When Lebron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Miami Heat in 2010, former Ohio congressman turned Lehman Brothers banker John R. Kasich was running for governor. Called “The King” for good reason, Lebron James, born and raised a Buckeye in Akron, got beat up by the former Fox News political talk show host, who pretty dumped on him as he left family and friends to venture south to the Sunshine State.
James is arguably the best basketball player of the day, and his exploits on the court bring comparisons with Chicago Bull’s great Michael Jordan as the best basketball player ever. At age 30, the fan favorite is leading his hometown Cavaliers to what could be its first pro-basketball championship, as they now lead the Golden State Warriors. The Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals Tuesday night in their home arena in Cleveland and play again Thursday.
How good is James? So far, he’s won two NBA championships with the Miami Heat, four NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, two NBA Finals MVP Awards, two Olympic gold medals, an NBA scoring title, and the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. James has been selected to 11 NBA All-Star teams, 11 All-NBA teams, and six All-Defensive teams, and is the Cavaliers’ all-time leading scorer.
Ohio’s multi-personality governor, who at age 62 is best known for his immaturity at times which includes being an off-putting jerk as one reporter found him to be, is running for president. He says he knows how to bring people together. He showed just how jerky and off-putting he can be when, in 2011, when “The King” was playing for Miami and battling the Dallas Mavericks, Pennsylvania-born Kasich issued a proclamation honoring the Mavericks for their victory over James and the Heat. Think of that, the Governor of Ohio, who clearly has an unexplained dislike for James, went out of his way to issue a proclamation to a team from Texas for beating a team from Florida.
When James returned to Cleveland after opting out of the last two years of his contract with the Heat, Mr. Kasich, whose snarkiness is legend, told reporters when asked about the return of “The King,” “I have a lot more important things to do than worry about what LeBron is going to do.” Kasich then proceeded to champion the pick of Johnny Manziel by the Cleveland Browns as more important for Cleveland’s economy. Manziel has been pretty much of a dud, while James flies high with big fan support and great performances. In 2013, polling showed The King had higher approval ratings than The Governor.
Now that he’s running for president, should Cleveland clinch the NBA title as many predict will happen, it would be a real show of compassion—and maturity—for Gov. Kasich to show he doesn’t harbor any ill feelings toward Mr. James for pursuing his god-given talents to help teams, be they in Florida or Ohio, win NBA championships. He’s done that already with the Miami Heat and appears poised to do it again with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Meanwhile, while one elected official, Congressman Marcia Fudge from Cleveland, has wagered with California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee, Gov. Kasich and California Governor Jerry Brown have not entered into any similar wager. Mr. Kasich has long mocked Californians as “wackadoodles,” but when it comes to economic prowess, Gov. Brown and his all-Democratic legislature are beating the pants off Kasich and his all-Republican legislature in many categories, the most important being job growth.
But it’s basic Kasich to insult or disparage those whom he dislikes. Lebron James is quite offensive, which explains why he’s scored so many points on the court and with his growing fan base. Gov. Kasich is also offensive, but in a very different way.
Now that he’s scrapping the bottom of the pile of GOP White House wannabes in national polling, the governor might want some of what the King has to offer: talent and leadership that makes him tops in his field.