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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: Nov 17, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2010 10:02 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

You are an idiot.  Research for a second how much charity work and donations Lebron has made in Cleveland.  Lebron is spotted once in Vegas during his offseason and everything good he has done is erased.  Give me a break.



Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2010 9:49 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

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. OOPs. I thought this article was about Kobe.
My bad. This is the NOW, I was thinking the THEN.
And so it goes in the NBA.
At least Kobe has regained a modicum of respect in my eye.
James? Wut a loser.
No matter. I heard Shaq is gonna go up against the Champ in a hotdog eating contest on ABC.
Wait. Is that on at the same time as the Bachelorette?
DAMN! I gotta gets me TiVO.
It's all so sordid, Mr. Stern. Just makes your money, and turn a blind eYe.





Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2010 9:45 pm
 

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. I agree with you RocMan, I just think it is plenty ironic that a guy that has so much interest in his brand / marketing / attention is doing so poorly with it right now.  I will give you an example of another situation.  D Wade is a notorious South Beach "scene" guy - nobody really cared about it.  I think all the attention with LeBron is bc when you want the spotlight, and you grab the spotlight, it is going to shine on you.  And the media will react in a way that they think will get readers / attention - and it's working.

If we think other 25 year old NBA players who are millionaires aren't doing similar things, we are fooling ourselves.  But for me, I have very little sympathy for LBJ right now - he got what he asked for.



Since: Aug 14, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2010 9:40 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

No shock guys and gals..........its just another ghetto fatherless poor kid emulating the "hood" style! Get a grip an dont me shocked by this stuff!



Since: Dec 2, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2010 9:28 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

WOW dude you are RIGHT ON POINT and I happen to agree with you wholeheartedly.  Its just amazing how stupid ESPN is and how these guys have them eating out of their hand because they don't report like this.  It would seem like a media witch hunt so they leave it alone.  You and I should have a show and 'call it like it is'.



Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2010 9:15 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Not to defend James because I think he is acting like a fool but
there isnt a state tax in Miami.  Anyone saying he and Bosh left
money on the table needs to look at the deal with that included.
I do believe that I heard with what he is saving in that state tax
that would be on his Cleveland contract nets him about the same.
If he wins multiple titles in Miami, his marketing value will be far
greater than it ever would have been in Cleveland without a ring.

LBJ is a boob but dont make it about leaving money on the table.
He just doesnt want to end up like Barkley and Malone and end his
career without a ring.  Selfish, yes.  Irresponsible, yes but I can see
alot of people doing the same thing.



Since: May 17, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2010 9:00 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

The only thing I took from this article is that even though he looks to be over 30 Lebron still is a very large teenager.

That and if you want to give your friend a bunch of money for not helping you much just give him the money to sit on your couch and stop thinking up bad ideas under the influence of Grey Goose!!!



Since: May 28, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2010 8:59 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Yep just wait and see how long these three last together in "South Beach"!!! The owners are not going to be happy with the way this all play out and you add in the players then you have a mess! All created by "The Decision" played out on a one hour show!  I wonder how long it will take to see this all play out! Oh by the way you can only party so many times like this and not have someone try to make money! I could not agree more in the way that you wrote this post.  Great job in writing this post.




Since: Dec 21, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2010 8:07 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Lebron is going to laugh his way all the way to the bank with multiple titles. This guy won 60 games 2x, went to the NBA finals once and Eastern Finals twice, with who 4 scrubs. And you idiots seriously  think he can't win a title with Wade and Bosh. Keeping drinking the James Hate Juice. The guy is a stud. He has hit plenty game winners and look at his numbers against the Celts this year better then Kobe's, Kobe went 6-24 in game 7. He sucked but he had a better supporting cast. And the best thing about it is, you pathetic haters will be wearing Lebron Heat Jerseys after he wins his 3rd title. You will all jumping on the bandwagon soon enough!



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2010 7:58 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

My only point is how the NBA is going to use this against the players.
Taxes
Endosements
Party hosting $
?
It doesn't matter.
I believe is that the NBA just got handed a HAMMER and they are going to swing it
in there negotiations with the players union because of the actions of WBJ no matter how we spin it
and players are going to be hot and mad.
I don't think these gentleman thought it though.
This move moved the needle for hundreds of players.

By the way... back in the day if they have come out boppin' to the wrong "beats" when they came out struttin' with the dancing and liquid smoke and finger pointing (see east/west coast rap wars) and LeBron had dissed Jay Z by making him come to Cleveland, knowing the whole time he was going to Miami and wasting Jay-Z's time... they all 3 might have ended up in boxes over that masive disrespect alone. I kid you not.

I'm old school.. but those DAZE WAS NUTZ !

People got capped over less $.

Tupac/Biggie
RIP

 


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