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Thursday, July 8th, 2010 at 11:57 am  |  83 responses

Mostly Legend

LeBron James & the world we live in.

by Farmer Jones

“There was a time when sports were mostly legend; today, they’re mostly marketing opportunities.”

I stole that from Chuck Klosterman. It appears as part of a jacket blurb on the back of a new book by my friend Michael Weinreb. The book is called Bigger Than The Game, and it’s about how a confluence of factors in the mid 1980s changed the very nature of American sports. The book (which is great, and comes out next month; I have an early copy because Mike was in my wedding, but you can and should pre-order it now) is mostly about characters like Bo Jackson, Jim McMahon and Brian Bosworth, but in laying out the premise in the first couple of chapters, Mike also singles out two companies as particularly influential in, and symbolic of, this sea change.

Those companies are Nike and ESPN.

Tonight, the former’s biggest endorsee will go on the latter’s signature network to announce where he will play basketball next season. This is an unprecedented thing, which, for me, seems fitting; I used the word “unprecedented” roughly 173 times in a book I wrote about LeBron seven years ago. The book’s subtitle, as I’ve referenced more than once recently, is “Believe the Hype.”

we-are-all-witnesses-lebron-james-546522_1024_7686

Sorry about that.

*

As I was on my way out of the University of Akron gym on Wednesday, I saw the PR guy LeBron’s team hired a few years ago. I’ve dealt with him professionally a couple of times but don’t otherwise know him. Still, I had to ask. It’s not his job to create or hone LeBron’s image as much as it is to facilitate exposure, but that detail didn’t much matter. I had to ask somebody, and there he was.

I asked if he had a sense of the backlash. I asked if he was seeing and hearing what I was seeing and hearing. I asked if he realized that the average basketball fan, and a lot of the basketball media, have been largely turned off by the carnival. I reminded him (and this was a waste of breath) that I didn’t personally hold all this against LeBron, but that more and more people sure seemed to.

He said he did not. He said I was wrong. He did his job, I guess, playing semantics and parsing the phrasing of my question. He emphasized that LeBron isn’t making this decision for anyone but himself and his family (which is totally valid, but misses the point that people are annoyed by the process, not the decision). He pointed to the quarter of a million people who clicked “follow” on LeBron’s Twitter feed in its first 24 hours of existence as proof that his popularity didn’t seem to be an issue. He did most of this as he was walking away from me. It went pretty much how I expected.

For what it’s worth, my sources — yes, I have sources, too — tell me this guy doesn’t even believe what he said to me, which would be to his credit.

But whatever.

I’ll make no attempt to defend the carnival. I have a history of defending LeBron generally, and I’ll continue to do so until he gives me a real reason not to. But in this particular case, I’ll argue only for perspective. The process has been ridiculous and obnoxious and embarrassing, but I can’t and won’t be enraged by it, not when there are real things in the world to be enraged by. I’m more embarrassed for anyone who chooses this guy’s self-serving free agency parade as a subject worthy of actual anger. There’s real, actual bad shit out there to be mad about. There are more worthy targets for your loathing.

*

Here’s what I think LeBron and his people — the very, very select group doing the shot-calling right now, a group that may number no more than two, or even one — understand:

I think they understand the reality of mass culture. That understanding may be a bit warped, but it’s not unrealistic. Mass culture is by definition stupid, but it moves units. A certain sort of greatness is measured in Twitter followers. Whether you or I think that sort of greatness “matters” is irrelevant.

I think they understand the reality of modern media. That understanding may be flawed, but it’s functional. They’ve got all the juice, and juice is pretty much all that matters. You don’t have to like it or think it’s justified, but you cannot disagree: ESPN is the biggest thing in the world, but they got the announcement only by agreeing to LeBron’s terms.

I think they understand that winning solves everything. They know Kobe. They remember how he was viewed just a few years ago, and they see how he’s viewed now.

I think they understand their direct predecessors. I think they grew up on Jordan, as so many did, and learned from some of his mistakes while elaborating on others.

I think they don’t understand everything. I’m not saying they’re doing this well. I have had moments — and I had a few of them in Akron this week, sitting across the gym from these guys, guys I know, and who know me, physically prevented from even going over to say hello by a phalanx of security and PR — where I wanted to shake these dudes and say, You are fucking this up. They might not see it, because they don’t live in the same world the rest of us do. Or they might agree and not care, because they’re committed to doing this their way, all the way, trusting that history will eventually prove them wise.

Listen, I hate the marketing. I hate Nike and ESPN. I hate Slam for putting him on two covers before he finished high school, and I hate myself for writing a biography that came out before he ever played an NBA game. I’d love it if he took less money to stay in Cleveland and bring in better teammates and declare himself a Cavalier for life and win seven titles in the next 10 years. But none of that is reality. Nike and ESPN are businesses, and so is LeBron, and I bought a lot of diapers and fed my kids a lot of food off that book. People do what they think they need to do. It’s all relative, even if it’s not always right.

I hope they get it right eventually; I hope he gets it right. I’ll try also to remember that, distasteful as it all seems right now, he still hasn’t really gotten it wrong.

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  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Great stuff.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Nice piece, Jones.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ Matt Lawyue

    *Slow clap.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Fair and balanced, RJ.

  • Nadav

    of course there are bad things out there, but you choose to write about basketball, so don’t side step the issue by saying that is more important shit out there…not a great example of journalism imo.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    So this means that he’s going to the Clippers, right?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    As always, a pleasurable read, my man.

  • Izzo

    I don’t understand the hullabaloo about the hour special. Compare it to the Super Bowl Pre-game show. It’s four hours shorter and one more thing will happen on it.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    ^Brilliance from my former blog mate!

  • oinestep

    hullabaloo…. interesting choice of words

  • The Philosopher

    Great piece.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Myles Brown

    I hated it. Because I know how Ryan loves to be disagreed with.

  • Jeremy Bauman

    Great piece and respect it from the heart… Clearly means a lot to you and spoken well

  • Jeremy Bauman

    really from the heart**

  • Robert

    Media and Sponsors seems more frustrated than Lebron himself on the fact
    that he still hasn’t won a championship.

  • Robert

    not hating, just saying

  • will

    “I bought a lot of diapers and fed my kids a lot of food off that book. People do what they think they need to do. It’s all relative, even if it’s not always right.” – proverbial ‘real talk’ right there, man. As much as I hate this whole thing, people go to where the money and the branding is.

  • KHALID SALAAM

    Ryan, this might be the best thing you’ve ever written (no bs)……..I remember as a kid always envisioning what the future would look like and how i would function in this theoretical future. Well, the future is happening right now. As we live and breathe, we are experiencing a upheaval not unlike what happened during the Industrial Revolution, where the whole world changed entirely in a matter of a decade or two. Except now it happened in a year or two. The media/marketing over-saturation isn’t new but peoples consumption has. What matters now? Conflict and noise. Is is relevant? Who cares, Important who cares? Respectable? Who cares. Masculine? Who the hell cares. It just has to be, period. Thats it, nothing else, and people will eat it up. This is the future, but on the low, the future sorta sucks. (Seriously, I don’t want to join foursuare!) I don’t want to be apart of every community or be defined as either a liberal or a conservative. I don’t want to argue about everything little thing. Yes, tonight’s “event” is problematic but this is our fault. As a society that values over-the-top everything this is what we asked for. This is the life we chose. Why criticize it now? Why hate on James now? He’s and his lrmr peoples are just takin advantage of an opportunity. If you don’t want to reward this type of thinking then don’t watch it. I decided that i’m gonna skip it. Thats just me. I’m not judging those that are gonna watch. I’m only judging those who are complaining about it but STILL plan to watch it. You’re the people at fault here. You guys have ruined everything.

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    probably the best and most honest article I’ve ever read on this site. great work.

  • Scottie Pimpin

    dont hate the playa, hate the game. at least hes giving the money to the kids…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nima Zarrabi

    Excellent piece, Ryan. And Khalid. So solid. I don’t want to join foursquare either, bro.

  • hangtime Hec

    Clutch writing. The Lebronathon has this unsettling feel to it. I dont know how to explain it. The part where you write about talking to one of Lebron’s brain trust is intriguing. What type of reality must one live in to believe that the way Lebron James has handled this up until now is rational and without repercussion?

  • http://www.twitter.com/byob4life sav

    Money is God……think about it

  • http://slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    That was some fire, Khalid. I may have to re-post this and steal your last line as my own.

  • http://twitter.com/HarryByrdMan44 LA Huey

    Great article, Mr Jones

  • http://freeones.com jbn74sb

    Well done, pale one. Very well done.

  • KHALID SALAAM

    @Ryan: dude, your piece inspired a brother.

  • I am not Jalen Rose

    Good job man. Seriously, good writing…I was a history major so I know all about writing, trust me!!! I think its kind of funny too, but the reality is everybody has been talking about this summer’s free agency class for YEARS, so for LeBron to take 1 hour to do his thing (ITS NOT LIKE HE EVER GOT TO DO THIS OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL, NO COLLEGE TO COMMIT TO), I do not see it as a problem at all. It’s only a problem if you let it affect you, other than that it is just a man announcing his decision. So what?

  • Izzo

    “the future sorta sucks.”
    -
    Indeed.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Tzvi Twersky

    Wow….to both Ryan and Khalid. This is why I read everything the two of you write.

  • http://slamonline.com Adam Fleischer

    Yes. Ryan, your writing is always great, especially on LeBron, and here’s another example of that. Yes.

  • http://slamonline.com Ryan Jones

    Much appreciated everyone. Even you, Nadav.

  • http://coco-vents.blogspot.com Co Co

    This LeBron situation is just another example of how the media can negatively shape your opinion of an athlete. From LeBron to T.O. to Tim Tebow and etc. If ESPN decides to hang on their every word or only show you one side of them, you just get tired of hearing it and eventually you develop resentment towards the player. They’d have you believe T.O. is the anti-Christ, when really he’s very well liked among his peers. And, the fawning over Tebow was enough to make you sick. Anyway, LeBron isn’t completely faultless because he appears to have bought into the hype by going along with this. But, at the end of the day he can’t necessarily help the fact that ESPN wants 10 of their 12 topics to be about him, so I’m not mad at him about that. I just stay away from ESPN as much as possible. I couldn’t tell you the last time I watched Sportscenter. Most media outlets are enthralled by this circus and are participating, but none of them are as big as ESPN. You have to power to control how much you indulge them. It’s impossible to get completely away from Lebron, but you can avoid a great deal of it if you stay away from ESPN. It’s also worth mentioning I was over LeBron well before this started.

  • Aaron

    Wow… I’m not one for greasing the wheels, but this is a rare and pure quality of writing.

  • http://www.mauricegarland.com Maurice Garland

    yall shouldve added a mp3 player with Puffy screaming “its all f***ed up now!” for extra emphasis. but yeah, good stuff man. i havent watched the four letter network or visited their site for a couple days now because of this. i think im going to keep it up.

  • http://shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ Tariqُُ

    It would be sort of stupid to actually be moved to genuine anger by the whole process. But I hope it’s still kosher to mock the whole thing.

  • http://slamonline.com Maurice Bobb

    Good stuff Ryan

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    LeBron will surpass Kobe for the most hated NBA player without r@ping a single white girl. He will have r@ped an entire city full of supporters.

  • chingy

    Really good stuff. Reminds me of the good old times when every piece on Slam is gold

  • Reidz

    Excellent article, some of the most insightful words on basketball or any other sports for that matter I have read.

  • PG

    So it’s ok to milk the system, regardless if it is in good taste or not, because LeBron is just trying to get paid like everyone else? I guess if you have a hustler’s mentality that is understandable. But what happened to the NBA before Mike retired? Where players put winning games and chips, FIRST, promoting their own brand and stroking their ego, SECOND.

    Say what you want to defend him, LeBron fans, but your “King” is watering the game down. This is not why we watch these guys suit up and take the court. We watch them to make our city and team proud; give us something to cheer about. Not who can be the first player to have an hour long TV special about what team he’s going to sign with of all things. If LeBron would put as much effort into winning a chip as much as he has in this free agency freak show, he just might have something to show for after all these years in the L.

  • http://slamonline.com AlbertBarr

    RINGMASTER JAMES!

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com TRUTH SYRUP

    I DONT CARE WHAT ANYONE SAYS. LEBRON TURNED ME OFF DURING THIS ENTIRE PROCESS. SORRY BUT I CANT ROOT FOR HIM ANY MORE

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    Just read Khalid’s comment and my eyes popped out of my head. Love it.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Bravo. I’ve been dying for someone to put these sentiments to words and it turns out we agreed 100% on all of this.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I enjoyed this piece by Ryan.
    Life is about choices and consequences, I don’t try to control most folks’ choices because I don’t want to have to deal with their consequences.
    Personally, I don’t think there is any other way this could have gone. Lebron has been Lebron for a very, very long time. As Ryan noted, he truly does live in a different world with different rules and expectations and he’s lived there since he was like 15 years old. To me, that’s really amazing, and since his reality has been shaped by my purchasing patterns and reading habits, I can’t blame him too much for the man he’s become.

  • rashado

    i can’t stand lebron james. i got into basketball very late in life, (21 years old) after my friends would be watching the 2006 playoffs at my place in toronto. the ferocity of d wade was undeniable and it converted me into a fan to watch him take over games and eventually win the title against seemingly all odds. but since that time i’ve been watching lebron and i always got a terrible vibe from him..again as someone who came to the game late and already had a strong bias against the ultra marketing and being something of an anti capitalist i couldn’t stand the way these athletes whore themselves out to shoe companies when they could, on their player salaries alone, develop sustainable sweat shop free apparel and make it cool to have a conscience. i HOPE lebron goes to miami. it’ll be consistent of the personality i’ve had of him from the first time i saw him nervously biting his nails on the sidelines…he’s a quitter and a follower, not “the chosen one”. i’m not saying he should stay in cleveland..but c’mon if he goes to d wade and bosh, should we really give him more than 33% of the credit for a chip if they win one?

  • http://aspov.blogspot.com Cheryl

    Kha, my man! I so agree. and to Prof. Jones, thanks for another insightfull piece of writing. I’m gonna kill my television and watch the games on NBA Broadband.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    What is foursquare? Seriously.

  • John

    LeBron, stop marketing yourself so much, you got enough money and fame, work on your free throws bud. You missed them in the playoffs.

    Kobe= perfectionist
    LeBron=narcissist

  • http://www.sonicbids.com doyouwantmore

    “I’m more embarrassed for anyone who chooses this guy’s self-serving free agency parade as a subject worthy of actual anger. There’s real, actual bad shit out there to be mad about. There are more worthy targets for your loathing.”

    True enough, but I think it’s the larger implications for what this zoo/circus/fiasco has said about our culture and society that makes people so angry. They are mad about actual bad shit. The current principles of the media are just an obvious symptom of an ugly disease.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    PG
    Sir, the mythical NBA you spoke of never existed. Players ALWAYS put their brands above winning. At least the vast majority of them. Hell, Magic got his first coach fired because the coach didn’t run the system Magic liked. Things got worse after free agency because although GMs said they valued “winners” they really decided how much to pay you based on points, rebounds and assists. So players, being fairly intelligent humans, realized that padding your stats was more beneficial to your checkbook than winning championships. Only one team can ring, but LOTS of player can average 20 and 10.
    I hate when people deify former NBA players. They weren’t that selfless, the media just feeds you that lie to make current players look bad. Back in the day, the same media was complaining about the state of the league, particularly the excess of melanin.

  • KHALID SALAAM

    @allenP: foursquare is sorta of combination of twitter with gps capability potential. thats the best way i know how to describe it……..@cheryl: of all teams this could happen to, i’m glad its the heat. after the sixers i go back and forth between mia and la lakers. i really like mia as a city but i’m also a big Zo fan and he got me to root for them in the 90′s. then wade and shaq and voila, they became a backup team for me. as long as they’re not playing the sixers, i’m good to go.

  • matt.t

    Great read, thanks for cutting through the B.S

  • hoodsnake

    Its quite simple: If you find it ‘distasteful’ then dont watch it but a lot of people will watch even though they dont approve. Anyway just google LeBron at 10pm to put yourself above this

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    I had the exact opposite of the LeBron scenario happen to me 5 hours ago. Today I had to go in to the school where I just got a new job to sign my contract and stuff, but the building was locked and nobody was around. I blame my inner circle for not booking the TV rights and advertising and what not.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Looks like I checked the sight on the right day today. Great stuff everybody.

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  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    Oh c’mon. You can’t play the “there are better things to be enraged about” card to your liking. If it was Kobe, you would be KILLING him right now, and rightfully so… It’s all insignificant. Everything. But relative to sports, it’s a big deal, and the manner in which Lebron is deciding to choose a team IS an embarassment.

  • Lebran

    Right, let me do a little basketball math

    BALL HOG, RAPIST, HATED Kobe + New team around him and 2 more championships = L.A’s and Americas sweetheart and the acceptance of a large number of the aforementioned haters to his actual greatness.

    so do you really think that ‘slightly irritating, a little overly media hyped but generally decent and polished charitable guy + a couple of chips ISNT going to equal some sort of mass hysteria and love towards a man who will, no matter what, go down as one of the greatest ballers of all time?’

    Lebron might not be starting out on the best foot, but compared to what Kobe started out on, hes got it easy. It’s a lot easier to shake ‘annoying’ than it is to shake ‘rapist’ when you’ve got a couple of shiny finger ornaments.

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    Kobe is a rapist, is that a fact?

  • http://www.slamonline melvin ely

    Lol at Sam the man

  • Yak

    Great writing, and great posts all around. It is sad that this whole circus has been manipulated so distastefully to this point. I have no qualms in a guy deciding where he decides to ply his trade in the future, or try to win some chips. But the mere fact that big media has jumped onto the society need for info and juicy stories, is what is pathetic about this so called process. That a society is being hijacked by a man’s decision, and playing it out with more suspense and cliffhangers than a Hitchcockian classic, says a lot about our current mental state. ‘Sources’ have become the new ‘WMD’s. I agree about ESPN and Nike. The more reports you read, and realize that this whole thing was about 2 years in the making, and at least more seriously, 6 months of meticulous planning. That we are getting the ‘scaled down’ version of it, only because he didn’t go as far as they anticipated in the playoffs, makes my soul cry. Gone are the days when a guy can just say in 5 seconds; ‘I am going to sign for blah blah’. Now we have to go through all this dog and pony show for a decision. Sadly, it is a reality we now live in. A period when sensationalism sells more than facts. A period when a man’s so called affairs away from his sport is more important than what happens on it. A period when a guy’s look on the sideline is more analyzed than how he actually plays the game. A period when a man’s prima donna off season about whether or not he will play one more season over shadows the exhilaration of the actual champions. A period when a budding free agent’s decision hijacks the Finals and diminishes the idea of actually winning, and the joys that come with it. But alas it is our new world, and we are held captive in it. I hate it. I sincerely hate it. But like everyone else, I can not help but refresh my Twitter, or my cell phone constantly, and seek more sordid details. Be it about how many girls a man boinked?, what the divorce settlement is, whether or not a quarterback threw some balls at a high school, what sources said what, and who talked to whom, an where a man might sign. At the end of the day, we drive these ratings. ESPN knows this, and they are milking it. Nike knows that we worship pre packaged products, and they feed our hunger. I hate it, but I will watch and see what happens. It is a sad world, and somehow I keep hoping that it gets better. But with each passing day, it doesn’t. ESPN will eat their cake today and have it. Nike will eat their cake today, and have it. Lebron sadly, despite all the backlash, will eat his cake today and have it. But what about us? We will wake up tomorrow, and ESPN will feed us another juicy story, and we will run with it. Yes, I will refresh my phone for more updates.

  • http://www.clownpenis.com Tarzan Cooper

    The blame lies not with those suits for trying, its the sheep, that keep on buyin that soul-less crap. Whatever they put in front of ya, the hysteria of america.

  • http://www.clownpenis.com Tarzan Cooper

    You can never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the american people- Phineas T Barnum

  • http://www.clownpenis.com Tarzan Cooper

    Jones, kha, sam. I love it. Site needs more from all 3 of you

  • PG

    Allenp,

    Yup, you’re right. Jordan and all those past greats held special one hour press conferences for their free agency as well. Gimme a break! I bet at the time Jordan would give up his Nike contract for a chance to win a chip. No mythical NBA, sir. I’m 28 and grew up watching the NBA before all this bullshit we’re “witnessing” now and the athletes did put winning FIRST. But really, it’s just one player who is watering down the game. D-Wade, Durant, everyone else… much more low key with their signing announcements. So really it’s not that these new generation players are bad, it’s LeBron James, and him only, who is the real culprit! I get it, Slam has supported The King since his Punks days, but let’s call a spade, a spade, and tell it like it is! Dude is on some major narcissistic ego trip and is just getting worse. Like a poster before me said, “If it was Kobe you would be KILLING him right now.” So why should LeBron get a pass? This generation is pathetic and we’re all being strung along or brainwashed in the process.

  • rashado

    this is historic…this collective awareness of how much we hate it and yet how we can’t stop coming back for more.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    The farmer has spoken.

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com BETCATS

    “Eboy Posted: Jul.8 at 12:19 pm
    ^Brilliance from my former blog mate!” Former? SKO is officially dead?!!

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  • http://www.dimemag.com Anton
  • hangtime Hec

    There is no Loyalty in sports.

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    Lebron is not a helpless pawn “just playing the media game”. Become the change you wish to see in the world.

  • pennydunk_1

    It’s all EPMD. Even winning is Strictly Business. Except for the game. I really love playing basketball and watching others play. And I try to focus on that, and leave the hype out of the window.

  • Kent Kanada

    Thanks, thoroughly enjoyed this.

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    Here is the “perspective” I can understand (from Bill Simmon’s latest column): City: Cleveland, Ohio
    Name: Paul
    “I’m 25 years old. I’m about to re-enlist for another tour overseas with the Army. I have an idea of what matters and what doesn’t.

    But this still hurts. Nothing stings worse than when one of your own rips your heart out. Not like this …

    Maybe I should do what’s best for me and get out of the Army. Unfortunately, loyalty is driving me to do one more tour.

    LeBron knows nothing of that word.”

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Jackie
    Please. Come on son. That’s utter crap. Loyalty to a corporation that cuts players all the time, that crushes dreams and fires employees? That raises ticket prices and cuts out long time fans?
    Clearly, people in Cleveland, and anybody who agrees with them, are freaking rubes.
    The NBA is a billion dollar business with the players as the most disposable commodity with the shortest career span.
    Folks forget this way too often.
    It’s cool dude wants to stay in the Army. But, we’re fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Is that a good reason to be loyal?

  • http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:OzhW3M1GBSKkgM:http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    @Allenp Yeah, the loyalty stuff is wack. I’m not on the teams’ side. I was focusing more on the “perspective”, this is a dude who does have other things that matter in his life, and he still feels hurt. Anything can be made to seem insignificant, which is what I feel Ryan Jones did here, he played the “we’re just a speck in the universe” card. Yes, relative to people dying this little thing don’t mean jack. But relative to sports, this is a HUGE DEAL, and Lebron deserves all the criticism he gets for dumping his hometown on an hour long live TV special after weeks of very public deliberation.

  • FLUXLAND

    Excellent, Mr. Jones.

  • JTaylor21

    Jackie Moon, F**k u and F**k the army. So called freedom fighters, my a**. Destroying two different countries talking bout they are fighting for our freedom. Booo. Attack two innocent countries just to look for one man. What if russia attacks the US and said it was for their freedom. Nobody is threating our freedom, don’t let this devils fool you with this propaganda. One more thing F**k the army, navy, airforce. Pure Evil they are

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  • Maverick

    The sad part is that most of you were laughing, snickering, co-signing that vicious rumor I started about Delonte and Gloria. You all played a hge role in this very public evisceration of LeBron and his family, so to hear people backtracking and responding with empathy now is alarming.

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