LeBron James is unapologetic about “The Decision” and he believes it helped other athletes take control of their careers.
“You are always going to have people that are not going to agree with something that you do, but at the end of the day they can’t stop you, and can’t stop your path, and can’t stop your journey,” James told Isaac Chotiner of The New Yorker. “I am happy that I was able to fall on the sword for the rest of these athletes, men and women, to be able to feel empowered.”
Rich Paul saw a lot of the response to James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in 2010 as racist, calling out Bill Simmons for his comments.
“I blame the people around him. I blame the lack of a father figure in his life,” Simmons, then a leading columnist at ESPN, wrote. “I blame us for feeding his narcissism to the point that he referred to himself in the third person five times in forty-five minutes. I blame local and national writers (including myself) for apparently not doing a good enough job explaining to athletes like LeBron what sports mean to us, and how it IS a marriage, for better and worse, and that we’re much more attached to these players and teams than they realize.”
“That’s why I don’t speak to Bill Simmons,” Paul said. “A lot of that has to do with race, too. He wouldn’t have said that about Larry Bird. He wouldn’t have said that about J. J. Redick. You get what I am saying? ‘The Decision’ ten years ago is the norm today. It’s what everyone wants to do. Kids won’t even decide where they go to college without it being a big production, and Bill Simmons says some shit like that.”