Our economy is based on LeBron James. Cleveland – at least we’re not Detroit .
I think Cleveland should think about diversifying. There is reason to believe that Cleveland’s regional LeBron James-based economy might suffer a sharp downturn around 2010 or so…
Stan Van Gundy’s game 3 post-game press conference was priceless. Watch it here.
Reporter: Stan, the foul that Dwight fouled out on and a couple other call on LeBron…they don’t even look like fouls sometimes. Can you comment on that?
Stan: Nope. But you can. You write a column. And see, the league won’t fine you $25,000 or whatever. So…so you write it. That’s what I love – you guys see it, but you don’t want to write it. But you want me to comment on it so now I’m a whiner and I get fined. You saw it, write what you saw.
In the NBA, you can be fined for complaining about a call if you are a coach, even when you are unquestionably right. The press can write whatever they want, but they rarely write stories critical of LeBullshit. Consequentially, LeBron James has become a monster and the last two minutes of every close playoff game (arguably the only part of a basketball game worth watching) are a usually a joke. Thanks, ESPNbavid $tern. Even the defensive player of the year (carrying 5 fouls in a pivotal playoff game) doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt on a decisive defensive play when he goes up against LeBron. When you guard LeBron, you are simply “the guy who is about to foul LeBron.”
You know the situation has gotten completely out of control when Bill Simmons, one of the most eager and enthusiastic of all LeBron fellaters, capable of writing super-romanticized bullshit like this:
In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, with one second to play and his Cavaliers trailing by two, a 6-foot-9, 275-pound local kid from Akron bullied toward the basket like a tight end. His goal was to jump as high as he could, extend his hands 2 feet over the 10-foot rim, then catch a lob from 50 feet away that had to be perfectly thrown. When his path was cut off, he recalibrated his mission almost as a navigation system reroutes a car, darted away from the basket toward the top of the key, caught a pass coming from his left, turned toward the rim, took a split second to center his body, bounced off the balls of his feet, extended in the air, then arched a 24-foot shot over the extended fingers of a 6-foot-10 opponent from Turkey. Even as he released the shot, he was falling backward, so his momentum carried him toward the other basket. Somehow, the shot rattled home. And that’s when LeBron James turned around, sought out his teammates and joyously hopped into their arms.
This was one of the bigger moments in recent NBA history: The time when our latest hope for “The Next Jordan” actually did something MJ would have done. Like so many other die-hards, I spent the next 24 hours rehashing the moment through phone calls and e-mails and texts.
…can force himself to admit this:
[Jordan was the best and worst thing to happen to the NBA because he created] a generation of one-on-one players who careen toward the basket in big moments, create some form of contact and hope officials will bail them out. With four seconds to play in Game 4 and his team trailing by 2, LeBron put his head down, dribbled as fast as he could and prayed Michael Pietrus would either bump him or trip him. If you watch the clip, he’s moving so fast that it would have been humanly impossible for him to make a shot. That wasn’t his goal. He wanted a call. And he got one. Their feet got tangled, LeBron lurched forward, and the refs bailed him out.
Both of these quotes came from the same article. This is what drives me crazy about Bill Simmons. He clearly and obviously sees what is happening to the NBA. His knows the history of the game in a way that very few dorks are capable. He can even recall a particular foul Bill Laimbeer committed against some guy from the Clippers in the 2nd quarter of a regular season game 20 years ago and what kind of doritos he was eating at the time. He has correctly identified the problem with the modern game (see above) and even offers a few reasonable solutions to this problem. But then he turns around and produces piles and piles of his own hero-worship bullshit (with some of the most comically overwrought sportswriting ever), the root cause of the problem he has just identified. Wow. Whether he realizes it or not, he is actively contributing to the demise of his beloved NBA, nudging it further and further away from his own ideal vision of the game. I just don’t get it.
Sports journalists are the only people able to freely criticize the bullshit without getting fined. They are the only people with an audience large enough and an influence great enough to force some kind of change in the bullshit. Yet, these very same journalists rely on this hero-worship bullshit to pay their bills, thanks to the atmosphere fostered by Nike and Sportscenter. Looks like we’re stuck.
So, Stan, this is why jerk reporters won’t write the obvious fucking columns they need to be writing. And they probably never will.
I’ve been getting a ton of email about the “The Greatest Tragedy in Sports,” an amateur documentary detailing David Stern’s douchebaggery from the 1985 Ewing draft lottery conspiracy to the 2002 Lakers/Kings Western Conference Final. I thought I’d finally post something. I’m not saying I think every claim this guy makes is legit. I have no idea if it’s all true or even mostly true. But I can tell you this – it’s not all bogus. If even one tenth of this stuff has merit, ESPNBAvid $tern is a total jerk. This documentary was obviously made by a Sacramento Kings fan/Lakers hater. So why is this important for ihatelebronjames.com? Because it makes the same argument that I’ve made here (of course a bit more seriously and with much higher production values) – that the NBA has become a choreographed joke based on superstar worship. The shenanigans described in this documentary have become firmly and permanently entrenched in the NBA to such an extent that sportscasters refuse to write about favoritism, or worse – they accept it as a normal part of the game. The governing philosophy of the David Stern era – that superstars generate super profits – benefits the Lakers, Celtics, Jordans, and Kobes of the world to the detriment to the rest of the players and teams. LeBron James is currently the primary beneficiary. He’s fine with that. ESPN is fine with that. Nike is fine with that. Gatorade is fine with that. If you’re a fan of the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats, Los Angeles Clippers, Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Toronto Raptors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trailblazers, Golden State Warriors, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Hornets, or Sacramento Kings, you’re not fine with that.
“The Greatest Tragedy in Sports” – Part 1(of 9):
If the above embed doesn’t work, here is the link.
LeBron and Jay-Z have merged their persons to invent a new business concept. Like Voltron dressed in a tacky suit. Instead of totally awesome lazers, this money-making machine is armed with…uh…douchey sunglasses?
Seriously, read the story. What a bunch of bullshit. A couple of egomaniacal pop icons unite to wine and dine a bunch of rich jerks and fool themselves into thinking that they have discovered a revolutionary new business paradigm. Okay. Sure. LeBron and Jay-Z are business pioneers like dudes smoking weed in the parking lot of Dairy Queen at 3 am and staring up at the stars are astrophysicists.
“We don’t want to do endorsement deals anymore,” said James as he stood next to Jay-Z. “When I talk to Jay, we always talk about creating relationships and friendships not endorsement deals where you pay me money and I hold up a product. We don’t do that. We all got money in here.”
No more endoresments? Okay. These quotes are from February. It’s May. Shockingly, I have seen hundreds of LeBron commercials. I’ve even seen one as recently as five fucking seconds ago. What happened?
Ugh. Obviously, I left out dozens of examples. I was getting bored. And nauseous. I think I made my point.
So LeBron’s quest to be the world’s first billionaire athlete continues. Too bad Michael Schumacher already got there in 2005, so that distinction is no longer up for grabs (thanks for the info, Brian). With Tiger Woods on pace to cross the billion dollar threshold in 2010, LeBron will be, at best, third to that party. Behind a race car driver and golfer.
So, poor, misguided Clevelanders, stop pretending that this New York deal isn’t going to happen. It is going down. Knicks, Jay-Z’s Bronx Bombers, whatever. LeBron is gonna get that munny. If that doesn’t work, LeBron might sell clones of himself. Or shill for Coke and Pepsi. Or sell his soul to the devil (wait, I think ESPNBAvid $tern already owns that).
“Green is the most beautiful color in the world,” said James as he raised his glass. “That’s how you create partnerships, with the color green.”
Recently, Lebron threw Clevelanders a bone by mentioning that he might agree to a contract extension ahead of his 2010 free agency. For some reason, Clevelanders seem to have bought it hook, line, and sinker (considering all the “see, that proves LeBron loves us” emails I’ve gotten). Oh, how quickly you forget, gullible residents of the Mistake on the Burning Lake. I’d like to take this chance to remind you all just how many times LeBron has insulted you and your fair city before you get too giddy and buy into LeBron’s empty little PR ploy:
First, here are some choice quotes and news stories from the LeBron/NY love affair (weight this against his single “I might consider…possibly, perhaps staying in…*cough*…Cleveland” quote):
You have to stay open-minded if you’re a Knicks fan. … If you guys want to sleep right now and don’t wake up until July 1, 2010, then go ahead. It’s going to be a big day.
We got really close. Coach D’Antoni gave me a lot of freedom, he allowed me to play every position I wanted to play, I was the leader of that team, but I was also like the overseer of some offensive plays.
To be a part of that chemistry, be part of the offensive mastermind that Coach D’Antoni is, that was great.
We were able to do some things on offense that were really unstoppable with the Olympic team.
When asked about the prospect of joining the Knicks:
It would be unfair to bring that kind of distraction to our team and my teammates, the coach and the rest of the organization,” James said. “I think July 1, 2010 will be one the bigger days in free agent history.
Sure, buddy. Then there was the leak from LeBron’s NBA power-player pal that he favors a Knicks trade. Pretty damning stuff. As if anybody outside Cleveland didn’t know that already, considering LeBron unveiled his new Big Apple shoe in New York, during a game against the Knicks, to a thunderous round of applause from New Yorkers. Applause LeBron gladly accepted.
Then there was LeBron’s overly-defensive reaction to Charles Barkely calling him out. It never escalated to a proper feud, but it was nice.
Charles: The outside forces should never affect your locker room. I think LeBron has made some of the right comments, but he hasn’t made the perfect comment. He still alienated 11 guys in his locker room…
If I was LeBron James, I would shut the hell up.
LeBron: He’s stupid. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Charles: LeBron James is one of my favorite players, but he’s been 100 percent wrong in this situation Barkley said. It’s unfair to the city of Cleveland and it’s unfair to the Cleveland Cavaliers team. If it was a year away it would still be unfortunate. I wish he would sign a lifetime deal with the Cavaliers.
LeBron: I guarantee that I will move to New York. I’d rather die than stay in this shithole. Le-Bron Ja-Mes. Clap. Clap. Clap Clap Clap.
And don’t forget LeBron’s public displays of disrespect for Ohio’s other sports franchises!
LeBron is pitching a badass TV show about himself, aiming for an air date of next fall. I am com-plete-ly **PSYCHED** about this! Holy fucking YES. I can not wait that long. I CAN NOT WAIT. Oh my gawd I am totally ALREADY SICK OF WAITING. And you know what else? Ice Cube will be the executive producer. Yeah. For real. LeBron will also be a producer (in order to make sure the show is TRULY awesome). King James of all Media, muthafuckaaaaz. Anyway, I’m totally sure the show will be totally, totally sweet. And awesome. Possibly to the MAX. It will follow LeBron from his early days as a young basketball player on through to his days as a slightly older basketball player, right up to his days as an even bigger and older basketball player playing basketball. It will have everything awesome like playing basketball with other dudes on a basketball team, getting tricked-out H2s from shady boosters, crazy mom stuff (parent’s just don’t understand), basketball dunking, being awesome at some other stuff like rooting for the Yank-deez, and some other gritty real-life stuff like having badass cars and mansions. But mostly the most crazy sweet basketball dribbling and shooting. Also, passing. Perhaps even zany hijinks with LeBron’s fun-luvin’, big-tippin’ entourage!
Looks like this show is going to be a winner!…or the biggest steaming pile of boring bullshit every captured on videotape. One of those two.
Because the chalk clap commercial wasn’t lame enough on it’s own – introducing the chalk shoe.
Only LeBron can take something as lame as clapping talcum power or chalk or whatever that crap is, make it his trademark, build an advertising campaign out of it, and then create yet another retarded signature shoe in honor of it.
Guess trademarking a chalk clap is still better than trademarking an awkward-looking off-balance jumper clanging off the side of the rim.
Who is buying these ridiculous shoes outside of LeBron’s entourage?
LeBron’s money-grubbing has reached a new, unprecendented high with his claim that he might consider leaving for Europe for a 50 million dollar a year salary. Currently, the largest NBA contracts top out at under 20 million a year. That’s probably not going to change significantly by 2010 when LeBron enters free agency. LeBron no likey. LeBron has a great idea – why should The Chosen One limit himself to the NBA and its paltry 20 million dollar salaries? LeBron owes it to himself to explore other options, right? That’s capitalism, baby! European leagues do not have silly things like cap limits or luxury taxes. Maybe LeBron could go there. Maybe for $50 million a year. Just maybe.
The way I see it, this story could be interpreted in a number of ways. Maybe LeBron is a pure money-grubber (that is well-documented, after all) and he really would bail on the NBA for 50 mil in some crap Euro league. Or could he be saying that Euro leagues are so bad, it would take the amazing sum of 50 mil to get him over there – basically insulting the Euro leagues. I think the most likely scenario is that LeBron is basically trying to scare the NBA franchises into jacking up its asking price for King James (or maybe Nike will pick up the slack to ensure he stays in the US market). Maybe LeBron just got loose from his handlers and blurted out something stupid. Wouldn’t be the first time. Maybe it’s a combination of all of these things.
Realistically, we all know that LeBron will go the Knicks or Nets for ~20 million and continue his lame powder-clap bullshit in a different jersey – staying with the NBA until he retires. And he’ll continue to rake in obscene sponsorship money and say and do obnoxious things that piss me off. No matter what happens, it’s a guarantee that he’ll continue to be a total jerk.
Ever seen the commercial where LeBron is playing a defense lawyer and exposes some wheelchair-ridden guy as a faker by throwing him a basketball? If you haven’t, you can watch it on the vitaminwater website. I just wanted to point out how perfectly absurd it is that the punchline of the commerical is “dude is a faker” when LeBron himself is the NBA’s most shameless, pathetic faker. You know, irony and all that.
Glaceau vitaminwater – now infused with 100% USRDA of iron(y)!
Let’s go to the videotape. Game 6. LeBron appears to have been popped in the eye in the lane. LeBron wincing and contorting his face in pain for what seems like an eternity. LeBron blinking and scowling and rubbing his eyes. Cavs even take a timeout for King James to tend to his horrific boo boo. Replay time. Uh, yeah… LeBron wasn’t touched on the play. Unbelievable. Of course, many sportswriters’ game recaps referred to the eye-gouge as if it were legit, some even worked it into some kind of LeBron perserverence theme.
What kind of a shameless crybaby goes through that much trouble for a phantom eye-gouge? It’s one thing to play up something that actually happend. It’s another thing entirely to go completely overboard playing up something up that never happend. Worst part about all of this? LeBron must have known that the replays would show him to be a liar and he still did it.
Just sad. Future of the NBA.