Home > Culture, Sports > Lebron Bores the Nation

Lebron Bores the Nation


It was the most riveting hour of live national television since Geraldo Rivera breathlessly described the opening of Al Capone’s vault 24 years ago.

Instead of dirt and an empty glass bottle, we got Lebron James talking in the third person about all the talent he brought to Cleveland for 7 years before telling us he was now going to bring all that talent to Miami, where everybody thought he would go in the first place.

It was a stilted and awkward setting at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of America in Connecticut as he sat down before a silent audience of, uh, boys and girls with Jim Gray (see note below) who tried his best to drag out the painful proceedings by asking literally 18 inane questions before finally getting around to the BIG ONE.

By the end of the show, it was clear Lebron’s ego had left the following in its wake: One very happy American city, five other cities shrugging their shoulders and one really pissed off Cleveland, Ohio where his uniform was burned in effigy and the owner released a statement calling Lebron selfish, heartless, callous and cowardly.

As for the Lebron James brand- I suppose he could have damaged it more by, say, bringing guns into a locker room, but he did not help himself a lot. He had always touted himself as the kind of player that would not thump his chest and taunt opponents after a slam dunk. This was an hour of boring chest-thumping that has won him the enmity of at least six NBA cities where he is sure to be booed and reviled in the coming season.

One thing I think we can breathe easy about is that this strange, uncomfortable, melding of sports, entertainment and news is not likely to be repeated. It was horrendous, anti-climatic television likely to be parodied and mocked for decades to come. I can’t imagine why any major broadcast company would ever want to repeat such a mind-numbingly vapid proceeding.

Note: Labron’s “interviewer” was Jim Gray- not an ESPN employee but a free-lance journalist. CNBC is standing by its story that Gray’s expenses were paid by the entity that was created for last night’s production; in other words by Lebron’s people. ESPN readily admitted Gray was hand-picked by Lebron to conduct the “interview.” They now say they paid for Gray’s expenses. CNBC is not budging from its story. Gray also claims he was the one who came up with the concept of the one-hour special.

Full numbers for the “The Decision” will be out Monday but it appears to have gotten a huge 7.3 overnight rating. Some of the advertisers ESPN allowed the James camp to sign up for the telecast, University of Phoenix, Bing and Vitamanwater, are reportedly turning over $2.5 million from the proceeds of the ads to charity.

Critics are calling this ESPN’s “Deal with the Devil.” The blurring of the lines between an event that was combination news/sports/entertainment makes this made-for-TV saga fodder for an ethical debate that should last years.

More on Jim Gray and who did or did not pay his expenses can be found on MSNBC’s web site.

  1. July 9, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Thank you! We continue to worship at the feet of these egotistical multimillionaires whose only contribution to society is a momentary distraction from what’s really important. I’m glad you said it, and said it so well. Great post and great writing!

    • July 10, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      Well said!!!

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:46 pm

      What a statement, but before you make such a claim do a little research. I’m sure they have contributed much more to society than you have. Don’t hate on how they make money, you could do the same thing.

    • July 11, 2010 at 11:22 am

      Very well put.

    • Aurie
      July 11, 2010 at 10:18 pm

      you’re on the money bronxboy55

  2. Raul
    July 9, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I certainly do not have as much respect for Lebron James. The fact that he would make a spectacle of his “decision,” especially while breaking the hearts of his Cleveland fans on national TV, definitely makes me look at him differently. You look at someone like Kevin Durant who is in a crazy small market, but still signed a 5 year deal without much hype. That is a player to respect. What is happening to the NBA?

    http://www.wutevs.wordpress.com

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:45 pm

      That’s crazy to say because Kevin Durant didn’t have as much that followed Lebron through high school. He was presented with the idea to make a press conference, which most sports do, televised – why would he say no? I know in NY, he had the elite members of its residents wooo him. What I can’t stand is for people to really like someone and because he doesn’t do what they want him to do they suddenly turn. I guess you can say that Lebron is about as loyal as his “fans” then. He just sounds like a product of his society.

  3. July 9, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Very very well put. Also, James is also going to be known as the man who could not win it all by himself. The cop out. He took the easiest root.

    • July 10, 2010 at 6:03 am

      Does Kobe win w/o Shaq and Pau?
      Does Shaq win w/o Kobe and Wade?
      Does MJ win w/o Pippen?
      Does Magic win w/o Kareem?
      Does Bird win w/o McHale?

      Notice the trend. Funny how none of these players are known as men who couldn’t win it all by themselves.

      I’m not trying to be cute, but I don’t know of any player who has won it all by himself. They all need teammates who play important roles.

  4. Percival Handfisher
    July 9, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    totally agree with you. Stephen A. Smith said this was “a done deal” more than a week ago. I don’t know why ESPN would waste an hour of programming on what equated to a Lebron James infomercial.

    I will say the Cavs owner was a bit harsh in his response to James leaving Cleveland. calling him a coward and a traitor was uncalled for. his personal guarantee that Cleveland would win a title before Lebron does, may be a bit far-fetched, as well. I know he’s bitter, and maybe Lebron owed him at least a phone call before he made his decision. such is the way with Cleveland sports, I guess…

    • July 11, 2010 at 6:16 am

      Waste an hour? You have got to be kidding me. Look at the ratings. You had to know even prior to the show that this would dominate tv viewings. Let’s not be nåive please.

  5. danmarcel
    July 9, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    completly agree

  6. Ali
    July 9, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    In the space of one hour this morning i heard the news repeated about 45 times, at least. If I hear it one more time, I’ll projectile vomit. We get it already.

    Poor cleveland but I’m glad this guy is getting out of the midwest – will help temper the ego.

  7. July 9, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    I think a friend of mine summed it nicely: People get tired of freezing in Ohio and move to Florida every day. This isn’t news.

    http://www.toddpack.com

  8. July 9, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    You are certainly right. Yawn. Lebron sounds a new Buick anyway (Hey Bob, I just bought a new Buick Lebron)and his media whoring is another Big Nothing, like this: http://postmanisms.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/super-bowl-vs-dodgeball/

  9. skbpen
    July 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Well spoken. I lost what little respect I had for Lebron with this whole proceeding. The words of the Cav’s owner ring true and unfortunate since he had such potential with this proceeding to show America’s youth a great example, instead he has given parents a “what ‘not’ to do lesson to discuss with their kids. Kevin Durant and many other players made great decisions and where good examples to up and coming players. Let’s not forget though in this hoopla how Bosh played into Lebron’s decision. What if Bosh had decided to go to Cleveland? We would be having a much different conversation right now. Memories of the Yankees stacking the deck with talent come to mind, will the Heat just be another team that loses in the playoffs? We shall see. What if they lose to Chicago, I think that would be a great series.

  10. A.
    July 9, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Hmm, like he said himself before this announcement, it is BUSINESS. Your employer gives you the choice between Akron or South Beach? You stay in Akron? Not likely. He owes Cleveland nothing, he was a Cav for 7 years. The majority of the pressure fell on HIS shoulders to bring home a championship. Going to Miami gives him Wade and Bosh and the potential to be a part of a TEAM where it’s not just up to him anymore. Sure, he had Mo, Big Z, Shaq (lol), Verajao, but at the end of the day it wasn’t getting to the point: A CHAMPIONSHIP.
    Everyone harps on pro-athletes that they are in it for money, not for winning and finally an athlete says “I left a lot of money behind, I WANT TO WIN” and he’s called selfish, egotistical and people who once worshiped him now burn anything he’s tied to. It’s pathetic.
    However, ESPN is behind all the hype. Lebron used it to a good advantage and now the Boys & Girls Club of America can reap those benefits. I think that is far from media-whoring.

    But I am one very sad Cavs fan. Good thing I live in Oklahoma where Durant thanked us for loving him as he signed another 2 years.

    • trottlebee
      July 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm

      This writer (A.) is on point. Any of the other people who posted responses would choose the milder climate and financial payoffs over remaining in Akron. They’d also appreciate having a bit of help/teamwork in bringing home championships. Don’t blame the guy for wanting to make a positive career move….

    • A F
      July 10, 2010 at 12:23 am

      I understand your point. The problem with LBJ however is his constant self promotion. James had a good team in Cleavland that was yet to win a title, though they were very capable. They were literally perhaps one trade away from making it to the promised land, and he gave up on them. Lets not forget that he DID make it to the finals back in 2007. He had a championship caliber team. They had just not reached the promised land YET.

      To proclaim yourself a king; market yourself as a product based on your self proclomation of greatness (which was all exhibited during “the decision”); to continue to fuel and buy into the hype that surrounds you, and then walk away from the challenge of winning in Cleavland I think is cowardly.

      I do not think he should have left Cleavland for they helped make him who he is, and still had championship potential. I would have respected him more though if he had gone to another team (maybe Chicago or even New York). But to go to South beach, to me that’s taking the easy way out. If he had not proclaimed himself a king, and a player of legendary greatness, then that would be fine. But he did, then took the easy way out, breaking the hearts of a city and organization that helped make him on national TV. He was not in it for the money, but still did look out for his own selfish interest and has done a diservice to the game of basketball, and to the NBA. I think that’s why people are so upset.

      • July 10, 2010 at 3:50 am

        So it’s selfish (in a negative light) to want to win an NBA Championship? That’s cowardly? That’s disrespectful? That’s taking the easy way out? That’s doing a disservice to the game of basketball and to the NBA?

        Really?

        http://writemakesmight.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/in-defense-of-lebrons-decision/

      • July 10, 2010 at 8:41 pm

        Self promotion is something we all need to do, so instead of hate, take some notes. All of our “idols” self promote. He wouldn’t be the only one who has titled themselves there were many more before him and plenty more coming after him. Cleveland may have had a helping hand, it’s where he’s from but he was a great ballplayerin highschool and he has natural talent. He should live his life for him, not for everyone else. Again, another note that we should all take.

      • July 12, 2010 at 3:25 pm

        I understand how it can be seen as cowardly and how it effects the town of Cleveland, a place that has not seen a championship title since what? The 60s?

        You have to understand that behind each great athlete is an agent, who promotes their client, builds them up and in turn, lines their pocket. Compared to Kobe, Shaq, and many other NBA players or athletes of any other professional league, LBJ kept a calm head on his shoulders. He was dubbed the king by Akron/Cleveland because he took the world by storm with his talent. You can say MJ was the best player ever, but I’m of the LBJ era and I have to say, I’ve never seen anyone like him. I attended the OKC/Cleveland game in October 2009 (Or November?) and I was in awe of him AND KD. But LBJ dominates the court.
        This is the only scandal we’ve ever had with him and it just happened to be the biggest sports drama ever.
        I’m a girl and I have to say, there is NOTHING as dramatic as sports. And maybe that’s why I love it?

        I don’t think it’s all that fair to say he should not have left Cleveland because they made him. Talent is talent, no matter what. Would he be this big of a star if he had played elsewhere? Yeah.
        Our relatives in Akron are really bitter, and I understand and respect that though. As a Oklahoma Sooner, I’d be burning anything Stoops related if he left us.

    • Matt
      July 10, 2010 at 11:35 am

      the reason why everyone is upset is cuz how he played it out… on live tv for the nation to see him diss us in our face. Im sure if he came straight out and said what he was doing people would have been more forgiving, not much, but a little more…. But over time, the past year he’s been saying all good things about cleveland, then he up n leaves.

      He’s not losing money going there, maybe a mill or 2 because of the lesser taxes. but they could have also put some stipulations to get more money to him also. endorsements and stuff like that.

      its not about a championship also, cuz if it was he would have tried this past year and the year before, but he gave up. Ive seen people play harder in their backyards.

      He always said he’s one of the best, while moving with 2 other superstars, this takes away what he could have had, what kobe, jordan, bird, etc had. LBJ has hurt himself more than help himself. his ego is too big.

      • July 12, 2010 at 3:28 pm

        I don’t think HE’s behind the hoopla. I bet he knew prior to that morning and that’s why Wade & Bosh held out on signing their contracts (opportunity for MORE media, ESPN..) but he used it to an advantage for a cause he holds close to his heart.
        Sure, I turned it off after his announcement but it if can be used for charity, why not?

  11. July 9, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Standing Applause… and Scene.

  12. July 9, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    The whole thing was a shame to the NBA. The fact that Lebron said that at the end of the day it’s about a business shocked me! NO you idiot, it’s about the love of the game! Not the empire you’re trying to make it of it. He’s 25 fucking years old. How greedy do you need to be at that age when you’re already a billionaire?? The whole thing pissed me off. I can’t wait to boo him at MSG.

    Very well written post!

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:38 pm

      Oh yeah, so let me here about the other millionaires like Oprah, Donald Trump, Bill Gates, Hugh Hefner and many more that you hate because they make money. Have you determined how much money is enough for everyone?

  13. July 9, 2010 at 3:34 pm
  14. July 9, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    Lebron is already a millionaire many times over. It was a total waste of time to devote a full hour to where he was going to next.

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:36 pm

      And what show do you propose the ESPN channel present during draft time?

  15. July 9, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    Very well put. I loathe the NBA. I had a friend who worked for a prestigious hotel in Washington, DC – home of the Bullets (then it became Wizards and they stopped winning). Anyway, his hotel had a long term contract w/ the NBA. Incoming teams stayed there and it was his job to keep them happy. In all the years that he brought them cases of champagne, and what not, he NEVER once received a tip! I found it hard to believe that not one player ever gave him a ten or twenty or even a fiver. Not one thin dime, was his response. That’s the ilk that run back and forth on a polished court chasing after that stupid ball to throw it through that stupid hoop. While teachers starve, they live like royalty. It is a sad statement on the priorities of our society – bread and circus.

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:36 pm

      That has nothing to do with the NBA and everything to do with people. Besides, was your friend’s role one in which tipping is customary? There are plenty of people with tons of money that don’t tip well, so to blame it on the NBA on a whole is a pretty ignorant statement. While I think that it’s crazy how little many of the public service employees make, again, you can’t blame that on the NBA. Besides its the baseball players that make the most money out of all these sports.

  16. July 9, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    ESPN having an hour special is ridiculous! You can’t really blame Lebron for going to Florida where it’s nice and warm and there are no taxes thus saving him $12 million. He’d have to be a fool! It is a business decision and as always a money decision for people. Wouldn’t you follow the money? In NY there are taxes where he would lose those $12 million. You can’t fault him for that. But the idiocy of the boring performance of an hr. show to announce this is Crazy!

    evelyngarone.wordpress.com

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:33 pm

      Since ESPN is a sports channel, it was the right platform for this type of show, its what they do. As for the money, he would have made more money if he stayed with Cavaliers.

  17. July 9, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    It’s OK that he left, that’s business. It’s NOT OK how he did it. Can you say “no class”?

  18. July 9, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    What? Your bored?

    Is it any wonder? Does La-Brawn care that you are bored, outraged or joyous? Of course not, he only cares about himself. So do you.

    This is life. Be your own hero. When you get bored with your own antics, you’ll know who to blame; better for you, better for La-Brawn, better for anyone not sure who to point the finger at when life doesn’t live up to its hype.

  19. July 9, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    Hmm I think sports and/or news channels love this kind of thing because it ups their viewings, ratings and gets them publicity. That is what business seeks to do, or one of the things.

    LeBron seemed pretty humbled, I don’t know that he went too far or anything like that. This summer, the press seems very interested in following Bosh, James and other basketball stars! The show succeeded: it got people talking.

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:31 pm

      Yeah, sports channels usually do love things regarding sports…It’s what it’s all about.

  20. July 9, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    I totally agree.

  21. Lee
    July 9, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Whats the big deal? How many championships did we win in the last seven years with Lebron? I’ll bet Kobe was yawning during last nights “decision”. All this attention about someone who has won nothing yet.

    Lebron had every right to pick a new team, but to turn it into such a circus and stab his home city in the back on national TV is classless. Plus, he lied to everyone in America when he said that it was all about winning championships. Every NBA analyst I’ve read or listened to agreed that Chicago was his best chance for winning now and in the future. He’s going to a team with no legacy/tradition at all: they bought their last title when they brought in Shaq, now they’re trying to buy another one, only this time it might not work because they are going to have a bunch of nobodies backing up the ‘big 2 + Bosh’. I can count on one hand the number of big games that Lebron & Bosh have won in their NBA careers.

    I wonder if anybody told those morons that, even in Miami, they still only play with one basketball on the court at any given time…

  22. July 9, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    As long as the media continues to give people like LeBron airtime, they will continue to pull stunts like this. LeBron is NOT the next coming of Michael Jordan or Magic Johnson or even Larry Bird. It’s past time that LeBron realized he’s NOT that awesome.

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:31 pm

      He is a good player, besides, if you look at the actual statistics, his game records are better than Kobe’s.

    • The Weddington Adventures
      July 11, 2010 at 5:58 pm

      It’s unlike anything i’ve ever seen before. Very odd & too much media glitz for one person. I can see if it was someone solving world hunger but a basketball player? sheeeeesh!!!!

  23. July 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    That was really the weirdest interview/decision/presentation I’ve ever watched. I think that even tops the Tiger Woods Apology Press Conference.

    corymccollum.wordpress.com

  24. July 9, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    serously why is lebron getting so much attention for a guy who has zero championships in the past 7 years?

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      Lebron has been getting attention since High School. This is not new for him. He’s like a child star, it doesn’t stop when you get older. Lebron can’t carry an entire team and that is precisely why he went to another team with different players, to win a championship ring.

  25. July 9, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Below is a quote that I loved reading today

    Eric Stangel, the head writer and executive producer for The Late Show with David Letterman, delivered an equally scathing review on Twitter:

    “I’m keeping my 2 yr old up to watch the LeBron James Special. I want her to see the exact moment our society hit rock bottom.”

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:29 pm

      Great quote huh? So out of all the things our country needs to be embarrased about and out of all the things that have happened, Lebron choosing to play in Miami is what made our society hit rock bottom? You got to do better than this.

  26. July 9, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Yes.I’m complete agree.

  27. 2 Guys, 1 Blog
    July 9, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Nice article, this Lebron thing is seriously out of control, anyone interested should check out this article: http://2guysandablog.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/why-lebron-isnt-who-we-thought-he-was/

  28. July 9, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    He wants to be in a warm climate, earning the most amount of $$$. Why is anybody surprised? These guys don’t care…

  29. July 9, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Exactly …. check out the alternate angle:

    http://bestblogbits.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/c-leave-land/

    It will leave you saying, “Duh!”

  30. objecterror
    July 9, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I knew he was going to the heat before he did. What does that tell you about the best laid plans in prolonging the inevitable to puff out the spectacle ?

  31. July 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I think everyone assumed he was going there… lol

  32. weazelkid
    July 9, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    As a Cleveland fan i havent resorted to burning jerseys ( i spent too much on it) lol. but yeah itsnt it ironic that the event was donating to the Boys and Girls club, but all he said in his interviews basically was winning is more important than his fans, family and his hometown?

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:16 pm

      O.k. and? Most people do what they have to do to when at work. This is his career. Outside of that, he wants to give to the Boys and Girls club.

  33. James T.
    July 9, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    This was a case in how to burn one’s bridges par excellence. With all that nasty oil and corexit snaking up unto Florida’s waters and beaches however, he may well come to regret his decision to leave Cleveland. There’s no partying with poison everywhere.

  34. July 9, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    He is not worth my time……………….

  35. Beavis
    July 9, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    Good post. What a sickening spectacle on ESPN last night. It’s his decision where he plays but he did everything but physically spit in the faces of the hundreds of thousands of Northeast Ohians who supported him and treated him like royalty over the years. I live in Akron, and the mood here is much more angry than sad. As many people have said, it’s not that he left, it’s the utterly appalling callous way he left. Lat night on that self-serving ESPN bore-fest, LeBron proved he is just another selfish ingrate spoiled punk egomaniacal athlete. Zero class.

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:18 pm

      How does Lebron wanting to another team make him selfish? Have you worked for only one employer or did you leave for a better opportunity or to meet a success goal of yours? To be mad at any of the NBA players is pretty silly, they don’t pay your bills whether he plays in OH or Miami. If the Caveliers win, are you getting something from it? Y’all need to let this man live for him and not for you. It would be OH being selfish because he didn’t do what you wanted him to do.

  36. July 9, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    This whole thing is one of the most dumb ass events in the world. Lebron leaving is like something that would happen to Seattle fans. Its great that he did this for the Boys and Girls club, but he had too to feel good about himself. Get a real life Lebron> Leloser

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:28 pm

      Really? good deeds don’t make you feel good? You don’t like to feel good? Come on, stop blocking your own blessings by hating on someone else. Get smart.

    • 2 Guys, 1 Blog
      July 12, 2010 at 1:14 am

      Umm he’s not selfish for wanting to go to another team, he’s selfish because he gladly hijacked ESPN for the past 2 weeks and loved the attention. If you want the real angle check this out and feel free to leave a comment: http://2guysandablog.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/why-lebron-isnt-who-we-thought-he-was/

  37. July 9, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    And to think I wasted one of my songs of the day on lebron staying in Cleveland.

    To listen to “Stay in Cleveland Lebron” go to:

    http://365songsfor2010.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/july-6th-stay-in-cleveland-lebron/

    He lost me as a fan last night.

  38. July 9, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    I think the biggest joke was on the “Sponsors”. Normally they like to have their product associated with a feel good moment. Now they are linked to such a negative experience. I’m sure when people in Cleveland see ads or commercials for the University of Phoenix they will think, “Oh,yeah that reminds me of the time when LeBron ripped our hearts out.” Not what advertisers want. And this maybe good for Miami but it is horrible for the NBA overall.

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:19 pm

      That just sounds silly. Lebron’s announcement was bad business for the NBA? You think? In what way?

  39. July 10, 2010 at 12:26 am

    Great post, and I love the title.
    It blows my mind that someone tried to make a tv show out of this, and an hour? I didn’t watch it. It was seriously an hour long? Wow. It should have been a snippet on the evening news, that’s all. I think it is sad when people who play sports are puffed up so much and worshiped so much that they develop these disgustingly big egos. It would have been better to have spent the hour honoring our brave soldiers – real heroes for young people to look up to. Not some guy who happens to be able to play basketball well.

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:26 pm

      It was an our tv show on a sports channel. That’s what sports channels generally cover, sports news. And yes, it was a big deal in the sports world.

      • July 10, 2010 at 10:58 pm

        Sports channel or not it is hardly worth an hour of programming time. Should they cover where he chose to go? Sure. An hour show? No.

  40. poiemajeremiah
    July 10, 2010 at 1:00 am

    I have no King but Christ. Get that fake ‘king’ out of here!

  41. July 10, 2010 at 2:40 am

    LeBron owed the Cavs nothing. He made the right decision for himself, went to the Heat, and moved on.

    http://writemakesmight.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/in-defense-of-lebrons-decision/

  42. July 10, 2010 at 3:59 am

    LeBron James has so much ego it is sick. I’m so tired of hearing about him. Glad this is over, for now. Now America can get back to the major things that are happening. The most important things. NFL and College Football are right around the corner!

    Check Us Out! A Little Place For Some Internet Traffic Road Rage!
    Road Rage with A & A

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

      And the media made him that way. How would you be if you were the first highschool basketball player to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated? I’m just saying. I’m glad it’s over too, but I can’t hate.

  43. July 10, 2010 at 4:28 am

    I agree with you on many levels. The weird thing is, I’m from South Florida, and I adore Wade. So now I’m stuck rooting for LeBron too. I think this definitely tarnishes his legacy though. http://shadesofsarah.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/the-day-after/

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:21 pm

      Why does this tarnish his legacy?

  44. July 10, 2010 at 4:54 am

    Liked your piece, Sarah.

  45. asawadude
    July 10, 2010 at 6:09 am

    Lebron’s royal ceremony was a complete waste of time. However, had he arrived at the event riding a Harley and wearing a wedding dress, well… that would have been damn memorable.

  46. July 10, 2010 at 6:45 am

    What is wrong with you people? You are what is wrong with these atheletes. They are people and you do not own them, no one does. The fact that they make millions of dollars and that makes you jealous is too bad for you. Turn off your sets and do not go to the games and watch what happens. I just hate when the fickle fan tries to play innocent victim. What would you do if you were in his place? He does not have to wait up to a certain age to do what he has done. If he was less of a player than he was you would be screaming for his trade no matter how old he was and would not give a damn how it affected his career. Haven’t you heard that slavery is dead? No one can own anyone. When the contract is over players get to exercise their rights as do the owners and are under no obligation to take the millions of your opinions about it into consideration. “Business is business.”
    When was the last time an owner showed loyalty to a losing or unproductive player? I say sporting fans are getting what they deserve. You change your loyalties from shot to shot. Your right is to go to the game and boo like you do and write nasty little comments after the game like you do. That is all you get for your admission ticket. Grow up and stop trying to control the lives of the players and just enjoy the game.

    • July 10, 2010 at 8:24 pm

      Thank you for that post, as I totally agree. Trading and free agents are a part of NBA, it’s a part of the game. That doesn’t surprise me. But what I think is disgusting is every last person calling him selfish and spoiled…Whaaattt? Because he went to play for another team when his contract ran out? Whaaat? How do they sound right about now. And oh, NOW they think he has a big head. I guess the big head wasn’t developed when he was the first highschool basketball player on the cover of Sports Illustrated or when his highschool basketball games sold out major arenas….Come on people, don’t hate congratulate! If you want that kind of money, you should have been a ball player.

  47. July 10, 2010 at 10:51 am

    One of his close friends….did his mom

    case closed.

  48. July 10, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Most commentary articles today and many more are insightful and thought provoking. Yet the power is within us for it is who make these individuals stars. To remove them we simply have to act instead of standing on the verge of distaste. We have the power if only we used it. It’s the LeBrons of the world who are having a laugh at our expense.

  49. July 10, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    With Jim Gray interviewing, I was ready for Pete Rose to pop into the proceedings at some point. And don’t forget the event was sponsored by the University of Phoenix. Education dollars well spent, no doubt.

  50. tomachfive
    July 10, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    He needs a manager to tell him what clicks with an audience. Or a creative team, a PR outfit. This is all so haphazardly thought out. Where’s the finesse, the jazz, the subtlety in leaving a hometown for another? Talk about talent, he has talent, but talent does not bring championships to players. Teamwork does.

  51. July 10, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    i feel sorry for clevland no more king

  52. redpepperspectacle
    July 10, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    ummm, who cares?

  53. Will S.
    July 10, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    For Your Enjoyment

    LeBron, Sports Rage, & the Reason We Care

    http://iamthewill.wordpress.com/

  54. July 10, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    I believe that Lebron has a right to go where he wants to go. Everyone is calling him selfish but it sound like to me that everyone else is being selfish. A am a native Clevelander an I say more power to him. We are all led to make certain decisions in life and we don’t always know why. Let’s respect his decision. It’s his to make! I recommend that everyone read my review on The Law of Attraction – this may explain on what I mean. Here is the link:
    http://peoplestringinfo.effiesenterprises.com/2010/06/30/more-secrets-of-the-law-of-attraction/

  55. pen2sword
    July 10, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    If I was in the same position, I would leave, too. I live in Cleveland and… well, it basically sucks. So, he has a right to his choice.
    But by the same token, did he really have to drag it out and string the whole city along? Just come out and say it, dude, don’t let people get their hopes up.
    Quitness.

  56. Mark K. Starr
    July 10, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    I thought this was supposed to be the announcement of his retirement, after the big game with New York in which there will be no time limits, no penalties, and now no Moonpie. Wait a second…sorry…got this confused with the original version of Rollerball.

  57. BoredwithLEbron
    July 10, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    Honestly, I think the sad destruction of ‘Big Butter Jesus’ is more interesting than the Lebron saga:
    http://www.bofads.com/stories/bindystatue.htm

  58. July 11, 2010 at 2:35 am

    Yet another reason I do not watch the NBA, nor do I miss it…these self-absorbed athletes…I still love to shoot hoop every so often here in my fifties, but watch these guys is a total non-starter. ESPN needs some competition; they too are an arrogant corporate network. I’d rather read a good book.

  59. July 11, 2010 at 7:31 am

    That special was easily one of the most blatant displays of pomposity I have ever seen. I think he can go wherever he wants, but to call a special for yourself to announce the decision is 1 – extremely arrogant and 2 – completely unnecessary. The media would have went nuts with his decision either way, he just felt left out. If you’re going to stab a downtrodden Cleveland fan base in the heart – by all means, do it on national TV

    My take, a bit more harsh
    http://retortnation.com/2010/07/08/lebronjames/

  60. July 11, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Great writing, btw… forgot that part, haha. Went off a bit on this self absorbed piece of crap and forgot where I was at.

  61. July 11, 2010 at 7:44 am

    isnt this the truth…i have had enugh of him and his giant ego that prolly needs a full basketball court just for its self when he plays….buutt….i absolutly love king kobe:)

  62. July 11, 2010 at 10:14 am

    James has the right to decide for himself. I am not a fan of his, though. And actually, I don’t give damn on where he wants to go. Good luck to him. That’s all I can say.

  63. Joe
    July 11, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I agree with you for the most part. LeBron is a big boy, and like effieyoung said, he has a right to go where he wants to go. I think all the hatred toward him in Cleveland is a little ridiculous… does he have some sort of obligation to stay with Cleveland forever? No! He’s a free agent, he can go where he wants to go. That said, I totally agree with you about the TV special. His announcement took about 4 seconds to make, and to make it into an hour-long broadcast was nothing but arrogance and shameless self-promotion.

    Speaking of shameless self-promotion… if you want to read more about this, check out my blog post on LeBron’s decision:

    http://joesplace36.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/all-hail-king-james-my-take-on-lebrons-move-to-miami/

  64. July 11, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    Oh lebron
    wat r we gonna do without ya?

  65. The Weddington Adventures
    July 11, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Great stuff..

  66. July 11, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    He doesn’t care where I live/work/play and the feeling is mutual.

    That being said, my tummy is feeling a little upset…
    excuse me while I go take a lebron. 😉

  67. Nick
    July 11, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    The NBA is dead, anyway.

  68. July 11, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Every second was LeBron. I don’t think I could handle ANOTHER second of it. Your own television show to tell everyone where you’re going? Come on now… a press conference, sure, but an entire television show?

  69. Steve Harkness
    July 11, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    Thank God I don’t give a hoot about basketball, baseball, or football. I care even less about these multimillionaire athletes that can’t speak in complete sentences. Who gives a damned about anything these idiots do other than on game day. As far as talent that matters, are they performing heart surgery, or doing anything that will benefit humanity? NO they are just egotistical idiots that are one injury away from the poor house. Earning millions for stuffing a orange ball in a hoop? Just a working man’s opinion.

  70. Matt (The Evangelical Athlete)
    July 11, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    I think he made the right choice! And the fact that he donated 2.5 million dollars to charity? LeBron is a better guy then a lot of people think he is. thoughts?

  71. July 12, 2010 at 3:38 am

    Great, so we can blame someone for robbing most of America of an hour of its time.

  72. sophroneo
    July 12, 2010 at 5:22 am

    If you don’t really care about basketball or him, why take the time to go out of your way to comment? If you don’t watch basketball you can’t really have much of an opinion because you don’t know what goes on. LeBron is a good player and he couldn’t do much about how big the press was making it. I’ve watched LeBron for a long time. ESPN had the show, The Decision. ESPN is a sports channel and it wasn’t taking out anything that was important, if anything it would be Sports Center still talking about him so why not make a show live about where he’s going and actually talking to him and having the people that care actually hear about why he’s making the decision.

  73. July 12, 2010 at 5:49 am

    why people care about it ?
    did u think he care about us??

  74. Phillip Morris
    July 12, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    LeBron James, King His Own World

    LeBron James is a grown man who made a grownup decision to take his massive basketball-playing ability from Cleveland to Miami in a desire to get the one thing every true baller desires: the opportunity to call yourself a champion.

    Forget all the nonsense about him “owing” his hometown and how his legacy could have been cemented had he stayed in the Midwest and continued to try to win a title in Cleveland. LeBron had the absolute right to pick up his things and go where he thought it was best to win, and he did it.

    Enough with all of this ridiculous chatter that he’s a selfish, spoiled basketball prodigy. LeBron was an employee of the Cleveland Cavaliers. He had no ownership stake and no control. Everyone talks about what his presence meant to the Cleveland economy. Did he own any of those businesses? No. But he made them, and the Cavaliers, richer by his play.

    There is undoubtedly a tradeoff, because being a star athlete is a two-way street.

    You become richer by virtue of folks coming to see you play, and the league, team, marketers and surrounding businesses get to piggyback off of your success. LeBron gave them a solid seven seasons, and everyone enjoyed the ride. Say thank you for the LeBron gravy train, and now, like any smart business owner, you need to figure out your next revenue stream.

    Now, let’s deal with the fans.

    I read with fascination about how LeBron “owed” the fans. Really?

    What exactly did he owe them?

    We need to stop with this belief that fans in a city “own” a particular player. We get to sit back and enjoy the skills of these modern-day gladiators in our gleaming new Coliseums, while they bust their butts, play injured and have to take all of the criticism when things go bad.

    As fans, we justify it all by saying, “Well, he’s getting millions to play, so he should shut up.”

    We need to grow up and realize that once his playing days are over, we will say, “Thanks, LeBron, now move over so we can worship the next stud.” In fact, when a particular athlete has overstayed their welcome, the fans are the loudest in telling him to leave the court.

    To me, there is a huge difference between a player like LeBron James and Albert Haynesworth of the Washington Redskins. Albert has pocketed nearly $40 million and has refused to show up at training sessions with Washington because he doesn’t like the defensive scheme. That is dumb.

    LeBron showed up and did his part, and when his contract was up, he exercised his free will to do as he pleased and shop his talents. He did what every single American wants: to go to a new job where the desires you always wanted can be fulfilled. So how is that wrong?

    No one — athlete, stockbroker, Wal-Mart greeter, grocery store clerk, secretary, journalist — wants to be treated like they are a piece of property. We all desire the freedom that comes with making our own choice as to where we want to work and achieve the goals in life that we all set.

    I can identify with that. In 1993, I decided to leave the Austin American-Statesman, where I was the county government reporter. The then-city editor sat across from me and said, “I felt like it was a punch in the gut when told you were leaving.” He had an indignant, paternalistic tone that I found offensive.

    See, I was making $24,000. When the Houston Chronicle pursued me for a job a few months earlier that would be around $27,000, I was told I was talking myself out of a job in Austin. So when the Fort Worth Star-Telegram offered me a gig at $32,000, I didn’t even bother seeing whether Austin wanted to counter. The new job allowed me to go to a bigger market and have the upward mobility I desired, so I took the job.

    So I told the city editor, “Look, you didn’t take some kid off the street, teach him how to talk, write and dress. You paid me for a service, and I delivered. Now I’m choosing to take my skills elsewhere.” I then got up and left the meeting.

    It was offensive to me that my bosses at the paper felt like I was being an ungrateful employee. I wanted to do more with my talents, and I refused to allow someone to make me feel bad about my decision. It’s my life, my career, my choice. So how is that bad?

    Now I get folks who didn’t like LeBron having a one-hour special to announce his decision. But we are all used to the hype in sports. Do we really need a six-hour pregame show for the Super Bowl? Can’t we play the NBA All-Star Game without all of the side attractions? Would boxing be boxing without the wild and crazy news conferences? Hype and sports go hand-in-hand.

    That’s why I found the letter written by Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert so pathetic. Here is a man who was enriched by the play of LeBron James; according to Forbes, the value of the franchise increased by $100 million with his on-court performance.

    Yet instead of being a gracious owner and simply reaffirming his commitment to the fans to put a winning team on the court, Gilbert ripped LeBron to shreds, calling him “narcissistic” and his decision to leave a “cowardly betrayal” and “a shameful display of selfishness.”

    Gilbert even went on to trash all athletes by saying, “It’s time for people to hold these athletes accountable for their actions. Is this the way you raise your children?”

    In an interview, Gilbert later said LeBron quit on the team in the playoffs the past two years.

    Really? So if he was all of that, Dan, why did you want to re-sign him? Who wants a quitter on his team? If LeBron had chosen to stay in Cleveland, rich boy Dan would have been all smiles, slapping his back, getting ready to count the money he could make off of the back of LeBron. So who would have been the real selfish, narcissistic individual, Dan?

    Gilbert now says it’s time to speak out against LeBron, yet as long as James made him richer, he would have kept quiet. Sorry, Dan, you’ve pimped LeBron long enough.

    LeBron showed Dan Gilbert that only LeBron owes LeBron an explanation. No owner, CEO or boss has the right to demand that someone stay as an employee. The employee has a right to live their life as they see fit.

    As the CEO of LeBron James Inc., he did what’s in the best of interest of him. And as the most important shareholder, isn’t that what he’s supposed to do?

    I’m sorry, folks, but the loyalty that used to exist from teams and companies is gone. Some still believe in it, but for many of us, we’re simply a dot on the spreadsheet. Business is cutthroat, and we have to accept that reality.

    So, King James, go to Miami and do your thing. Grow your corporation to be as big as you want it to be. And never look back at the haters who are mad you chose not to act like a highly paid indentured servant or 21st-century slave, held in place by the invisible shackles dressed up as loyalty to a city, owing the fans and satisfying someone who is clearly an ungrateful owner.

  75. July 14, 2010 at 5:29 am

    I very much look forward to the new-look Miami Heat. I think what Lebron, Bosh, and Wade did, (and consequently, now Haslem), to take less money to play with better players, is a testament to a new era in sports. I wonder if we will start seeing this happen in other pro sports.

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

  76. July 18, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I understand why LeBron left, but the one hour special was out of hand and egotistical. Because of this, he has a city of about 500,000 people who hate him.

  1. November 24, 2010 at 1:58 am

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