Because he partnered up with a bunch of alpha dog players, instead of going it alone.
That's the story fan after fan, and even NBA team executives, have been peddling since the Decision.
An e-mailer to ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike" this morning pointed out that baseball's Cliff Lee just did the same thing.
He could have stayed with his old team in Texas, joined a new one trying to find its way in New York, or latched onto the Phillies, who are dominant. The longtime Clevelander became a very hot commodity, and had a lot of options this summer, and he chose the power team.
So ... did we learn that there's something wrong with Cliff Lee's character? Is he not a true competitor? Is he some kind of fraud?
Or is he just a guy who wanted to join the best team he could?
And why wasn't that option open to LeBron James?
Every time I write a James post like this, there'll be some comments and tweets about how I'm such an apologist, or fan, of James'. But you know what? Search through all the LeBron James stories I have written: I'm not a fan at all. I respect advanced statistics, so I revere the sheer production of his career -- lack of titles be damned. I know enough about the economics to be aware that the NBA's best players make far more money for their owners than their owners are allowed to pay them under the CBA.
I accept the position of power he put himself into.
But beyond that, LeBron James the person? I have never much cared. His personality doesn't move me. I don't know him. I can't say I have much of a feel, or caring for him at all. And I have not been pressured by ESPN to take any positions on the matter.
I haven't been writing much at all about LeBron James the person, or even the player. I have been writing, since the night of the Decision, almost entirely about fans. Those in Cleveland get a pass, but the rest of the country? You had options to treat him with love, indifference, resignation, whatever -- the mishmash of sports emotions Cliff Lee can expect. Or hate. That's another option. For reasons that still puzzle me, a huge chunk of you chose that one.