The great Joe Posnanski, maybe the best sportswriter on the planet at the present time, has weighed in on the recruitment of LeBron James. He says LeBron will soon realize that being the object of everyone’s desire is not as cool as he thought it would be.
You know what’s infinitely less fun than it sounds? Being recruited. Most people say so. I cannot tell you how many people I have talked to who were heavily recruited to play college sports… and who said it turned out to be just a miserable experience. They weren’t expecting that. After all, as the philosophers of Cheap Trick so eloquently put it: We want to be wanted, need to be needed, love to be loved, and finally, who isn’t begging to be begged?
Yes, it sounds like it should be the greatest thing — being recruited. They’re showing you around, telling you how great you are, taking you to fancy restaurants, getting you front-row tickets, surrounding you with beautiful people and all that. And it’s all free!
Only here’s the thing: None of it is free. They’re not recruiting you because they love you. They’re recruiting you so you will go play for them, work for them, move your business there, move into the neighborhood, buy into their time share, invest in their product. It seems so obvious, but I don’t think it is obvious inside that recruiting bubble. In there, it can feel so real. And it isn’t. The harder they recruit you, the more they invest in you, the more they expect you to choose them. And if you spurn them, they probably will take it very personally. They probably will have a whole lot of bitterness. And bitter people don’t take things well. And at that point, it might not seem like so much fun.