Friday is the one-year anniversary of LeBron James' "Decision" TV special, and as we look back, it would be natural for us to have a bitter taste in our mouths. Whether James did the right thing in leaving Cleveland for Miami is debatable; whether he did the right thing by announcing it in a TV special is not. The ESPN program was ill-conceived at best and an abomination at worst.
In short, there's little one can do to defend it, beyond the "who are we to judge anything" argument. But that's not what we're here to discuss. We're here to discuss the effect of "The Decision" on the league, one year later. In this respect, the most obvious effect is the universal disgust everyone now has towards James and the Heat as a whole. It's so visible that it almost goes without saying. If you follow the NBA and live outside of Miami-Dade County, chances are you aren't too fond of LeBron or his teammates these days.
But while the point may be obvious, it is still significant. Really, there are two types of hatred when it comes to James, the Heat and the Decision. The first is among fans. They've filled arenas, logged onto message boards and spent their hard-earned money in part so they can let James know how disappointed and angry they are at him. Ultimately, though, no matter how hard they boo, they really don't make a significant direct impact on the trajectory of the season. This is why even I, as a James critic, can get a bit uncomfortable at how vicious some of the hatred can be.