I think I owe LeBron an apology

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.

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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.

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  • My response has also softened upon reflection, but I'm not ready to take it all back. I think it is inaccurate to say his comments "play the race card." He was asked a direct question meant to stir something up and he make a lukewarm response. If he had said, "Man, my detractors are racists," then, that is clearly playing the race card. That's not what happened.

    My problem is that these comments come on the heels of him making a series narcissistic comments, nearly one a week, that cast himself as a victim and his critics and bullies, haters, etc that refuse to even examine the possibility that he did irresponsible things this summer. LeBron needs to grow up and take accountability for his actions but yes, in this case, the media reaction is getting blown way out of proportions. He's said far worse things this summer that, IMO, should have stirred up more of a backlash. Of course, this backlash threatens to actually make him seem like the victim he's so sure he is.

  • Doug, this whole story is a non-issue. LeBron was asked if race played a factor in the Decision backlash. What? A typically loaded question for a ratings minded sensationalism as the goal media? Shocking!

    Give me a break. What was he supposed to say? Old school guyss might have said in this case race wasn't the problem/out, but new school guys will bascially say what fits the situation. The guy just uttered a PC straight from the obligatory answer vending machine. Who cares. Of course race is a factor in American life. And especially so when the conglomeration of black/african-amercian athletes dominates the scene star wise, numbers wise, and financially. Juxtapose that with the higher rate of unemployment and crime(largely drug driven) along with shocking numbers of imprisonment, and there is a powderkeg of irony/social inequity friction ready to be struck/tapped into at any times. Some times intentionally for ratings sake.

    I blame the dipshit journalist for this obligatory cheap out and baiting quite frankly knowing a guy in Lebrons hated shoes would probably reach for that provided out.

    Do whites inordinately hate blacks in "power" specifically culture dominating athletes? I'd say yes. But the old school guys who had to go to seperate lunch counters, water fountains, buses, hotels, while still embracing white fans and in general the American public were a sqaundered/defamed/injured generation that we bascially took for granted coming out of the drak ages of stark racism a relatively short generational time ago.

    It's totally unfair that those old school guys didn't get more embracement and appreciation and that at the same time white flight from cities along with medium and lower skilled jobs left as well. Then you're left with unemployment and the depressed atmosphere that will embrace drugs/crime in the void of hopelessness.

    Now you've got new school guys embracing a glorification of gang mannerisms, infidelity and abusement/defaming of women etc. And the corporate conglomerated corrupt media and congress have set the tone of amorality that seeking to be euqlly empowered morally disenfranchised culture including whites have embraced. Unfortunately the disenfranchised and helpless culture of many urban and smaller city blacks/african amercians have taken it as their own this manipulative and ultra selfish mindset.

    So is whitey to blame? Yeah, I'd say quite a bit. But that doesn't make it less sad that aside from the main culture that particularly blacks/african americans do seem more steeped in the negative amorality of today's American culture.

    And honestly as amorally raised/barren as guys like Lebron come across to me aside from that hate of whites and white culture, i always deep down feel angry at white establishment for largely creating this mess, and feel sorry for guys like him white and black. Which would include guys like Brett favre who is undeniably an ego driven self-absorbed a-hole.

    All said and remember just one person's opinion. Doesn't make it fact. I dig the tolerance mostly shown in the discussion of this topic/this story.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    "Do whites inordinately hate blacks in power" ? What!?! Just because I'm white means I automaticly "hate" blacks? Just because I have a different skin tone than some other person, does not decide wether I like or dislike that person. I like or dislike somone based on their actions. Tiger Woods was a great athlete and a great person in my eyes, then he cheats on his wife the way he did and I think he is a dirt bag. I don't care if he is white, black, or green he cheated on his wife. Dirt bags do that, not people of a certain skin color. I think Obama is a bad president. Is it because he's black? No, it's because I'm against abortion, big government, and high taxes. I didn't like Bush much either with his spending, and guess what, he's white. When Jordan became owner of the Bobcats, I didn't mumble about how it shouls have been a white man. I think Jordan deserved the honor. The point I'm trying to make is that skin color should not matter to anyone! We are all one race with different skin tones. I have brown hair, I don't have people with white hair, or black hair, or red hair. It's just hair. I know there are real racist out there, but that doesn't mean everyone is. My belief is that everyone is made in the image of God. Not some of us, not all but a few. All of us. People may not feel comfortable around those of different backgrounds or upbringings, but that doesn't mean it's racism.

  • Doug -

    You were right in the first place. Should have stuck with your gut reaction, they are usually right.
    I think you're letting that non-sense about "Q scores" and all the rest of the Lebron apologists get in the way of common sense.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    I think that what he just stated is common sense...what Maverick said might be questionable to some but what Lebron said was fairly accurate and fair. Race is ALWAYS a factor, and I don't see that changing in my lifetime...

  • In reply to Houston:

    What does that mean exactly?

    "Race is Always a factor"

    Race is NOT always a factor ... in fact, I'd venture to say that Race is rarely a factor in any of this.

    Are you trying to differentiate between race and racism?
    Because in these kinds of instances, there is NO difference. It means the same thing.

    And for those of us who are NOT racist, it wasn't a factor. And never will be.

    There are, and always will be, racist people in the world. But these kinds of statements ... "Race is always a factor" ... only gives some tiny bit of legitimacy to them.
    Race will "always" be a factor as long as we let it be one.
    And as long as any of us continue to let a guy like Lebron, or any one else for that matter, use race or racism as an excuse for poor behavior, it will continue to be a "factor".

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    I think people forget that he made the Decision to get attention. He could've easily shaved 3-4 million off of his 90 mill. Nike contract.

    But instead he used that as a justification, he tried to soften the blow, keep his image & legacy while still taking the easy route, but of course now he's a joke. Pave way for Durantula.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    RACE was not a factor.

    The reporter, nor LBJ, should have even brought it up.

    If Larry Bird would have done THE DECISION, he would be getting cooked by fans too.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Doug, this is so much more than a race issue; it's also a generation issue because the Jordan era is a different breed than the Kobe era, and now the new LBJ era. This new generation is far past the "MTV generation!" This is the "reality TV generation!" The "LBJ decision" looked like the Bachelor season finale and Miami got the final rose. All of the other teams were just runner ups who felt hurt and disrespected. I'll bet if you take a poll between young white guys vs. middle aged white guys, they'd be worlds apart, as younger guys (black, white, or whatever), would be like "who cares?" Older guys (black, white, or whatever) will remember the past and make race a factor. The only reason LBJ made race a factor is because Jessie Jackson Sr. told him to. The only reason Jessie Jackson Sr. told LBJ to is because I told JJS to (because I'm a middle aged black guy). WE'RE GETTING OLD AND LOSING TOUCH WITH SOCIETY.... ZING!!!!!!!
    Race means more to older generations than younger ones; if older people stop making race an issue (and teaching younger generations to make it an issue) then race won't be an issue anymore!

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Doug, I appreciate your retraction. It's very thoughtful and introspective. LeBron is still a douchebag, but largely for other reasons. When a word like "race" is uttered, it's easy to fill in the blanks given our country's dramatic history. But we rarely see how easy it is to have a Pavlov's dog-like reaction to such words. We all see how some people react to phrases like "death panels", "bailout", "weapons of mass destruction" or "socialist" and think we're too smart to jump to conclusions. But we all have our buttons. Simple words can be loaded with meaning and dangerous when we only judge them by their cover.

  • Actually, I think that's the point of Lebron/Maverick's statement. Outside of The Decision, Lebron didn't create a spectacle. He wasn't all over Twitter or in the press making statements everyday like D-Wade and Bosh. You heard from LeBron twice: 1) on Larry King and 2) on The Decision. So to say he wanted to create a spectacle is not accurate. A spectacle was created FOR HIM.

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    For him?

    As if he somehow wasn't involved in all of this?
    I don't think so.
    If you're the $125 million dollar athlete and you can't stand up and say that this might not be a good idea, then it really doesn't matter ...
    There is no "For Him".

    And to suggest that we haven't really heard from Lebron at all this summer is not very accurate. There has been story after story about him.
    There have been more interviews and quotes from him than from most athletes in the off season.
    There was Larry King, The Decision, the Presentation spectacle at the Heat arena, several Press conferences with the three of them, the ESPN article that was yanked when ESPN deemed it too negative for Lebron's (and ESPN's by "association") image. Walking through casinos in Las Vegas with a king's crown and a cape on? Strippers giving you lap dances and talking about wanting the ones without panties on to do it? Within a few weeks after the decision. Knowing that an ESPN reporter was there taking it all in?

    It's sheer stupidity ... by all of them. It's a "team" of guys who have no idea what they are doing and who think that they are at some kind of "untouchable" status. And then not even able to realize when they've gone way over the line. This is all going to keep going and end badly at this rate.

  • How was race a factor? Some of you are brining up legit points about race factors in the NBA...but that is totally unrelated to the situation. Off-course, there is a 10% race factor in probably almost everything in life. That said, the way LeBron said it is more to suggest with race than just implying race is there in everything. But that said, I am sure him growing up in a poor environment with a single mom has influenced his thinking a lot and he is just 25 years old living in a basketball bubble. I wouldn't fault him as an individual if he is suspicious about race factors in the NBA..

  • This was a spectacle waaayyy before The Decision happened and LeBron wasn't an active participant in having that. For God's sake, the press has been covering this story for YEARS!!! You want to put all the blame on one man because he set up a one-hour show???

  • And if he said "I'm staying in Cleveland" would there be a backlash? Would he still be egotistical and pompous? You can say "yes" but people would love and appreciate him for his loyalty.

  • I wonder if Race would have been a factor if he decided to stay in Ohio. His Q scores would have gone up.

    Would race have been a factor then? This whole arguement doesnt even make sense!

    What was a factor? A terrible decision compounded by a terrible dislay of disrespect for the city of cleveland.

    And this whole white atheletes dont get the same backlash? What? Rothlisberger has taken a proverbial BEATING from everyone in pittsburg including stealers lackey Terry Bradshaw.

    Roger Clemens has also been extremely scrutinized in the media and amongst fans. And most intellegent people think Lance Armstrong is a huge pile of crap who cheated also.

    This arguement is a pathetic excuse from a guy who is upset because no one is kissing his ass anymore. Racism? give me a f*** break. This is an insult to anyone who has actually experienced racism in there lives, and its alive and well in this country. Need proof? Check out the tea party.

  • How are Favre and LBJ comparable? One guy got traded away by his team, the other guy held a national TV show to dump his home team. One guy was at the end of his career, the other guy in his prime. You're kidding right?

    You don't think a guy whose stated goal is to be the first athlete millionaire hasn't thought out all of his moves and answers beforehand? You don't think LBJ absolutely knew what he was implying when he said race was a factor? Q-scores are about marketing and being a pitchman. Disliking somebody as far as buying his brand and disliking somebody as being your neighbor are two totally different things. And there are very good, legitimate reasons not to want to buy the LBJ brand giving his actions and what he has come to represent.

    This retraction is about the weakest thing you could do.

  • Mitchell-

    Your post above its absolutely spot on, however, what Lebron said was that race was a factor in his impressive fall from grace (in terms of likeability) and that is simply not true. My case in point is his likeability or "q" rating would probably have gone up had he made the annoucement on the decision that he was staying in Cleveland. Therefore, how can race play a role. The hatred or dislike of Lebron has EVERYTHING to do the WAY he handled it.

  • Well what I heard on CNN was a great comparison to Lebron's current situation. Look at Bret Farve, when he switched teams. It wasn't as much as hate as lebron is getting. But who cares, about lebron. This is all bout our New bulls. You guys gotta be excited about this season! Lets do this. NOah, Rose, Boozer and Deng will be in the all star this season.

  • You have to think about it this way. Had Larry Bird pulled this and then singed with the Lakers would he have been loved around the league. NO! So there is probably the most popular well known white Basketball Player who has played in the last 30 years and he would have been completely hated.

  • I think Favre would have been content to play out the string in GB. Yes, the melodrama of missing camp is annoying, but Favre was ultimately the one let go.

    I could be wrong and Favre could have been manipulating the situation to get out of GB. However, that seems unlikely given the fact that they made the NFC championship game the season before he left. But even then, he handled the situation better from a Q-score perspective than LBJ did.

    Do you think Favre had been planning to leave GB and threw that late interception in the NFC Championship so that it'd be easier to leave in the same way that LBJ quit on the Cavs in the Celtics series?

    Again, the way Favre may or may not have orchestrated things means that if you are going to dislike somebody, it's ESPN for giving the story 1000x too much coverage, not Favre for bailing on camp.

  • I liked this piece:

    http://hangtime.blogs.nba.com/2010/09/30/lebron-plays-the-ace-card/?ls=iref:nbahpt1

  • If he didnt want all the attention and backlash...he didnt have to have the show or go on larry king or any of that. He should of just made his decision and let that be that.....but neways he made the worst career choice of his career. As he gets older he will realize how many fans he had an now how many fans hate him.

  • Great post Doug.

    I don't really care for Lebron but honestly I've thought the same thing since this all started. While I don't think that race is the reason for all of the hate, its really hard to justify it all with keeping in mind the parallels to Farve. The amount of energy many put into actively hating him is donwright mind boggling.

    My opinion of Lebron has barely changed. Don't get me wrong, I don't really care for him. I've always known that he was a kid who never really had a chance to grow up. And I love for us (the Bulls)to find a way to beat them. But I'd rather spend energy actively hating a 40yr old man who sends pictures of his **** to female reporters, has been manipulating the media/you and I for the better part of 15yrs and throws his teammates under the bus whenever HE under-performs.

  • Come on guys, youre better than this.

    The Favre agruement holds no water. Here's why:

    1) Favre succeed in winning a superbowl for the packers.
    2) Favre is and was considered one of, if not the, greatest QB of all time.
    3) MOST IMPORTANTLY FAVRE WAS FORCED OUT BY GREEN BAY!!!!!! HE LEFT AGAINST HIS WISHES.

    Look, is Favre a narrccisstic asshat? Yes, but youre comparing apples to oranges. The hatred of Lebron is based on people who believe he is entitled however has lack of accomplishments and he abandoned his hometown.

    Come on. You're reaching.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    you're joking, right?

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Make no mistake about it, Favre's ability to still be somewhat liked is due, entirely to the fact that people respect him as a player and what he has accomplished. If lebron chose to go to Miami after winning a championship and playing 16 season in Cleveland, people would have been FAR more accepting.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    I understand your thinking, I just don't think its correct. An assbag is an assbag.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    CHARLES BARKLEY SPEAKS AGAIN (about LBJ):

    via WIP in Philly...

    "It's like watching a movie. Just when you think it couldn't get any stupider, it gets more stupid...

    "Howard I'm telling you. Sometimes you just say he's making bad decisions and you're like okay, he's gonna get it together. Then he makes more bad decisions. The thing that's interesting about LeBron, I don't think Magic, Michael, and myself, we said we wouldn't have did it. That's not a criticism. We were asked a question. I don't want to play with Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, or Michael, I want to beat them. That's strictly basketball. The only criticism I've heard about LeBron and it was my biggest criticism, that decision thing was just stupid. It was stupid. The second thing when they all came out there dancing around on stage, that was silly. That's the only thing I've heard LeBron get criticized about. That has nothing to do with race. That's what makes this last thing so stupid. That's stupid. The only criticism of LeBron has been the decision and the one hour of our life that we can't have back. And ESPN, oh my God. Oh my God. To go down to training camp and report everyday is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever seen. I'm watching yesterday and one of the guys actually said LeBron looked fierce in practice. I'm like fierce in practice? What the hell does that mean? He was fierce in the second day of training camp. You're like come on man, he really didn't say that did he. This summer with LeBron and all the stuff that went on is like a bad movie. You just can't make this stuff up."

    And you know what? He's RIGHT again. Go figure.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    Fola-

    Did it appears as if I was joking? Im not quite sure I understand your confusion. The stance being taken was that race has to do with the fact that Favre is still somewhat liked, where as Lebron got a ton of backlash. The two situations are extremely different. That was my point. Most of the hatred, I believe stems from people perceving what he did as a slap to his hometown and a city that has embraced him since his was a young boy.

    We are not debating if Favre is a douche. He is. But people at least respect his accomplishments and storied career.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    BOTTOM-LINE:

    I agree with Chuck. LBJ was stupid for bringing up race. Stupid for having a one-hour special about his DECISION. And stupid for having a pre-celebration in Miami like they won the NBA championship already.

    STUPID...STUPID...STUPID.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    The more I here him talk, the more I LOVE Sir Charles. he's 100% right.

  • In reply to Dmband:

    I'm glad somebody else realizes how stupid trying to make a parallel between Favre and LBJ is...

  • Wrong question ...

    IF ... and I stress If, since I'm almost always skeptical of these kinds of reports ... his approval ratings really did change differently from black to white respondents, why is that now a "race factor" but not "racism"?

    Answer. It's not. It's racism. Something that, as I mentioned, has and always will exist.

    I have no doubt that some racist fans, commentators, and sports news reporters exist ... and probably had more negative things to say about Lebron.

    But for Lebron ... and all the others who do the same thing ... to legitimize the racists among us is extremely negative and damaging to us all. They are always going to be there. They are always going to want someone to come along and recognize them.

    What I'm saying is that when they are on the "fringe" ... ignore them.
    Lebron and Carter took the easy way out and chose to blame their extremely poor choices and the negativity that's come from them on Race.
    That's the cheap way out. Stand up and be a man and take responsibility for poor choices. When the major news sites and sources start bashing on Lebron for his race, maybe then we can start talking about their racism.
    Until then, it's ridiculous to bring into the conversation. It does more damage than good to our society. And once again it just shows their immaturity and lack of understanding.

  • except that Favre didn't do the douchy things in a slimy way....

  • Mitchell-

    So if he stayed in Cleveland and his Q score went up, its due to loyalty, but he left and it goes down and that due to race?

    Come on man.

  • A discomfort with things that we're not familiar with is understandable.

    But that's usually more of a culture thing ... not the color of ones skin.

    And yet, I'm not sure what that has to do with what Lebron and Carter had to say.

    Are you really suggesting that that was the intent of their comments?
    Because I find that a stretch beyond what I can hardly believe.
    You want me to believe that they are suggesting that the negativity in the press ... and the subsequent negativity from the general public ... was a matter of those people feeling a discomfort level with Lebron? Because he's a different race?

    It's not like you're a white girl and you're bringing Lebron home to meet the family, and you're worried about the cultural differences between your two families.

    Aren't we all stretching a bit here?

  • How can you call LBJ a douche in one breath and then ignore the black community reponse. If race is a factor in any of this, then it is the black community ignoring LBJ being a jerk because LBJ is black. Otherwise, you're being a hypocrit and saying white people should ignore what LBJ did like black people did. Which is it? Is LBJ a jerk worthy of contempt for how he treated Cleveland or isn't he? Should I continue to buy his jerseys and worship him for being a transcendent talent capable of making a team greater than the sum of its parts or should I dislike him for being a quitter and taking the easy road?

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    I'd counter it conversely. What are Farves Q score numbers among the black community. I'd argue that regardless of the demographic, the amount of 'hate' is ridiculous.

    I've been in too many bars/gatherings where people say things like 'I don't want to watch a bunch of black guys with too many tattoos play basketball' or some such garbage to believe race doesn't at least play a part in how people perceive the sport as a whole.

  • In reply to fola:

    To Be clear, I think the amount of hate for Lebron is ridiculous.

  • Doug to put it in Chicago terms:

    All of the Bears fans, basically, hated Rex Grossman. As far as I can remember he was white. Did he really deserve that hatred, especially since the bears made the super bowl? I dont think so.

  • As much as I agree with Barkley's comments on this, you're right.

    Barkley's riding the coattails again.
    Magic, Bird, and Michael didn't change teams to play with all stars and try to win championships ... but Barkley did.

    I like Chuck, and agree with these comments ... but he really should stop talking about this.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    Silverwulf,

    You are being blind.

    Chuck didn't bash LBJ for changing teams. He criticized the way he handled it from the 1 hour special to the team pep rally. And he also shot down the RACE arguement.

    Guess what? He's right on the money too.

    Good for him.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Happy, get your facts straight ...

    I feel ridiculous for writing that line ... since it's generally assumed that Happy's facts are NEVER straight.

    But anyway, Barkley said shortly after the decision that he would never do what Lebron did. He said he would never join another team to try and win a championship... just like Jordan and Magic had said in the days before that.

    But he did change teams to try and win a championship.

    So as much as I like Chuck and his crazy comments ... on this one, he needs to shut it. Kinda like you Happy.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I'm still looking for folks to answer why white people seem to be more upset about Lebron's actions than black people.

    And it's easy to say race is not a factor when you're the person that doesn't have to deal with the race factor. When has any white person seriously had to deal with race as a factor in this country anyway?
    It amazes me but it doesn't how easily some can dismiss the fact that race and racism colors how blacks are perceived and treated in this country.
    If OJ had allegedly killed his black ex wife would the OJ story be what it is now. Even with the acquittal. No.

  • In reply to logikal77:

    You are just assuming only white people are upset with him. There are Blacks, Asians who are color-blind(which I think I am) who didn't like his behavior and don't care much for his acts. After his "Decision" , to do the "Heat" ceremony was despicable and really bad idea. He is the best player in the NBA and he is definitely held to a higher standard than a high school kid....

  • In reply to logikal77:

    I didn't realize that egomania and stupidity were in fact races, so I personally appreciate LeBron for enlightening me on the subject.

  • In reply to Silverwulf:

    RACE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS AT ALL.

    Anyone who thinks that is IDIOTIC. Straight up.

    The 1 hour special and the pep rally pissed off a lot of NBA fans, regardless of race.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Typing in all caps does not make your point true.

  • In reply to fola:

    fola,

    It is true.

    People are being IDIOTIC if they think race was a factor here.

  • In reply to fola:

    GET A CLUE:

    EVERY team in the league and (most of) their fans would LOVE to have LBJ, DWADE or CBOSH on their team. That's a FACT.

    For that reason, people of all races, aren't mad that LBJ left Cleveland for another team. People of all races, are upset at the way he did it.

    - 1 hour special
    - Pre-mature pep rally

    This is NOT about race at all. Don't act like fools people.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Class move, Doug. O'Brien asked a loaded question and LeBron and Carter answered with their honest opinion. Neither of them said that race was THE driving factor of the animosity. They just agreed that SOME of the vitriol is likely based on race. People can minimize the significance of the Q ratings but that doesn't change the fact that, as you stated, the Q scores indicate that the "like-ability" factor among whites dropped significantly lower than it did among blacks. I think this issue is being overblown.

  • Let me give everybody a better parallel than Brett Favre. When Art Modell moved the Browns to Baltimore in 1996, what do you think happened to his Q-rating? Do you think race played a part in it? Or how about when Jerry Krause let Phil Jackson walk. Did our opinion of him improve? The breakup of the bulls was inevitable given their age, but Krause hastened the end. Krause at least got some assets out of the breakup. It was the smart thing to do, but we all hate his guts for doing it and more importantly how it went down.

  • Approval ratings that indicate a higher dislike for someone (based on race of the respondent) doesn't equate to racism by those respondents.

    Racism has a very specific meaning when you research it on Wikipedia.

    Race was a factor in the approval/disapproval ratings for LeBron. But that doesn't prove that racism was a factor.

  • Doug,

    It's not a factor though.

    His actions and words are the FACTORS, not his skin color.

  • Doug,

    You, among others, are completely missing the point.

    It's not about leaving a team for one that has better talent. IT'S HOW IT WAS DONE that is pissed people offed.

    And it certainly isn't about RACE either.

    Like Chuck said, it's HOW IT WAS DONE that makes LBJ, DWADE and CBOSH look like villians and/or IDIOTS.

    Having a 1 hour special was EGOMANICLE. So was having a pre-mature CELEBRATION, as if they had already won the title.

    RACE has nothing to do with that at all. Heck, Pat Riley probably helped put all that together, at least the PEP RALLY.

    LBJ's, DWADE's, CBOSH's and Pat Riley's actions are all IDIOTIC.

    Bringing RACE into the discussion is just flat out NAIVE and STUPID.

  • And I think he's suggesting that the negativity that he's now facing comes in part from racism.

    I guess we see his comments somewhat differently.

    But I'll say again, when negativity is attributed to race, it's racism.

  • The point about Barkley is what they did in their primes. LeBron is in his prime plus Cleveland was ready to spend and put together the right team around him. Maybe this off-season or next season. That's what he is hinting. Yeah...he did complain in Philadelphia but he wanted better pieces around him..even MJ complained...again I would say LBJ is a bigger talent than even Barkley is. Also, the point is LeBron could have just said that race wasn't a factor. He is a basketball player and he is 25 years old. I am not sure he understands the issues so as to give opinions. I don't believe in the "Q" ratings stuff anyhow...

  • Mitchell,

    Race was NOT a factor in this case.

    Thinking otherwise is just NAIVE on your part.

  • BTW, didn't Kobe belong in both the most disliked and most liked top 5 of these ratings. I am not sure exactly how scientific these surveys are but it might also mean black people might sympathize with him more. It doesn't mean others are racist or race played a factor in looking at him negatively now. Also, I think ESPN and media(white or black) are mostly concerned with ratings and money.

  • So I informed the rappers on my label (all of which are Black) about Lebron claiming that the hate for him is at least some what motivated by race and the very quick conscientious they came to is that Lebron is a Douche. And I would agree with that. Its one thing when a black man is hated by white America, its some thing else when a black man is hated by America in general.

  • Mitchell,

    When you go to graduate school, like myself, and study statistics get back to me.

    This LBJ-issue isn't about RACE at all. It's NAIVE for Doug, Rachel Nichols, LeBron James, yourself or anyone else to make into one.

    Outside of Clevelanders, I don't think anyone has a problem with LBJ leaving the Cavs. However, I'm pretty confident that fans of teams not named the Miami Heat have a problem with how he handled his departure.

    That includes fans of all races, creeds and tax brackets.

    When people study and learn terms like INDEPENDANT VARIABLES, DEPENDANT VARIABLES, CROSS STUDIES, SCREWED, RELIABILITY and VALIDITY let me know.

    Then we'll have a legit discussion.

    For the most part, this topic is STUPID, like Chuck says.

  • Not SCREWED. I meant SKEWED...oops.

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