LeBron James caused a lot of commotion over his recent tweet comparing basketball to war. In case you missed it, and for general context, here is the tweet:
While LeBron isn’t the first and unfortunately won’t be the last to compare a game to war, it’s no less troubling. LeBron continually makes uninformed, ignorant, and ill-advised comments to the media and especially on his twitter account and it’s amazing that he has no one in his life to act as a filter.
These comments on his twitter account aren’t the first insight to LeBron’s belief and/or comparison of basketball to war and teammates to “soldiers”. Just take a look at his pre-game routine, beyond the chalk toss, and to his handshakes followed by a salute. Each and every game. Where else is a salute appropriately used, except in military. Hell, just take a look at this ad campaign by Nike and it’s no wonder that he is so diluted, misinformed, and has no true barometer to reality. “Prepare for COMBAT“, huh?
Say what you want about LeBron, but I can understand why he does some of the things he does. It’s no less his fault or responsibility, but it really is sad that he’s surrounded himself by the people he has (that includes personal and business relationships). It’s crystal clear that they care more about their status, profitability, and ability to remain relevant than with what is best for LeBron. Unfortunately for him, he is so sheltered and blinded by his own fame and “greatness” and “royalty” that he can’t even stop for a second to see that his and his advisors’ decisions are hurting him.
But enough about LeBron… Joseph Schwerdt of the Sun Sentinel wrote the open letter to LeBron (and no it wasn’t in Comic Sans). Schwerdt is a father of two marines and has rare insight into what “war” really is and into what it really means to be a “soldier”.
Schwerdt doesn’t take an adversarial tact in the letter, rather an educational one. It’s clear, again, that LeBron hasn’t lead a normal life. There is no doubt that he lacks a strong personality in his life to tell him “no” or to be the voice of reason. In the open letter, Schwerdt says the following:
“Dear LeBron, just wanted to let you know: You are not at war. You are not a soldier. You can tweet all you want. But what you do and who you are is not even close to what they do and who they are.”
“You are probably a nice guy. And you are not the first athlete to compare sports to war; athletes to warriors; games to battle. I don’t mean to single you out. But it is time to stop those comparisons.”
You may recall Kellen Winslow Jr. making similar claims during his time with the University of Miami. Winslow was then drafted by the Cleveland Browns and he and LeBron played in Cleveland during the same period of time. I don’t believe they were friends or anything approaching that, but you would think LeBron may have noticed and taken note of the backlash surrounding Winslow’s comments at the time.
Schwerdt goes on to say:
“War. Games. Not even close.”
“We are at war. Remember? People die in wars. They rarely die playing the games you play. If they do, it is not because they are attacked or shot at or booby trapped by an enemy. People lose limbs in war. Their bodies are torn apart by IEDs. Their legs and arms are ripped through by bullets and rockets.”
“You play in arenas in front of adoring fans. You don’t walk streets in villages not knowing who the enemy is or what might be lurking on a roadside, around a corner, behind a door.”
Obviously everything stated in the open letter is true, but I’m not sure it will do any good. Following LeBron’s comments last week, I heard countless TV and radio personalities defending James and his comments. Blaming it on the culture of sports and common comparisons between war and soldiers to sports and players by coaches. I don’t buy it. To me, it’s just another example of constant coddling by “LeBron apologists”.
It seems as if nearly everyone has their hands out to this kid in one form or another. Whether it be for money, status, interview access, etc. Everyone is so quick to defend him so as to avoid the possibility of upsetting him should the opportunity arise that he can be of value to them down the road.
Unfortunately, it’s not doing him or anyone else any benefit.
Schwerdt went on to say:
“You chose to take your talents to South Beach. They chose to defend this country. We all make choices. Please choose not to compare yourself to a soldier or Marine. Please choose not to say what you do is war or battle. it simply isn’t.”
The letter by Schwerdt is dead on and provides insight from someone who truly knows what war is about. Unfortunately, it won’t surprise me in the least if it isn’t seen by most of America due to the inherent need to protect and defend LeBron James by major media outlets.
No matter how true and spot on this letter may be, the damage may already be done for LeBron. He has no one to act as a filter for him in his “inside circle” and even his major endorsors reinforce the idea of “War”. I hope that he and other athletes stop using this asinine comparison, but I just don’t know if it’s going to happen.
Cleveland Cavaliers fans have been faced with a very real and very difficult transition from being a perennial power in the Eastern Conference to being a likely lottery team. After building the team entirely around LeBron James, his departure immediately transformed the Cavs into a bottom dweller.
Most Cavaliers fans have been very supportive of Dan Gilbert and the organization and despite some very ugly basketball, remain patient and trust in Gilbert to turn the franchise around. That is of course, MOST Cavs fans.
One disgruntled season ticket holder paid for an ad on Basketball-Reference.com in a unique effort to protest and voice his or her displeasure against Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers. The ad appears to expire tomorrow sometime and I’m not sure how much the “Extremely Ticked Off Cavs Season-Ticket Holder” paid for it, but here is a screen shot.
If you want to check it out, just navigate to the Cavaliers page on BBR.com and it’s there in all it’s glory. It’s actually much, MUCH bigger on their site. You literally cannot miss it.
If that weren’t enough, the same fan appears to be “extremely ticked off” at J.J. Hickson as well as this ad is taken out on J.J.’s player page:
Now I can’t say that I disagree with the J.J. add as he has been a tremendous disappointment both on the court and off, but I am of the opinion that Dan Gilbert is a very good owner. Yes, in hindsight he maybe should have handled #6 differently and not rolled over but that course was already set by the previous owner, Gordon Gund. Gilbert carried on the same practices and honestly thought that was the best way to retain #6 and thought it was the best thing for the team.
There are plenty of other owners in professional sports that make decisions solely based on what is in their best interest (which isn’t always aligned with the team). So if Gilbert makes mistakes in good faith and in an attempt to do what’s best for the franchise then I can accept it. He ponied up tons of cash to keep building the team towards a championship and he was over the luxury tax for the last few years.
Of course, fans can have their opinions and I at least give this fan a lot of credit for coming up with an original idea instead of getting drunk and throwing something at the Q!
Entering tonight’s rematch with LeBron James‘ former Cavaliers team, he and the Miami Heat are on a roll and the Cavaliers are in a colossal tailspin. After the performance he put on in Cleveland on December 2nd and as the Heat continue to gain momentum and learn to play together, tonight’s game could get ugly. Fast.
#6 put up an effortless 38 points through 30 minutes of play on December 2nd and embarrassed his former teammates and franchise with ease. Since that game, the Heat have racked up 9 straight wins, all of which by 10 points or more. With what we’ve seen from #6 and the Heat as compared to what we’ve seen from the Cavaliers, there is no reason to believe he or they will be slowed down tonight. It’s entirely possible, and maybe even likely, that he puts up half a hundred tonight. That is, if it’s close enough to warrant giving him more than 30 minutes. To me, the question isn’t who will win, but by how much and how embarrassing it will be.
As a Cavaliers fan, it kills me to say that, but as I have always promised, I’ll tell you how it is. No matter how ugly the truth may be. If the Cavaliers are great, I’ll tell you why. If they look more like the Cleveland Cadavers, I’ll reluctantly tell you about it as well. When a team loses its superstar that it literally built the entire team around, things are not going to be pretty. Literally ever single player on the roster until this off-season were brought in to specifically compliment #6 in one way or another. When the player that you’ve tailored your team around for 7 years leaves and you bring in a new coach with a new system, it’s not going to be pretty. But I never anticipated that it would be this ugly. Through roughly the first quarter of the season, the Cavaliers have essentially quit on the season and that’s sad. They don’t have the talent that they need to compete, but they have shown zero heart, effort, energy, intensity, or hustle and with that roster, they can ill afford such a combination.
Long-term, it’s not the worst thing in the world because if they can somehow sustain this degree of poor play they’ll be well positioned in the NBA Draft Lottery. The overwhelming strategy in the NBA is to tear your team down completely and rebuild with a lottery pick or 2 and to get lucky on a 2nd round pick (i.e., OKC Thunder). Despite Head Coach, Byron Scott and Owner, Dan Gilbert saying all the right things about wanting to win now, this is undoubtedly a thought in their minds.
The Heat are on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. After struggling mightily in the first month of the season and fighting to stay above .500, the victory over the Cavaliers on December 2nd seems to have catapulted them to the top of the NBA. The Big 3 are starting to learn how to play together at least well enough to run roughshod over the marginal to poor teams in the NBA and they’re probably talented enough to compete with some of the better teams at this point. Big picture, however, there are still massive holes and issues on this team that we’ll get into next.
What to watch for:
The obvious thing to watch is LeBron James. There are a ton of subplots in this game and the first thing I’ll be looking for is how he and the Cavs players interact. On December 2nd, #6 walked right up to his former teammates and with the exception of Mo Williams, they were all friendly with him and Anderson Varejao even went so far as to give him a bear hug before the game and jokingly steal his headband during the game. The Cavs took a lot of criticism for their poor play as well as their seemingly friendly treatment of their former teammate. Speculation has been that a number of them are trying to stay in his good graces so that he will recruit them to play with him in Miami. We’ll see how they act tonight.
Next, I’ll be curious to see how he approaches the game. In the first matchup he was feeling out the game, whether or not he would be fouled and roughed up, and how the refs would call the game. After he got a feel for the game, he went on attack mode, especially in the 3rd quarter. It wouldn’t surprise me if he starts out attacking like he did in game 3 against the Celtics last year where he had 21 first quarter points and was literally unstoppable. Obviously, the final point tally will also be something I’ll be keeping an eye on. He’s likely to try to embarrass his former team again and what better way than with a 50 point performance and a 30 point win?
There has been much discussion about Erik Spoelstra‘s “incentive program” that he used to get the Heat going after a horrible start to the season. In case you haven’t heard, the players have been very unhappy with the offensive system thus far in the season. It’s my belief that it’s because LeBron James has literally never run an actual offense and he doesn’t like the restriction. He is the one who leaked the story about players being unhappy and thinking Coach Spo wasn’t cut out for the job.
So in an attempt to quell the uprising, Coach Spo implemented the new system so that in exchange for a good defensive effort (block, steal, defensive rebound), he gives free reign for his players on the offensive end. Of course, the players love the ability to ignore the offense and freelance and dominate the ball for 20 seconds and then either draw contact or throw up a 30 footer. Especially LeBron James. Remember, he won 2 MVP’s with this exact style of play. And against the lesser teams in the NBA, it will work just fine. Despite zero inside presence, they’re athletic enough to create problems for the other team on the defensive end. If they put in the effort. Offensively, they’re so freakishly talented that they can get away with freelancing against the bad teams and even good teams when they’re hot.
But what I’ll be curious to see is just how far the players take this. Will they get so used to doing whatever they want that when it comes time in the half court to run a real offensive set that they either ignore it or are so rusty that it looks awful? Lets face it, all 3 and especially LeBron are only accustomed to running ISO garbage and getting away with pure physical ability. That’s why long-term, I believe the incentive program is a tremendous mistake. These guys need all the practice they can get in the offense. Right now is the EXACT time they should be running it and running it and running it again. In December, against mostly bad teams is when they should run the offense so much that they can run it in their sleep. So that when things get tough and they’re up against a great Boston defense, they don’t screw up and they can run it and trust it.
I’m telling you right now, if they don’t learn to execute the offense flawlessly right now, in the regular season, against bad teams, they’ll never be good enough to run it against the Celtics. And we saw what happens when LeBron or anyone else for that matter, tries to run ISO garbage against the Celtics defense. You just cannot win that way, no matter how much of a physical freak you may be.
Think about it, why did the Heat struggle so much to start the season? Because they were trying to run an offense that they don’t know how to run because they’ve never been forced to learn it and execute it. When that broke down because they’re not good at running it and they don’t trust it, LeBron went into his old offense which consists of him dominating the ball and turning everyone else into statues and jump shooters. No one mentions it, but in training camp, the Heat focused solely on defense because they thought that they would be so gifted that if they played good defense, the offense would take care of itself. After starting off so badly trying to force these guys to run an offense that they clearly didn’t want to run (remember, they just wanna chill), Coach Spo essentially gave in. Which is the last thing he should have done.
Short term, he looks like a genius. The Heat are on a tear and look great. But remember who they’re playing and remember that it’s the regular season. The playoffs are an entirely different game as #6 knows only too well. I’m not saying that Coach Spo plans on doing this all season, but I’m telling you that these guys need ALL the practice they can get within the structure of the offense. They need to learn it against the bad teams in the regular season and perfect it as they match up with the better teams. Now. Not in the playoffs. If they wait until the playoffs they’ll get run out of the gym. If they continue the freelancing, ISO crap in the playoffs, they will get run out of the gym.
As far as the Cavs go, there really isn’t all that much to watch for. We need to keep an eye on how friendly they are with #6, not just before and after the game, but during the game. In the first match up, not one Cavalier put his hands on LeBron outside of a few hugs and kisses. There were multiple opportunities to foul him hard when he went to the rim and they didn’t even attempt a foul. There were multiple opportunities to be physical with him out on the wing and they never tried. They can say whatever they want publicly about being upset with him and about the conversations not being friendly, but until they show me on the floor, I don’t care.
The Cavaliers’ spin job after the last debacle was an insult to every single fan’s intelligence. Unless they play physical, intense, fundamental, smart basketball, no fan is going to listen to a thing they say. They may come out with some energy to start the game, but face it… they’re not a good team and they’re in the middle of an awful losing streak. I’ll be curious to see how they respond when they get 8, 10, or 15 points down. Will they just roll over like last time and let the Heat run up a 38 point lead? Or will they fight back even though they’re clearly outmatched?
As I was writing a blog last week (http://bit.ly/fugq3P) about my thoughts on some comments Kobe Bryant made about how impressed he is with Bulls star, Derrick Rose, I came across these old Nike commercials. I loved the puppet commercials when they came out but somehow I missed these two. They’re from 2009 when LeBron was sitting at home watching Kobe fight for yet another world championship. Given Nike’s relationship with #6, I was a bit surprised at these and maybe the reason I never saw them is because they decided not to air them. I’ll be interested to see if anyone actually saw them on TV.
Take a look. Given the subliminal message I believe Kobe sent to #6 last week, I thought they were relevant (and funny).
When LeBron James returned to Cleveland on December 2nd the fanbase was ready for a fight (figuratively). The Cavaliers fans were amped up and as loud as I’ve ever heard them. Given the intense love and now hatred directed at #6 following his 7 year tenure with the Cavaliers and his sudden departure, there was no lack of emotion and intensity at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavaliers players, however, must have missed the memo as they literally laid down for #6, put up absolutely ZERO fight, joked around with him, hugged him, stole his headband, and essentially bent over and grabbed their proverbial ankles.
Tomorrow night the Cavaliers will take their “talents” (or lack thereof) to South Beach to face off against the Miami Heat and good ‘ol #6 again. Subject to much controversy both nationally and locally following LeBron’s one man wrecking crew performance and blowout win by the Heat was the amount of time #6 spent in front of the Cavs bench seemingly chatting it up.
A Cavalier who was specifically involved in the discussions was Daniel “Boobie” Gibson who was, at one time, extremely close friends with #6. Leading up to the game on December 2nd, Boobie told reporters that during the game he would “go at his neck” referring to LeBron James. For the record, neither Boobie or any other Cavs player actually laid a hand on #6 for the entire game despite multiple opportunities to commit a hard, but clean foul as he pranced through the lane repeatedly. That is, unless you count hugging him and snatching his headband as “laying a hand on him”.
The following day after getting a lot of criticism for chatting it up with #6 during the game, Boobie tried to control the spin of the story telling reporters and fans that it wasn’t a friendly conversation and that he wasn’t happy with the way #6 acted during the game. Again, neither he or any other player did a single thing about it during the game. Although Boobie did almost get into a fight with Eddie House which shows you that if he were actually pissed off at anything #6 did we would have known about it during the game.
When asked today if he would be spending time chit-chatting with the Cavs bench again, LeBron James indicated that he plans to spend the same amount of time talking to Cavs players and the bench as the previous game and that “there was no joking involved.”
This comes from the Akron Beacon Journal Beat Reporter, Jason Lloyd (**invokes Ari Gold voice screaming Lloyd!!!**)
The December 2nd game seemed to have a drastic effect on the course of the NBA season as it sent the Heat, who at the time were hovering around .500, on the path to a 9 game winning streak (and counting) and seems to have gotten #6 going again. Being back on his old floor and completely embarrassing his old teammates and so-called “friends” have clearly reinstated his confidence and the Heat appear to be a team to be reckoned with. For now.
On the complete other end of the spectrum, the Cavaliers have lost 8 straight and most being double digit blowout losses. As far as I’m concerned, if the Cavaliers aren’t going to put up any sort of fight and get in his face, foul him or do anything other than hug and kiss him then they have no recourse to be upset when he dances around and talks trash the entire game.
We’ll see how it plays out, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see #6 drop half a hundred on his former team. Remember, he had 38 without really even forcing anything and sat out the entire 4th quarter in their last matchup.
In a recent story from fellow YBN blogger, “Los That Sports Blog” about Kobe Bryant‘s mentoring role with some of the younger players in the NBA (http://bit.ly/eUy6up), I noticed a bit of a subliminal tone to some of his comments. Check out the story for the full background, but here’s the basics. Kobe has taken on a sort of mentoring role with some young players in the NBA that he respects. Despite being one of the more selfish players early in his career, Kobe has evolved into an incredible leader both on his team and with other players.
Following a game last month in which the Lakers beat Derrick Rose‘s Bulls, he had a brief conversation with the young PG which caused some reporters to inquire as to some of the details. Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson asked if the conversation had some sort of “passing of the torch” symbolism and Bryant had a great response:
“Oh, sure, but I ain’t passing SH*T,” Bryant said.
Bryant was then asked if Rose has to come take the torch from Bryant at which time Kobe smiled and offered “He can certainly try.”
First, that’s just the perfect answer from a true champion and competitor. Kobe can be a complete dick sometimes, but there is no doubting his competitive fire and he just flat out plays the game the right way. It’s been mentioned, but doesn’t get enough credit in my opinion, the vast injuries Kobe plays with and plays at such a high level with. In a world where Paul Pierce was literally wheeled off the floor in a wheelchair acting like a little bitch after a mild knee injury only to see him come back in the game and play, Kobe plays every day with some sort of injury and never makes a single excuse. In a world where LeBron James and his handlers leak stories about a mysterious and unproven “Elbow Injury” to supply a built in excuse for his poor play and effort and inability to beat the Celtics, Kobe continues to play the game the right way.
But that’s not the best part of his comments, at least to me. Bryant elaborated on his comments to Rose saying “I just told him to stay healthy and continue the job he’s doing.”
“I don’t think you can develop (a killer instinct). You either have it or you don’t. He’s had it since he was in high school.”
“That quality separates players I think. With players of equal ability, it’s about the engine you have inside. It certainly gives him an edge.”
Now I don’t know if Kobe was taking a page out of the Zen Master‘s playbook here or not, but it’s entirely possible that there’s a bit of subliminal messaging going on here. There have been whispers for years that Kobe’s biggest individual rival, LeBron James, lacks the killer instinct that the truly great seem to have. Despite never winning an NBA title, #6 was basically anointed as the greatest player on the planet a few years ago. Physically and athletically, it’s actually not even close. #6 is so much bigger, stronger, faster, quicker that if games were decided on paper, Kobe wouldn’t stand a chance.
But games and championships are not decided on paper as we well know. Often, the players with the most physical gifts and the teams with superior talent can be beaten by a better overall team and a better overall player. As we know, the true measure of a player isn’t just physically, especially on the pro level. Most players are so close athletically that the true difference is mental. The player with the greater mental toughness, leadership, and competitive fire will win out over a player with equal or even sometimes superior talent. This has held true time and time again and it will never change.
This is exactly what Kobe is saying here. There are players who are more physically gifted than he is, especially at this stage in his career. He has been in the league for 15 years and although as an overall basketball player, I still rank him ahead of anyone else, there are several players who “on paper” are far superior. Yet despite the incredible talents and hype surrounding these players, it’s Kobe who continues to win championships. Despite the Lakers solid start to the season and their quest for a 3-Peat, they are largely ignored by the likes of ESPN in favor of the sexy new team in South Beach.
But as Jordan and Kobe will tell you, the game of a champion is built on fire, not flash. And these comments, I believe, are a Phil Jackson-esque message to #6. People for years have said that he lacks Kobe and Jordan’s killer instinct and fire and after watching nearly every minute of every game for his first 7 years in the league, it’s hard to argue. Like I said, athletically, #6 is far and away superior to any player in the NBA and, in my opinion, in NBA history. But something has been missing, that much is clear.
We’ll see how it all plays out, and honestly I’ve seen more from #6 this season to indicate that you maybe can develop a killer instinct at least to some degree. #6 has his issues as a player that I won’t get into here, but he has surprisingly showed SOME signs of adaptation. He’s just so physically gifted that despite his deficiencies, I think he’ll figure it out, learn and change just enough that he’ll end up winning. And from what I’ve seen from the Cavaliers that he left behind, I can’t even argue that he made the wrong decision. There is no way he could win with those guys. Period. There are extenuating circumstances, though, that go largely ignored in that #6 is a huge part of the reason that the Cavs roster was and is the way it is, but I’ll get into that in another post.
Only time will tell if and when this happens and how many rings he’s able to accumulate over the years. And despite all the hype and premature crowning of #6 by the media and fans, this much is clear as it stands today. Kobe Bryant is still the King of the NBA and he has an innate competitive fire and killer instinct that few have ever had and that I don’t think anyone in the NBA has today. Kobe is certainly diminished physically, but if you look at Jordan’s last few years with the Bulls, he wasn’t the dominant athlete that he once was. But he was a better overall player, he was smarter than everyone else, and he still wanted it more than anyone else.
Kobe will run out of time, but for now he’s the premier champion in this league by far. #6 will likely catch him just based on freakish athletic ability and lets face it… If he and Dwyane Wade can learn to play together the right way, they can be very dangerous. But for now, it’s still Kobe’s game and he’s making sure everyone knows it.
As promised, this is the second video made in anticipation of tonight’s game. I put this one together and I really didn’t intend for it to have this tone when I first set out. As you’ll see, it’s pretty different than most of my stuff.
Take a look and enjoy.
Here is the first of what will be at least a couple absolutely epic LeBron James, December 2nd videos that I’ll post today leading up to the game. I’ll be there for the game and I can’t wait.
This one is brought to us by CavsWITNESS who has one of the best Cavs blogs there is. Check him out online and on twitter @CavsWITNESS
For now… take a look. Watch & enjoy.
You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid!
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.