The "King" is a fraud
by, 07-09-2010 at 10:00 AM (288 Views)
LeBron James has made two mistakes in his playing career.
The first was turning pro right after high school, because despite all the enormous talent he possesses, he wasn't a complete player just yet. The last 7 seasons spent in Cleveland, a virtual hop, skip, & jump from his hometown of Akron, represented on-the-job training. Yes, the Cavaliers made the finals once in those 7 years, turning the corner toward shedding the "loser" label once and for all, but they didn't get the brass ring. Had James gone to college for at least two years, not one, as some of today's so-called prodigies do, he might've been better prepared for the pro game. His problem was listening to the power brokers like Nike, promising him the moon and the stars, making him rich beyond his wildest dreams.
The second mistake was letting that inner circle expand with more bandwagon jumping leeches and hangers-on eager for a piece of the action. James dumped his first agent, Aaron Goodwin, in favor of Leon Rose, and picked up some nothing happening jabroni named Maverick Brown as a business manager. It's people like Brown who are in part responsible for turning the free agent season of 2010 into a circus more befitting professional wrestling, putting the idea in James' head that they needed to milk this for more than it was really worth.
Did James really need to have ESPN give him an hour of prime-time, with the proceeds benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of America? No. Ex-ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith had it right a week and a half ago, and it took James 10 days to confirm it, with all the additional bells & whistles to supposedly massage his ego, but it's more for the gratification of Brown and the rest of the leeches. James is a wrestling fan, and has been seen on-camera on WWE Raw several times. He knew how to milk the drama, but in the end it was amounting to a world class cop-out.
James is joining Chris Bosh & Dwyane Wade in Miami. Lah-de-freakin'-dah!!!! Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert is upset, and understandably so. The New York tabloids splashed James' face on the front pages this morning, trashing him for destroying the dreams of Nets & Knicks fans. Heat President and on-again-off-again coach Pat Riley has been accused of screwing the Knicks again (he quit as Knicks coach via fax once upon a full moon). What it comes down to is James & Bosh listening to their agents giving them a bunch of BS. If James couldn't win a title in Cleveland in 7 seasons, regardless of who he had surrounding him, like Shaquille O'Neal last season, for example, what makes him think things will be different in Miami? They've won exactly one championship.
Did I watch the dog & pony show last night? Hell, no! I had better things to do, but I do know when the NBA fans are being rooked from border to border. James' reputation has been tarnished permanently, regardless of how much charity work he's done, because he's been cast as just another me-first superstar, but far worse than people like Michael Jordan & Kobe Bryant, whose talent has been overshadowed by accusations of preferential treatment from referees (likely at the request of corporate sponsors), enabling them to win their championships. Neither Jordan nor Bryant nor any other superstar, like O'Neal, for another example, needed a forum like this. Tiger Woods' press conference was big news because of the scandal that soiled his image, but that was it. He didn't ask for the air time. It was just standard business.
Will James get his coveted championship in Miami? No, I don't think he will, unless the NBA wills it to be so. And that's the scary part, because it could happen.