
We're so happy he's finally arrived.
They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
A photo posted by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Jun 20, 2016 at 2:16pm PDT
We've been waiting for Petty LeBron for far too long so he could shout down the Skip Baylesses and egg avi Twitter assassins of the world who revel in dissecting his game like it's 8th grade biology. James has generally avoided defending himself because, really, what does he have to defend? Mercifully, it looks like he's done taking the high road and the interwebs will be a better place for it.
Because I, for one, am completely sick of LeBron getting destroyed online and on TV for only winning three titles; for coming up short in a few playoff series; for all the other manufactured shortcomings that people love to rag about while failing to give him props for his ability to ball like nobody else ever. Other than the shortsighted The Decision, I've honestly never understood the LeBron hatred. He should be cherished because we're never going to see an athlete of his caliber again. He's a pretty good guy, doesn't get in trouble, does phenomenal charity work, and probably deep down inside just wants to be loved. But with LeBron, there's always layers. And someone's always waiting in the wings to peel another layer off, hoping to expose something, anything.
Maybe those people resent his success and his astronomical money. Maybe some of his NBA brethren begrudge how easy he makes it all look—his greatness—while others, like say Draymond Green, had to bust their ass to get to where they are. They weren't anointed as "The Chosen One" the moment they stepped into the league. They weren't gifted a record-breaking sneaker deal at 18.
We could play amateur psychologist on the whole Draymond-LeBron dynamic for days and it's probably going to be some time before we learn why Draymond called LeBron a "bitch" and/or a "fuckboy" (or "fuccboi," because there's a big difference). Of course following Green's Game 5 suspension, Klay Thompson called out James for having hurt feelings. James took the high road when asked about Thompson's comments later, but got the last laugh when he emerged from that charter plane Monday, still soaked in suds from a late night living it up in Las Vegas, holding the glistening Larry O'Brien Trophy high in the Ohio sun, and wearing an Ultimate Warrior t-shirt and his new favorite hat, Kermit sipping tea.
Flex on 'em, LeBron. Petty looks good on you.
Personally, I want to see LeBron throwing more shade at the NBA. I want to see more subtle digs at his adversaries—you know, the ones that have been throwing it his way for years. I want to see him take his trolling game to the next level. I want to see more Instgram posts calling out the haters. I want more meme-themed hats and suggestive t-shirts. You already killed Skip Bayless, keep working on the rest of the league.
Get petty, stay petty, and troll heavy. Long live Petty LeBron. Petty looks good on you, King James. And it's worked wonders for Jordan and Kanye.