Lebron is a good dude. But the way he handled it this year wasn't that good.
Compared to The Decision, he was saintly this year lol the only thing was the amount of time it took, but sometimes these things take time. I was very impressed with Lebron's SI thing and while I don't really care about the NBA all that much, hes the best player in the world and the attention is always going to be there. The Decision was a disgusting ploy orchestrated by LeBron's people and the Great Satan, ESPN. He did it the right way this year. The reasoning he gave for leaving in 2010 and going back this year make perfect sense. I can't fault him at all for how he handled it. Keep it quiet until you're ready to say where you're going and then just announce it. I initially rolled my eyes when I heard he had an SI piece announcing it, but it was verbalized perfectly. I'm rooting for LeBron in Cleveland.
There's really no comparing Kovy or Brodeur with Lebron. While its arguable that Brodeur is the greatest of all time in his position, he's not anymore. He's a past his prime player that carries no real value if you bring him in. Lebron has been a free agent twice already and he's comparable to Michael Jordan in terms of talent and being a brand. He's still in his prime. Very few individuals in hockey have had the ability to get people to buy tickets just based on them being in the game. Kovalchuk was a very good player when hit FA, but hockey is not a sport about individuals the way basketball is. It's no surprise Cleveland sold out of season tickets within minutes of Lebron saying he was going back to Cleveland. The only individual in hockey right now who I think would garner the type of attention Lebron gets is Crosby and even there it would just be a fraction b/c basketball is much more popular.