I have mixed feelings about sports talk shows. I, like most other guys, could sit watching SportsCenter for a few hours before I got tired of hearing the same story for the third time. I love knowing what’s going on around the nation (which definitely includes sports news). However when it comes to the talk shows, I tend to shy away from those.

Talk show hosts need to sensationalize a topic in order to legitimize their presence on television. Therefore, they take topics that really ought not to get any press and blow them out of proportion. No one is more a victim of this than LeBron James. Ever since the iconic “taking his talents to South Beach,” LeBron has been under the spotlight, and the microscope. If he puts something up on Twitter, someone has something to say about it. If he misses a shot in a big game, he get’s piled on for being soft. He can be a hero one day, and a villan the next.

No one is more guilty of this sensationalism than 1st and 10’s own Skip Bayless. Skip is a regular on the ESPN First Take television show. He is known for incendiary commentary and unchangeable opinions about certain athletes (LeBron being chief among them). I can’t count how many times I’ve watched a segment on 1st and 10 (or First Take, it’s the same show) and just rolled my eyes about the topics. “LeBron made a new commercial poking fun at himself, is that bad for his reputation?”

“Chris Bosh Confronts Bayless on His Nickname”

“Fans In Denver Want Orton Gone And Tebow In, Good or Bad?”

I can understand if people want to debate the effectiveness of a new offensive scheme that a coordinator is adopting with his football team. I can also understand talk about Twitter battles (because that has to deal with two, or more, players going after each other). However, when it comes to analyzing how much a McDonald’s commercial affects a player’s legacy, or whether a billboard idea means a quarterback needs to be benched I just think the discipline goes too far.

Professional athletes are public figures, no doubt. Therefore, they are subject to criticism and critique. I just think that with technology has come an increase in irrelevant programming. I think there are certain things about sports, and sports figures, that people just don’t need to know. I don’t care about what they do in the offseason (as long as it isn’t anything illegal). I don’t care about endorsement deals, and I don’t care about what one thing means for a player’s reputation. Athletes make choices, stupid and smart, just like the rest of us.

I don’t mean to suggest that I am defending LeBron. I think he has done some dumb things in his career. However, I don’t feel like he deserves as much criticism as he gets. He is, arguably, the most talented player in the NBA. He has tremendous upside and will do well. Clearly, he cares about what other people think about him. He wants to be liked, and is trying to make himself likable. So, I say, leave him alone and see what he does.

Author: Jordan Freis is a freelance writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them, helps them understand which online masters degree programs are right for them and which online schools they can choose from to reach their goals.