After months of speculation and whispers about potential tampering by Pat Riley and the Miami Heat in regards to the recruitment of LeBron James, it finally appears to be coming to a head. A Yahoo Sports report details that Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers have engaged a prominent law firm to investigate the potential tampering charges that occured prior to LeBron James’ Free Agency and while he was still under contract with the Cavaliers.
After James announced his decision to sign the Cavaliers, several sources reported that James met with Miami Heat President, Pat Riley during the 2009-10 season and while James was under contract with the Cavs. Other reports indicate that LeBron, Wade, and Bosh predetermined their futures as far back as 2008. The NBA indicated that they would not investigate tampering charges unless either the Cavaliers or the Raptors formally requested an investigation take place.
Dan Gilbert has reportedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the law firm’s services thus far, and as is his nature, will spare no expense to get to the truth and to get a firm resolution for his franchise and his fans. The plan for Gilbert is reportedly to be able to hand the NBA enough information to confidently launch a full scale investigation and to quickly arrive at a conclusion.
Some have speculated that the Cavaliers and Raptors would have no technical ability to allege tampering as they ultimately entered into a sign and trade agreement with their respective stars. I would argue, however, that their hands were forced and they had no other option but to get what they could in return after being hung out to dry.
If it is true that these players plotted together to leave their current teams and to team up in Miami ahead of time, it is not only distasteful and disgusting, but illegal. If Pat Riley contacted LeBron James and/or Chris Bosh while they were under contract with other teams, he and the Heat could be in some serious trouble with the NBA. It’s unknown at this point how the NBA would treat Dwyane Wade’s involvement. If Wade acted as a direct agent for Riley and the Heat to relay information and to recruit players that are under contract, I would think this would be an issue as well.
According to league rules, prior to the free agency period which began July 1st, no Miami Heat representative (and this includes Dwyane Wade)was allowed to discuss with James the specific circumstances around Wade, Bosh, and James joining together with the Heat. From all accounts, this is EXACTLY what happened.
In addition to the alleged dinner that Riley had with James during the season when the Cavs played at Miami (this is the same game in which LeBron announced he would change his number from #23 to #6), the Cavaliers’ lawfirm is also investigating a meeting with Riley and Wade with James’ inner circle that allegedly occurred in Chicago in June.
Potential penalties for tampering include front office suspensions, fines, and the forfeiture of draft picks. Many league sources question the NBA’s true desire to investigate these allegations due to the negative attention it would bring to the NBA and it’s biggest stars. After the NBA showed zero desire to look into the allegations when they first came out, it would stand to reason that this is true.
One thing is sure. Dan Gilbert is not going to let this die and he’s going to do everything he can to provide enough evidence to force David Stern’s hand. If Gilbert is able to uncover enough evidence (and it sounds like he is well on his way to do so), Dan Gilbert will be forced to investigate fully.
We’ll see what happens, but there has been enough smoke and things that just haven’t seemed on the up and up to indicate that something happened. The players even admitted that they discussed it at the Olympics and Bosh let it slip during their “Welcome Party” that it was pre-arranged. To what degree though, we’ll have to wait and see.
LeBron James is one of the greatest athletes in the history of sports and one of the best players in the NBA today. Period. But NBA fans all over are starting to see who and what he really is. This includes Cavaliers fans who were once blinded by his supreme talent and charisma as well as uninvested NBA fans and general sports fans.
The events of this past summer has come to show us the immense degree of narcissism, selfishness, and arrogance of one LeBron Raymone James. He’s a young, powerful man with great wealth and great fame. Everyone can make a mistake or have a lapse in judgement. Not to mention, the way he seemingly quit against the Celtics in last year’s playoffs and the way he ended his career in Cleveland (http://bit.ly/aYc3fi)
But it just seems to be getting worse.
After losing for the second time this season, to the Boston Celtics, LeBron James complained that his coach, Erik Spoelstra, played him and Dwyane Wade too many minutes. LeBron then went on to intentionally bump his coach in a blatant sign of disrespect. If that weren’t enough, LeBron then is leading an internal campaign against his coach as they don’t believe he’s “the right coach for them” and “he doesn’t let them be themselves”.
That’s just off the court. On the court, LeBron has implemented the stagnant offense he once ran in Cleveland where he dribbles down the shot clock and forces his 4 teammates to stand around the perimeter and wait for a pass. When he doesn’t dominate the ball, he just stands on the wing and watches. This doesn’t sound like the leader he so often proclaims himself to be.
I’m not the only one who sees it either as there have been several pointed articles and columns by respected and well known sports writers. The best, perhaps is Adrian Wojnarowski’s (http://yhoo.it/f1uVwW) continual written beatdown of LeBron James.
At this point, LeBron has been nothing but a whiny, selfish, immature, arrogant, dick and diva. NBA and sports fans everywhere are growing tired of the crybaby (http://bit.ly/b6haqZ).
So I propose, in honor of December 2nd and from this point forward, that his name never be spoken again. I propose that he shall only be referred to as #6.
I propose that we no longer speak, write, or type his name.
From now on, he is only #6.
Here’s a shocker… The Miami Heat players are trying to get Coach Erik Spoelstra fired behind the scenes, according to ESPN’s Chris Broussard.
For anyone who has paid any attention whatsoever, this should be no surprise at all. LeBron James has been publicly disrespecting Coach Spo all season and criticizing the coach for playing him too many minutes. LeBron also purposely bumped into Coach Spo in their loss to Dallas over the weekend. Chris Bosh also publicly criticized the coach for “working them too hard”.
The report indicates that the players are quietly grumbling about Coach Spo’s effectiveness and competence as a coach. They also believe he’s panicking in an attempt to keep his job. They specifically complain that he “isn’t allowing them to be themselves” and is “working them too hard”. One of the other reasons, and this should be no surprise whatsoever, is that Coach Spo publicly called out LeBron James. C’mon… everyone knows by now that NOTHING is LeBron’s fault and no one, let alone a coach, can ever call him out in front of his teammates.
Spoelstra reportedly criticized LeBron in front of the team telling him that he needed to get more serious. He then called him out in front of the team during a shoot around saying that he can never tell when he’s serious. Now I don’t know about you, but if THIS is being taken as harsh criticism by LeBron James, then he’s softer and more mentally weak than I EVER imagined! What a PU$$Y!!!
The players are also apparently questioning Coach Spo’s offensive strategy. If you’ve watched any games at all, you can see right through this. They’re trying to blame the coach, but it’s LeBron and company that are butchering the offense. When they’re unable to push the ball in transition, you see 1 of two things.
1. LeBron dribbles down the clock and either hoists up a fall away jumper or drives into traffic while 4 guys spot up and wait for a pass.
2. Dwayne Wade handles the ball and LeBron stands around on the wing.
Right, I’m sure it’s Coach Spo’s fault that LeBron is running a far worse version of his Cavaliers offense. I’m sure it’s Coach Spo’s fault that LeBron refuses to move without the ball or develop any sort of a post game whatsoever.
It’s no shock that these prima donnas are blaming the coach for their immense failure thus far this season. Just a couple months ago, LeBron James and company stood up on stage and declared themselves NBA champions for the next 8 years. They mocked the entire NBA and the 2 time defending champion Lakers for much of the summer and early NBA season.
Of course, their failure isn’t the players’ fault. It’s only a strange coincidence that the Heat look more like a watered down version of the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s not LeBron’s fault that he’s dominating the ball and destroying any kind of offense whatsoever and turning Dwyane Wade into a jumpshooter. It much be the coach’s fault that they have zero toughness or leadership and that they just want to “chill”.
The details from Chris Broussard are not shocking, but they’re disturbing. And just as Phil Jackson predicted, Erik Spoelstra will wind up getting run out of Miami primarily by disgruntled and suddenly lazy LeBron James. LeBron has made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t respect or even like Coach Spo and he’s going to make sure he’s not around for long. The funny thing is, however, that people think Pat Riley will change things.
Pat Riley is a great coach, executive, and NBA icon. But LeBron James doesn’t respect anyone. Mike Brown took the blame for the Cavaliers offensive woes for 7 years in Cleveland. It was Mike Brown who wasn’t offensively bright enough and who forced the Cavaliers to stand around and watch LeBron James dribble down the shot clock. Well, maybe not so much. As we found out, LeBron James disrespected and undercut Brown constantly. LeBron consistently waived off offensive plays and schemes and did what he wanted. He was just good enough that it worked more often than not.
But when the playoffs came and against good teams, LeBron failed time and time again. Of course, it was never LeBron’s fault. It was always his teammates and/or coaches that held him back. Of course, once he was teamed up with his BFF’s and under the tutelage of NBA legend Pat Riley, they would shatter the NBA record books.
It’s still possible that they get this thing turned around, but it’s unlikely. LeBron has shown that he respects no one and I don’t think it will be any different with Pat Riley. He may publicly say and do the right things, but when it comes down to it, LeBron respects, and listens to one man. LeBron James.
Erik Spoelstra was in a no-win situation from the minute Pat Riley assembled this team. If they made it work and won a title, he merely did was he was supposed to do and what any coach could do with that team. If they struggle, however, it will never be the players’ fault. The Heat can’t change their roster at this point and those “stars” aren’t going anywhere for a few years. The only thing that can be changed, fair or unfair, is the coach.
At this point it’s crystal clear that LeBron James and Chris Bosh at a minimum have zero respect for Spoelstra. Udonis Haslem, the only player with any leadership or toughness on the team is out for an extended period of time and his influence is significantly diminished. LeBron James is running rough-shot over the Heat organization just as he did in Cleveland, but this time, it’s shaping up to be catastrophe.
Miami Heat Head Coach, Erik Spoelstra is literally in a no-win situation. If he wins it all, he did was he was supposed to do with a “Superteam”. If they don’t win, it will be all his fault. Any time they struggle, despite the clear deficiencies in the team and with certain players, it’s his fault. He’s already being undermined by his players in the early NBA season and the lack of respect seems to be getting worse.
LeBron James publicly called out his coach for “playing him too much” after the Heat were manhandled by the Celtics for the second time in the young season. Chris Bosh then called out his coach for “working them too much” when the “stars” just want to “chill”. Bosh demanded that Coach Spo meet them halfway.
The latest evidence of the complete and total lack of respect for Coach Spo happened in the Heat’s game against the Mavericks. Coach Spo called a timeout and as LeBron James was walking off the floor, Spo was walking onto the floor towards him. LeBron clearly saw him and intentionally bumped into him. Spo was less than pleased as you can imagine and flipped around with a rather angry look. I don’t blame him.
He’s been disrespected time and time again and it’s clear to me that the “stars” are trying to force Pat Riley onto the floor. LeBron James has never respected a coach. He continually undermined and circumvented Mike Brown in Cleveland and made Brown the scapegoat for the Cavaliers troubles. As you can see, the same issues have transferred to Miami and the only constants are LeBron and Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Do you really think Big Z is the reason the offense is again stagnant and LeBron either dominates the ball or stands around the perimeter?
I don’t even think LeBron would respect Riley, but he’s clearly fed up with Coach Spo and I think he’ll be disgruntled and dysfunctional as long as Spo is around. There are no guarantees he and the rest of the team will snap back into shape if and when Riley comes down to the floor, because there are serious problems on this team. But there are constant examples and evidence that LeBron and company have ZERO respect for their current coach.
Take a look… WOW, LeBron is a DICK!
We’re all familiar with the SportsCenter commercials that started years ago that featured various athletes in mostly funny skits. At the time, it just appeared to be a great way to get exposure for the athletes and to provide a little humor with the sports programming. But little did we know that it would foretell the beginning of the end of ESPN’s credibility.
ESPN is certainly the worldwide leader in sports entertainment. They are massive and have an inordinate amount of leverage and power in the sporting world. They can actually make or break an athlete with their programming. And that’s the problem. They literally have the ability to sway public perception about an athlete with their “down your throat” “24-7″ programming and Capitol Hill-like spin.
It has gotten progressively worse since ESPN was acquired by the entertainment giant, Disney. For anyone even a little familiar with Disney’s programming and marketing power, just reference Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, and Justin Bieber. I sincerely apologize for having to mention these people. Please, please forgive me. But this type of marketing that Disney has employed to force these “talents” upon the world and create their stardom, not based on talent, but based on the enormous resources allocated to them and the constant and almost brainwashing programming.
For ESPN, the downward spiral began well before the acquisition by Disney as the foundation was laid when they started to get into bed with athletes. Once they stopped reporting sporting news and started creating news, spin and more of an entertainment focus than a journalistic focus, it was all downhill. Once they entered into more of a business partnership relationship with athletes as opposed to a professional and journalistic relationship with athletes, the Axis of Evil was born.
Anyone with even a little objectivity can cite dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of incredible bias, spin, and inappropriately allocated programming towards ESPN favorites like Tiger Woods, Brett Favre, LeBron James, etc. There is no denying that each are incredible athletes. No argument, whatsoever. But there is also no denying the tremendous spin and bias that ESPN employs in regards to these players in order to maintain their “investment”. ESPN builds up these athletes’ popularity and stature so as to build a long-term audience. They then tailor their programming to be heavily dedicated to these people so it’s in their best interest to spin and alter perception to uphold these athletes’ stature, and keep public perception positive.
Just a handful of weeks ago, ESPN began an effort to control the damage to LeBron’s image after the fiasco that was “The Decision”. Not only did LeBron James’ image take an incredible hit due to his actions over the summer, but ESPN was called into question for their role in the debacle. ESPN not only dedicated its programming (as usual) and began heavy spin control to re-establish their “investment” as a positive figure in the NBA and in the sporting world in general, but they sent reporters and camera crews to Cleveland in an attempt to alter public perception.
They literally sent reporters to Cleveland prior to the beginning of the NBA season and asked a series of questions that were clearly in an attempt to re-allocate blame for “The Decision” and other LeBron mistakes on the City of Cleveland and Cavaliers fans (http://bit.ly/dks0cT). The questions also were a direct attempt to blame Cavaliers fans for the way LeBron James behaved. They also tried their best to portray Cavs fans as a bitter, ignorant, and uneducated fan base. It was consistent with LeBron’s recent marketing strategy to paint himself as a victim as they were also portraying him as a victim and they were making excuses for his behavior. As always, LeBron is never at fault, and he is never responsible for anything.
All of this is fine, and it’s actually a savvy and proven business strategy. The issue arises, however, when ESPN portrays itself as a news entity and as a credible journalistic source. It is clear that they’ve moved well past the arena of sporting news and journalistic credibility and have become almost solely an entertainment entity.
Looking back on it now, after we’ve seen the unprofessional, unethical, and inappropriate way ESPN has dealt with the likes of Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Lance Armstrong, and Brett Favre, this old commercial is strangely prophetic. ESPN has gone out of its way to try to protect these and other athletes. Examples include Brett Favre’s “Sext Scandal” with Jenn Sterger where information was literally available for months that it had occurred and they waited until the last possible minute in an attempt to not have to address it. Their editors pulled a story about LeBron in Vegas over the summer after they saw that it had some information that painted LeBron in a negative light (even though it was completely accurate and was completely consistent with the purpose of the story).
This type of behavior has been going on for years, seems to be getting worse, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. The funny part about this commercial as well, is ESPN has a HUGE list of former commercials on their website, but I was unable to find this one on there. It appears that they pulled it, perhaps because it’s not as far fetched (or humorous) as it maybe once was.
In this commercial, Dwyane Wade is given “Final Cut” authority over his highlights. Funny at the time as it was clearly done in a joking and unrealistic manner, it is now sadly and strangely prophetic. Given LeBron James’ pull over how ESPN reports on him, this type of thing isn’t all that impossible anymore. And that’s sad. There is no question that LeBron James’ people got the Vegas story pulled much in the same way he had Nike confiscate the Jordan Crawford footage. You can’t tell me that Tiger, Favre, etc. don’t have a forum by which to provide “feedback” that steers the programming and discussion at least to some extent.
Favre, for instance, has multiple ESPN reporters on speed-dial that he uses to leak whatever information suits him at the time. He knows they will run with whatever information he wants at any time and dedicate an incredible amount of programming. Whether it be retirement, un-retirement, injury, etc. The last time he “retired” and sent a text to a teammate saying he was done, ESPN literally dedicated a full day of programming to discuss the move and in tribute to Favre’s career. Does this seem appropriate or ethical?
This particular commercial had to have come out at least 4 or 5 years ago in a time where this did seem far fetched and in good fun. Unfortunately now, given the dark road ESPN has traveled down, it’s not so far fetched any longer. Take a look. You’ve probably seen it before, but when I saw it again with a different perspective, it kind of made my skin crawl.
Dennis Rodman is one of the best rebounders in the history of the NBA and he was a vital piece to the last Bulls team lead by Michael Jordan. Rodman, Jordan, and Scottie Pippen formed a true “Big 3″ and won 3 straight championships including a record 72 games. Who knows how many they would’ve won if the team stayed together.
Rodman, therefore, has a unique perspective on what it takes to in a championship in the NBA and what it takes to be one of the greatest teams of all time. Dennis was apparently listening in on 790 The Ticket, a South Florida Sports Talk Radio show this morning. He called in unsolicited to discuss his thoughts on the current Miami Heat team, their expectations and their struggles and how it relates to the Bulls teams he played on.
For anyone who isn’t aware, Rodman was one of the best defensive players and rebounders in NBA history. He was, however, and still is, one of the strangest human beings on the planet. If you think Ron Artest is a little batshit crazy, multiply that by about a thousand and you might sniff Dennis Rodman.
Rodman, like I said, called in on his own to discuss the Heat and as you’ll hear… he was… well… preoccupied.
Leave it to Dennis Rodman to call in to a radio show while he’s getting oral and is clearly in an altered state! Some may say it was just an act to get some attention, but if you’ve followed Rodman at all, you’ll know that this is just another day in the life of Dennis.
The interview goes on for about 7 minutes, all the while Rodman is barely able to spit out complete sentences and towards the end he lets us in on exactly why he’s so distracted! After all, he only has about 2% of his body’s blood allocated to his brain during the conversation!
In a Cindy Lauper-esque fit of whining following the Heat’s blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers, LeBron James made it clear that he just wants to have fun! As if the motivations of the superstar trio weren’t made painfully clear last week when Chris Bosh criticized Coach Erik Spoelstra for working the team too hard when they “just wanna chill”. Bosh then demanded that the coach “meet them halfway.”
Brian Windhorst, former Cavs beat writer, accepted a job with ESPN to cover the Miami Heat this season. He is as familiar as anyone with LeBron James as he’s followed him throughout his high school and college career. Windhorst quoted LeBron James last night as saying:
“You’ve got to have fun while you’re (playing). We’re not doing that right now, we’re not having fun at all.”
I hate to tell you LeBron, but ask Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant if winning NBA Championships is “fun” while you’re fighting for NBA prominence. It’s clear that LeBron and company not only assumed, but EXPECTED the rest of the NBA to roll over for them and hand them the trophy.
This type of attitude is exactly what has been holding LeBron’s incredible physical talent back from reaching its full potential. He is mentally weak. Period. Everyone thought Dan Gilbert was batshit crazy when he said about LeBron, “some people think they should get to heaven and and not have to die to get there.”
But looking at how LeBron and the Miami Heat have approached this off-season and the beginning of the regular season, it certainly rings true.
LeBron is the one who stood up on the stage in Miami with the dry ice and the lights and club music predicting not 5, not 6, not 7, not 8 championships. LeBron is the one who stood up there mocking the rest of the NBA by saying that Pat Riley could literally step onto the floor today and run the point with him and they would still dominate the NBA.
LeBron is now the man who whined about playing too minutes after he failed down the stretch against the rival Celtics. The one who always points the finger in the opposite direction. It has never been and in LeBron’s mind, will never be his fault. EVER.
The Miami Heat are now 8-6 and while there is a lot of NBA season ahead of us, they are severely struggling. They have been manhandled and beaten around and they look NOTHING like an NBA Champion or a team to challenge Jordan’s 72 win total.
The Heat just lost the only player with any mental or physical toughness, any leadership whatsoever, and any heart in Udonis Haslem for the foreseeable future. And after this horrific start, after LeBron has turned the Miami Heat with all his own handpicked teammates into a watered down version of the Cavaliers offense, he just wants to have fun.
LeBron thinks “having fun” is the key to winning in the NBA? I hate to tell him, but he and the team aren’t having fun because they’re not very good. They’re not having fun because the rest of the NBA isn’t rolling over for them; they’re actually making them work for what they want. They’re not having fun because LeBron’s domination of the basketball and complete disruption of anything resembling an offense has turned Dwyane Wade into a spot up jump shooter. And just look at how Dwyane has played this year to see if that’s going to be a successful formula.
The Bottomline is you just have to look at LeBron and the way he approaches the game and any objective person can see that mentioning him in the same breath as Jordan, Bird or Magic or even Kobe is pure blasphemy!
Jordan, despite the fact that he and the Bulls WERE actually that much better than everyone else, NEVER just expected teams to lay down and hand him the trophy. Just ask Jordan and Kobe what it takes to win an NBA Championship and I guarantee you the word “FUN” will NEVER come out of their mouth.
Former Akron Beacon Journal and Cleveland Plain Dealer Cavs beat writer, Brian Windhorst has followed LeBron James as closely as any other journalist on the planet. Following “Windy’s” great coverage of the 2010 summer of free agency and the debacle that was “The Decision”, the Axis of Evil, aka ESPN offered Windhorst a job as a national writer. Of course, ESPN assigned him specifically to cover the Miami Heat as they have dedicated unprecedented programming and resources to following their cash cow, LeBron James.
I personally don’t have the slightest issue with Windy “taking his talents to South Beach”. He’s a young, up and coming sports writer and there is no doubt that ESPN will provide him great exposure and experience nationally. Some Clevelanders, however, were less than pleased with what appeared to be Windy following LeBron James down to Miami and continuing to carry out ESPN’s extreme bias and lack of independence as it relates to LeBron and the Heat.
So the hosts of a new Cleveland Sports Talk “Radio” Show (It’s online) at Cleveland.com’s Digital Sports Network conducted a 45 minute interview with Windy last week. The guys at “The Gloves are Off” show that airs from 2-6 PM on weekdays pulled no punches and went after Windy on several tough questions. It was honestly refreshing to have hosts actually dig deep into issues and ask uncomfortable questions instead of just lobbing the customary softballs.
For the full interview, please visit this link (http://bit.ly/aqznlG) and while you’re there take a moment to check out the daily lineup as there are some very good programs available literally all day.
Of particular interest, was the section of the interview that focused on the issue of tampering by both Heat President, Pat Riley and Heat player, Dwyane Wade. Now, from the information that is provided in this interview, which is consistent with everything I’ve heard all summer, there doesn’t appear to be any way that this will be even pursued by the Cavaliers or the NBA League Office. But from what Windy is saying, the Miami Heat are acting awfully suspicious and guilty in their actions. And it has been reported by more than one reputable reporter so I have little doubt that the meeting between Pat Riley and LeBron James during the 2009-2010 NBA season and while LeBron was under contract with the Cavaliers actually took place.
The issue of Dwyane Wade acting as an agent for the Heat in discussing free agency and recruiting with players who are under contract with other teams is also interesting and at the very least, appears inappropriate. Again, it could never be proved and nothing will ever come of it, but it certainly appeared that the players controlled the NBA and the league office had little or no control over the free agency process over the summer. If nothing else, the NBA cannot be pleased with this appearance.
Not to mention, the NBA’s philosophy is for superstars to stay with the teams that drafted them. They set up the rules, salary cap, and contracts to provide incredible incentives to allow this to happen. With the trend of superstars leaving their original teams to join up with other superstars continuing, if not growing (Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, and we’ll see who’s next), the NBA again, is losing control over the process and their league.
The next area of particular intrigue of the interview is when the guys press Windy on his thoughts regarding LeBron’s effort in not only game 5 of the Boston series, but the series as a whole. They flat out asked him if he believed LeBron quit. Windy’s answer was interesting as he said he didn’t think LeBron quit, but rather choked under the pressure. Windy explained that, in his mind, choking is far worse than quitting as choking shows that you just don’t have what it takes whereas if you quit, you could’ve gotten the job done but chose not to put forth effort. And I have to give tremendous credit to Windhorst for being one of the very few ESPN employees who have ever said anything this critical of LeBron James.
Windy went on to say that he’s seen several instances throughout LeBron’s career when he handled pressure very poorly and some of his worst performances were in situations with the greatest pressure. He pointed out the misnomer that LeBron has been very “clutch” in his career by citing the fact that his best games were actually in situations where there was little, to no pressure on James as he was the underdog and had nothing to lose.
I thought this was particularly interesting as I’ve heard LeBron apologists for years cite his “clutch” performances against the Pistons and Wizards but they fail to acknowledge the fact that the failures far outweigh the great performances and pressure certainly appears to be something that LeBron struggles with.
Windy then went on to cite an undisclosed instance, prior to the Boston series, that indicated that LeBron was not only struggling with pressure, but crumbling under pressure. Windy made it clear that due to his relationships in the NBA and his need to maintain trust and confidence in those relationships that he wasn’t able to disclose the specifics. He did say that it had nothing to do with the Gloria and Delonte scandal.
So the question is, WTF is this situation that he’s referencing?
I’ve heard speculation that it was related to the lawsuit from the man claiming to be LeBron’s father as the timeline seems to match up. I would sure hope that this isn’t what caused him to choke and quit like a coward, but who knows… LeBron has demonstrated that he’s not the leader, competitor, and mentally tough player that he says he is so I guess it’s possible.
Overall, I loved the interview. They pressed on issues instead of just allowing the BS political answers to pass and got to some great points. I do wish they would’ve spent more time discussing the Boston series, free agency and the current Heat failures instead of focusing so much on Windy’s decision to leave. But who knows, it could have been a condition of the interview as Windy may have wanted to get his side of the story out there for Clevelanders.
I also wish they would’ve asked about the infamous “MVP Celebration” the night before game 2 of the Boston series. I don’t know, maybe this was off limits out of respect to the Cavaliers organization, but I would like to know how accurate these reports are. For those who aren’t aware, it’s been reported that LeBron took his teammates out to celebrate his MVP the night before game 2 and the players were out “celebrating” until 5 AM. Now, the game didn’t tip off until 7 or 8 PM, but still… do you want your “Championship Contending” team partying until 5 AM the night before a game? I don’t think so.
They were able to get 45 minutes out of Windy which is a far longer interview than you’ll typically see and I love that. The issue, however is so complex that I truly hope Windy will come back sometime soon and give them another 45 minutes because there is just so much ground to cover. All in all, it was one of the best and most real interviews I’ve heard in quite some time and certainly on the topic of LeBron.
Bravo to the guys at “The Gloves are Off” and I hope you’ll check them out soon.
After the Miami Heat organization called out Heat “Fans” earlier in the week with their “Fan Up” campaign (http://bit.ly/cPYkVZ), it’s the clear the fans got the message. The Miami Heat, the most publicized and hyped team in maybe NBA history, faced off against the Phoenix Suns last night on the primetime ESPN game. As you’ll see below, the fans got the message loud and clear, packed in the arena and gave other fan bases across the country something to strive for. If every team had fans like the Miami Heat, the NBA would take over the world!!!
Here is the picture of the arena, literally FIVE MINUTES prior to tip-off:
And this is a picture literally FIVE MINUTES into the game:
That’s right, after the team mortgaged their future on the attempt to land the 3 most coveted free agents in the biggest free agent class in the history of the NBA, the fans still don’t care. Miami fans have been spoiled with a championship won with Shaq & Dwyane Wade and now with the acquisition of the “Big 3″. Despite putting together the most hyped team in the history of the NBA, the franchise still needed to carry out a PSA like campaign to not only get fans interested, but to teach them how to be fans!
You read that correctly… the Heat organization is literally trying to teach their “fans” how to be fans. They’re telling them that fans show up before tip-off, cheer during the game, stay for the entire game, and actually show up for games not just have them on the TV in the background while they do blow and listen to techno music.
Ok, obviously I’m being a little sarcastic and general. I know not everyone who lives in Miami listens to techno!
But the reality is, Miami has long had one of the worst fan bases in the country and landing the “Big 3″ didn’t and won’t change anything. The Heat organization has done everything they could possibly do to drudge up fan interest and it just isn’t there. Not only have they assembled one of the most talented teams in the NBA, but they’re investing in an ad campaign to literally teach people what it means to be a fan. And to top it all off, they’re offering food and drink specials to the 2 dozen people who actually show up for the game on time!
I saw a comment last night from a Miami “Fan” who was arguing that the Heat has MILLIONS of fans but she was whining that tickets are too expensive so people don’t show up. That’s right, tickets in L.A., NY, Boston, Chicago or anywhere else are so much cheaper than in Miami. The Miami “Fans” use the news of a $25,000 ticket as an excuse when that only applied on one night and to floor seats. Never mind the thousands of affordable seats that are available for true fans every single night.
More likely, this person and 90% of the people in Miami are ignorant as to what it means to be a fan and the Heat’s recent educational attempt proves my point. They actually think that if you watch them on TV occassionally once they’re “good” that it makes them a fan.
How about no…. just ask fans in New York, Chicago, L.A. (sometimes a bad example but the Lakers are consistently loved), Cleveland, Detroit, Boston, or a couple dozen other regions across the country what it really means to be a fan. Some fan bases have literally gone a hundred years without a winner and yet they’re more representative of what it means to be a fan than those hacks down on South Beach will ever be, no matter how many rings their team ends up winning.
I know some true fans in Miami and in Florida in general and they too are disgusted and embarrassed by the fan base not only of the Heat but of the Marlins, Rays, Buccaneers, etc. There are some great fans in Florida, but unfortunately for them, they’re outnumbered by about 10 to 1.
By now we’re all aware of LeBron James publicly calling out coach Erik Spoelstra following the Miami Heat’s loss to the Boston Celtics. Of course, LeBron James’ failure down the stretch where me missed two free throws, a layup, and bricked a 3 pointer off the side of the backboard was not his fault. As we now know, it was his coach’s fault for playing him too many minutes. That’s right, the 25 year old superstar and self proclaimed “King” complained that he played too many minutes and wasn’t “Fresh” enough down the stretch. I and everyone else have written about the ridiculousness that goes with this statement, but LeBron is at it again.
The “King” just can’t shut up and he is in desperate need of someone other than the dozens of YES MEN that he surrounds himself with. Now LeBron is whining about his whining being taken out of context. He’s backpedaling faster than Darrelle Revis covering Randy Moss as he’s now blaming the media for taking his comments out of context and blowing it out of proportion. After all, saying the coach was at fault for playing him and Dwyane Wade too many minutes isn’t a criticism of the coach… wait… what?
If that’s not criticizing the coach and if that’s not whining about playing too minutes, then I guess LeBron speaks another dialect of the English language that I’m not familiar with. But LeBron is insisting that his comments were taken out of context and he threatened to stop talking to the media and take a page out of the Randy Moss playbook. Right LeBron, great guy to model your PR strategies after!
Before Saturday’s game, James said his comments were “Blown out of proportion”.
He then went on to say “You kind of understand sometimes what Randy Moss is talking about, when he says I will not be answering any more questions. Because every time I say something it gets turned out of character”.
That’s right, OUT OF CHARACTER! So not only is James whining about his whining being blown out of proportion, but he actually DOES appear to speak a different dialect of the English language!
He then went on to let us know that he and Coach Spo are on the same page as far as minutes are concerned and they have discussed it.
“It’s a conversation that me and Coach Spo had, and that’s what i was basically saying, that he’s still trying to figure out rotations. That’s what it was all about. And the rotations will be figured out through the course of the year, where i don’t have to play 44 minutes and D-Wade doesn’t have to play 40 minutes. I do think there will be games where we will both both have to play high minutes”.
First of all, that is NOTHING like what he said following the Celtics loss so I guess this must be the English translation of whatever dialect he was speaking following the loss to Boston. But he’s essentially saying that he’s in charge of rotations and minutes and he’s STILL whining about having to play 40+ minutes. My god, you’re 25 years old and supposedly one of the best athletes in the world. You can’t play 40 minutes in a game? In a tight game against an Eastern Conference rival? Wow. It just goes to show you what kind of a competitor and a leader he really is. Or isn’t.
This is nothing new for Cavs fans who had a front row seat for the last 7 years and who were unfortunately shown who he really is, but it’s funny that everyone else is starting to see his true colors. He can complain all he wants about his comments being “Taken out of character”, but the reality is that he is not a competitor, he’s not a leader, and he just wants the trophy handed to him without having to earn it.