It is one of the undeniable facts of life that teenagers do stupid things. It is equally undeniable that the cult of celebrity has the power to transform otherwise normal people into freaks, Michael Jackson and Lindsey Lohan serving as the most obvious examples. Because I’m not famous, never will be and don’t know anyone who is, it’s very difficult for me to fathom what it must be like. What would my world be like if from the time I was ten years old, everyone constantly told me that I was great? If I had super human talent at acting, or music or athletics, I suppose that over time, I would develop an entourage of devoted, fawning sycophants, none of whom would ever say “no” to me. These sycophants along with my adoring fans would most likely create in me an enormous ego. Then, I suppose I would do something like this:
When Mr. James was just a teenager, Sports Illustrated famously declared him the “Chosen One”, the natural heir to Michael Jordan. Heady stuff. But it’s one thing for a magazine to over-hype an athlete to sell copy, it’s another thing entirely to go out and immortalize the hype across your back…for all eternity.
Lebron James is an amazing basketball player. Whether or not he actually proves to be better than Michael Jordan remains to be seen, and Mr. James is certainly not the only great athlete with an ego. But, at this point I shudder to think of what might happen to this guy if he does. If you’re the kind of person who would tattoo yourself with “Chosen 1” before accomplishing anything as a professional athlete, what on earth might you be capable of when you do? Transcendent talent, Grand Canyon-sized ego, what could possibly go wrong?