Blog Entry

LeBron speaks and a look into 'The Decision'

Posted on: August 17, 2010 10:01 am
Edited on: August 17, 2010 2:55 pm
 
 Posted by Royce Young

Since "The Decision" really all we've heard or seen from LeBron is him being heckled or booed at an appearance. He didn't speak during the Nike World Basketball Festival and for the most part, has just kept a low profile.

Finally, we have some fodder. J.R. Moehringer of GQ had the opportunity to spend three weeks with LeBron in the lead-up to the decision and also spoke to James about a number of different things.

In the interview that drops in full Aug. 24, LeBron actually says he could see himself returning to Cleveland one day as well.
"If there was an opportunity for me to return," he says, "and those fans welcome me back, that'd be a great story." But then again, he also talks about how as a kid, he hated Cleveland, italics used for added emphasis on hated.

A few of the other highlights:

LeBron on how those close to him view his decision: “They’re happy to see me happy. That’s what they can see in my face. They say: ‘It’s been a while since we’ve seen you look like that.’”

On Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert: “I don’t think he ever cared about LeBron. My mother always told me: ‘You will see the light of people when they hit adversity. You’ll get a good sense of their character.’ Me and my family have seen the character of that man.”
 
On how a kid could from Akron, located only thirty minutes from Cleveland, could grow up rooting for Chicago and Jordan: "It's not far, but it is far. And Clevelanders, because they were the bigger-city kids when we were growing up, looked down on us.… So we didn't actually like Cleveland. We hated Cleveland growing up. There's a lot of people in Cleveland we still hate to this day."

On how growing up helped him learn about facing adversity and staying humble:
“That’s what keeps me humble, because I know my background, know what my mother went through. I never get too high on my stardom or what I can do. My mom always says, and my friends say, ‘You’re just a very low-maintenance guy.’"


Moehringer also describes in detail what it was like hanging with LeBron's crew. One of the more interesting points is how LeBron is surrounded at all times. Whether it be with friends, managers, agents or family, LeBron doesn't spend a lot of time by himself.
Moehringer writes: "But as with anything, all that comfort comes at a cost, and I think that his fear of being alone keeps him at times from walking through the fire that we all have to walk through. Maybe sitting alone in a room and thinking might have helped him realize that an hour-long special devoted to his decision was ill advised. My suspicion from watching him surrounded by people wherever he goes is that he's not spending a lot of time alone in a room thinking through things."

There's also something in the article talking about how James is potentially trying to re-create his high school experience, something he calls his favorite time of his life, by going and playing with friends in Miami. It's interesting because James spurned his local predominantly African-American high school but instead enrolled at predominantly white St. Vincent-St. Mary to play with friends and build a superteam. He was called a traitor, a cop-out and pretty much all the things he's being called now. And as Moehringer points out, in LeBron's memoir, the chapter talking about his choice to play at the catholic prep school is entitled "The Decision."

I remember Brian Windhorst, who covered LeBron even in high school, tweeting in the build-up to the one-hour announcement special that this new media savvy, image conscious LeBron was not someone he knew. LeBron refers to himself in the third-person constantly, talks about hating Cleveland his entire life and is so enveloped in his own happiness that he surrounds himself with people that only tell him how happy he is. That doesn't sound a whole lot like the guy that was all about winning and teammates a few years ago with the Cavs.

But honestly, after this inside look, maybe LeBron never changed. Maybe he's the exact same guy he's always been.


Comments

Since: May 24, 2007
Posted on: August 17, 2010 3:06 pm
 

LeBron speaks and a look into 'The Decision'

What if Wade also did the following, Calculus?-Constantly made demands of the team to hire his friends.-Planned out the team strategy with the managers, to the point where they would go after people he wanted, and not trade people he liked.-Spoke of loyalty being his #1 priority since arriving-Basically allowed the owner to believe he was good friends with him initiallyThen...-Seemed to give up in one of his last games (even if he didn't in game 6, look at game 5...)-Post game press conferences referred to his team of advisors as his team, ignoring the Cavs completely...-Refused to return any phone calls after the season ended with management.-Did what you described-Bad mouthed the team for failing to put a good cast around him (... right, despite the fact the Cavs coulda had Bosh but Bosh knew James wasn't going back to CLE and said as much in interviews about why he wouldn't go)-Constantly referred to himself in the third person-Took out an add in a paper to thank AKRON, with no mention of Cleveland, and ONLY after his former team mate, Z, did the same thing a bit earlier...
So...
Look, IMO, Cleveland management should have seen this coming a mile away.  However, they didn't.  They were handicapped by him because he maintained that he loyalty meant so much to him, and he even told Larry King that Cleveland had the best chance to re-sign him... but does anyone believe that nonsense anymore?  Anyway, it was a dumb time, and I really think it's evidence that the NBA needs a franchise tag.
I agree the "Lequit" names are getting old/dumb.  However, what he did deserves, at very least, some scorn.  I also agree it's time to "move on" - that is to say, let's all just agree the guy was nuts and a dick off the court, and he may have been questionable at times on the court, but he did have some delightful highlights.  If you want to celebrate him for what he does on the court, go for it.  I won't.  No number of championships is going to make me look at James the same way... but I doubt he cares.



Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2010 3:05 pm
 

LeBron speaks and a look into 'The Decision'

Oh, there's the humble side he was talking about! Flexing and pointing at his bicep! Now I see!



Since: Jul 14, 2010
Posted on: August 17, 2010 3:02 pm
 

LeBron speaks and a look into 'The Decision'

Um, that's all well and good, and I even agree with your overall view on the media and its role in diminishing the integrity and eseence of sports ON the court/field.

However, how you get there is mystifying to me. You mean to tell me that the media is MORE complicit in turning our attention toward the "icon" that is LeBron versus the player than LeBron and his people are? Ridiculous. The only way "The Decision" ultimately comes to be is by LeBron signing off on it as a good idea, and then driving the bus the rest of the way. LeBron WANTS us focusing on LeBron - on AND off the court. How do we know? His actions -- from how he handled his choice of high schools in Ohio, to his antics at the beginning of games, to his complicity in the ego-maniacal exercise that was "The Decision", to his tweets about "remembering who's saying things about me", to his self-aggrandizing parties (and no, Vegas was not the only one), and all the rest.

LeBron is a basketball player. And a damn good one. But he's much, much more than that. He's an industry, and a self-made "icon", and the road map to accomplishing those feats is very much to INSIST that we the public pay attention to his every move -- both on AND off the court.




Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2010 2:49 pm
 

LeBron speaks and a look into 'The Decision'

Where to start??? My head is spinning...OK, first, you cannot call yourself humble in the same interview where you broke out a third person and said even your family is spoiled by you on and off the court. Second, how did James handle adversity in Cleveland? He mailed in games five and six and fled to Wade's team with another high-priced coward. Third, what is humble about the "Chosen One" tattoo? Or the "King James" tattoo? Or driving a Hummer in high shool? Or the way he stole Jordan's simple chalk routine (he used to brush it off on Red Kerr as a joke) and somehow bastardized it and threw in a Jesus pose? And didn't he look happy when he was dancing on the sideline to celebrate his regular season greatness? Wow, wow, wow..this guy just doesn't get it at all.



Since: Apr 10, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2010 2:44 pm
 

LeBron speaks and a look into 'The Decision'

@ , it is true that I am a heat fan, so lets look at this as though Wade had done this...as if Wade had hosted "The Decision" (He would have probably named it something a little cooler) 

- Yes I would have been disappointed if he had gone somewhere else. 
- Yes I would have been very bummed if Wade had chosen to sign somewhere else.
- Yes I would have wished that the ownership would/could have done more.
BUT
- I would not have burned his jersey. 
- I would not have called him Da Fake (instead of La Fake for Lebron?)...mostly because it it so uncreative I would have been embarised to say it.
- I would still have drafted him on my fantasy basketball team

I think there should be a time for mourning, and then move on... It is time to move on. 

You agree?



Since: Dec 11, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2010 2:43 pm
 

LeBron speaks and a look into 'The Decision'

 sounds like LeBum's Mom has a lot to do with his decisions .  She got a DUI when he got her a new Hummer , and she slept with his Teammates , What a good role model




Since: Dec 19, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2010 2:37 pm
 

LeBron speaks and a look into 'The Decision'

On owner Dan Gilbert: “I don’t think he ever cared about LeBron. My mother always told me: ‘You will see the light of people when they hit adversity. You’ll get a good sense of their character.’ Me and my family have seen the character of that man.”

Number one, never call yourself "LeBron".  No third person, please.  And, by the way, the so-called "adversity" Gilbert faced...that was created by you, right or wrong.  That's like me hitting someone in the face and when I get hit back, I say "I knew he was a terrible guy".  The more he brings up his mother, the more irritated I am.  You are a grown man motherf**ker, say something YOU think, not what your mother thinks.




Since: Jan 25, 2009
Posted on: August 17, 2010 2:34 pm
 

LeBron speaks and a look into 'The Decision'

My exact thaughts!



Since: Sep 29, 2006
Posted on: August 17, 2010 2:34 pm
 

LeBron speaks and a look into 'The Decision'

“I don’t think he ever cared about LeBron. My mother always told me: ‘You will see the light of people when they hit adversity. You’ll get a good sense of their character.’ Me and my family have seen the character of that man.”

Nice quote: Now do we see the character in this man? I think we do!!! "It has been a long time since he was this happy" people around him feel happy because they can see LeBron is happy, of course they do. Ask MC Hammer how happy his people felt when MC was happy!

Can this guy ever get over himself?

We all can now see the light of LeBron when he is going through this adversity. Where are all the LeBron commercials now? Are sponsers dropping him and no-one is talking or writing about that? huh!!!!

Listen to all the stars HOFers talking last week. Do you think D-Wade could have helped him here? He brought Chris Bosh down to Miami, but LeBron took his talents to South Beach.

lol, good luck LeBron, next thing you will say is that Pat Riley never cared for LeBron, or Oh Wait, maybe that is what his momma will tell him!

boohoo!



Since: Mar 4, 2008
Posted on: August 17, 2010 2:19 pm
 

LeBron speaks and a look into 'The Decision'

On how a kid could from Akron, located only thirty minutes from Cleveland, could grow up rooting for Chicago and Jordan: "It's not far, but it is far. And Clevelanders, because they were the bigger-city kids when we were growing up, looked down on us.… So we didn't actually like Cleveland. We hated Cleveland growing up. There's a lot of people in Cleveland we still hate to this day."



Hated Cleveland because they were the big city kids, but New York, Chicago, they're fine. What a BS artist.


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