LeBron James Doesn’t Deserve The TIME Person Of The Year Award
No, you didn’t read that headline wrong. Miami Heat forward LeBron James is being considered for TIME‘s Person of the Year award—an honor that’s been bestowed upon everyone from Gandhi (1930) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (1934) to Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963) and the Apollo 8 astronauts (1968) to Pope John Paul II (1994) and Barack Obama (2008).
It’s a big deal just to be nominated for it, and Bron Bron recognized as much when he was notified of his nomination yesterday. “I am who I am and I think I’m in a position of my life where I’m going to get better every day,” he said after practice on Monday. “But it’s too much.”
Yes, LeBron. Yes, it is. Here at Dr. Jays Live, we’re all for recognizing greatness and rewarding those who make a difference in our lives. But, this? This right here is a publicity stunt on the part of TIME. Here are five reasons LeBron doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as fellow nominees like Obama, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and the trapped Chilean miners (though, for the record, we would take him over nominee Lady Gaga! Just sayin’…). Try again, TIME.
1. LeBron plays basketball. Nothing more, nothing less.
Okay, so we’ll give him a little bit of credit. His entrepreneurial skills deserve to be recognized and he makes for a great role model in that regard. But let’s be honest here: LeBron hasn’t broken the color barrier in a major sport, taken a stand on a major issue or used his position of power to make the world a better place. He’s played basketball. So, Athlete of the Year? Maybe. But Person of the Year? No.
2. He didn’t affect as many people as we all think.
Here in America, we made a huge deal about LBJ signing with the Heat as a free agent back in July. But the truth is that that event barely made a blip in the rest of the world. Again, Bron plays ball—and he plays it well—but he’s not doing something that’s making a huge impact globally. If TIME was handing out the Person of the Year award in Cleveland, he’s be the frontrunner—love him or hate him, no one affected that city this year like LeBron—but on a national and international scale, LeBron is still a tiny, small, minute fish swimming in the ocean.
3. Michael Jordan never won the award.
If Michael Jordan never took home the TIME Person of the Year award—and LBJ is practically a carbon copy of the guy—what makes you think LeBron deserves it? Seriously. MJ did everything LeBron’s done, on and off the court, and did it so well that kids in Chicago, Chile, and China wanted to be like Mike. There’s something to be said about having that kind of influence. LBJ’s not there yet and, after the stunt he pulled last summer, there’s a chance he never will be.
4. Come to think of it, no professional athlete has ever won the TIME Person of the Year award.
As much as we love sports here at Dr. Jays, we have to admit: They’re not everything in life. They’re something that our society uses to stay connected and to keep our minds off of all the serious issues that we face everyday. There’s a reason that no pro athlete—not even important social figures like Jackie Robinson or Tommie Smith and John Carlos—has ever won the award. So, why start now?
5. LeBron has appeared on the cover of enough magazines this year.
What’s next, the front of Field & Stream? Enough is enough. Right?