Looking for reaction in various cities, and found a really good overview article that has links to papers all over (except Chicago, strangely). Most not too favorable, even outside of Cleveland. And even our old "pal" Rosenberg chimes in. Hope it really was about winning for LeBron...because his image and brand took a hit. And you know the sharks will be out for any failure. Take a look -
OT: LeBron Media Reaction
well it is cleveland.com. no one is more pissed than everyone in cleveland. I'm sure they went out and found every negative take on this they could. that being said, Lebron is a sell out
He might of sold out for a championship, but everyone knows Cleveland will never win anything because no one wants to play there. Was he just supposed to sit there and rot? And I'm not a Lebron fan, but don't wish that for a player of his caliber.
Correction: he got lots of all-stars to come to Cleveland.
I don't get the criticism that he's "taking the easy way out" as Rosenberg put it. LeBron doesn't owe Cleveland anything, and if he'd gone to Chicago and taken Bosh with him he would have a clearer path to a championship than he does now. I think most of the handwringing comes from the idea that a true superstar should want to be the Man. We want our superstars to have big egos, to be incredibly competitive and LeBron joining Wade in Miami indicates he might lack a killer instinct. But LeBron may turn that logic on its head, maybe having the willingness to tuck your dick between your legs if it means you can play with another top 5 player is the real killer instinct. It'll be real interesting to see how this team gels, personally I think that if they could add Shaq it would really help the team chemistry. He's a guy who's been the Man and has over time had to learn to defer, just like Wade and James will have to. They'd both respect and listen to him. He'd be perfect to defuse any strife. Make it happen Riles!
The real "man" here is Dwyane Wade. He got Bosh to sign with Miami basically forcing LeBron to South Beach. Or else the "King" would have to go elsewhere and prove he can do it by himself, which I suspect he did not think he could. Think about it. LeBron could have gone to Chicago and played with a top 5 point guard and been The Man. He chose not to.
Unless the league allows Miami to use two balls, I see big trouble ahead for the Heat. And it will be fun to see if LeBron will knuckle under. Miami is Dwyane Wade's team.
Wade and Bron and Bosh seemed to do just fine in the Olympics with one. Granted that's a much different context, but given each player's intelligence and, especially James, passing ability, I don't foresee any offensive issues at all. On the other side of the court, I think the lighter individual offensive loads will allow both Bron and Wade to be absolute terrors on defense, and Bosh probably won't suck as much.
I think that analysis makes some sense. People who can lead others are uncommon. (Aside: I think LeBron often did a good job leading a mediocre cast.) Ones who can lead *and* follow when appropriate are rare. Maybe LBJ has analyzed his own personality and concluded that he'd be a better fit as a second banana. (Another aside: Chris Webber would have been a much happier player if he'd done that early in his career. That and play closer to the basket instead of trying to be Magic / whoever...)
He could have handled this much more gracefully, but I don't have an issue with him teaming up with an alpha (Wade) and passing up the chance to be lead dog again.
My least favorite thing about the NBA (and sort of basketball in general) is the impact that one man has on a team. Granted, I am not knowledgeable about the sport, but where a writer in that article criticizes James for "throwing in the towel on himself, admitting he can't lead a team to the title on his own" I tend to see the opposite. To me a title should be won by the combined efforts of a team of individuals that work together with sound strategy, exceptional skill, dominating willpower, and sheer luck. It should not be about a single player no matter how good he might be. I do not like LeBron James, but I don't fault him for signing with Miami.
Agree.... and also disagree. I agree that its too bad that 1 person means so much to a team, but disagree that this is an NBA problem.
Colts with Peyton Manning -- Superbowl contenders. Colts without Peyton Manning -- afterthought.
Patriots with Tom Brady -- Superbowl contenders. Patriots without Tom Brady -- afterthought.
New Orleans with Drew Brees -- Superbowl winners. New Orleans without Drew Brees -- .500 at best.
Jamaica's Track Team without Usain Bolt -- just another random island nation with a decent Scottie Pippen-type player (Asafa Powell).
Cardinals (my favorite team) without Pujols -- Decent because their division is attrocious but not likely to make the play-offs with regularlity like they've been doing the last decade. That World Series win in 2006 never happens.
I could go on but I think you understand my point.
True, point well made. I think the difference between the NFL and the NBA is that in the NFL an impact player can come on and really charge a team up, but only if other pieces are in place. The Lions alone prove that bringing in a single guy is never going to really turn stuff around by itself. Maybe this contradicts my original point in that both sports require a solid supporting cast in order for the stars to shine, but it seems worse in the NBA because of the smaller team size. Or something like that.
The main reason isnt only that the team sizes are smaller, but also that they play both sides of the ball.
Lebron isn't just a top-2 scorer in the league, he's also a top-2 defender according to most (right behind Dwight Howard).
Aside from that, Lebron going alone to the Nets would've meant nothing. The fact is that 3 of the very top stars in the game all went to the same destination in the primes of their career. In football if a 25-year-old Peyton + 25-year-old LaDainian + 25-year-old Terrell Owens (off-the-field stuff aside) went to the same team you can bet that regardless of how crappy the team was it would be an instant superbowl contender. In basketball this is made worse by the fact that adding those 3 is also equivalent to adding an in-their-primes Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Champ Bailey for free.
But then you kinda contradict yourself. Because you add those 3 football players to a team, and they're not Super Bowl contenders, as prolific as they may be. Because if the O-line sucks, those three won't be able to do much. And if the Defense is bad, it won't matter how good the offense is, they're not winning it all. Whereas in Basketball, you add LeBron to your team...you are an instant contender..no matter how bad the rest of the team is. Like Cleveland.
Not long ago, many Red Wing fans were praising Marian Hossa for foregoing the big bucks and joining the Wings tp pursue a title. This looks to me to be the same thing, except that LeBron is pursuing many titles.
Yes, the Heat have burned Cap. But I think you're going to see a revolving cast of impact veterans signing one-year contracts at the veteran's minimum so that they, too, can take part in the celebrations.
Unfortunately for the Pistons, I wouldn't be surprised if the first class of those veterans includes LeBron's former teammate Ben Wallace, someone Greg Monroe could reeally benefit and learn from in his rookie year.
You don't need a revolving door of veterans, unless you're assuming they'd be so old they wouldn't be good for more than one year. If they sign for the minimum, they can be re-signed without cap restrictions.
They can be re-signed without cap restrictions, but not without luxury tax implications. Regardless of how much money the unholy triumvirate will bring in, I doubt the Heat is going to want to be paying massive amounts of luxury tax every year.
one of the reasons why karl malone stayed in the league as long as he did was so he could pass jordan on the career scoring list... that way he could have some sort of an accomplishment in his career and for that i have a strong dislike for him... what makes me hate him is how he treated his "other" kids... he went from some what of a media darling to a dead beat dad as soon as cheryl ford made it in the WNBA...
Although a 1 hour primetime show to announce one players destination sickened me, a player who has never won a championship either I was still one of the millions of assholes taking part so shame on me. Just some general observations and conerns/criticisims.
1. National TV-your own show does not call for a suit? I understand that we live in the day of business casual but I thought such an occasion called for the formality. Bad image/PR advice IMO.
2. I was disappointed in James diction and abuse of the English language. If interacting with the media and public speaking are an intricate part of your profession spend some time with a speech coach and learn to pronunciate properly. Skipping college (hopefully not sleeping through High School) is no excuse not to be a part of Toastmasters somewhere.
3. I commend James for allowing his time to be shared after the announcement for questions with ESPN back in the studio. Although it was/seemed to be pre-discussed or recycled verbiage and offered little insight it at least came from LeBron.
4. More then once LeBron discussed how he went from being an 18 year old kid to becoming a 25 year old man. Sorry to be tough on LeBron here but a man marrys the woman he is still together with and had children with at 18 (2 kids I believe) and becomes the Father the family deserves. Thst is the real first step to being a man. The next step is one day realizing that at 25 you had no clue no matter how accomplished what being a man was all about.
5. Although he offered the words of thanks to Cleavland it did not seem heartfelt. I am not asking for tears but some genuine and revealing recollection, a moment of solace, give something. Practiced PR speak vs speaking from the heart.
6. LeBron deserves the criticisim he will recieve from this because this "show" was a no win situation. Unlike Jordan who the world wanted to see win LeBron did not help himself in that respect and I would not be suprised to see a 50/50 split of haters rejoice with every missed opportunity.
I am not sure if James will ever be another MJ on the floor of the NBA or that it is fair to put that on him. I am certain that away from the game :LeBron will never be MJ because MJ was an NBA ambassodor that might never again be seen in any sport.
1. I agree he could have used a suit
2. He's got a really weird way of saying organization. He stresses the "i".
3. Yes it was nice that LeBron stuck around for the rest of the LeBron prime time special
4. Assuming LeBron isn't a good father because he isn't married isn't right. Marriage isn't all that sacred anymore
5. Definitely did not come across as genuine towards Cleveland. It was cold. He even said something like "I took that franchise to a place it's never been before". Ok yeah the NBA FInals in 2007 when you got swept. Way to go.
6. I've always considered myself a LeBron fan. Both of his personality and especially his game. I gotta say I'm gonna enjoy rooting against him and the rest of the Heat
I also noticed the egotism that came from his comments. apparently he did all the work in Cleveland. He is responsible for all their success. Well, if that's the case, then he is equally responsible for all their failures. He's the reason they never actually won a championship.
I hate any sports team that comes out of the state that shall not be mentioned. But no fanbase deserves this much disrespect from their star athlete. Last night was an example of all that is wrong with sports in this era. It is, and always was, all about Lebron's ego.
I guess this is what fans get for rooting for individuals rather than teams though. Especially when that individual is a self-absorbed, immature, narcisicist like Lebron James.
criticism of his grammar and style is purely subjective, right? He's not in a profession that requires he wear a suit to work or speak proper English, he's a basketball player.
I agree that the special was tacky, but like you, I watched so it was a win-win for him and ESPN and the Boys & Girls Club.
If he choose Cleveland, everybody would criticism him for choosing money and fame first. He did the admirable thing and choose winning over money and ego. How many boys or men could actually do that?
He did the admirable thing and choose winning over money and ego.
But I don't really think I understand this point at all. LeBRon said at the beginning of his interview that he wants to be considered one of the greatest players in league history, and to do that means winning multiple championships. If he wants to win for his own legacy, how is that less selfish or more admirable than taking more money?
He's got all the money he'll ever need, plus what he gets from Miami will only be marginally less than what he would have made in Cleveland over the same time period. We're talking about a few percent difference. All the talk about LeBron "leaving $30 million on the table" is nonsense. The bulk of that $30 million number is the extra year Cleveland could have signed him to. But I have a suspicion that someone will be paying LeBron to play basketball six years from now, so he'll make a good portion of that $30 million he's "leaving on the table".
LeBron leaves ~$10 to $15 million behind in guaranteed money. 6 years from now, the collective bargaining agreement may reduce salaries even more, that's why the free agents are signing longer term deals right now.
Even if LeBron wins 2-3 Championships in the next 5 years, everybody will say that it's because of Wade and Bosch, not like Kobe (he had Pao Gasol and Derek Fisher) or Jordan (just Pippen and some role players). LeBron won 60+ games in Cleveland the last 2 years, meaning that he had a shot in the next 5 to take at least 1, and get all of the credit.
He's putting his ego aside and at least $10 million (now, before you say that $10 million isn't a big deal to him, with that money, he could have renamed his High School LeBron High).
Can't help but feel extreme joy over all the pain Buckeye fans are feeling today.
They're burning Lebron jerseys already.
This whole episode has been nothing more than an exercise in inflating James' ego. ESPN saw a cash cow and ran with it (I can't blame them for it, they are a business). I think that the reaction of the Cav's owner Gilbert was hilarious.
"It's not about him leaving," Gilbert said. "It's the disrespect. It's time for people to hold these athletes accountable for their actions. Is this the way you raise your children? I've been holding this all in for a long time."
Sounds to me like there was some bitterness waiting to boil over. I get the feeling that the Cav's were never in the picture.
...from his perspective screw the writers. With his recent shenanigans surrounding the contract signing, he clearly does not worry about bad press.
If he wins, he'll have the ring(s) and will have won them while spending his leisure time on South Beach. I hear that's a might bit more interesting than Lake Erie.
Who cares what Rosenberg thinks, anyway? James will be "on a boat" in Miami!
I think it's interesting how the consensus opinion seems to be that James has been exposed as entirely ego driven by his role in arranging the publicity around his decision. That the central act, the decision itself, seems to refute the idea that he's completely egomaniacal is apparently of little consequence. He's just too dumb to be egomaniacal properly.
I find this interpretation strained.
My take on this conflict:
Lebron himself is willing to sacricice a big of short-term ego and $ in order to win. He's hoping winning makes him a bigger "global icon" thus generating more long-term $ from endorsements and giving him more "status" with the international community (read: ego).
Lebron's ridiculously huge entourage will do anything to get $ and publicity short-term regardless of how it leaves him looking long-term. I'm pretty confident his agent or another person surrounding him had the idea for the ridiculous special, and even though Lebron was okay with it he probably gave in to enormous pressure from his inner circle to do it. The charity aspect of the special was intended to make Lebron look like a "good guy" while stabbing his city in the back I'm positive.
Of course Jordan didn't have to contend with all the hype that LeBron has had to contend with almost from day one. Early in his career, MJ was regarded as an great talent and an exciting player, but nobody was calling him the greatest of all time when he was pouring in 60 points against the Celtics and the Pistons and Chicago would still lose. His legend really didn't become cemented until guys like Pippen, Paxson, Rodman, and Kukoc showed up to provide more team balance and Bulls became a dynasty.
I wonder what Jordan would've done if he'd had a Jordan-esque standard to try and live up to when he came into the league in the mid-80s and then had a team like the Lakers come knocking in 1989 or 1990 after the Bulls had been knocked out the playoffs by the Pistons, again. At that time, though, nobody was saying that multiple repeat championships was one of the marks of an all-time great player. Jordan created a standard that is almost impossible for any great player following him to live up to.
I just think if the roles were reversed, Jordan would probably have responded to LeBron's situation in a similar manner. I don't know if he would've supported the whole circus atmosphere around the announcement, but then I don't think that's necessarily LeBron's fault either.
Regarding his hype early in his career, “I think he’s God disguised as Michael Jordan.”
--Boston's Larry Bird, on Michael Jordan after he scored 63 points against the Celtics in Game 2 of the 1986 Eastern Conferece First Round
Regarding having a Jordanesque Standard: Michael wanted to be the best and BEAT the best. he didnt just want to win, he wanted to destroy dynasties. Look at his hall of fame speech, he lived to destroy others. He went through the Bad Boys Pistons, Showtime, Portland, Barkley, Malone, and he relished in it. Simmons's TBOB goes into more details, things like "The Shrug" and yelling "FUCK YOU" to Dan Majerle in a game (for no apparent reason other than Jordan felt slighted by him 3 years earlier). Jordan didn't fall into this standard of "take down everyone else around you and become the best for a long time", he created it
Regarding Role Reversal: No way Jordan does the hype machine thing. No way. He often eschewed the spotlight refusing to become "a dog and pony show". Best example, his comeback in 1995, a 2 word fax to the league office "IM BACK"
...but damn, this is a good quote
He has insulated himself from the world, surrounded himself with yes men. He has no idea how much backlash he is about to get.That's one of the great ironies of this -- James is trying to flee pressure, but he will just face more of it. He is trying to maximize his 'brand,' but he just damaged it."
He will have more pressure on him this year than he has ever had before. He will get booed in a lot of places for the first time. This will be the first season in which a majority of fans and media people will be pointing out every flaw and hoping for his demise rather than signing his praises and calling him King James.
I thought the whole spectacle of this FA period was insane, and I do think LeBron deserves to be called out for basically spending a prime-time hour kicking his former team in the gut. And personally, I think it is hilarious that people talk about him as a great player when he hasn't won a championship or (outside of the year the Pistons apparently forgot you can foul people hard) really challenged for a title.
But I am tired of Cleveland fans acting like the guy owed them anything. He played there for 7 years, and he took them to their first NBA Finals in franchise history and made them relevant every year he was there. Sure, it would have been nice to have won a championship, but for Gilbert and co. to say that LeBron "quit" on them is ludicrous. LeBron clearly struggled against Boston and Orlando, but where was Mo Williams, Delonte West, Antwan Jamison, Shaq, etc. when someone other than LeBron needed to take over? Williams had about 1.5 good games against Boston, and that was about it. Heck, Kobe won a game 7 shooting 6-24 because other players (Gasol, Artest) stepped up after he had helped to carry them through the playoffs. LeBron never had anything approaching an All-Star during his time there (Mo Williams' nod was basically the result of playing with LeBron and the sense that the best team in the league needed more than one All Star), and while he certainly disappeared at times, Gilbert and Danny Ferry failed to put the pieces around him to succeed. If he had returned to Cleveland, he would have been stuck with Varajeo, Mo Williams, and a bunch of scrubs and bargain-basement veterans.
LeBron might well be an ass, but the Cavaliers deserve at least as much blame for the mess they created.
I didn't see it posted, but I easily could have missed it