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: Jan 25, 2007
Posted on: July 29, 2010 8:58 am
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

I like him more after this... sounds like fun, wish I was there.  Whats funny to me is he clearly doesn't care about his brand as much as everyone else tries to pretend he does.  He wants to win, play basketball and have a good time, he doesn't care about what other people think about him and will do what makes him happy.  You go Lebron.

PS I'm a Sixers fan so there is no bias towards this statement.



Since: Apr 30, 2010
Posted on: July 29, 2010 8:52 am
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Millionaires with tons of cash and free time and no morals---vegas is the place to be baby!!! Party on---anything you want, you get in vegas for the right price----total decadence!!!!



Since: Jul 29, 2010
Posted on: July 29, 2010 8:43 am
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

TYPICAL.............need i say more??




Since: Jun 6, 2008
Posted on: July 29, 2010 7:39 am
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

As a 20 year resident of Las vegas, Lee-Bron's party was mild. With his money and status, the party should have been so wild that the reporter wouldnt have been able to leak any info. but i guess, once again lee-bron is still a kid!



Since: Jun 6, 2008
Posted on: July 29, 2010 7:32 am
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Everyone keeps saying that Lee-Bron and Bosh didnt do it for the money, since they didnt sign with their original teams. The reality is they both were able to do a "sign and trade", and therefore were able to receive the MAximum contract.  




Since: Nov 14, 2007
Posted on: July 29, 2010 7:29 am
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

I work and live in Las Vegas....particularly at the Palazzo Resort next door to Tao...while I can stand what Lebron has done to the city of Cleveland, this activity in the clubs is standard here in Vegas. Not a big deal, Tao is like that every weekend...him taking a dump on Cavs fans and all of Northern Ohio for an hour on National TV was much worse than that party.




Since: Sep 19, 2007
Posted on: July 29, 2010 7:28 am
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Typical NBA Hoodrat...what's the news here?



Since: Jul 24, 2010
Posted on: July 29, 2010 1:51 am
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

LEAVE THE MAN ALONE!!! ADD UP YOUR OWN MONEY, THROW YOUR OWN PARTY, PERFECT YOUR OWN SKILL, GET SOMEBODY TO BID FOR YOUR TALENTS, BREAK THIER HEARTS CHOOSING WHATS BEST FOR YOURSELF! HOW CAN A MAN THAT YOU DON'T PERSONALLY KNOW OCCUPY SO MUCH OF YOUR TIME, AND EMOTIONS. IN THE END ITS HIS MONEY, HIS PARTY, AND HIS LIFE. WE ALL HAVE MADE DECISIONS AT 25 YEARS OLD THAT MANY MAY HAVE THOUGHT WAS CRAZY AND SOMEHOW WE SURVIVED. I WONDER WHATS GOING TO HAPPEN IN 4-5 YEARS WHEN HE IS A FREE AGENT AGAIN, I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE ENTIRE STATE OF OHIO EAT CROW WHEN DAN (BIG MOUTH) GILBERT TRYS TO BRING HIM BACK.  A BUNCH OF SUCKERS BEING TRICKED INTO BUYING TICKETS TO SEE NOTHING, SIGN SOMEBODY AND PLAY BALL, EVERYONE ELSE, LIVE YOUR LIFE!



Since: Jan 2, 2008
Posted on: July 29, 2010 1:15 am
 

Can't handle the pressures of stardom

This just tells me that he doesn't really care about his brand, and maybe he subconsciously self-destructs on purpose to relieve the pressure of being a role model. He might get rings, but no respect. Girls, but no billion. Attention, but no fans.



Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: July 29, 2010 1:14 am
 

LOL. Gotta love a slow news month. Football yet

Too funny, this reporter needs to get out more.  Tao always have women in the pool (was at the Venetian two weeks ago), and honestly LBJ didnt party out of control.  Pretty normal sounding if you ask me for a 25 year old millioniare.  Hope this reporter enjoy the mail room.


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