LeBron vs. Tebow: Who would shake more doubters with a championship win?

Posted: January 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

LeBron James and Tim Tebow may play two different sports, but they are eerily similar. Both are polarizing athletes that people love, or love to hate. Both are mocked and ridiculed in the media and carry heavy pressure from their respective teams and fans to perform well.

James has been ridiculed for his production, “The Decision,” and also the early celebration when the Miami Heat announced the Big 3 at the beginning of the 2010-2011 season. Most people hate LeBron because of his decision to leave Cleveland. The way he did it and how he severed ties with the team that signed him and joined a “Super Team” didn’t sit well with Americans. James has also been mocked for disappearing in the fourth quarter and being a disappointment. And his greatest disappointment in the 2011 NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, where he was completely unproductive in every fourth quarter. Last year, LeBron James was the most hated athlete in the country. His doubters range all ages, race and state in the country.

Then there’s Tim Tebow, who suffers from a different kind of hate. He is hated because of his faith and lack of orthodox NFL abilities. He was told from the very beginning that he would never make it in the NFL. His throwing mechanism wasn’t suitable for the NFL, so he trained for weeks and tweaked his throwing motion. The same ESPN analysts who are praising him now, doubted his skills and ability to succeed two  years ago. Tebowmania now has swept across the country and people either love him, or hate him. Tebow is open about his faith and charity work, leaving people to doubt is he’s being genuine. “Tebowing,” otherwise known as praying, is a frequent thing to see on the sidelines when Tebow makes a great play and at the end of a game. Doubters believe Tebow’s Christ-centered pre- and post-game prayers, press conference quotes and media interviews are mainly for attention. Even Charles Barkley spoke out this week that ESPN and other media outlets need to stop focusing so much on Tim Tebow and need to move on.

These two men are hated for different reasons: LeBron for leaving Cleveland, joining the Miami Heat and not producing, and Tebow for praising the Lord for his skills and winning a game.

Both men have the chance to win a championship this year. LeBron James and the Miami Heat are the early favorite to win the NBA Championship this year. They have produced early, jumping to an 8-3 record and third place in the NBA. Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos are in the playoffs for the first time since 2005 and stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers, and America, in the first round. Saturday night they have the chance to upset the New England Patriots and be one step closer to Tebow’s first Super Bowl and the Broncos’ first appearance since 1998.

If one, or both, men win a championship, who will shake more doubters? Will the man we love to hate gain more love with a championship ring? Or will the nice guy with a big heart shake the doubters when he proves he can win it all?

In my opinion, LeBron James would shake more doubters. Many analysts thought James would already have a ring by now. When he joined the Heat, he promised “not one, not two, not six, not seven…” championships. They had their chance last year against the Mavericks, but failed. I do believe James will have multiple rings by the time he retires. He could, in fact, win his first ring this year. When he does finally win a ring and become a Champion, many doubters will be put to rest. I’m sure there will still be many doubters and haters, but there are just as many who would respect him after the win.

If Tim Tebow wins the Super Bowl, Tebowmania will be at an all-time high, which could cause more hate for the young quarterback. At the same time, his followers and supporters would grow at an alarming rate. Americans love a good guy and a Cinderella story and Tim Tebow is exactly that.  He loves the spirit of competition, but realizes there is more to life than football.

I just don’t feel like Tebow hatred is on the same level as LeBron hatred. They are two different guys with two very different stories. Both men would gain respect, but I feel like Tebow is already respected by so many people, while more people hate LeBron rather than respect him. With a championship win, LeBron James has more to gain. He will finally shake the “fourth quarter disappearing act” persona. He will prove he has what it takes to be an NBA legend and join the likes of Kobe Bryant, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

What do you think?


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