On The Subject of LeBron James…

July 9, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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First, full disclosure:  I don’t follow basketball as a game; I’m more interested in the cultural study of sports.  And more importantly, I am a native of Cleveland.

But I haven’t lived in Cleveland for a very long time, which is why I watched the whole LeBron James thing with a mix of emotions and reactions:

1.  Sadness:  Cleveland’s feelings got hurt…again.  Victory hasn’t shown this city any love since 1964.  Also, gotta admit, scenes of the whole city begging this guy to stay were, um, pathetic; in general, begging someone to stay usually never ends well (and given the vitriol of Cavs fans in the wake of James’ announcement, it’s a great example of how feelings can go from love to hate in less that a minute — 9:27pm to 9:28pm to be exact.)

2.  Resolution:  James is free to decide what’s best for his career and family; you can’t fault him for that.  And let’s face it, Miami is hot in every sense of the word.

3.  Irritation:  James basically said  “*bleep* you” to Cleveland on his way out.  C’mon son, that’s just rude and unnecessary.  A friend of mine has a (very plausible) theory that this is really all about James wanting to beat Kobe Bryant – which makes this whole affair a very small matter indeed.  And the tone and quality of this ESPN announcement should be an embarrassment to anyone involved and an affront to the integrity of great sports writers and journalists.

4.  Bemusement leading to a whole series of questions:  A one-hour television special to make the announcement…seriously?  Why did this announcement involve using children as a backdrop?  I get that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is mad, but why did he write his open letter in crayon, I mean, Comic Sans?  I get that Cleveland fans are angry, but burning jerseys and getting arrested…really?  How quickly will the trolls emerge on Twitter and elsewhere to let loose with the n-word (remember how they went in on Kanye for stepping on Taylor Swift)?  And unfortunately I don’t know how to articulate the question any better than this, but I wonder what this whole episode says to young black boys about their value to society…?

Okay I think we’re done here… now let’s all get back to important stuff.

Towards peace and knowledge,
Valerie Linson
Series Producer, Basic Black

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