Even superstars can’t get away with burning their bridges — ask LeBron James of the NBA’s Miami Heat. Still dealing with the fallout of losing to the Dallas Mavericks in this year’s NBA championship, James had to do some damage control on something he said was quoted out of context. But championship win or lose, he probably wouldn’t have to be dealing with this if it weren’t for the bridge he burned with his previous team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
I’m much more an observer than I am a fan of the sport, but to me, LeBron’s announcement last summer about “taking his talents” to Miami is what burned his bridge. Apparently this announcement came without even the Cavaliers’ owner knowing in advance of his decision. Lots of fans think James burned his bridges by leaving Cleveland, but that’s not a fair position to take, since he, and any other NBA player, should be free to play wherever he’d like to.
It’s the manner in which James departed Cleveland that blew up the bridge and mobilized armies of LeBron-haters across the country. And even his superstar status couldn’t bridge that gap. So if you’re a superstar in your own right at a company, and are thinking of taking your talents elsewhere, be sure you handle your announcement the right way, and not LeBron’s way.