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Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  91 responses

LeBron James Now Knows What ‘Contraction’ Means

LBJ touched off a firestorm when he told the press that contraction would be good for the NBA. He then touched off another firestorm by basically lying that he didn’t know what the word meant. Awesome. From ESPN: “That’s crazy, because I had no idea what the word ‘contraction’ meant before I saw it on the Internet,’ James said after the Miami Heat’s practice Monday. ‘I never even mentioned that. That word never even came out of my mouth. I was just saying how the league was back in the ’80s and how it could be good again. I never said, ‘Let’s take some of the teams out.’ … James said he was only trying to show support for a time in the 1980s when teams such as the Lakers, Pistons, Bulls, 76ers and Celtics were dominant with star-studded rosters. James said he did not speak with Fisher, nor anyone else from the players’ association, about his comments on the Heat’s trip to Los Angeles, where they defeated the Lakers on Saturday. ‘I’m with the players, and the players know that,’ James said Monday. ‘I’ve been with the players. It’s not about getting guys out of the league or knocking teams out. I didn’t mean to upset nobody. I didn’t tell Avery Johnson to leave either. I didn’t say let’s abandon the Nets, and not let them move to Brooklyn or let’s tear down the Target Center in Minnesota. I never said that.’”

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  • http://studmuff73.blog.com/ Zabba

    Should’ve gone to college, son.

  • TR

    Great job, LB. Consistently coming off as a self centered jackass sure does pay well, I’ll be sure to look into that if my career options start drying up.

  • atruebballfan

    I think he knew what it meant. He sounds worse. He should have just stuck to what he said, and apologize than to admit that he does not know what contraction means.

  • benno

    Lebron sucks!!! How many rings – none!!! lol

  • http://studmuff73.blog.com/ Zabba

    Let’s get into the “how many rings” debate once his career is in a noticeable decline. Right now he’s playing with two other franchise players in their prime.
    But yeah, even if he didn’t know what contraction means, and there’s no reason to believe he didn’t, it was pretty clear what he was saying, which is to get rid of crappy teams with crappy attendance. Which is what contraction means.

  • http://Uiandtherest.com Adrian

    Next he will tell us all that he’s amphibious. That’s why he can go left or right. He is a buffoon, and his actions keep pointing it out.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    He should’ve at least stood by what he said. It is better to be an idiot with a firm postion than a liar. And if Lebron would’ve said this in 2007/2008 when he was on the Cavs, Heat fans would’ve been up in arms. The Heat won 15 games that year and Im sure Wade, Haslem, or Marion couldve made another team better.

  • http://www.google.com/news BETCATS

    “…before I saw it on the internet.” = “…before I looked it up on wikipedia.”

  • MARTEY

    We’ve all thought it at some point or the other. The fact that David Stern has mentionned expanding the league to Las Vegas, Puerto Rico and even Europe, we all had the convo that if you take a few teams off, the teams would be more star studded with a higher level of play. How many people have thought of dropping the Clippers out the league? Still it wouldn’t be fair for the smaller markets who stand by their teams rain or shine. Either way they keep shoving a mic in a man’s face and expect Shakespearean every time

  • youngmuggsy

    I think the more important question is who goes to Lebron James for an intelligent opinion on NBA financials?

  • AT33

    LeBron is right! The NBA has too many damn weak teams! They are so damn weak that even some Euro ball clubs would beat them! Lets take out 3 teams from the east and 3 teams from the west! Clippers have always sucked, Minnesota needs to go to the D-league, the 3rd team should be the …. (help me out). On the east, send Cleaveland, the Nets and the Bobcats to the D-league! Please!!!

  • neaorin

    We need to bring back the ABA.

  • neaorin

    @AT33: you don’t need any help with that – just pick whatever team you personally care the least about. It’s easy. Anybody can do it. Stern and the league can worry about the players, staff, money and everything else later on. We need some general guidelines from the internet community first.

  • greg

    ur retarded. t wolves have beasly wes johnson kevin love and flynn is comming back slowly darko is playin the best ball of his life. clippers have al faroq blake baron davis bledsoe eric gordon chris caman. i hate how some people fail to realize the talent level of a bench warmer in the nba.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    And what about the role players on these teams? Lose their jobs? Forced to move to Europe, some with families?
    1 way it would work was if some teams were contracted, but the NBA minimum went from 12 players to 15, with teams having to pick-up from the contracted teams.

  • dartboard confessional

    That’s why guys like Kevin Love, Eric Gordon, Baron Davis, ang Beasley because they are given ample playing time in these “weak” teams. How do you think they will fare if they are playing behind bigger names? They would probably be trade baits and journeymen once they’re done with their careers. Don;t even mention the thousands of jobs Americans will lose once they get rid of these teams.

  • T-Money

    what’s funny is that his initial position position was suggested by a lot of writers before him who of course kept quiet when the idea was ridiculed – like simmons. of course he’s lying, he knows what contraction means and it’s exactly what he suggested. i think some teams should be contracted but purely for economic reasons, winning is too fickle and can change from season to season. nj was in the finals not long ago, dallas sucked a– for years once upon a time.

  • http://brimartin13@gmail.com Brion

    Looks like some some Laker fans are still upset from x-mas.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I support contraction. And LeBron is about to pull a Moss.

  • ClydeSays

    Doesn’t he have a kid? Pretty sure he’s heard the word
    ‘contraction’ before. Haha.

    He’s not wrong. New Jersey, Atlanta, NO, Memphis and Minny play to half empty arenas. Whatever success the Hawka or Hornets have had recently didn’t bump up attendance. If fans aren’t coming out to support a team, even when they’re winning, why bother having a franchise?

  • LD

    How does LeBron know what basketball in the 80′s was like? He wasn’t even born yet until the decade was half way over.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    LOL, so the 13,000 that are coming out to watch these teams don’t matter? Contraction is just not good.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    And this has nothing to do with Bron (for me personally). He’s either changed his stance/was misquoted/actually didn’t know what it meant. I’m against contraction period.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    Sometimes LeBron REALLY makes himself look pretty stupid, these are one of those examples

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com Seth

    So with this statement he really IS saying the Nets and Wolves should get the axe.

  • JD

    I dont understand why everyones leaping on his back for this he’s entitled to his opinion

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    Wheres all those writers that were suggesting this just a lil while ago? Oh, theyre busy bashing bron for having the same idea they had recently.

  • JTaylor21

    He was asked a question and he answered it. I’m also all for contraction because no matter how much talent teams like the clippers have they always suck. Get rid of the clippers, grizz, and raptors.

  • Eric

    It’s amazing what fools get upset about. And lebron is right, expansion has hurt the game. The league would be much better off without teams like the Cavs or Kings mucking it up.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    It’s a shame that he is backing off of his statement. His lies just make him look worse and stupid. I believe he knew what contraction meant and he supports the idea. He didn’t have to say the word to clearly suggest that those two teams don’t need to exist – he actually described contraction without using the word. His position was clear and even if against what the players association wants, he should either stick up for what he believes or back off the statement by saying he was just showing one perspective of the ‘issue’ but there are many more perspecives that should be taken into consideration. As much as I respect his on court game, I can’t respect his off-court ignorance.

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

    co-sign Allenp at 11:15am

  • JTaylor21

    Why does anything dude says get people’s blood boiling? He was asked a freaking question and he answered it now people are questioning his education level. I rather be in his shoes than in most of the “educated” morons that hate on him constantly. I know plently idiots that have a college degree, so going to college doesn’t make you any smarter.

  • youngmuggsy

    You can’t say Lebron is entitled to his opinion then label people as Lebron haters for disagreeing with it.

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

    Needless to say, Maverick Carter’s idea to film LeBron Googling “contraction” for a 3-hour ESPN special was shot down.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    People saying contraction is good are not thinking. Not only will players lose jobs, but the Franchises generate jobs for people all around the city. LeBron has either genuinely changed his opinion, or been adivsed to say he has, and for good reason. Some of you guys on this site would stick up for Bron whatever he said. If he realises that his opinion was wrong, why can’t you guys realise that he can sometimes be wrong?

  • MikeC.

    @JTaylor – Leave the cRaptors out of the contraction talks. Sure they suck. I’m usually the first person to say how much the cRaptors suck. However, they have an incredibly supportive fan base and they never have attendance issues. They have a very stable ownership group with deep pockets. Overpaying for mediocre talent is their problem. But that’s their business. Besides, the good teams need crash-test dummies to beat up on, no matter the number of teams in the L.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    Plus, if the L got rid of the bad teams, Miami and La would be under 500.

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

    What does it matter? Contraction won’t happen. Which owners are going to let themselves be bought/pushed out?

  • jrok

    I’m not for contraction, I absolutely disagree, id have to agree with AllBall247… What LeBron failed to realize when he made those idiotic and senseless comments in the first place is revenue from all these cities, portions of it go to him, people in every arena leaguewide are responsible for paying his monstrous ridiculous salary…

    And by the way, JTaylor, the Raptors are not a team you would contract, I’d look at the Clippers, Nets, Grizz,and Timberwolves first, as there is more than just record to consider when looking at contraction, attendance and fan support is equally as important and if I recall, the Raptors are one of the better off teams in those areas, you think of all the losing years the Raps have had, they have still been top 10-15 in attendance and its also the only team in Canada so I’m pretty sure that wont happen anyime soon… and im pretty sure the Raps have better attendance at home this year than the Hawks or Hornets despite those teams actually winning…

    In short, for many reasons already stated by AllBall247 and others, I think LeBron and whoever else shares that opinion is wrong and contraction would not be good for the league long term… I already disagree with the precedent that the Miami debacle has set around the league, every franchise deserves a fair chance to be competitive it shouldnt be the same 4 or 5 teams every year…

  • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/408237-bryant-vs-jordan-theres-still-no-debate-jordan-is-king nbk

    LeBron is a dummy for even giving an opinion one way or the other. He is either hurting the players union, or pissing off the owners. Either way he should shut up about it and say he is just happy he was contracted to play for the Heat

  • AT33

    In order to save the whole league some of the teams need to be cut! If a company is going under unless the CEO cuts some staff to stay competitive then he’s gotta do it. I say cut the Cavs, Clips, Wolves, and the Nets (NY already has a team) for starters.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/articles/408237-bryant-vs-jordan-theres-still-no-debate-jordan-is-king nbk

    Clips are one of the most profitable teams in the league. Nets are moving to Brooklyn and have already begun constructing a mega-stadium that has already cost millions of dollars. The teams that would be considered for contraction (per the list I saw) would be – Memphis, Sacramento, Charlotte, Cleveland, Minnesota, and New Orleans. But it should also be noted that David Stern wants to have a team or division in Europe in the next 10 years, which is literally the exact opposite of contraction

  • Krisjanis

    awful, Lebron is just…stupid.

  • JTaylor21

    It’s about who sucks not about who has a great fanbase or who’s profitable. That was what bron was talking about when he said take KLove out of sorry-a** sota, he wasn’t talking about the financial aspect. Imagine if sota wasn’t around, we would have seen prime KG on a good team with chances at winning multiple chips istead of wasting his career carrying a mediocre team for years. The NBA would be a whole lot better without perennials losers like the clips, wolves, cavs, and nets.

  • http://slamonline.com tealish

    Sometimes the ridicule/hate is unwarranted for this guy.
    This is not one of those times.

  • Michael

    just keep ur mouth shut

  • da holy karron

    Its funny to me how one person can get under so meny ppl skin that blows my mind.

  • http://sdfjklfl.com Jukai

    Ugh, this is why I rarely defend Lebron anymore. I agreed with him completely on contradiction. Now he’s made me look like an idiot for defending him. Thanks, Bron.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    LONG… LIVE.. THE KING!!!

  • MikeC.

    @Jukai – “I agreed with him completely on contradiction.” Was that a typo version of a Freudian slip?

  • robb

    The king of ignorants

  • 80

    Cut the guy some slack, he thought that contraction meant science of making contracts :P

  • Epic Win

    LeIdiot?

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    For 1, his initial comments were defendable. 2, since when were the Cavs perennial losers?? For the last 3 years they have been 50-60 wins, always past the 1st round of post season. 3, it was less than 10 years ago that the Nets made consecutive finals. Going by winning is too cyclic.

    Why are people justifying comments that if followed through would lose people thousands, maybe tens of thousands of jobs. There is a reason Bron changed his stance on this.

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    I saw that too mikec.

  • http://sdfjklfl.com Jukai

    MikeC: Well I… Yep, I got nothing.

  • T-Money

    The ridicule is always ok – clowning people is fun. The hate and anger toward ANY athlete is weird and pathetic to me.

  • http://sdfjklfl.com Jukai

    T-Money: Unless you’re Bryan Crawford.

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

    Co-sign AllBall. Contraction is just bad from a social standpoint. It’s not even about fans being selfish and wanting to watch better basketball, either. Just ask Seattle how it felt to lose their home team…

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    uh, oh.
    Another “e” war on the horizon at the Great SLAM? The legendary Jukai throws down the proverbial “gauntlet?”

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

    Nets are anything but perennial losers. They went to the finals twice this (well, last) decade. Every team sucks @ss from time to time. If it’s not about profits, why not shut the Bulls down for being pretty sh!tty the first half of this (well, last) decade?

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

    There will always be losing teams in the NBA… If you get rid of the crappy teams now, some of the mid-level to good teams will fall, and hey, why don’t we get rid of them too? Let’s just have Celtics vs. Lakers, period. Yeah!

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    Co-sign back at ya Teddy. What was it Eboy, 3 years ago the Heat had know one in stands (sounds familiar) and won 15 games? I know you haven’t commented, but I can count on you for an honest answer.

  • PaulT

    @JTaylor: It wasn’t that long ago that the Nets made it to the finals.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    Talking Lakers, they have only beat 2 plus 500 teams this year. Contract and their going to be 7th or 8th seed!

  • vtrobot

    “going to college doesn’t make you any smarter.” that’s awesome. i guess it depends partly on which college and mostly on the person.

  • http://sdfjklfl.com Jukai

    Philo: Man, you love to dork out, don’t ya buddy?

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    “Dork out?”
    What does that mean? I have an idea, but I have to be sure.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Speaking of BC I was wondering why the Post Up has been really quiet the last few days. And I think it’s a result of four things –
    1) Holidays, therefore…
    2) No BC
    3) Little to no Eboy
    4) Little to no AllenP

  • http://slamonline.com Ugh

    neaorin – two thumbs up.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Jtaylor: dude you have no idea what you’re talkin about. We both heart Lebron. But you don’t have to defend him at all times especially when he makes wrong/lying statements like these. The league is fine. Would you rather see it contract and loose thousands of jobs for people? It is about the financial aspect. Bron made a wrong stance in his statement.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The economic impact of nba teams is greatly exagerrated according go mostnindepenxent studies. Just ask the people of minneapolis and seattle. That is why those teams struggled to get those cities to pay for new.stadiums. same problem in sactown. I understand players would lose jobs andbi am okay with that. They aren’t entitled to those jobs even if I don’t begrudge them their jobs. Besides there are more basketball jobs all over.the.world these days.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    Well aslong as your ok with players losing their jobs.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    AllBall
    Why should their jobs be a protected item? Who else has that kind of guarantee in this world? I work in a field where nine are disappearing every day.
    I don’t wish bad things on players by I think that if there were fewer pro jobs maybe more kids would realize the futility of counting on the nba as a future career. Plus the overall product I pay for would improve. Contraction would mainly hurt veterans not younger players and shorten careers. I don’t want people to suffer but I think contraction would improve the product without a huge injustice.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    There will be teams that will suck every year. Would you guys suggest that the Nets should be taken out of the League if Lebron went there instead of Miami? Its not about the players losing their jobs. It’s the others like the statisticians, ticketing, security etc. Those guys sure aren’t making millions but the jobs they had are their livelihood. Instead of cutting down jobs to save money, they should create more jobs to gain more profit.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AllBall247 AllBall247

    co-sign J. Also, if players were to go over seas that would result in the uprooting of families. I just don’t think contracting is needed.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Improve product Allen? The League is fine. Great IMO. I don’t have a problem with stars on a sucky team. Or teams that suck in general. That’s the game. It happens all the time. But it’s more than that. Livelihood are gonna be affected not the players, but the small ones that make a living.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Again most orbs jobs created by nba teams are not full time and do not pay a living wage. I think you all are greatly over estimating the economic impact of nba teams. I also think that if you have.to move around to find a job that is REAL LIFE. Most people on here know I am pro player but in this case I don’t see he big deal. And the league is nowhere near as good as it was with fewer teams.

  • http://www.slamonline.com J

    Regardless if it is a full time job or not that brings food to the table. That gives people a chance for a respectable living even for a short span of time. Why should we always go with the norm of what the economy dictates? They should find more ways (create more jobs) instead of cutting it down. If people want to move on to a better/other job that’s their choice. But part of real life is to give opportunity to people. The NBA is finding ways to gain more profit because of the economy and contraction is saving not profitting. If you want to gain more, expand, create.

  • http://sdfjklfl.com Jukai

    Yeah, I really don’t care about other people’s jobs right now. A bottom line is a bottom line, and the product has to improve. Right now, the product ISN’T good, and that’s why all these teams are losing money, and that’s why the NBA is in trouble and going into lockout.
    I’ve been reshuffled so many times in my job right now, and I’ve managed to adapt just fine. Those who lose their jobs will simply have to move.

  • Pugz

    LeDumass. Most arrogant, self-centered person in the world. I swear….

  • Jay Reyes

    when in doubt, ask again… remember that you’re a public figure… anything you say will certainly have an impact…

  • http://www.need4sheed.com Tarzan Cooper

    jukai, the nbas product isnt good? thats only why you talk about it everyday and are a big fan of a team. whatever

  • http://sdfjklfl.com Jukai

    Tarzan: Just cause one person likes it, doesn’t mean it’s a good product to the general populace. That’s not a very hard concept.

  • T-Money

    It’s true, just because we’re on SLAM, a basketball site, it doesn’t mean the NBA, as a product, appeals to casual sports fans unlike the NFL. I suppose we’re “inside-looking-out” for a lack of a better word to describe it.

  • bill breedley

    Sidekick is a dumbass who
    Shouldve at least attended one English class in high school. Even my leftnut knows what contraction is. Either the queen is a liar or one hell of a retard. I think he is more or the later. No ring and no brain

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    If the “powers that be” find a way to get kids to stay in school longer, learn the game, the overall product will be better, and the concept of contraction shall cease to exist.
    For a while, anyway.
    People (players and common gentiles, alike) will not have to have a “diaspora”, so to speak, and all shall be well in the wonderful world of basketball.
    And, the money shall be plentiful and good.
    Milk and honey.
    They have to get kids to buy into learning the game before they reach the professional level.

  • http://Philosophervision@blogspot.com The Philosopher

    *In my humble opinion*

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  • JD

    Imagine if if contraction goes ahead and the cavs get taken out cos of it, imagine the amount of hatred lebron will get in cleveland then

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