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: Feb 16, 2010
Posted on: July 28, 2010 5:51 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Just one point hear that you are completly neglecting... Dwane, James and Bosh can all aford to take less then max contracts becuse thier basketball contracts are chump change to them. Thier shoe deals and other enderosments make them FAR more money then thier contracts ever will. So while you can attemp to use the 3 of them turning down more money to instead play together as an prime of example of basketball players being over paid it dosnt really work becuse 99.9% of the leage dosnt have thier contracts outside the game. Also if you are unawear of this fact Florida does not have a state income tax meaning that the roughly 15 milion that they each "lost" by not taking max contracts is really only about 6 mill after taxes saved, and probably actualy makes them buku money if you figure in taxes saved on all thier other sources of income.



Since: Nov 7, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2010 5:50 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

This whole thing is ridiculous.  Anyone ever been to Tao?  They weren't naked women in a hot tub for him.  They have a hot chick in pasties there every weeked pretending to bathe herself in rose petals.  When you walk in the door there are girls fake whipping each other on a table and above the dance floor there are girls on a ledge giving each other lap dances. It all part of the club regularly.

If you want the real disgraceful part of his weekend, which wasn't in the article, its that I saw him eating lunch at some place called the "Earl Of Sandwich"!  What a high roller...



Since: Sep 18, 2007
Posted on: July 28, 2010 5:47 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

I just have one question. Why didn't he take a pay cut a couple of years ago so Cleveland could bring somebody in? Wait, he didn't want to, he wanted as much money as possible. And everybody they brought into the team James wanted the he leaves Cleveland like a jackass.. Now you have three big egos in Miami, and it will be interesting when there is 5 seconds or less left on the clock. We will see who takes the shot and who bitches about it..



Since: Nov 6, 2009
Posted on: July 28, 2010 5:34 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Can you name one person who has had worse public management than LeBron James?
He hosts a party, acts like a goof, poses for pictures flashing what looks like (but aren't)
gang signs, his buddies pour out some liquor, there's naked women in a hot tub,
and he invites a writer to go along with him every step of the way?

Better yet, can you name someone that has done so much damage to his reputation
in such a short time without really doing anything that was unethical, immoral, illegal?
For someone that apparently cares so much about his brand, he has really not done
anything to improve it.



Since: Jul 11, 2010
Posted on: July 28, 2010 5:32 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

PARTYPIMP: You make some really excellent points.  Now I really understand what all the hooplah is about.  Thank you.  I still think that much of the sports media is on the owner's payroll though.  I wish they could just honestly air out their complaints about Lebron and how he and the trio have messed up the business plan of the NBA, like the excellent analysis that you just wrote, instead of resorting to all kinds of vaguely related character assasinations against Lebron and company.  I mean really: NBA players go overboard with partying and eccentricity?  Really?  That's a story?  That's never happened before? 



Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: July 28, 2010 4:54 pm
 

LeBron James and the Tao of the Mega-Party

Here's something to chew on.

Other players are going to be EXTREMELY angry at WBJ (Wade Bosh James) for pulling this stunt once the owners sit down at the table for the collective bargaining agreement negotiations with the players representative.
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.
How do I know the fix was in?
2 time MVP LeBron James and Chris Bosh BOTH basically turn down MAX contracts to go play in Miami?
What? Are you kidding me.
Turn down MORE money to go play for someone else and not just one person but two?
In the same season.
The owners are going to take the strap to the players and say "well, it's obviously NOT about the money because two big free agents were willing to take LESS money to play together so obviously we are overpaying all of you"?

What are the players negotiators going to say to that?

Players scream about "getting mine" and "getting paid" and here is James and Bosh basically saying "we don't need the money, we'd rather stack the deck and try to collect rings.What the heck can the players say? NOTHING. The proof is in what Wade Bosh and James did. It's cut and dried.
This move will cost the players hundreds of millions of dollars because the players themselves PROVED they are overpaid through their actions.
Proof the owners let the players off the hook was Miami & Cleveland agreeing to a sign and trade AFTER LeBron announced "The Decision". Miami & The League wanted to compensate Cleveland in some way for his totally blatant act of tampering, but by the same token know that because of the way Miami will have screwed up an entire league CBA... they will be a marked team whom other players want to beat down because they cost them a ton of money and that is personal.
Take this to the bank.
The NBAPA will have to roll over and other players will be smoking hot that these 3 messed up their money.
I can't wait to see this play out.
Think about it !
I welcome your thoughts as always.




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