February 05, 2003

Lots of posts today... here's another one that surprises noone but disappoints many: Bron's back. I don't like it. Let's just keep giving these athletes the message that they're above the rules, that's healthy...

posted by Bernreuther to basketball at 04:06 PM - 11 comments

I think LeBron is back because he is the only person who has come out and apologized and said he is sorry and gave back the jerseys and was willing to pay restitution if necessary. Now if his school, the arenas that sold $15 tickets, the vendors, the Ohio State High School Athletic Commission, the newspapers, the shoe salesmen, espn, et.al. come out and apologize for their share of the culpability then they will be forgiven too. I think the school district realizes that they are partly responsible for building him up and they would be wrong to tear him down in disproportion to the crime committed.

posted by vito90 at 04:31 PM on February 05, 2003

2 games will be sufficent, if he gave the jerseys back and admitted wrongdoing. It's a friggin witchhunt these days with highschool and college kids concerning their eligibility, both need to lay off the kids some, especially since they are profitting from them so much.

posted by corpse at 06:31 PM on February 05, 2003

"All LeBron did was receive a gift from a friend as congratulations for his academic achievements,'' said [James' lawyer]Nance, referring to James' 3.5 grade-point average. Now that's funny.

posted by pitchblende at 06:55 PM on February 05, 2003

He told that "academic achievement" bullflop to Deion (Prime) too. Just imagine the times he had to repeat that to himself so he wouldn't laugh. He is going to get some calls in the NBA with those acting skills. Can you imagine if a teacher wanted to fail him, he/she would always and forever be the one who failed LeBron. Probably get blamed if he doesn't make it in the NBA. "If only he had passed that last home ec. sewing quiz......"

posted by silent4lie at 08:36 PM on February 05, 2003

I'm generally completely with the 'athletes should never be above the rules' crowd. But rarely are the rules so horribly, horribly wrong. If Lebron were a real amateur, the school wouldn't be allowed to force him to travel all over the country and make a reported one million dollars in appearance fees. He is already a pro, and it was the school's choice to make him one, and the state athletic commission should be embarassed they didn't put a stop to that. Hell, they don't even have any rules to cover the case, and the opposing schools who are probably very anxious to get him thrown out would be the first to say 'oh, but you can't stop us from getting paid to travel when the next Lebron falls into our laps.' Once the school literally started making tens of thousands of dollars per appearance from him, it was over- all moral high ground was lost. I do sort of wish he'd stayed suspended, but only to keep the money out of the hands of the hypocritical administrators who are going to get a lot more than a couple jerseys out of this whole thing.

posted by tieguy at 08:08 AM on February 06, 2003

The administration of the school and the league continue to play the role of the biggest hypocrites in the world and I don't understand how this falls on Lebron James. Let me get this straight... Because the integrity of the league is important, Lebron or any player is not allowed to benefit from their achievements on the court. That said, the school and the league can milk it for everything its worth and come off innocent in the end. It was a shirt, two shirts, less than a grand and James no doubt made a mistake, but hes a child and his mistakes pale in comparison to the mistakes all of the adults in the situation. Frankly, Im impressed with the 3.5 GPA, even if it wasnt the actual reason for the gift.

posted by 86 at 09:00 AM on February 06, 2003

How much of the punishment do you think was enacted because they couldn't do anything about the Hummer he received for his 18th birthday? Do you think this suspension was in part backlash for that event?

Also, LeBron's not fooling anyone with this jerseys for good grades crap. He said he posed for some pictures for the store. Did he see any photos of the unathletic kids in the band getting their free jerseys for having good grades? Terrible.

Also, I didn't see the interview, but if Deion let him make the statement about how he thought that the jerseys were a reward for good grades without following up, he should never be allowed to perform (or give) an interview again. Does anyone know of a transcript for the interview? I'd be curious.

posted by jmevius at 09:46 AM on February 06, 2003

I think there's little doubt this was the OSHAA's attempt to lay the wood after their failure to find a problem with the Hummer. Here's the thing, LeBron has been gifted a ton more than the two jersey's in question. Tom Friend had an article on ESPN.com earlier in the week (mysteriously pulled from the archives) that laid out all the swag LeBron had already received. Including a Wes Unseld jersey! (You gotta have two of those.) He totes around two cell phones, a two-way pager and dresses better than Michael Jordan. (In fact, Friend's position was that LeBron ought to leave things lie or risk bringing up more embarrassing questions. King James does not exactly come from money.) Where were the local hall-monitors when all the other goodies were raining down? It seems apparent that as long as he received gifts that could easily fly under the radar, no one batted an eye, but the Hummer opened the flood gates. So I guess the question is, in light of past allowed activities, why would the kid think there would be any issue with this? Or at least, why would anybody care? jmevius: Didn't see the actual Deion interview, but I did see Deion (or "Prime" as LeBron apparently calls him) on PTI later that night. Tony asked him about the whole grade point average thing and Deion said he truly believed LeBron thought that was why he was getting the jerseys. That had to be the mother of all softball interviews. Kornheiser's retort to Deion: "C'mon, you gotta be kidding meSo what did the Chemistry Team get?"

posted by kloeprich at 12:50 PM on February 06, 2003

I agree that this was definitely hastened by the hummer incident. Which to tell you the truth would probably be something I would have done if I was the people in charge of this... failing to nail him good on the hummer, I'd have waited for the next little thing. But yeah, overall, the jerseys were no different than any of the other stuff he's been getting. Damn, did you see that suit he was wearing in the game he missed? He's already looking the part. I guess that's what bugs me the most, is that all along, he knew he was destined for millions, and what I don't understand is why, with this knowledge, everyone else in the world is giving him stuff for free. They considering this an investment or something? Since htey gave him something to hasten his living the good life, is he going to buy them a Benz with his shoe contract loot? Seems weird to me, but I guess, having never had anything given to me, I get mad when people like that have things handed to them when they're already going to be able to get whatever they want just because they can shoot a basketball. Excuse the bad grammar and everything. So I guess I'll be the first to admit to jealousy :) I too am impressed by the 3.5 GPA, esp at a private school. While I've little doubt that he gets things inflated because of his status, he still does seem to have triple the brainpower of a lot of the other thugs in the sport. At least when he's on MTV Cribs we'll be able to understand what he says...

posted by Bernreuther at 02:16 PM on February 06, 2003

Good column by Kornheiser on James and wisdom from Kwame Brown.

posted by pitchblende at 03:26 PM on February 07, 2003

On NPR yesterday, during the business news, the lady reporting the LeBron court decision included this contextual statement: "... his mother gave him a Hummer ..." I almost caused a 100-car pileup on 101 at rush hour.

posted by worldcup2002 at 03:52 PM on February 07, 2003

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