I have some things to say about LeBron James

oilypenguin wrote:
a Chappellesque satire.

Now that I would watch. "I'm King James, bitch!"

I find it funny that people are shocked that Lebron has a huge ego. This is the same person who as 17 year old kid sported NBA logo headbands (pointing to the logo whenever he was shown on ESPN), drove a brand new hummer his mom got a "loan" for and then when that turned into a controversy bought a remote control hummer and drove that around the basketball court before games. All before the age of 19.

I'm only amazed by one thing in all of this ... people still watch the NBA?

I love the fact that Deadspin coined the perfect word to describe today: LeBronukkah. Mazeltov!

Look, there's no doubt he has a HUGE ego but from what I know of the guy (Larry King interview, 60 minutes biography, etc.) he seems like a guy who had a rough childhood, who remembers his roots, married his high school sweetheart, already has two kids, and seems to genuinely like children and want to help them. Maybe I'm being naive. Maybe not. Whatever, I prefer to see the good in the guy as long as he's not doing harm to anyone. I mean Jesus H. Christ, Ben Roethlisberger has received less scorn for his heinous alleged crimes than LeBron has for holding a friggin' press conference.

I've heard some guy on ESPN radio saying, "Why not just cut a check from his massive salary to the B&G Club?"

Because why not make corporations pay?

Look, the guy is the biggest name in basketball, in terms of individual ability, since Jordan. It would be stupid NOT to capitalize on it. Gotta strike while the iron's hot. And I say if enough corporations are willing to pay to advertise during an hour long press conference, go ahead and do it and give all the proceeds to charity.

Though even without the charity thing I still have nothing against him doing all of this. Let's say I was working in the town I grew up in, let's call it Bumblef*ck, NJ. Some company in Miami found my resume and offered to pay me more and give me better perks. On top of that, this company in Miami has a global presence and is seen as an industry leader whereas the small company I currently work for is tiny and has limited aspirations. Should I stay at this tiny company on the sole grounds that it's my hometown and I should have some sort of sentimentality for it? Screw that, I'm going where the money is and the opportunity is. And if I was one of the top 5 in the world at my profession and I could find a way to make money off announcing that I was going to this new company by taking advantage of the greed of a faceless corporation that wants to pay to advertise during my announcement? Yeah, I'm doing that too.

Why do we hold athletes to different standards than we hold ourselves?

I think maybe some people forget that there is also an option not to watch. But really. All this feigned outrage? If people expressed half as much outrage for the real problems in the world we might actually make some progress in those areas.

You're right in abstract, FSeven, but we're talking about playing basketball. Someone call say it's a job all they want, but at the end of the day it's basketball. And people getting payed crazy amounts of money to play a sport. I think what probably rubs people the wrong way and makes them think this is an ego trip is the fact that this is just basketball. This isn't Joe the Office Guy moving to Miami for a better paycheck. It's basketball. Heck, Joe the Office Guy doesn't setup a press conference.

"The Decision" simply shines a light on how out of whack our priorities are as a society. It's the kind of thing that makes me, a long time NBA fan, want to not watch the game. Not because Lebron is doing anything wrong, but because I'm not sure I want to support athletes who have so completely lost touch with how fortunate they are that their skills merit this kind of money and attention in the first place.

FSeven wrote:

Though even without the charity thing I still have nothing against him doing all of this. Let's say I was working in the town I grew up in, let's call it Bumblef*ck, NJ. Some company in Miami found my resume and offered to pay me more and give me better perks. On top of that, this company in Miami has a global presence and is seen as an industry leader whereas the small company I currently work for is tiny and has limited aspirations. Should I stay at this tiny company on the sole grounds that it's my hometown and I should have some sort of sentimentality for it? Screw that, I'm going where the money is and the opportunity is. And if I was one of the top 5 in the world at my profession and I could find a way to make money off announcing that I was going to this new company by taking advantage of the greed of a faceless corporation that wants to pay to advertise during my announcement? Yeah, I'm doing that too.

Cleveland can pay him more (to the tune of 30M+) than any other team due to the rules of the NBA. Thats 30M more than a max contract from Miami...but if he signs with Miami he'd likely have to take a pay cut to fit under the cap. So if we're talking about contract dollars, it doesn't get better than Cleveland. If we're talking brand exposure, it doesn't get better than NYC.

Jeff-66 wrote:

I'm only amazed by one thing in all of this ... people still watch the NBA?

Yep. I love basketball. Always have, always will.

My favorite sports as a fan are: NBA > MMA > NFL > NHL > MLB

Lebron isn't the one behind all this. Really this is the result of a years long marketing campaign by ESPN. Jordan would be no different if he played in today's era of media. James is not lionizing himself, it's being done for him and he is taking advantage of their greed and need for news by cashing in.

Tonite is for the media, not Lebron, make no mistake. Of course he's still getting his butter out of it.

Was talking about this with a friend, I'm of the opinion he just can't go to Miami. Comparing him and Wade, LBJ is bigger and stronger, a better passer, a more prolific outside shooter, and has a much better all-around skill set. Wade's no slouch, but he's more of a scorer as opposed to LBJ who can do lots more things. If LBJ goes to the Heat, he by definition has to be Scottie Pippen, the really great player who helps the true superstar win. He will utterly crap on his own legacy of he does this.

DSGamer wrote:

This isn't Joe the Office Guy moving to Miami for a better paycheck. It's basketball. Heck, Joe the Office Guy doesn't setup a press conference.

The reason you set up a press conference is because you don't want to have to give 50 or more different interviews to say the same thing. I don't care which sports writer you pick, no matter how much that writer has scorned Lebron's ego today that writer would leap through hoops to have a sit down interview with Lebron this evening. Because that's what people are interested in right now. He's page views. Just talking about how much you hate Lebron=page views.

Same here about sports.

NBA > NFL > NCAA Football > Pro Cycling > NHL > MMA > Professional Food Eating > MLB

Okay, I'm joking about Professional Food Eating. I don't watch it. Still prefer it to MLB, though.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Was talking about this with a friend, I'm of the opinion he just can't go to Miami. Comparing him and Wade, LBJ is bigger and stronger, a better passer, a more prolific outside shooter, and has a much better all-around skill set. Wade's no slouch, but he's more of a scorer as opposed to LBJ who can do lots more things. If LBJ goes to the Heat, he by definition has to be Scottie Pippen, the really great player who helps the true superstar win. He will utterly crap on his own legacy of he does this.

I agree with this assessment. That's why to me it always made sense to go to New York, Chicago or stay in Cleveland.

Jason Whitlock says that Lebron stays in Cleveland and gets Chris Paul via a sign and trade with New Orleans. It actually makes sense since NO's financial situation is terrible.

You know why he's holding the press conference? This thread is why. I haven't watched a basketball game or even cared since the Grizzlies moved to Memphis and here I am wondering where Lebron James, a man I've never even watched beyond a single Nike commcercial, ends up.

mindset.threat wrote:

Jason Whitlock says that Lebron stays in Cleveland and gets Chris Paul via a sign and trade with New Orleans. It actually makes sense since NO's financial situation is terrible.

And then the Hornets move to Seattle and heal the original wound caused when N.O. flirted with Oklahoma City. That's what should happen. N.O., as far as I can tell, isn't a basketball city anyway.

Vector wrote:

You know why he's holding the press conference? This thread is why. I haven't watched a basketball game or even cared since the Grizzlies moved to Memphis and here I am wondering where Lebron James, a man I've never even watched beyond a single Nike commcercial, ends up.

Not sure I agree. He's succeeded in generating buzz, but this is something my friends and I who enjoy basketball talk about on a regular basis whether it's Lebron James or Ray Allen.

mindset.threat wrote:

Jason Whitlock says that Lebron stays in Cleveland and gets Chris Paul via a sign and trade with New Orleans. It actually makes sense since NO's financial situation is terrible.

I really think LBJ stays in Cleveland, and this here would be pretty darn ideal. LBJ is incredibly interested in his image, and leaving his hometown team during a staged spectacle would be terrible for him. Simmons' ESPN column today says it perfectly--

What a week for LeBron's brand. I just hope he remembers to wipe the blood off the knife after he pulls it from Cleveland's back.

People would completely turn on him. He's staying. This is all staged to drum up hype and pull the focus off Stoudemire, Bosh, Wade, and the rest of them. He sticks around in Cleveland, becomes even more beloved, picks up more endorsement contracts, eventually wins a title, and becomes the freaking messiah in Cleveland.

the plot thickens:

After a long recruitment process, Chris Paul has left his agency to join LRMR.
Paul informed his agency at Octagon that he had decided to leave.

LRMR was created by LeBron James and Maverick Carter.
LRMR has yet to make a formal announcement that Paul will be joining them, and sources believed they might have been waiting to use James’ Thursday night free-agent announcement as a backdrop to release the story.
“He’s left Octagon,” Paul’s agent Jeff Austin told Yahoo! Sports. “We’re proud of the work we did with him over the past five years. We wish him nothing but the best.”

DSGamer wrote:

And people getting payed crazy amounts of money to play a sport.

But we the people make this all possible. If everyone was unwilling to pay $50 for a seat, $8 for a beer, and $5 for a hot dog, the salaries these athletes command wouldn't be possible. If people were unwilling to pay $100.00 for a jersey with a name and # on it that probably cost $25.00 to make, these salaries wouldn't be possible.

Athlete salaries, crazy contracts, $80,000 season tickets are all our faults. We make it possible. That's why I find the scorn leveled at him or any other athlete for that matter for commanding the types of salaries they do, a bit removed from reality.

mindset.threat wrote:

Cleveland can pay him more (to the tune of 30M+) than any other team due to the rules of the NBA. Thats 30M more than a max contract from Miami...but if he signs with Miami he'd likely have to take a pay cut to fit under the cap. So if we're talking about contract dollars, it doesn't get better than Cleveland. If we're talking brand exposure, it doesn't get better than NYC.

I wasn't aware of that fact. However we know LeBron makes more in endorsements...much much more...than his annual salary. Would an extra 30M in salary in Cleveland outweigh the opportunities to make money outside the NBA if he played in NY? All signs point to no but maybe it's possible staying in Cleveland makes the public think he is a sentimental guy, gives him a good guy image, and the sponsors flock to him like never before.

Funkenpants wrote:

The reason you set up a press conference is because you don't want to have to give 50 or more different interviews to say the same thing. I don't care which sports writer you pick, no matter how much that writer has scorned Lebron's ego today that writer would leap through hoops to have a sit down interview with Lebron this evening. Because that's what people are interested in right now. He's page views. Just talking about how much you hate Lebron=page views.

QFT.

On the way into work today I flipped between WFAN and ESPN Radio. The big 2 names in NY Sports Radio. ESPN was interviewing Chris Bosh about Miami. After Bosh hung up with ESPN, I flipped to WFAN and within 10 minutes he was interviewing on WFAN. Who knows how many other media outlets Bosh will be talking to regarding his decision to play in Miami.

The difference with that and James' press conference is that A) LeBron can address it in one hour-long session and B) A charity is getting a good chunk of change.

FSeven wrote:

I think maybe some people forget that there is also an option not to watch. But really. All this feigned outrage? If people expressed half as much outrage for the real problems in the world we might actually make some progress in those areas.

Your post kind of bothered me and it took me a while to pin it down.

The outrage out there isn't feigned (by Clevelanders), it's real. And whether it has a basis or not, whether it is even rational or not, isn't up for any of us to decide because it's already out there.

Of course we don't have to watch. But we want to watch. We poured our money and our time into the investment that is that sports team. The problem here isn't the unnecessary spectacle so much as the feeling that we're being jerked around, I think. And the feeling of betrayal as he heads to Miami or New York (and if I were him I would go to Chicago because damn, that is a good young team) is one part "he is one of us" and one part "well... this is what it's like to be a Cleveland sports fan."

The frustration boils up after a while.

If you don't share the same interest as the people you're talking to, it's an easy thing to say, "Well look at all those playoff appearances he brought you guys. He doesn't owe you anything." And you would not be wrong. He doesn't. But that perceptions exists and is real. Also, the Joe Office Worker analogy? Doesn't fly. If Joe Office Worker has another job offer and his original company took him is as an intern, taught him the job, and is offering more money than the competitor then the millions of investors in that company are going to be mighty upset when he leaves. Especially since his leaving may just be a death knell for his company and the city his company is located in.

And if you think that's hyperbole, then you need to read some of the latest financial projections for Cleveland. As someone in the job market there? Things will not be good if we lose the revenue that LBJ on the cavs brings to the city.

This is about more than basketball, it's about a city nearing collapse.

As for LeBron's increased exposure if he played in NY or Miami... I guess? The Cavs have had 30+ televised games each of the last 2 seasons. What would change in a larger market? He already has a ton of sponsorships. I never understood this reasoning for swapping teams if he gets all this media coverage anyway.

FSeven wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

And people getting payed crazy amounts of money to play a sport.

But we the people make this all possible. If everyone was unwilling to pay $50 for a seat, $8 for a beer, and $5 for a hot dog, the salaries these athletes command wouldn't be possible. If people were unwilling to pay $100.00 for a jersey with a name and # on it that probably cost $25.00 to make, these salaries wouldn't be possible.

Athlete salaries, crazy contracts, $80,000 season tickets are all our faults. We make it possible. That's why I find the scorn leveled at him or any other athlete for that matter for commanding the types of salaries they do, a bit removed from reality.

Wild. I'm 35 and I've had season tickets to an NBA team for about 7 years of my life. Never have I paid more than about $10 per seat on average. I just don't value it that much. I like the NBA, don't get me wrong. But I go to the games with food in my stomach, take along a bottle of water and basically enjoy it for what it is. So you might want to check yourself before you go slinging around the "out of touch with reality" stuff. NBA is an entertainment to me that takes a priority roughly beside the purchase of movie tickets. Nothing more. I'm not tuning into a television special for what George Clooney's next movie will be.

Jeff-66 wrote:

I'm only amazed by one thing in all of this ... people still watch the NBA?

This never stops surprising me either.

oilypenguin wrote:

This is about more than basketball, it's about a city nearing collapse.

LOL, no wonder he's having a press conference. You can't claim "no hyperbole" and then profess that Lebron leaving will turn the city into some dystopian nightmare. He's just a basketball player.

And an overrated one at that. >.>

Oh yes. I went there.

oilypenguin wrote:

This is about more than basketball, it's about a city nearing collapse.

The city is about to collapse over what happens in the local NBA franchise? Difficult to believe. At this point you guys may want to make some kind of blood sacrifices to Lebron.

IMAGE(http://images.amazon.com/images/G/01/dvd/aplus/apocalypto/apocalypto4lg.jpg)

DSGamer wrote:
Vector wrote:

You know why he's holding the press conference? This thread is why. I haven't watched a basketball game or even cared since the Grizzlies moved to Memphis and here I am wondering where Lebron James, a man I've never even watched beyond a single Nike commcercial, ends up.

Not sure I agree. He's succeeded in generating buzz, but this is something my friends and I who enjoy basketball talk about on a regular basis whether it's Lebron James or Ray Allen.

People who don't care about basketball or him are now paying attention. Already this is a success.

Funkenpants wrote:
oilypenguin wrote:

This is about more than basketball, it's about a city nearing collapse.

The city is about to collapse over what happens in the local NBA franchise? I find that difficult to believe.

Yes. <--- serious face

Look, I know it sounds ridiculous but the Cavs organization brings in a lot of money. With that, Quicken loans (Dan Gilbert, the founder, owns the Cavs) is also transitioning into the area, meaning jobs. Our MLB team is... well, it certainly appears to be run in such a way that the owners are looking to sell. If they sell, there's a real chance the team moves.

LeBron leaving means a giant source of revenue and jobs is gone, as would the Indians leaving. If both of those things happen, the city itself will lose a good chuck of revenue and taxes. The city is operating in the red as it is but to lose one major sports team and then to basically lose another in the Cavs (who won't bring in nearly the same amount of revenue and might be back on track to be terrible again because we haven't had a draft pick in 3 years) would be a crippling blow to the city.

And ArtofScience is the only one who can make fun, because he lives in Detroit =)

Edit: I will also allow a er... smidge of hyperbole. This is something that's being talked about in Cleveland, though and backed up by a few projections (that I strangely can't find now). Do we come off as panicky? Well, because Cleveland is working itself into a bit of a tizzy. Me? I'm more bummed than anything but some people are really upset and concerned.

oilypenguin wrote:

LeBron leaving means a giant source of revenue and jobs is gone, as would the Indians leaving. If both of those things happen, the city itself will lose a good chuck of revenue and taxes. The city is operating in the red as it is but to lose one major sports team and then to basically lose another in the Cavs (who won't bring in nearly the same amount of revenue and might be back on track to be terrible again because we haven't had a draft pick in 3 years) would be a crippling blow to the city.

Hey, all of us in the midwest and New England have our cities 'o troubles. The post-industrial wasteland isn't pretty.

IMAGE(http://upnextinsports.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/lebronjames.jpg)

Jeff-66 wrote:

I'm only amazed by one thing in all of this ... people still watch the NBA?

Oddly enough, I haven't actually watched the NBA since Jordan was winning titles, but I'm totally into the off-season and trade deadline maneuverings. This week has been fascinating, and I'll be watching tonight.

My bet is that he stays in Cleveland. Sure, he can go to Miami and win the next ten titles. Say what you will, but veterans without a ring will be lining up to play with James, Wade and Bosh. He could go to New York and be the king of the greatest city in the world. He could go to Chicago and make a new dynasty, or he could go to Jersey and hang with his boy Jay-Z.

But, if he wins in those places, he isn't the greatest player of all time. However, if he goes to Cleveland, and turns that team into a two or three time champ, then he could be the greatest. Also, it's a great story for "The Brand." The local boy gets tempted by the big city, stays where his heart is, and wins in the end. Even if he loses, then it's a good story.

I used to buy into the hype. Someday the next Jordan, championships, etc.

The last two years in the playoffs he has proven that he will never be like mike.

When you lose and you walk off the court without shaking hands with the other team, the most basic sportsmanlike gesture we have in every sport, the fundamental thing children are taught from 4 years old and up... what a jerk. No class, and a loser to boot. I'd be happy to get rid of him if I was a Cleveland fan.

He's a joke. Until you have a ring to back up all that hype, it's just talk. Nothing proved on the court still after all this time.

Meanwhile Kobe is running out of fingers. And yeah, Kobe has a great supporting cast. Basketball is still a team game, despite what NBA marketing wants you to believe. Michael couldn't have done it without the supporting cast either, and Phil is responsible for both Michael and Kobe's greatness.

LeBron with all this off the court nonsense has shown that he is the most important thing, not a team, not a championship, it's all about him. Honestly I hope he never wins it all. He doesn't deserve it. Whoever gets him, enjoy a great regular season and another early playoff exit.

oilypenguin wrote:

We poured our money and our time into the investment that is that sports team.

You're not losing your sports team.

Unless of course your actual loyalty was with LeBron and not the Cavaliers. It would most certainly explain the sudden spike in interest in Cleveland basketball once LeBron came on the scene.

I love Derek Jeter. I think he's a great Yankee and embodies everything I like in a baseball player. But if his contract ended and he went to play for Boston I wouldn't be mad at him but rather at the Steinbrenners for not doing everything in their power to bring him back. If LeBron does leave Cleveland, I think what needs to be examined is what role Gilbert has played in not bringing in the proper mix of talent to put the Cavs over the edge and win a title.

oilypenguin wrote:

The problem here isn't the unnecessary spectacle so much as the feeling that we're being jerked around, I think. And the feeling of betrayal as he heads to Miami or New York (and if I were him I would go to Chicago because damn, that is a good young team) is one part "he is one of us" and one part "well... this is what it's like to be a Cleveland sports fan."

I guess I can't understand the feeling of betrayal. Athletes and teams sign contracts. When said contract ends, athlete is free to sign new contract with new team if desired. If there is any loyalty in professional sports it's on behalf of teams to players which in turn is loyalty from teams to fans by bringing back popular players. It's why the Yankees have continued to resign Mo, Jeter, Posada, and Pettitte despite them being past their prime. There would be riots in the streets if the Steinbrenners let those four finish their careers elsewhere.

oilypenguin wrote:

"Well look at all those playoff appearances he brought you guys. He doesn't owe you anything." And you would not be wrong.

I understand the sentimentality but when does reality set in? The reality that this is a man who was born in Ohio. That's it. And that his, as is every other man's, loyalty is to himself and what he thinks is right for himself, his family, and his future.

oilypenguin wrote:

his original company took him is as an intern, taught him the job,

Only by virtue of uck: suck and luck. Cleveland had like a 22% of winning the 2003 NBA Draft Lottery due to their 17 win record in 2002. They were the suckiest of the suck. Being selected as first pick was where the luck came in. Those are the reasons they got LeBron. It was pure coincidence that he was born outside of Cleveland. If I'm not mistaken, there was even speculation Cleveland intentionally sucked in 2002 knowing that would give them the best chance of landing LeBron. If any other team had won the lottery and drafted LeBron, these hometown arguments would be absent. It's not like LeBron had his choice of who to sign with and said, "You know, I'm from Ohio so I want to sign with the Cavaliers." So where does this concept of him being loyal to Cleveland come from?

oilypenguin wrote:

And if you think that's hyperbole, then you need to read some of the latest financial projections for Cleveland. As someone in the job market there? Things will not be good if we lose the revenue that LBJ on the cavs brings to the city.

This is about more than basketball, it's about a city nearing collapse.

I don't doubt the seriousness of your statement but that is a MF'ing HUGE load to plant on one guys' shoulders. If the rise and fall of Cleveland is based on the decisions of a basketball player, maybe Cleveland needs to collapse and then rise from the ashes and straighten itself out so that it is no longer reliant on a basketball player to determine the success or failure of an entire city.

Hell, if that's true maybe LeBron will skip town because he's scared as hell at the prospect of the fate of an entire US city being tied to him. I'd sh*t my pants under that much pressure. I feel moistness just imagining it.

oilypenguin wrote:

Oh. And this is primarily a video game forum. As in, entertainment. If we can't vent here, amongst people who share our propensity for time wasting on unnecessary things, where can we vent? Don't get me wrong, I like the, "Let's all stop typing and go work in a soup kitchen" card as much as the next guy but it doesn't need to be played here.

I totally get that. Which is why in turn I'm venting.