Okay, I've called the guy a douchebag a few hundred times, so yes, that goes without saying. In fact, LeBron James has probably brought out emotions that only Jim Boylan and Tim Floyd have managed to do previously.
That said, when discussing race, in his quote he was asked the question if race was a factor, and he said it played some role and was always a factor. I completely called him to the carpet for that, and in retrospect, that wasn't fair.
Given that his Q scores with blacks barely moved over the decision, I think he's right. I went overboard in my criticism of him initially. I think what he did was still unimaginably stupid in terms of winning back any fans. Most non blacks are likely to react similarly to me in a gut reaction.
However, I'll admit that the reaction isn't fair. For all of his ego, Brett Favre is still a top 10 Q score guy. I'd say LeBron has one upped him in terms of ego, but Brett's still got to be a top 5 guy in terms of general egotistical douchiness. Not only is he not in the bottom 10, he's actually in the top 10 of Q scores (though seriously, I can't believe that study, since I don't know a single person who defends Favre, everyone seems to universally hate him though maybe that's just because he's played for the Bears two biggest division rivals and I'm in Chicago).
I don't think racism is necessarily a factor, but race certainly is, and that's what LeBron discussed. As all things racial seem to be a firestorm in this country it's easy for middle aged white guy (me) to jump the gun on LeBron and assume he's deflecting rather than honestly answering a question.
I'd love for LeBron to come out and say "In retrospect, I realize the way I handled this was very poorly thought out. I thought it was a great opportunity for the boys and girls club which was my goal, however, I now realize that dragging out my decision in such a way really caused a lot of harm to the fans in Cleveland who supported me for so long.".
If he wanted to win back the fan bases around the country, that simple statement (or something close to it) would do so pretty quickly. However, LeBron's still the supreme ego, so I don't expect him to utter the words I'm sorry in a sincere way.
However, I still took it too far in my article yesterday by reshaping his words and meaning due to the guy reaction of "here we go again with this guy". His answer to the question was fair and backed up by the statistical data out there. So I am apologizing to you the reader for my overreaction and misinterpretation of his quote.
I know I wasn't the only one, and I think many will disagree with my retraction because they still think LeBron is a douchebag (and well so do I), but while I still dislike the guy as a general rule (and said so even back when the Bulls were considered the favorite to add him so this isn't all sour grapes here), I have to admit I jumped the gun here and threw him under the bus far more than he deserved.