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 28, 2010
Posted on: July 28, 2010 7:23 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

I heard he came off the court in Game 5 and said to Mo Williams, "man, you gotta check Rondo"....Mo replied, "well you gotta check your momma!".  True story from Brad Sellers.  Anyways, the NBA is fixed, the league had a Ref that was found guilty, the league has players who throw games (James) and now they want us to keep spending money. 




Since: May 13, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2010 7:20 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

First of all there is nothing abnormar about what he did.  For anyone who has ever been to Tao nightclub, the naked women (they actualy are fully covered up) in the bathtubs is standard for the place.  Based on the story the only thing he did was party with some friends on a bigger scale than most who attend the club can afford to do.  The only mistake James made was inviting a writer who can't keep his mouth shut.



Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2010 7:17 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Partypimp:
      
;     &nbs
p;     I think your analysis is pretty spot on here, and yes, I think some players over the next few years will be upset, the bar has now been set lower then it had been before, if you catch my drift. This just goes to the point of Lebron being so overpoweringly self centered, he can sign for less, even for several years, because his endorsements make him more money then his basketball contracts, really, if you think about it, the same goes for dwayne, and if things go right, it could well be the same for Bosch, we will see who picks up his contract (s) I would be willing to bet he will be, or already is, in Nike's prverbial pocket. These three have created a media powerhouse, they will be on everything from Kool-aid to can opener adds for the forseeable future, they do not care, 3-4 rings, lucrative sponsorships, and a job when they retire, a good job. This is so much about those three, and Lebron has led the way. I honestly believe, that all three of them truly do not care that future players will lose money over this, they wont, that is all they care about, they have become the end all be all, and I owuld not be surprised if they all begin speaking in the third person soon. One thing though, and I really hate to admit this, I love basketball, I really do, I'm a season ticket holder, but this may, in the long run, be good for the sport, I have no desire to see overpaid, over babied whiners running around demanding 20+ million a year, do not get me wrong, they desrve to be paid, just not that much in my eyes. If the league does cap things out differently, well then maybe the parody will begin again in the NBA. Not for a ong time, but maybe, just maybe we will go back to the times where pro athletes were rich, way rich, but not godlike rich, and well, thats not all bad..........
Peace mon



Since: Dec 1, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2010 6:41 pm
 

Miami Big 3 will be Big 2 soon

There is momentum building for a new collective bargaining agreement that will force the Miami Heat to cut 1 of their big 3 after only one year due to new cap constraints.  This would help fans because lower salaries would lead to better deals for fans at the arena.  It is amazing that a man can make enough putting a round ball in a basket to buy diamond earrings that a child in Sierra Leone had his arm cut off for.  Heaven forbid in lieu of the earrings they set up college scholarships for the inner city.  Oh yeah, they are too busy "making it rain" in Vegas.  By the way, isn't Lebron a dad?  I wouldn't want my kids to know I was doing that.



Since: Jul 18, 2008
Posted on: July 28, 2010 6:37 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. 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.




Since: Apr 2, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2010 6:30 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

the infamous trio didn't take less....their local governments did!

Supporters of the Cleveland Cavaliers, , are upset that basketball superstar LeBron James has with the Miami Heat. The anger is especially intense because the Cavaliers offered James $4 million more over the next five years. But their anger is misplaced because more money in Cleveland actually translates into about $1 million less disposable income when the burden of state and local income taxes is added to the equation. Rather than condemn James for making a rational choice, local basketball fans should tar and feather Ohio politicians.

This walks through the calculations.

[I]f you match up what James’ salary would be for the first five years in Cleveland and the five years in Miami, you find that the Cavaliers are only offering him $4 million more. That advantage gets erased — and actually gives the Heat the monetary edge over — when you consider the income tax difference. …Playing in Cleveland, LeBron would face a state income tax of 5.925 percent, plus a Cleveland city tax of two percent. Over the first five years of a new contract with Cleveland, James would give back $3,953,060 combined to the state and city for the 41 games each season he’d play at home. But James would have to pay none of that for home games in Miami since Florida doesn’t have an income tax. Athletes have to pay income taxes to states that they play in on the road, so the games he’ll play away from home — whether he played for Cleveland or Miami — are essentially a wash. But there are, on average, 11 away games per season where James would have to pay Ohio and Cleveland taxes. Why? Because he has to pay when he plays in the six areas –– Florida, Texas, Washington D.C., Illinois, Toronto and Tennessee –– that have no jock taxes. That’s another $1,061,128 he’ll have to pay in taxes that he wouldn’t have to pay in Miami.




Since: Apr 2, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2010 6:28 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

for all of the "he took less money to play in Miami!!" shouters.  NO King James Didn't.  Income taxes huge in Cleveland as they are in a number of states around our tax soaked country.  But not in Florida.  Wade, Bosh, James, knew exactly what they were doing and I would do it too If I could draw a salary like theirs regardless of location.  The government takes too much and blows it at a ridiculous rate.

Supporters of the Cleveland Cavaliers, , are upset that basketball superstar LeBron James has with the Miami Heat. The anger is especially intense because the Cavaliers offered James $4 million more over the next five years. But their anger is misplaced because more money in Cleveland actually translates into about $1 million less disposable income when the burden of state and local income taxes is added to the equation. Rather than condemn James for making a rational choice, local basketball fans should tar and feather Ohio politicians.

This walks through the calculations.

[I]f you match up what James’ salary would be for the first five years in Cleveland and the five years in Miami, you find that the Cavaliers are only offering him $4 million more. That advantage gets erased — and actually gives the Heat the monetary edge over — when you consider the income tax difference. …Playing in Cleveland, LeBron would face a state income tax of 5.925 percent, plus a Cleveland city tax of two percent. Over the first five years of a new contract with Cleveland, James would give back $3,953,060 combined to the state and city for the 41 games each season he’d play at home. But James would have to pay none of that for home games in Miami since Florida doesn’t have an income tax. Athletes have to pay income taxes to states that they play in on the road, so the games he’ll play away from home — whether he played for Cleveland or Miami — are essentially a wash. But there are, on average, 11 away games per season where James would have to pay Ohio and Cleveland taxes. Why? Because he has to pay when he plays in the six areas –– Florida, Texas, Washington D.C., Illinois, Toronto and Tennessee –– that have no jock taxes. That’s another $1,061,128 he’ll have to pay in taxes that he wouldn’t have to pay in Miami.




Since: Sep 4, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2010 6:22 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

This all seems pretty tame.  Shoot...college parties are way worse than that!  Over reacting.


With that bein said, yeah, not a good time to be doing things like this so public when your image is on the rocks. 

...and his man, who apparently set all this up, seems like the most immature out of the bunch.  LeBron probably left Cleveland because Carter wanted to party on South Beach year round. 



Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2010 6:11 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Who Cares ??  i didn't read the article & don't care to.  Write something useful instead of sitting at Lebron's feet all day & night trying to write something that matters !!  How 'bout writing about some youth sports, or a meaningful high school sports story, or maybe some good college offseason stuff happening.  Maybe write about some college athletes serving his country.  Why keep regurgitating the same Lebron crap ??



Since: Dec 15, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2010 5:52 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Well I think your right on the money with that. I`ve and most evryones thought that all pro`s in all sports get paid to much as it is anyways.  Maybe the players will take this as a wake up call, and realize that when they were kids they never played the game for money they played because they loved playing their sport.  I know some will be mad and think well I need 6 -7 mill a year.  We dont even pay doctors  anywhere near what a pro athlete makes and they save peoples lives for a living.  I `ll be real intrested as well to see how players react.  Its about winning championships right ? Well now maybe all players will take less money in order to win rings.  Hey I would. No one remembers you if you dont win championships, Moneys great but these players should be all about the Hardware.


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