January 23, 2003

LeBron James won't play for the Cleveland Cavaliers because of the firing of John Lucas, a "source close to the team" told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

posted by rcade to basketball at 08:56 AM - 9 comments

Fuck him. If he comes to Seattle I won't pay a nickel to watch him. How do you like THEM apples, Hummer-man? Who does he think he is, John Elway?

posted by vito90 at 12:21 PM on January 23, 2003

How convienent, I wouldn't want to play for the cavs either. Doubtfull they will win the lottery anyway, some team out of no where will, like the Knicks. I'm down with the Bron Boycott as well, he was recently in Greensboro and the coliseum had more people in it that it usually does for college basketball games. For a high school game! The kid doesn't need my $15.

posted by corpse at 12:38 PM on January 23, 2003

At least he's starting to act like your standard professional athlete...thinks anything going against his wishes is an affront on his being. Who gives a rat's ass what a high school player wants for a professional team? I bet, as soon as professional money gets thrown at him, he'll buckle faster than a....thing....that buckles...fast.

posted by bcb2k2 at 01:23 PM on January 23, 2003

bcb2k2: Throwing money at a player doesn't always work. It didn't work for Hideki Irabu. Or Eric Lindros. Or Steve Francis. Those are the 3 most recent "I don't like your team" holdouts I can remember. Donn Clendenon refused to report to the Houston Astros and threatened "retirement" back in 1969 when he was part of the deal that landed Rusty Staub. So it's not just young kids that pull this stunt.

posted by grum@work at 02:14 PM on January 23, 2003

bcb2k2: Throwing money at a player doesn't always work. Thus the whole "standard professional athlete" statement. Don't forget Kobe, just to throw out a somewhat recent high schooler dictating the fortunes of an NBA club. I wonder if he just never wanted to play for the Cavs (the local team, no less), and this gives him an out for stating it publicly. Of course, he's not the one saying this anyway. Methinks the "source" is some friend of James who likes to feel self-important by leaking anything to the press to see what they do with it. We shall see...

posted by bcb2k2 at 02:31 PM on January 23, 2003

I've been rooting for LeBron James, but this story suggests that he's already becoming an attitude problem before his first paycheck. That's not a good sign for an athlete who is the subject of so much hype at a young age -- they have to be smart and sensible to escape the lures of groupies, drugs, and the like. For all of his talent, LeBron could become another Kobe Bryant or another Chris Washburn.

posted by rcade at 02:32 PM on January 23, 2003

bcb2k2: a....thing....that buckles...fast Michael Spinks' knees in his '88 title fight vs. Tyson? And grum, you're right, dictating terms is not just the domain of the young. And the more I think about it, anybody should have the freedom to pick the city they want to live and work in. But the feelings might not be mutual if the Cavs still win the lotto, draft him, and then offer him to the city he wants to go to, because the price might be too high. There's no guarantee he'll be a Kobe, it's just as likely he'll be a Kemp. What's the likelihood that he would sit out a season? Nil, I'd say...

posted by vito90 at 03:48 PM on January 23, 2003

I think LeBron is in for a rude awakening. I'm not denying that he has mad skills, but he's playing against high schoolers. What NBA pro wouldn't utterly destroy high school players? LeBron is like a 12 year-old genius. Among his peers, he shines and is hailed as brilliant. When he attends Harvard or Yale at the age of 13, he gets lost in the crowd of other brainiacs. This is why we hear so much about kid geniuses, but lose track of them when they get older. What NBA player will not want to shut LeBron down on defense? It can be done (and there have been plenty of examples of other high school players taking it to the next level) but for LeBron to imagine that he is already MJ-worthy is a big mistake.

posted by jacknose at 09:46 PM on January 24, 2003

Hahaha ... you said Hideki Irabu. Doesn't that name just give you the giggles? Here's a little quagmire for LeBron to ponder: Going to a team like the Cavs means instant recognition, because Cleveland would have no choice but to start him right away. Then follow even bigger endorsements, more hummers (excuse me, Hummers), etc. Going to a team like the Lakers would mean sitting the bench for a year or two, eating humble pie, and probably developing as a player more successfully for the long run. So what does LeBron really want? To go to a great team and pick splinters out of his butt for a year ... or go to the Cavs and be a star now? As for fairness of the drafts, there is none. Imagine they held a draft for accountants and you were the big stud guess what? You're on your way to Enron! Assuming more equity in payrolls in pro sports (and THERE'S a big if), players should play wherever the hell they want to play. If they don't want to play in your town ... tough nuts for you.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:03 PM on January 27, 2003

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