Friday, July 09, 2010

Lebron Makes Me Question Why I Watch Sports...

Yesterday I boycotted Lebron's "decision." I've been a pretty big Lebron apologist for years, justifying that as he keeps entertaining me, he must be ok.

I'm wrong.

We're all wrong.

Cleveland was the most wrong, believing that if they did everything Lebron wanted he would stay.

Ultimately the worst part about this is that it this reinforces everything people who don't like sports complain about. The athletes are spoiled, overpriviledged and ultimately don't respect or care about the fans who support them.

Until last night I was at least able to pretend they weren't.

Not anymore, thanks to Lebron.



  1. Steven12:49 PM

    I totally feel you. But not all mega talented stars are like Lebron even in this day and age. Just look to Kevin Durant who signed a 5 year renewal with OKC to no fanfare. From twitter (sic): It's as if all Durant wanted to do was play basketball and make a living doing it.

  2. good article on this, Jon:

  3. How do you feel about Lebron having to join forces with Dwayne Wade?

  4. Anonymous1:25 AM

    I blame cleveland they are idiots that didnt sign anyone to play with lebron...dude wants to win i dont blame him. But you know who stays loyal to his it beeeacttttchhhh haha

  5. I was pondering this and immediately knew you'd have something up. A meaningful rebuttal:

    From the article:
    "In almost every way, LeBron did what fans always demand of their stars: that they elevate winning above all else, that they privilege the team above personal gain, that they be Not Just About The Money. Miami was a cold-eyed basketball decision, made strictly on those terms.

    The complaint isn't about the fact of the salesmanship so much as its shabbiness. Con us better, in other words. Be slicker. Don't be so obvious. Maintain the illusion. This is the real cause for despair. We've somehow arrived at the point where we evaluate our athletes chiefly according to the quality of their marketing."

    When I listened to you ruminate on sports, you always lamented that James would never be as great as Jordan because he did not have the cutthroat attitude, which same attitude put Kobe in the running. This seems a calculated move with just the right arrogant disposition. I was surprised by your critique for this very reason.

  6. Anonymous4:26 PM

    Yeah, but it's cutthroat in a cowardly way. Instead of being ruthless on the court (like Kobe, Jordan, Isiah, Bird, Magic etc.), or militantly trying to recruit Bosh and other stars to Cleveland, he's hopping onto a championship winning superstars team.

    The guy's 25 years old. This isn't like an aging KG or Mailman conceding that they couldn't lead a team to a championship by themselves. It's lame, and you'd be hard pressed to find many major former players vigorously arguing otherwise.

  7. Anonymous doing the damn thang before I can answer.

    That said it perfectly this is cutthroat like a coward who flees for riches and glory.

    Say you want about Kobe (and I intend to) but Kobe would NEVER go to a team to be a second banana...


  8. Anonymous6:53 AM

    It takes some humility to realize that you will never win it yourself. LeBron has always crumbled under pressure. I think those that expected more from him are the ones most dissapointed. It's going to be some time before there is another Jordan, and LeBron isn't it. He played his best games when he was an underdog. Put some pressure on him and he can't win. There was no excuse this year, best record in the nba two years in a row. He had the team around him. At the very least he had enough of a team around him. Now Wade is a different story, that guy won with an aging Shaq and not much else. He wasn't going to win on his own and nobody really wants to live in Cleveland. He gave Cleveland 7 years and wants to move on while he's in his prime. Good for him, I probably would have done the same.

    Hopefully people see what kind of a player/person he has always been now. I doubt he will win an mvp ever again. While his stats certainly justified his awards, his leadership never did.

  9. Glad to see the new post. There really has to be a way for you to parlay your acerbic edge and knowledge of social dynamics into a sportscasting position somewhere.

    I wanted to keep this conversation in one place, though. Thanks for the rebuttal. As you know I'm basically clueless about this stuff except through hearsay, so I had not considered the fan's perspective on Kobe's loyalty to the Lakers or Jordan's loyalty to the Bulls as a corollary to The Decision.

    Some more interesting links:
    Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone on The Decision

    A Field Guide to Sports Narcissism by Men's Fitness

    Mostly unrelated. David Foster Wallace talking about the phenomenon of sports greatness but using Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2006 as the focus point: Federer as Religious Experience

  10. Anonymous9:15 AM

    i watch sports because i like a good game,competition....

    u have a problem cos you re putting these "guys,teams on a pedestal"(yes..they are awesome on their field but at the end of the day they are just ppl,they can have messy lifes,characters,etc).

    are u perfect jon?