Lose Heart, Win Minds

LeBron James, for the uninitiated, is a total media construct.  Ever since Dime was running a weekly feature on him in high school, replete with third person quotes (“LeBron is just trying to be LeBron, stay humble”) it’s been almost totally impossible to perceive anything he says as genuine.

Anyway, this will be a new, consistent feature, wherein we elucidate things LeBron says or does that are obviously a function of appeasing the media and have little, if anything to do with whatever vestiges of a soul reside within his hulking, explosive mass.

So here’s what LeBron said after being informed that the Cavs, in a 97-92 OT win, tied an NBA record for fewest turnovers: “That’s good basketball. We did a good job protecting the ball,” James said. “It’s all about the team.”

It’s all about what?  How did we get from talking about turnovers to “it’s all about the team?”  Does he ever have original thoughts?  Even “anything is possible” is better than that.

Okay, so to be fair, the first piece might be able to fly.  Except Mike Brown (Cavs coach) said, “It was an ugly ballgame, but you’ve got to win ugly sometimes.

I guess there’s some question as to whether he actually believes his own hype.

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5 Responses to Lose Heart, Win Minds

  1. adelfio says:

    I agree that Lebron suffers from a lack of original thoughts. However, the real problem is that this malady affects more than 95% of basketball players, and you chose to pick Lebron. The general IQ restrictions that inhibit nearly all basketball players cause them to be taught fairly strictly how to address the media most effectively. (talk a lot, say little, and copy those who did that successfully)

    When KD started in the league, for the first 10+ press conferences he would say the following: “It’s just one game, gotta work hard to get better, there’s 81 games left on the schedule” and so on and so forth. The running joke was how long he could keep going without either deciding to address games differently, or whether his aptitude at subtraction would fail him first.

    In response to the other point, if he had replaced “It’s all about the team” with “That was good team ball,” his statement would have been more valid. So its not a far stretch to connect the team back to their lack of turnovers.

    Overall, I’d say I’m probably defending him too much and you’re attacking him too much 😛

    As for originality, Shaq is the obvious pick, but when you really think about press conference originality, there aren’t many other candidates.

  2. John says:

    Yeah, Lebron might be a media construct but I’ll be damned if that man can’t dress with the best of them

  3. Jon says:

    I’ll just point out that basketball players who are “true” to themselves (practice? what you talkin’ about practice?) are often then labeled as horrible team mates, etc. It’s kind of a lose-lose scenario. Besides, using this metric of “says things that appease the media” = “has no soul” means there’s no way to identify someone who really IS a team player and is used to just talking with the usual bromides that every athlete uses. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I think this issue is a bit more complicated than people think.

  4. mike says:

    I think part of what’s going on (this isn’t my thesis, but I can’t remember the Cleveland writer who intially posited it) is that LeBron gets a completely free pass from the Cleveland media, who is desperate to keep him. Thus, his flaws go unexposed and the press tends to set him up to sound like a good dude. This is part of why I want him in NY; the microscope will focus more intensely.

    I mean, I know he hated Larry Hughes and Drew Gooden. I think he has feelings, he’s just not sure how to say anything that doesn’t please the people around him. This is why, when in different parts of the country, he always changes where he’d go to college. And why he waffles on a biweekly basis about staying in Cleveland vs. leaving. And why he wears Yankees hats and cheers for the Cowboys. He doesn’t even know what is his own any more. Other stars might castrate themselves sometimes … but never like this. KG made Glen Davis cry, and he’s the best teammate of all time.

  5. Machine says:

    The man makes a good commercial. Selling All-State via Kid-and-Play references? fuckin’ priceless. I think i’ll watch Houseparty 10 when i get home…

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