We’ve heard before that LeBron is at least partially to blame for all the hype surrounding his impending free agency. And to be fair, the man has had special shoes made two of his recent games at Madison Square Garden. His comments about the possibility of playing in New York didn’t exactly squash the rumors either. It seems that Charles Barkley, not known for keeping his comments to himself, doesn’t think too highly of LeBron’s attitude towards the situation-
“If I was LeBron James, I would shut the hell up,” Barkley said in the Wednesday interview. “I’m a big LeBron fan. He’s a stud. You gotta give him his props. I’m getting so annoyed he’s talking about what he’s going to do in two years. I think it’s disrespectful to the game. I think it’s disrespectful to the Cavaliers.”
He’s not alone. Henry Abbott of True Hoop called Lebron’s comments “slapping Danny Ferry, owner Dan Gilbert, and Cleveland fans across the face.” Abbott even hinted that Ferry might have to consider the unthinkable at some point, and possibly trade the Franchise if he doesn’t get some indication that LeBron will be back.
Also coming from True Hoop are Brian Spaeth’s feelings, as a Cleveland fan, on LeBron’s decision not to squelch the rumors and free agency talk- I don’t care anymore if he goes.
You watch those two teams last night, and it’s clear that if LeBron signs with the Knicks, then he doesn’t care about winning, at least not as much as playing in New York. In my mind, that’s the case, and he’s gone anyway, unless he really, really, really just likes all this attention. (This is entirely possible, by the way. Just like his people circled 08/08/08 on the calendar as a climactic marketing target, they may have now circled 07/01/10, just for the attention it can draw. I did think it was odd how LeBron specifically used the date in his ending statement last night — just seemed too scripted.)
In any case, I love watching “LeBron the Basketball Player” play for the Cavs, and I love how all the pieces have really fit together nicely this year. I’m even at peace with Mike Brown finally.
“LeBron the Marketing Maven,” on the other hand, I’m tired of. He’s annoying.
My sincere hope at this point is that Cleveland wins the title in 2010, and then LeBron doesn’t help defend it, by signing with the Knicks that summer.
As a result, the basketball gods can lay the biggest curse of all-time on both of them. I’m sure the media will find plenty to say ad nauseum about that, as well.
I’d have to say I’m not quite in Brian’s corner. While I want to see a championship here, I can’t say that I’d be too excited if Lebron won and then quickly exited.
LeBron’s decisions have ruffled many a Cleveland feather. His support of the Yankees and Cowboys while they were playing in Cleveland are certainly chief among them. It seems like LeBron could help the situation by simply refusing to talk about free agency. It is nearly 2 full seasons away after all. Does it bother you that he seems to be playing both sides of the chess board on this one? When speaking to Ohio reporters or fans he is very happy here, but when speaking to New York based media they should “circle the date”? Do you feel disrespected? Do we put up with it because LeBron is the greatest athlete to play in Cleveland since Jim Brown?