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Tuesday, September 27th, 2011 at 9:40 am  |  78 responses

LeBron James: Kids Are Benefitting from ‘The Decision’


At a Boys & Girls Clubs of America event, LeBron James told the media that he doesn’t mind the flack he’s still getting over “The Decision” because it was all for a good cause. From US News & World Report: “Basketball superstar LeBron James said the mentors the organization provides can help change lives. The Akron, Ohio, native said that while growing up in an inner city, many people thought he’d fall through the system’s cracks. ‘They always expect you to be a statistic,’ he said. ‘The greatest reward that I got was these coaches; these role models; these people that helped me make my dreams become a reality.’ James raised more than $3 million to renovate basketball gyms at Boys & Girls Clubs nationwide with his summer 2010 TV special The Decision, in which he announced he would leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to sign with the Miami Heat. James drew criticism from some, who said The Decision, which was broadcast from a Boys & Girls Club in Greenwich, Conn., was an overly harsh way of informing Cavaliers fans of his departure. Although many don’t mention the money he raised, he says he doesn’t regret making the announcement on live TV. ‘It doesn’t bother me,’ he says. ‘I know the reason I did it, I know that kids are benefitting from it. I’m excited about the opportunity that these kids get.’”

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  • Chris Skighwalker

    He’s right in the end.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    He’s not lying.

  • MUBWAR

    and haters will still hate

  • bike

    But would he do it again? Kinda doubt it.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    mubwar, your a hater when ever it comes to the Celtics/Kobe/any one trying to hurt or criticise Bron.

  • Nigel

    That’s great and all, but he needs to stop acting like he couldn’t have done this without spurning the Cavs in the manner he did.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    What has Gilbert done to deserve that kind of respect?

  • Andy

    LeBron’s my favorite player and im from Miami. And i think people just ignore the fact that kids benefited from the decision. But while Gilbert may not have deserved LeBron’s respect, his teammates and assistant coaches and staff certainly could’ve done better

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    THE REAL ISSUE WITH ALL THIS IS THE MENTAL SICKNESS THAN MANY ‘FANS’ HAVE. WHATS WRONG WITH PEOPLE THAT THEY BUILD SUCH A FALSE CONNECTION WITH ATHLETES LIKE THEY KNOW THEM? LIKE THEY ARE OWED SOMETHING. ………………..Mickey Mantle? That’s what you’re upset about? Mantle makes $100,000 a year. How much does your father make? If your dad ever can’t pay the rent and needs money, go ask Mickey Mantle. See what happens. Mickey Mantle don’t care about you. Why care about him?

  • http://slamonline.com YKnoT

    ^^cosign^^ the Phil Hartman of Slam!!!

  • lol

    If he cared so much about the kids, why didn’t he donate $3mil out of his own pocket instead of doing it in such a loud and rambunctious way? The TV program was obviously a ploy to draw more attention to himself and his ‘philanthropy’.

  • http://slamonline.com AllBall

    Why in the world would he donate his own money when he can raise the money? Bron’s time is essentially money anyway.

  • Brahsef

    I love when people say why didn’t he just give 3 million dollars instead of doing the show. People don’t give money away like that! No rich people do that(unless you’re billionaire status or Ron Artest). They do fundraisers to raise the money. 3 million is a hell of a lot of charity money.

  • Bmack

    I always wonder in the back of my mind if any famous NBA player ever commented on here and just disguised it as a fan.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Exactly. It’s easy for “regular” folks to say “why didn’t he just give 3mill out of his own pockets”. They make it sound like 3mill is chump change, that’s a lot of money even for a multi-millionaire.

  • http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7021031/the-nets-nba-economics Allenp

    He makes $15 million year.
    That means $3 million is 20 percent of his income.
    How many people here give that much money, pre-tax to a charitable organization of any kind.
    Because if he makes $15 million pre-tax, he actually takes home about $9 million.
    That means that $3 million is actually a third of his post tax income.
    So yes, he would still have $6 million to spend, but I find that people are really cavalier with other people’s money, and pretty stingy with their own.

  • http://sajkflf.com Jukai

    Even with the ridiculous amount of money Lebron makes, 3 million is still 15% of his contract. You try and donate 15% of your yearly income to a charity, see how you do.

  • GreenBall

    ^Get real, he makes way more then 15 mill a year. Endorsments, shoe deal etc.

  • HAMMER

    It don’t matter if you luv him or hate him, you just can’t argue against that.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Either way you twist it, 3mill is still a lot of money.

  • HAMMER

    Co-sign Brahsef. Couldn’t be said any better.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    ALL.OF.THIS.

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    BMACK, THERE USED TO BE A COMMENTER NAMED ‘WHOOO!’ WHO IVE SUSPECTED WAS A CERTAIN SOMEONE WHO USED TO BE KNOWN FOR YELLING THAT.

  • http://www.acb.com A l a n

    To say me giving 15% of my income to charity it’s the same as Lebron giving 15% of his income to charity is BS. 85% of my income is $20.000 while 85% of his income is MILLIONS. So it’s not the same, not at all. It’s good James raised 3 Millions for charity, very good indeed, but now looks like him making excuses for “The Decision”…

  • Mariano

    He’s trying to make “the decision” look like a good thing… Last time I checked, no athlete needed to make a show to be able to donate to charity

  • http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7021031/the-nets-nba-economics Allenp

    Few people like giving 15 percent of their income.
    It doens’t matter if they have $40,000 left over, or $4 million.
    It’s still 15 percent.
    People saying that it’s no big deal because they are rich, are using the logic that if you’re middle class in America you’re not rich.
    That is a bogus logic not based on the annual income of most of the world.
    The fact of the matter is that if you earn $50,000 a year in much of the world, you are ridiculously wealthy. RIDICULOUSLY.
    So, by that logic, you giving 15 percent of your income shouldn’t a big deal. But it is, because you just gave away money that you would normally have to spend as you see fit.
    That’s the point. Yes, LeBron could have donated $3 million. Instead, he raised it another way. And the Boys and Girl Club got $3 million. The same as they would have gotten if he had to give it out of his pocket.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Angel of Stern

    When I first read the article before I scrolled down to the comments I was thinking that noone could possibly say anything negative about this right?? wrong… haters continue to astonish me…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Angel of Stern

    Every single person who says he should have donated it out of pocket better donate 15% of their income to charity aswell. and even then they would still be wrong..

  • http://www.nba.com/celtics lights out

    Angel: I donate 15% of my income and I’ll have to go on food stamps. Bron donates 15% of his, and he’s still doing pretty well. I agree with your first comment though–he’s right, it did help a lot of kids, and so long as it helped someone, it was worth it.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Angel of Stern

    im not saying everyone should do it, my point was just that if your going to critisize someone for not paying millions out of pocket than you better be pretty charitable yourself.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max

    I would say 3mil is like 3% of his income (nikeeeeeee), but it’s still alot of money to donate.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/670447-dwight-howard-and-andrew-bogut-a-tale-of-two-2011-all-nba-defensive-centers nbk

    He didn’t donate his money. He raised money to donate. There is a difference

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    Be mad about how he went about The Decision, fine, I get it. But why the heck does it matter HOW the Boys and girls club received the $3 million?

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    It doesnt, and shouldn’t. But these people talking about % of income, that’s nit what this was.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    My major non-basketball related gripe with “The Decision” was why Greenwich, Connecticut?
    The Boys and Girls Club’s main focus is to steer kids away from the streets, isn’t it?
    Unless I’m mistaken.
    But it was nice to go to my local B&GC and get away from the gangs and drugs and all that and just be a kid back when I was a shorty.
    Sorry, but kids in Greenwich ain’t got those problems.
    As for who donated what, and all that, LeBron does a lot of charity work.
    So the hell what if it ain’t his actual money? Most of y’all wouldn’t donate five hours to volunteer at a soup kitchen.

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

    The money he generated with a 60 min tv spot came from advertisers. Those advertisers were companies with far more money than him. So really, he just Robin Hood’d for the kids.
    And Enigmatic, he prolly did it in Greenwich because it was a neutral location as far as not tipping off where he was gonna sign and hindsight tells us he was smart not to do it in Ohio. I read somewhere that more than 50% of the $3 million would go to Ohio-area B&GCs.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    He did it there because its ESPN’s headquarters

  • Mariano

    @Allenp: Yeah if I earn 50K compared to the rest of the world I’m ridiculously rich… The problem is the food, the taxes, the essentials for a living over here in North America are much higher than, let’s say, an African or a South American country.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    ESPN’s HQ is at Bristol, 80 miles away.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Whats the closest boys n girls club

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    The show was broadcast from the Boys and Girls club in CT, but the money benefited B&GC’s nationwide, not just in CT.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    @NBK people are talking about the percentage because they suggested he should have donated the money himself, instead of raising money though The Decision.

  • Red Star

    Makes perfect sence to me!

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Soop – the Brisol Boys and Girls Club.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Then I hve no idea how that location came to be. And dfrance, that doesnt make sense, thats like saying every rich person who does a fundraiser is selfish.

  • http://www.twitter.com/_dfrance dfrance21

    Hey I’m not saying it makes sense. lol. That was someone else looking for any reason to bash LBJ.

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

    @Mariano, I think the point is that wealth is relative. Rich folks (by standards of the developed nations) have more dispensable income than middle class folk. But the fact that you have access to the internet, presumably have a roof over your head, and the leisure time to spend commenting on a basketball websites suggests that you have much more dispensable income compared to most of the world’s population.

  • http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7021031/the-nets-nba-economics Allenp

    NBK
    I used the percentage of income because people said he should have spent is OWN money. Which is why I used what percentage of his income would have been spent to provide the same benefit.
    And L.A. Huey gets it.
    Everybody wants to feel sorry for themselves, and I understand it. It’s tough even in America. But the reality is people place far too much importance, and we are never satisfied with how much we have.
    If you make $50,000, you think $500,000 is well off. Then you think it’s $5 million, and $50 million. And if you’re Jay Z, you’re no happy with $500,000,000, you want Oprah money. And Oprah is looking at Warren Buffet like “I can get there.”
    It’s crazy man. Everybody thinks they should have better and what they have isn’t enough. And they’re angry at people who have more.
    If people are benefiting from some sort of injustice, I’m upset. But, if they just earn a lot more money than me because their skill sets allow them to earn that money, I don’t have a problem. My skillset and domicile have allowed me to earn more money than quite a few people too.

  • http://therurbangriot.com The NUPE

    Bottom line is the money he raised from ‘the decision’ went to a good cause. He could have pocketed the money but didn’t – How can anyone have anything but respect for that? Yes he could have done more, just like almost everyone on this website could donate more money or time to charities. I have absolutely nothing negative to say about who/how much people give – as long as they give. On the other hand, I think it’s perfectly fine for poeple to call/consider LeBron to be an egotistical ______ for the way he went about ‘the decision’. Many people thought he came off like a real A$$ hole by the way he said that he’s going to ‘take his talents’ to south beach and didn’t even show much respect towards his previous team. Any criticism he get’s over “how he went about” the decison is fair IMO. I think it’s sad that the $3 million doesn’t get much publicity, because that was a great gift that will do a lot to help kids.

  • KEY_34

    It was a good idea but poorly executed. Lebron will continue to feel the wrath of it until he wins a chip. Should it be that way? I don’t think so, but it is what it is. Dude made B&G club $3mil without lifting a finger. That’s good business. Period. Regardless of what cats who didn’t like him before the Decision want you to think. Its always easier to spend other peoples money though…..

  • MLK4Life

    If LeBron had just told Dan Gilbert before everything went down, none of this would matter and no one with good common sense would be upset with him. The only real mistake he made was not informing the Cavaliers of his decision.

  • http://www.danchamb.com.br Lz – Cphfinest3

    Mariano, you are wrong when you say that Africa or South America are cheaper than the US. São Paulo (where I live) is the World’s 10th most expensive city and I can guarantee you I spend more going to the supermarket and having internet, cable TV, paying for a gym and using a cell-phone than anyone in the US. Office-space rent is more expensive in both São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro than any city in the US. Eating out is about the same as NYC. Africa is mostly in-expensive, but bear in mind that a place like Angola is THE most expensive place in the world to do business. The US is actually very in-expensive compared to Europe and many other places in the world. Believe me. The Jordans you pay 100 Dollars for costs about the double in Denmark or any other Scandinavian country, South Americans with money go to Miami for shopping because they will easily pay for the round-trip and the accomendation with the savings the make on clothes and electrical appliances like Ipads, phones, computers videocams etc. Gasoline is very cheap in the US. Food/supermarkets in the US is very in-expensive, that is the reason you all supersize everything and get fat (joking). The World is changing (fast) and anyone who thinks the US is expensive has not been traveling a lot that is for sure. Most of Asia still is very inexpensive though and parts of South America is also okay when it comes too food. But forget about buying an Ipad in this whole region for instance…

  • http://www.danchamb.com.br Lz – Cphfinest3

    PS: Can’t believe you said the taxes in the US are much higher than in the rest of the world… People in Europe go to the US to pay less taxes. Here in Brazil you pay more than 30% in taxes, in Denmark the figure is more than 50%. Most of Northern Europe is not far behind that figure… Please educate yourself before posting this nonsense.. The US is not the cheapest place in the world, but it is also not expensive at all. Compared to the rest of the so-called ‘First World’ surely one of the cheapest places to live when it comes to food, essentials and taxes as you talk about. Sorry for the rant, but really people should know.

  • http://www.danchamb.com.br Lz – Cphfinest3

    Cars, another thing that is very cheap in the US. Sorry but I could go on. Read the Big mac index for chrissake…

  • http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7021031/the-nets-nba-economics Allenp

    LZ
    People don’t bother with getting accurate information. They just say what they think is true. Or rather, what they want to be true.
    The U.S. has some of the lowest tax rates of any developed country in the world, and one of the weakest social safety nets.
    People don’t care though. They just like to complain. And athletes are an easy target. Few people respect their work on an intellectual level. Strictly on an emotional level.

  • http://www.danchamb.com.br Lz – Cphfinest3

    I hear you Allen. It is really sad actually (both people’s indifference to correct information and the US’ social system – or lack there of). Ignorance is bliss I guess…

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

    The “inform Cleveland ahead of time” plea is weak. He informed the world one week into free agency so the Cavaliers still had the whole summer to get on with their plan B (ie. rebuilding). It’s not like they would have convinced any major free agent to come to Cleveland. The only person that got owned for not knowing LeBron’s eventual decision was Byron Scott.

  • robb

    Lebron’s agents should’ve done a better job. If this was such a great thing for kids (it clearly was) they should have made more noise about it, but instead they left the guy alone against thousands of angry fans and haters multiplying all around the world. In principle, the decision was a good thing and it ended up making him look bad. Sh1tty PR from those guys as usual.

  • MLK4Life

    @LA Huey
    It’s not weak at all. It’s the truth. You can’t say that what he did for the Boys and Girls Club was bad, so what else was wrong about the whole thing? In fact, I wouldn’t doubt that once he decided he was leaving Cleveland, one of the main things on his mind was probably helping the kids, not informing Dan Gilbert who from the subsequent letter he released, probably was always a jerk of a guy even while he tried to do what he felt he could do to keep LeBron around. Regardless, the reaction in Cleveland and from everyone else was over the top. Period.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    The concert after the decision was the worst part of it all. They could have played the fundraiser card a lot better if they didnt do that stupid thing the next day.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    High/low taxes is not a big problem–at least it shouldn’t be; the problem is that the government sucks a huge turd at managing that money.

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

    Cleveland and fans of teams that thought they had a chance of getting them would’ve been upset regardless. Not telling the Cavaliers and Cleveland ahead of time just gave everyone another straw to grasp for them to justify their over-the-top rage. The entire production itself is largely viewed as egotistical (despite the fact that millions of viewers decided it was something they wanted to watch) so I’m convinced that he would have been jeered even if he gave Cleveland the courtesy.

  • http://slamonline.com datkid

    cleaveland should’ve known he’d never stay

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    yeah 3mill is a lot but I still dont believe that bs.

  • BBaller

    I would happily donate 15% of my salary( a) because i would claim as a tax deduction) IF my remaining 85% could still pay for my mansion(s) ,multiple sports cars and ability to holiday 5 star anywhere in the world.Unfortunately i can’t afford to do that, my 100% barely covers my necessities.So please Stop talking percentages, 3 million is nothing to people like James etc , it’s just the way the sick system works. If you still cannot see what James did was wrong then you never will so i feel sorry for you.

  • BBaller

    cosign nbk about the concert, bosh was absolutely disgraceful.

  • Jackie Moon

    So … if Lebron makes a sex tape with him and some dude, sells it for $10M, donates it all to charity, does it make it a good idea, since he raised money for charity?

  • Jackie Moon

    And, no, I’m not saying that The Decision is the same as a guy sex tape, I’m saying judge The Decision on its own merits, not on how much it raised for charity. Otherwise, we can justify Lebron doing all sorts of crazy sh!+, with the justification being that some kids benefited from it.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    Idk jackie moon does that sound like an even plausible career decision for a professional athlete?

  • Jackie Moon

    Idk nbk, did anyone ever have a one-hour televised special announcing his free agency before Lebron did?

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    @ Jackie Moon: If one day he wanted to tape him and his wife having sex, and his wife agreed to it, then yes it’d be a good idea. $10 million for charity? Heck yes. He’s a grown man; he can make his own “decisions” (See what I did there?) as long as they’re legal and it doesn’t hurt anyone. In a literal sense, at least… I know Cleveland is hurting.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    they’re legal and they don’t hurt anyone*

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    No offense to Cleveland.

  • Jackie Moon

    Hey, as long as your consistent. I don’t really think that’s the best idea, just as I didn’t think The Decision was the best idea. Raising money for charity in an of itself doesn’t make an idea a good one.

  • Jackie Moon

    And why would it have to be his wife, wouldn’t a guy be more sensational and if it raise more money than a boring married couple tape, doesn’t that make it an even better idea, by your logic? It’s legal and they’re not hurting anyone …

  • Bill

    Maybe also consider the exposure and awareness LeBron raised for the B&GC…in addition to the money he raised. Raising awareness of a cause/charity on a highly-watched national program means more people hear about this good cause, who may have otherwise not known about it, which could lead to more donations.

  • Ronald

    So…are we forgetting that he only donated 1/2 the amount to the charity?

  • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/670447-dwight-howard-and-andrew-bogut-a-tale-of-two-2011-all-nba-defensive-centers nbk

    Where did you read/hear that?

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