Heated discussion on twitter yesterday focused on an ESPN decision to pull a column reporting on the happenings of a Las Vegas party LeBron hosted. Other writers might disagree and some others might feel this type of trash in sports has entertainment value, but I care about the legacies of athletes so I can’t rock with it. It disgusts me that a large segment of society actually hates LeBron for leaving Cleveland. I don’t care how he did it, he would have been hated anyway because that’s how this society gets down. There is no true loyalty across the American board (you would leave your job for another offering comfort or paying more money) so for fans of sports to scream LeBron should have stayed in Cleveland is beyond hypocrisy.
Why should he pay Cleveland’s bills? He sure as hell doesn’t pay mine in Philly.
Lakers fans will hate the decision to rock in Miami. Boston fans hated the decision to form South Beach Soultron as well. Of course Orlando fans can’t deal…
This has become personal for people. A bunch of selfish, bratty, arrogant, perverted insecurity.
He was going to be hated anyway down the line because there are folks who can’t and will never relate beyond skin color, physical prowess, go for yours ’cause I’m gonna get mine objectives, youthful exuberance and potential…on and off the floor…and of course the dreaded deep pockets. Period.
Don’t front people. You know what it is.
LeBron, let’s talk. When it comes to your on court game? I gotcha. When it comes to how you treat your teammates? I gotcha. When it comes to writing your athletic legacy? I gotcha. The access you give me personally? I gotcha because I would never take advantage. I want the future to read your once in a generation game through my words, so to alienate you in any way is ridiculous given how I and others of my ilk are treated by your camp.
Your decision to let ESPN into your party after what went down this summer was misguided. I gotta call it like it is. Too much happened after that fateful Jim Gray bird in the hand is not two in the bush Thursday and I find it incredulous you would exacerbate what is already a white hot societal hatred by giving an ESPN writer access knowing damn well it might not turn out in your favor.
There needs to be better decisions made by your people and that’s exclusive of The Decision. If your camp had anything to do with this piece being spiked, you are now on the clock of scrutiny.
You must understand where you stand in sports because with that comes great responsibility to the past, present and future. Every decision you make from here on in will be scrutinized to high heavens. If you play with snakes, don’t get mad when folks piss on the bite. Judge yourself accordingly.
LeBron go to Vegas. Cool, cool relax. Have fun man. Get away from it all…but you have to be smarter. Think about this next time. You are better than that. I don’t know you well enough to call you a friend but covering you the last three years I’ve picked up on your mannerisms. You know I challenge you in the locker room but you’re the only athlete in sports who finishes my questions before I complete them…so we connect.
Connect to this piece.
Everyone is accountable. If LeBron (and athletes in general) deserve scrutiny, so does the writer (and journalists in general)…Arash Markazi in this instance. I thought the article was a piece of trash a 5th grader could have written wearing a press hat on a field trip. It was voyeuristic, superficial, too hard on the side of trying to be hip, inaccurate (how Tao employees do their jobs), pandering to fans who already think LeBron is arrogant and straight up typical…almost demonic.
I don’t get why writers of other races don’t attempt to truly conduct proper research necessary to get beyond the superficial body language of Black athletes.
There are more to them than what meets the eye. How the hell do I know? I won’t answer that.
Athletes are gonna media run away like free agents from a Dan Gilbert incentive based contract and I don’t blame them.
I had an online conversation later with a well respected blogger who stated my ire with the writer of the piece in question and also how athletes are portrayed by the media at large could be perceived as bitterness (I guess because I’m not writing for ESPN?) because she couldn’t fully understand what I was trying to say. I was hot yesterday. I might have come across as irrational to some but the folks in particular that I was speaking to, knew my point.
Anybody who reads this site knows it would be so easy to sell out given my relationships (both business and personal) with athletes, entertainers, PR folk, front office execs, editors and writers.
It will never happen, so I’m resigned to know my path in the game will be decidedly different than most journalists or even bloggers.
The gloves are off. I will tell it like it is from now on. Straight up.
I want more.There is a game you know.
I’d rather write a thousand word piece on a singular sneak screech than read a piece about a party for any athlete or entertainer.
I’m not going to point the finger incessantly and fanatic passionately at LeBron like some insecure bully at recess.
Does that make sense? He was a 25 year old man having fun in Vegas after a mad hellacious summer where he went from a beloved man child to a historical abomination. Why should I pile on simply because the reader clamors so?
I guess I should write and laugh and giggle with my school girl skirt hiked up with the rest of the pack?
I gotta say something regarding writing of athletes and their parties. Parties happen all the time and you can bet the house some are still going on this very second from the previous night somewhere. I know the average sports fan can’t relate but everything you think happens at any celebrity party, most likely goes down.
Why would you want to read an article written about a party that was so uneventful? LeBron as far as I know wasn’t drunk, there was nothing wild happening in public view and few other discernible stars were present outside of Chris Paul and Lamar Odom, so what is the attraction?
When did sports become the tabloid? ESPN should have never considered running such a piece. How does a network have professional league TV contracts and actually get on the good side of the dark side…taking a cutesy, weekday afternoon soap opera ride with feminine like cat eyes fixated on man thighs?
The emasculation of the Black athlete continues. Fans grip, grope, love, sex, admire, gloat, seek, peek, sneak, creep weak this kind of stuff. They eat it up.
Since I’ve become a reporter among other things in the game, the one image I will never get used to visualizing how excited fans are of seeing athletes I speak to like it’s nothing.
I understand that. Fans pay hard earned money to enjoy a night away from reality.
What I don’t understand is the need to put players in pink panties and parade them on a stage of pornographic hate complete with a gang bang of banana thrusts sans any semblance of decipherable estrogen.
Men in journalism, wake the hell up. What are you going to tell your sons after they read you hypothetically kissing an athlete’s ass whenever you are in his presence?
Athletes are men like you. Man up!
I understand gossip from women sports writers (in the context of women reading gossip sites and mags. Make a distinction). I don’t like it but I understand. That’s what women like and it’s an even better chance to relate to sports if they dish on this and kiss on that.
Take offense to that if you will ladies but you too know right from wrong and gossip in sports whether it comes from men or women is wrong.
To everyone, stop with the moral judgments of athletes when some of you know damn well you would probably burn the pews in church to hell as soon as you open the front door.
Again, if this train of thought continues, access to athletes will no longer be granted. You’re cool with that? You don’t want to hear anything besides “both teams played hard, my teammates come first and at the end of the day we won the game and that is all that matters”?
I’m not because I have a game to watch and a responsibility to report it for history.
That is all that matters.
Addendum…7/29 at 2:35 pm EST: Statement from Rob King and Arash Markazi (just received a text from King that link is forthcoming):
Rob King, Vice President & Editor-in-Chief, ESPN Digital Media:
“ESPN.com will not be posting the story in any form. We looked into the situation thoroughly and found that Arash did not properly identify himself as a reporter or clearly state his intentions to write a story. As a result, we are not comfortable with the content, even in an edited version, because of the manner in which the story was reported. We’ve been discussing the situation with Arash and he completely understands. To be clear, the decisions to pull the prematurely published story and then not to run it were made completely by ESPN editorial staff without influence from any outside party.”
Arash Markazi, Writer & Columnist, ESPNLosAngeles.com:
“I have been in conversations with ESPN.com’s editors and, upon their complete review, understand their decision not to run the story. It is important to note that I stand by the accuracy of the story in its entirety, but should have been clearer in representing my intent to write about the events I observed.”
LeBron’s camp informed me there will be no statement forthcoming.
There you have it.
To the links…
Teen Charged With Hate Crime For Attacking White Man Over Rap Music (All Hip Hop)
Barack the stealth socialist? (National Review)
Are Tea Partiers Trying to Hijack 9/11? (Mother Jones)
Converse played Big Boi like a sucka (Higher Learning)
Chris Cason on the report: Despite coaching Bulls summer league squad, Pete Myers out as Bulls assistant (Chicago Bulls Examiner)
Stephon Marbury to China for 3 years (Inside Hoops)
Fan in LeBron Heat Jersey Booted From Indians Game (The Big Lead)
Roy Oswalt-to-Phils deal is close; Podsednik to Dodgers (USA TOday)
RIP Lorenzen Wright…
Photographs of lost memories…