Imagine being a 12 year old agonizing where your favorite player will land in the most unique free agency period of your lifetime…a fan of the free agent’s current team but excited nonetheless. You could care less of egos or media or fans of teams abhorring the decision process because ultimately where he plays puts him in direct competition with the team they so love.
Your and your friends debate his potential destination while on the court yourselves. Everyone wants to be 23 and calls out “LeBron!” when they take a shot, make a sickdiculous pass, snag a ferocious rebound or smack a weak attempt off glass.
Inside of an individual’s decision, your love of the rock is cemented and anticipation for the next season is heightened. Others who might not be a fan of the player secretly wish and hope he puts on their favorite team’s uniform during the selection show.
Proceeds of the one hour program will go to a charity benefiting children. What’s the problem?
*I added an addendum at the bottom of the piece on July 8th. It’s a conversation I had with LeBron last season.
Yes, it’s different. Yes, this is something we have never before seen. Yes, LeBron James is making teams come to him.
Why not take control of his future? Corporations do it. Sports franchise owners do it. Why not LeBron?
Remember, Barack Obama has weighed in. Despite the World Cup being the preeminent sports story across the globe, anyone within sports earshot has said LeBron’s name at least once.
He will be viewed as an egomaniac by a society kissing themselves whenever they see a pretentious mirror. He will be viewed as an egomaniac by a society hoping when the phone rings it’s another HR department on the line offering more money than they currently earn with their present employer.
Why shouldn’t a player in his sui generis position live every single second of this process as if moments become days and years of memorable spaces of time?
He is the face of the league.
He was a superstar the minute he stepped into Arco Arena for his NBA game one. Mother high school hummers and scrutinized jerseys three from way back have created an image of indisputable super stardom outside of his incomparable athletic performance.
Why should this decision be made in the small town back yards of slowed down walks of life as yet another old timer casually sips his sweet tea with traditional American mannerisms intact?
I’ve had a major gripe with LeBron James but in this instance…not so much.
Isn’t the system taking advantage of LeBron as he bites the tail of the chasing dog himself?
@michaeltillery LBJ represents youth resiliency, the true essence of free market capitalism & socioeconomic-ethnic ascendancy.
I cannot have said it better. In essence, LeBron represents change. John Wall new NBA dude change. Sports and entertainment change.
Why not be the first of his kind? Why is the NBA once again on the viscous fan and media scrutiny list when boatloads of green sails seamlessly into the ports of other sports as well?
He has the sports world by the balls and generations of his family will benefit as a result. Isn’t LBJ in fact his own corporation? A corporation in control of his own interests?
Buck one or buck billion.
Writers are actually afraid to approach LeBron in locker rooms across America simply because of what they have heard.
This creates a point of contention fans of the game cannot understand because the lines of apprehensive writers become distorted without getting quotes from LeBron himself.
LeBron should have a hand in creating his legacy correct?
Kids are watching. They don’t care about the other stuff.
Isn’t David Stern secretly wringing his hands together in Daffy Duck hypothetical splendor as two more grand ladies ask “who is this King James”?
One thing of huge note is LeBron has never faded in rockin’ a New York Yankee fitted. If LeBron goes to New York everybody capitalizes and the Knicks are back on the NBA map.
Just think, would LBJ go through all this hoopla to stay in Cleveland?
Would you be disappointed given the hype of a 1 hour special if he remained a member of the Cavaliers?
I asked David Stern a couple years ago during the playoffs about the traditional franchises in the league playing under the level (including Philly).
The first team he mentioned was the New York Knicks and he looked me straight in the eye when he said it.
James will instantly become the most famous New York Knickerbocker ever and could bankroll his celebrity into unimaginable fortune.
Jeter, ARod, Carsten Charles and LeBron.
He’s making the announcement in Greewich, Connecticut…a mere 15 minutes away from the Knicks practice facility.
Yet and still, Cleveland obviously is not out of this because Ohio is where LBJ rests his head.
Can you imagine being a child of Akron if LeBron decides to stay home? A ten year old from those same LeBron walked streets who very much could muster the ability to dunk a ball in the aftermath of an amazingly excitable announcement.
Ah…the soul model who produces confidence in those not of his name.
He will become an Ohio hero of Craig Ehlo get back proportions if he stays in Cleveland.
Even if he leaves, Cleveland Ohio would still love him because they too in fact would understand the magnitude of the opportunity before him.
He is a NBA executive dream.
Presumably, won’t advertising dollars sky rocket for the 2011 NBA season for a league estranged from its general fan base?
Of course this is about greedy money but it’s also about marketing the sport to a new generation of fans in and outside of the game.
Why the hell do you think Jay-Z is on David Letterman?
Prepare to potentially have your heart broken New York but let yourselves openly think New Jersey could possibly benefit later.
For the record, I’ve said it from the gate that LeBron should sign a 3 year deal to remain in Cleveland so his options will remain open to the possibility of playing in Brooklyn sometime after the arena is completed.
Are you getting the vibe, no one really knows anything about where LeBron James will play next season.
LeBron will be under tremendous scrutiny no matter what he does. Will he see the path of Oscar Robertson, Philadelphia Dr. J, Kareem, Mike or Kobe?
How about none of the above? Will that be OK?
I hope so. After all, aren’t you a fan?
Those neighborhood kids alluded to earlier, won’t they somehow manage tickets when LeBron happens upon their town thus creating memories for themselves and subsequently their children?
This is his life not the impatient ours.
His decision to make his destination known on ESPN is bold but also one that will cement his status from barber shops in Akron to the thick bricks of Lithuania.
We live in such a hypocritical society. A society where cynics have become almost the exclusive voice as if they themselves walk in boss Akron shoes.
You can’t knock his hustle or that of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh who reportedly have decided to play for the Miami Heat.
Akron get your popcorn ready or will he become the King of New York?
It’s one of the two maybe.
Get that money LeBron. You’re 25. Time shines upon you but once and one day you will smile as your grand kids themselves shoot the name of the next generational star with the excited anticipation of a Christmas eyed gift.
This is a new day. Instead of having these shattered shocked eyes locked in unrealistic sports tradition, step back, take a deep breath and accept reality with prejudice if you so choose.
After all, it is in fact your choice.
Addendum: 4:52 am July 8th. Take from this what you will with respect to what he says about Michael Jordan’s off the court legacy…
I had a conversation with LeBron earlier this year about the potential number change. Here it is:
Speaking of the 6 jersey…
The entire three week period I was in Cleveland, I didn’t get the chance to ask LeBron about the number change. I thought it was appropiate he commented on it here (in Philly), given what Doc means to the city. I’d spoken to him earlier in the season about the switch:
MT: Some people are taking the switch as a slight to history…you know Bill Russell, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson…to name a few…to say how come their number isn’t being retired…
LBJ: MJ had more of an impact than anyone off the court in history. His numbers speak for themselves on the court but what he was able to do off the court also inspired (me) to want to play the game of basketball goes without saying. I think Magic, Bird and Wilt were unbelievable but none of those guys did what MJ did off the court as far as inspiring people to want to be great, wanting to be able to fly, jump and do the things Mike did and be in commercials and things like that.
MT: Do you think that has a lot to do with the digital age…the age we are in now?
LBJ: I think it’s all about timing too. When you have great timing, things work out for you.
MT: Are you happy with the evolution of the game so far?
LBJ: Uh…I mean…it’s uh…I think the ’80?s uh…presented better basketball players. I think early ’90?s also. The game…uh..is still great of course. It’s the greatest league that we have in the world. It’s the greatest sport I feel that we have. I feel like over the last few years…some of the guys…you know…GM’s…or whatever…kinda draft or pick off potential sometimes. That’s why you see some young guys taking four or five years to be able to get minutes or play to the abilities that those GM’s or coaches wanted them to be at. I think back in the ’80?s, if you weren’t four years out of college or you weren’t already twenty five or twenty six old, you wasn’t going to get an opportunity. That’s why the game was so much better.
MT: If you look back in history…Kobe…when I talked to him said he pulls from different players in history. Were there certain players you watched and picked up a move or a shot or something like that?
LBJ: Nah…I never picked any shots up. When you think of a fade-a-way you think of Jordan of course. When you think of a skyhook or a running skyhook across the lane you think of Magic. When you think of passing or a no look pass you think of Magic. There’s no one I took game from. There are a lot of people who inspired my game…MJ being one of them…Penny Hardaway being another…and Grant Hill being another one growing up around that time. There wasn’t anyone’s game that I kinda picked and said I want to add this to my game.
This is what LeBron gave me Friday (3-12-10)…
MT: LeBron when I was growing up, I wore #44…Reggie Jackson’s #44…which reminded me and taught me a lot about Hank Aaron. #6 is big in this city. Could you talk about how the potential change to #6 is going to bring awareness to Dr. J?
LBJ: I respect Doc. I respect Bill Russell and all the guys who wore #6 but it’s not because of Dr. J. There’s a lot of personal reasons why I’ve changed to #6. I don’t need to go into it but I’ve worn #6 in the Olympics. I’ve worn #6 when I first started playing as a youngster but, if I can shine a light on Dr. J’s career I’m all for it too but it’s not the main reason why I’m doing it.