Tag Archives: LeBron James

A trade later, East now up for grabs

With Carmelo Anthony in the East, and Kendrick Perkins in the West, life just got tougher for the Celtics. (AP photo)

I’m one of the few people that immediately said I liked the Boston Celtics’ trade of Kendrick Perkins for essentially Jeff Green. (Let’s forget the other guy for a second.) It was, in my initial opinion, a good deal because of the skills and athleticism that Green brings to the table. What I wasn’t really aware of from the 10 or so games I’ve seen of the Thunder on National TV was the inconsistency in which he plays. First night in green, he looked like a deer in headlights. That was the first warning sign.
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Post LeBronapalooza – The Decision dissected and analyzed at NABJ

A view of Pacific Beach in San Diego, Calif.

Editor’s note: I really wish I could have gotten this up earlier. I had mucho technico problemos with the audio. But I still think the discussion in San Diego, Calif., is pertinent for any and all interested parties.

There were a number of newsworthy moments at the National Association of Black Journalists convention and career fair (July 28 – Aug. 1). But none was more important to me than the discussion of “LeBronapalooza.” Also known as, “The Decision.”

NABJ compiled a stellar assortment of its own members, most of which were at the forefront of coverage and decision-making, for a panel on how the ethical quandary arose. That being how the World Wide Leader simultaneously covered LeBron James while being quasi business partners with him as he announced his decision to some 18 million viewers that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat.

At issue was ESPN’s ceding control of the advertising spots on the show, which many journalists are still outraged about. I wrote about that here.

It’s not the first time NABJ’s Sports Task Force, chaired by my colleague Greg Lee Jr., has addressed hot topics with newsmakers at NABJ conventions. (Unfortunately, Mr. Lee was unable to attend. And Mr. James was missing as well.) Michael Vick and those dogs comes to mind. But this discussion brought out all the heavy hitters. On the panel were ESPN reporters Chris Broussard and J.A. Adande, Yahoo! Sports NBA writer Marc Spears, Miami Herald Heat writer Mike Wallace, Managing Editor of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer Debra Adams-Simmons and Comcast Sportsnet New England’s NBA writer A. Sherrod Blakely.

Each had a unique take on the development and coverage of the story. But with all of these great perspectives, what really lacked was an executive’s take. You know, an editor.

Oh wait, NABJ had that too.
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LeBronapalooza

What will he do?

Everything about this 1-hour “decision” special isn’t terrible. I won’t go so far as to say that. But I will say that in its current design, it is of poor taste. There are a couple of reasons for this.

  1. ESPN should not have ceded its advertising spots to LeBron James.
  2. James, pending his exodus, is pissing on the citizenry of his hometown.

It really is outrageous that ESPN has surrendered some journalistic integrity in order to secure exclusivity with James. Only because surrendering their advertising spots, this can be seen as a sort of pay-to-play situation. And that’s really what it is. It’s the equivalent of Paul Pierce coming to the Boston Globe, telling us he wants to blog, then asking for all the advertising money. That’s no bueno.
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New poll: Which team will win the NBA championship?

We’ve basically whittled down the contenders to five teams. (It should be four right now, but I digress…)

After watching Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns dismantle the San Antonio Spurs and their iron clamp defense, I would say that I’m warming to the idea that they have a shot at the title. But watching Black Mamba and the Lakers’ triple towers makes me think otherwise. Plus, Superman over in Orlando is playing out of his mind — and staying out of foul trouble — while King James continues to befuddle me with his night and day performances. Lastly, when did it become Rajon Rondo’s team? (Methinks some time in February.)

So, can you help a brother out? Which team do you think is going all the way?

UPDATE: LeBron James is a wussy

Before the finals started, David Stern addressed the media and discussed LeBron James and how James apologized for his actions. He was fined $25,000. Read it and view it here.


The biggest, baddest, fastest player in the NBA — who happens to be the league’s MVP — is all sour grapes because he can’t win an NBA championship. And in the the throes of losing, tasting defeat, and generally getting his feelings hurt, LeBron James has forgotten what it feels like to be a man and say “good game” while looking his triumphant opponents in the eye.

Wuss.

There is a cultural shift going on in the NBA of wussified, whiny and flat out disrespectful multi-millionaires running exceedingly rampant and carefree. And if the NBA’s caretaker, David Stern, is even slightly concerned (which he is), he would rethink not punishing James for leaving the court without congratulating the Orlando Magic and without speaking to the media.

Forget the media, he should have at least shook hands with the Magic.

Within hours of this debacle, the questioning and rumors poured in from all four corners of the country. How can King James be the face of the league if he can’t be a good sportsman? There is serious concern that this top-tier athlete, who is possibly bigger than the sport itself with crossover appeal into pop culture, is an absolutely atrocious role model for amateur players. Why? Because at the height of his popularity, his most-watched moment and the game’s most-watched moment, he is suddenly a classless character.

After emerging from his own world of self-pity and reflection, he didn’t help his cause. In his words:

“It’s hard for me to congratulate somebody after you just lose to them,” he said. “I’m a winner. It’s not being a poor sport or anything like that. If somebody beats you up, you’re not going to congratulate them. That doesn’t make sense to me. I’m a competitor. That’s what I do. It doesn’t make sense for me to go over and shake somebody’s hand.”

Wrong.

He is a poor sport. He just defined bad sportsmanship. He just defined what it means to be a playground wussy.

I can rant, I can scream, and I can smack around James in this space all I want, but it will all go to waste if folks don’t turn to their youngsters, their teammates and their own players, and say point-blankly, “James is wrong.”

Humility is necessary in sports. It’s actually what makes this section I write in great. The greatest lesson any prep, Little League or AAU coach can teach their players is a simple one: Be gracious when you win and when you lose.

It’s a form of “do unto others as those would do unto you.” This little golden nugget is what puts character in the backbones of those that play sports. Kids learn teamwork, how to work hard, focus, and how to deal with failure. Again, it’s all character building.

For someone like James, who is a huge role model for his own peers, to be at odds with the basics is downright blasphemous on these holy pages. It screams unconstitutional in terms of sportsmanship. It screams of hypocrisy for the man willing to take the gracious nods of greatness and defiantly ignore its responsibilities.

That’s why I’m so sickened. This man needs to be corrected. He needs to sit at home, watch the NBA Finals, and see how true champions play.

It’s why he’s not ready for greatness.

Next time you lose a game, no matter how hotly contested, turn to your competitor and say “good game.” Respect flows in the heat of competition, but it is cemented when the battle is over.

Don’t screw with that mojo.

Editor’s note: This column originally appeared in The Union.