In the non-stop LeBron James coverage that has been Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, his latest published piece may be the most telling – and somewhat chilling – to date. Per the report, there appears to be an inner struggle of sorts between William Wesley (“World Wide Wes”) and those in James’ inner circle.
This is the push and pull on the inside of Team LeBron, sources say – agendas colliding in self-interest as the start of free agency creeps closer on Thursday. In the end, James is too strong to let someone else make a decision for him, but there remains strong influences deeply immersed in this process with him.
Beyond James’ own sentimentality and belief of staying the course with Cleveland, the best chance the Cavaliers have to re-sign James likely belongs to Carter, his business manager, and the high school buddies on the payroll. Should James leave for the bright lights and big cities, his childhood associates become less relevant, less impressive.
James’ inner circle has long been compared to those of Vinny Chase in HBO’s “Entourage.” A group of close friends that follow their bread-winning leader to a big city, only to be another hanger-on. In Cleveland, James’ friends are his business managers et al. In New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, they could become another Turtle, Drama or “E.”
And it appears that they may be starting to realize this. Wesley is of a different breed when it comes to his connections to James – it’s strictly business. But the Maverick Carters and Richie Pauls of the world have been with James through childhood. Could they fear possibly being pushed to the side? Would Steph Floss get a job DJing for James’ next employer as well as big city clubs? Would Randy Mims be a player liason in 2010 if not in Cleveland? It could be doubtful – and therein lies said strife.
Say what you want about some of Wojnarowski’s LeBron-focused pieces. This one, folks, is about as real as it gets in a very sad, but true way. Who knew that those we once thought were trying to get James out of Cleveland may in fact be the ones to wind up on the Cavs fan’s side?
Team LeBron Reaches for Prominence [Yahoo! Sports]