The Legacy of the pirate Chris Paul and the Clipper Ship

I keep hearing how this generation’s professional athletes are more than just athletes. They are supposedly some super hybrid of athlete, businessman, and pop icon, uber-sensitive to public relations and all that is their image and brand.

This is confusing to me because, from what I can see, today’s athlete is grotesquely out of touch with reality and perception. They seem more like spoiled children, forever obsessed with having their cake and eating it too. Don’t they know that phrase came about for a reason?… because you can’t.

It would seem that the impetus for many decisions they make is to directly affect concepts like legacy. Seriously? Legacy? I understand that winning helps to raise the quality of any athlete’s legacy, but do these individuals not realize that the journey you take to get there is as great a part of your legacy as the wins you receive. It is the journey to your successes in life that classifies you as either hero or villain. Are these athletes so myopic as to truly believe that the result is all anyone will ever remember?

Ask Jose Canseco and the bloated bastions of baseball how that kind of thinking worked.

So it blows my mind that, in an age where the modern athlete is supposed to be more self-aware, these individuals continue to get it so drastically wrong.

I’m sorry, LeBron. No matter how many championships you win, “The Decision” will always be a part of your legacy. People will always root against you because you stacked the deck in your favor. There is no escaping it. No amount of winning erases it. It is a part of your story. In the story that is your legacy, you don’t get to be the hero.

Carmelo Anthony, you will always be the Melo-Drama. Dwight Howard, you will always be the Dwight-Mare. No amount of winning allows you to escape that piece of your legacy. No amount of bright light out shines your darkness. You made yourselves villains, and at this point, you can only hope for a story that ends in redemption. And here’s a hint: redemption does not come with a diamond-encrusted ring. “One ring to rule them all,” the Lord of the Rings narrative reads. Is it any wonder that Ray Allen’s bald head evokes images of the villain, Gollum.

And now another joins the ranks of infamy: the pirate Chris Paul, who forced his way onto the Clipper ship from the Port of New Orleans, causing mutiny and sending Vinny Del Negro to walk the plank, now sails the seas looking to pilfer your team’s treasures. Oh wait; this wasn’t how Chris Paul wanted to be remembered? Well sorry, Chris. It’s now a part of your story. It’s now a part of your legacy.

Hopefully next generation’s star athletes learn from heroes like Tim Duncan and not the evil horde of divas who are too self-absorbed to realize that they aren’t the heroes they set out to be. They are the villains.

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