Blog Entry

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Posted on: July 28, 2010 4:19 pm
Edited on: July 28, 2010 4:29 pm
 
Posted by Matt Moore

Hey, what haven't we written about for thirty seconds? I know! LeBron!

Today's tale is especially gooey though. It involves chap stick, champagne poured out, women in a bathtub, and the continuing self-demolition of LeBron James' public persona.

Arash Markazi is a columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com . Last weekend, while King James and his merry men were partying in Vegas, Markazi was invited along for the festivities. This isn't anything new. Media members are occasionally privy to such events as part of a profile, but the events are almost always considered off-record. Markazi was apparently not under that impression, at least when he filed.

Markazi's story went up this morning at this link (link now = very dead). Within the hour, it was taken down again. Whoops. Something went up that shouldn't have. Unfortunately for the poor folks at ESPN.com's editorial department, in this day and age, someone managed to extract a copy of it.  And it now lives on the Internet forever , among the weeds.

So what was it in that article that brought so much attention?

Well...

There's nothing in the article that is particularly shocking. Millionaire 25-year-old parties like a rock star, par-parties like a rock star. The problem is that it represents yet another blow to the hollowed out wreckage that is LeBron's public image. Furthermore, even though hardcore NBA fans, media, and personnel are fully aware that this is the kind of life James leads, it's still not the image he wants to project to the mothers of the ten year olds buying his shoes/lunchboxes/cereal/colognes. So what does the article say exactly? Let's go to the tape!

Want references to scantily clad women? You got it!

"The waiter bringing him his cup of green tea with a spoonful of honey and a dash of lemon juice makes the cut, as does the scantily clad brunette with a tattoo of a heart on her right shoulder. She wants to take a picture with him. "I can't right now," says James. "Maybe later, upstairs, I'll remember you're the one with the tattoo."
And then later:
Bottle after bottle of "Ace of Spades" champagne is delivered to the table by a waiter flying down from above the dance floor like some overgrown Peter Pan on a wire. One time he's dressed like a King, another time as Indiana Jones and another in a replica of James' No. 6 Miami Heat jersey. James, who can hardly see the flying figure through his tinted glasses, almost gets kicked in the head on the waiter's last trip down. He looks at the girls around him and says, "I wish they'd have one of these girls with no panties do that instead of the guy."
Well, hey, LeBron's not married. Not really any of our business. But it certainly doesn't paint the image that James wants to in light of the backlash he's faced since "The Decision."

The article features an inside look at how James behaves in close company. Not only James, in fact, but head of LRMR marketing Maverick Carter, who has emerged as the the dominant force behind James' decisions since hitting free agency. So a man of that kind of power, responsible for the business decisions of one of the most powerful people in sports today is probably reserved and in control, right?
Carter, LeBron's childhood friend and manager, begins dancing around James like Puff Daddy in a Notorious B.I.G video. A giant red crown-shaped cake is brought over to James while go-go dancers dressed in skimpy red and black outfits raise four lettered placards that spell out, "KING." Carter grabs a bottle of Grey Goose and pours a quarter of it on the floor and raises it up before passing it off.
Well, okay, that's a different approach.

Want to know exactly how ridiculous the entire spectacle is? Glen Davis thinks LeBron was acting a fool. That's right. The guy nicknamed "Big Baby" who was compared to Shrek thinks James is over-the-top:
Toward the end of the night, Boston Celtics forward Glen Davis walks past James' party and looks at the scene up and down several times like a painting in a museum, soaking in the images of the go-go dancers, the "King" sign and the costumed man delivering bottles of champagne.

Davis shakes his head and walks on.

James dances on the couch and sings along with the music blaring from speakers all around him.
Burn!

I'm not even going to touch the flying waiters in Indiana Jones outfits. (I thought they named the hooker Indiana. Or am I getting that quote wrong?)

Allright, but the story was only up for a few minutes and then taken down. Surely no one's had time to already start making fun of...

Oh .

Oh, and that .

Oh, geez , the "nexus of insane wealth and mega-celebrity." Well played, SBNation.com. 

Well,then.

For James' part, Darren Rovell is reporting that his team has said they did not have any part in the piece getting pulled. And ESPN has come back with an official quote , first reported by Rovell, and told to FanHouse and our own Ken Berger:
"The story should have never been published. The draft was inadvertently put on the server before going through the usual editorial process. We are in the midst of looking into the matter.”
Oh, so that's what happened. A story outlining the most powerful figure in the NBA whose public image has been tarnished outlining his rather opulent weekend in moderate detail just got slipped onto the server.

That guy that lost the iPhone 4 is going to have nothing on whatever poor guy screwed this up.

We shouldn't overreact to this, there should be nothing in this article that stuns us. James does nothing illegal, inbibes no illegal drugs, says nothing of real controversy. He's just your average, run-of-the-mill, mega-star with millions of dollars being treated like a god in the most opulent place on Earth. He's a lot like you and me, actually, if we routinely faked playing basketball in casinos and hung out in places with naked women in bathtubs with rose pedals as decoration (my wife prefers paper lamps). Really, part of LeBron is inside all of us. I'll let you figure out which organ that is, in particular.

(Image via: Ball Don't Lie )
Category: NBA
Comments

Since: Jul 22, 2008
Posted on: July 29, 2010 12:27 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Who really cares? Only those who are envious and enjoy watching their jealousy become vengance by taking down a human being that might be in a better spot than we are. He is doing what any normal 25 year old male with tons of money and power would be doing. Granted, maybe his PR crew could be doing a better job but seriously...Who Cares? Let the guy have his fun..



Since: Oct 30, 2008
Posted on: July 29, 2010 12:24 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

They are paid too much!



Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: July 29, 2010 12:10 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

I love all the conspiracy theories out here.
I still think there ar people who dont believe 2 planes flew into the trade center,3 blocks from my job in 2001, and the govnt put bombs in the building. DOnt laught, its true, some people really think this.
Maybe james, Bosh and wade, really really wanted to play together, and determined that 3 years ago. How about that for a novel idea.

Also, im snot so sure james tarnished his image so much, when u have people like: kobe in denver, artest in detriot,  all-pro offensive lineman, nate newton driving an ice cream truck with 25 tons on weed in it. I also think the NFL has a person arrested every week.

this story is nothing to do about nothing, but being bored.
also, it think its LAME to have a reporter follow you around while you party. Its liek watching the real wworld on mtv. Complete garbage. Let me read or watch somethign, that i could never do bc 1) i have to work for a living, 2) dont have 2 billion in the bank.  REAL FUN!




Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2010 12:07 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

See, I believe Stern and company are not bringing the hammer down on this stunt is because they want to wait and bring it to the table and impose unbelievable penalties on the players if it ever happens again.Bring the hammer down?  For what, exactly?  Having a completely legal private party that apparently resulted in no police involvement or complaints?

People are dumb.  Thanks for proving it.



Since: Dec 7, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2010 11:50 am
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Meanwhile....
Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant were preparing for the upcoming 2010-2011 basketball season...



Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: July 29, 2010 10:38 am
 

Keeping it simple...

Lebrone has great talent but is just a show boat....one of the biggest I've ever seen.  He got away with it in Cleveland with the rosin throwing and dancing.  I feel sorry for Clevland but they were like a loving parent who spoiled their child...now we got a moster on our hands.  If he trys to pull the same stuff in Miami there will be problems.



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2010 10:29 am
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Why are people not named Lebron James so concerned with Lebron James' "public" image? Its not like Lebron is running for president. He's a basketball player. If you don't like what he does off the court? Stop paying attention. Simple right? If the man wants to party, let him. He's not doing anything illegal. Its just a 25 year old man having a party.

 WHY ARE AMERICANS CONCERNED WITH CELEBS? IS THIS YOUR FIRST DAY LIVING IN THIS COUNTRY?



Since: Jul 13, 2009
Posted on: July 29, 2010 9:52 am
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Look, I can't stand LeBron James.  I hated his attitude when he was with the Cavs.  I hated his behavior this summer.  I think he's always been a horrible role model and is a terrible TEAM player.  But with that having been said, who really cares about this? If the guy wants to go to Las Vegas and have a party, he's allowed to do that.  As long as it doesn't interfere with his playing career, why make a big deal out of it.  It's called free will people.



Since: Jan 27, 2008
Posted on: July 29, 2010 9:33 am
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

I never actually thought of it that way.  I hope your right because the players are overpaid.  The only problem I have with that is if you don't over pay the players then the owners are making out like bandits.  I think the best thing to do would be to lower all ticket prices and the price of merchandise and consessions, then both the owners and players can get paid less. 

Naturally, I would do the same exact thing as Lebron (party like a rock star) if I had that kind of money, but I think your right, it's going to piss off a lot of people.



Since: Jun 2, 2009
Posted on: July 29, 2010 9:01 am
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

I am offended by your critique of Earl of Sandwich - they truly are the most delicious sandwiches in Vegas. 

I know there are others with me on that.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com