12 July 2010

Basketball: Epilogue to Idiocy

As a sportswriter, Mr. Right probably has a better understanding of the advantages and incentives the Miami Heat offered to LeBron James than I do. When the subject came up in the sports department this afternoon, he quite justly scoffed at the offended attitude of New York City fans and media, many of whom felt just as betrayed by James's failure to sign with the Knicks or Nets as Cleveland fans felt by his departure from the city where he had actually played the game for seven years.

He then offered some theoretical explanations of his own. Climate, for instance: James had said, after all, that he was heading, not to Miami, but to "South Beach." He may simply like the weather and the lifestyle down there. Another possibility, Mr. Right submitted, was taxes. Florida has much lower state taxes, he said, than New York or other states with teams that had tried to lure James. Mr. Right did not expect any professional athlete to admit such a motive if pressed, but it seemed plausible to him that James, like any aggressive entrepreneur, would want to keep more of his hard-earned money than some states would allow.

"So to New York Knicks fans," he continues, "If you want to blame someone for LeBron James not coming to join your crappy franchise, blame Barack Obama."

The President's role in setting state tax rates was unclear to me, but to be fair, I think that Mr. Right had his tongue partly in his cheek this time.

I'd like to give him credit for ending this sorry saga on the right note of absurdity, but I also heard this afternoon that another unhappy NBA owner has called for a federal investigation of the James affair. Basketball people may end up as the idiots of a second week in a row.


Anonymous said...

If the people really feel that upset about LeBron James, let them practice the preferred method in our capitalist society to rectify the situation. Let them buy no products with either his endorsement or with the Miami Heat brand name. Furthermore, let them refuse to attend any game in which LeBron James participates. If that many people are that upset, surely the loss in revenue will solve their gripe.

hobbyfan said...

Crhyme, I think the average ticket price for an NBA game would eat up a week's salary at worst. The sheep, especially in the urban areas, will buy the merch just the same for the sake of artificial status.

The media are split in their opinions. What they fail to see is that the dog & pony show exposes the fact that LeBron James himself is being exploited by the leeches giving him these ideas.

Anonymous said...

And the fans are being exploited by high ticket prices to pay for the ridiculously inflated salaries of the players, the club owners, the arena owners, etc.

But the "sheep" certainly don't seem to mind being fleeced.

Samuel Wilson said...

hobby, do you have a problem with the concept that LeBron James may be greedy and self-centered? You sound like a Russian peasant who blamed the country's problems on the czar's advisers and somehow assumed that the czar himself was a good guy who'd do the right thing if he only knew the truth. You have no more basis for believing that about James than the Russians did about the czars.

Cryhmethinc: Unfortunately, I suspect that people will pack the arenas whenever the Heat comes to town so they can have the privilege of heckling James in person.

Anonymous said...

I agree. When it comes right down to it, most Americans lack the self-control and intestinal fortitude to do what is necessary. They'd far rather gripe, whine and complain. But ask them to make a real sacrifice or put real effort into fixing a problem...faggedaboudit.

hobbyfan said...

And, so, Sammy, you buy into the stereotype that all athletes are greedy and self-centered. You don't see the bigger picture.

James and his fly-by-night manager, the appropriately named Maverick Brown, arranged for the proceeds of their dog & pony show to be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs. That's fine, but for "Mr. Right" to even insinuate blaming the President, even in jest, is wrong. If you'll recall, Mr. Obama stumped on behalf of Chicago, believing that James could bring the Bulls back to their former glories.

James has cultivated friendships around the league since his entry 7years ago. It's one thing for him to desire to be on the same pro team with friends like Dwyane Wade & Chris Bosh, but this just reeks of James in particular being young, talented, and still vulnerable to parasites and sharks like Maverick Brown.

Samuel Wilson said...

hobby, don't accuse others of stereotyping when you indulge in the practice yourself, presuming that people like Maverick Brown are all "parasites." From what I can see you have no basis for believing that James is the unworldly Forrest Gump-like innocent you apparently assume any athlete to be in the absence of "parasitic" agents and personal managers. That doesn't mean that Brown is automatically a good guy, only that James isn't one automatically, either.