Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jesse Jackson Weighs in on LeBron and Dan Gilbert - Updates

Jesse Jackson, never missing an opportunity to stick his nose into things, has weighed in on Dan Gilbert's reaction to LeBron James signing with the Miami Heat. 

"His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship -- between business partners -- and LeBron honored his contract"

Now, I agree with Jesse to an extent.  LeBron did indeed honor his contract.  He played out his seven years as he was required to do.  When it came time for him to make a move, he could have easily forced a sign and trade to Miami that would have given him the larger sum of money that Cleveland was offering.  He did not do that.  He took a smaller salary and went on his merry way.  While I agree that Lebron was completely wrong by not calling Gilbert himself shortly before his overblown press conference, it doesn't make how Gilbert reacted okay.  Gilbert's letter was immature, unprofessional, and seemed almost mentally unbalanced.  Gilbert has not backed down either.  He has since made comments that LeBron quit in last two games as a Cav.  Again, it did seem that way.  He was out of sorts, that can't be denied.  But, it then came out that LeBron had just recently found out that one of his teammates was sleeping with his mother.  That could have a played a part in not only his performance, but why he left Cleveland. 

Jesse, what Gilbert is so upset about his is bankbook.  This isn't about racism, it is about the almighty buck.  For the past seven years if not all, almost all games have been sold out.  LeBron's jersey is a top seller.  The Cleveland games became a big part of the nationally televised game schedule.  All of this lined his pockets.  Without LeBron, all of this gone.  Cleveland will be very lucky if they even have a winning record at the end of next season.  It is going to take years for this franchise to make up for this loss.  The biggest reason is that Gilbert didn't have a plan B.  He is a wealthy man who is used to getting what he wants and just thought he could throw some money at LeBron and he would keep his gravy train rolling down the tracks. 

Dan Gilbert is acting like a spoiled child who is not getting his way and lashing out in ways that make him look like an idiot.  That doesn't make him a racist.  But these comments coming from Jesse Jackson certainly makes him look like one. 

David Stern, NBA's commissioner:

On LeBron James: "With respect to LeBron's departure from Cleveland, a couple of things. One, he was certainly entitled to do that. I think he's both a terrific player and a very good person. Had he asked my advice in advance, I might have suggested that he advise Cleveland at an earlier time than apparently he did that he was leaving, even without announcing where he was going, so we could have eliminated that. I would have advised him not to embark on what has been come known as 'The Decision.' I think that the advice that he received on this was poor. His performance was fine. His honesty and his integrity shine through. But this decision was ill-conceived, badly produced and poorly executed. Those who were interested in it were given our opinion prior to its airing."

On Dan Gilbert: "I think that remarks by Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cavaliers, catalyzed as they may have been by hurt with respect to the manner and the fact for himself, his team, and particularly for the people of Cleveland, though understandable, were ill-advised and imprudent. I have notified Cleveland that they will be fined $100,000 for those remarks under my power as Commissioner."


Soloman said...

I grew up in Cleveland. I am a huge Cavaliers fan - have been since before Mark Price and Brad Daugherty's days.

LBJ meant a lot to Cleveland... he was supposed to be the hometown boy who grew up to become the hero that brought Cleveland its long awaited championship. I'm guessing you already know that story, since you've mentioned that you're a big basketball fan.

I took it very personally the way LBJ left. It's not just the fact that he left, it's the way he left - the national spectacle that he became a part of was beyond frivolous, it was downright narcissistic.

LBJ stomped all over the hearts of the good people of a city struggling to find itself a new identity in the wake of the loss of manufacturing and industry. Detroit has the Red Wings, Pittsburgh has the Steelers, but C-Town has misery after misery, and now with LBJ gone there's no apparent end in sight.

All that said - I agree that Dan Gilbert's letter came across as petty and immature. He reminds me of a jilted lover - except he was jilted on the Jerry Springer show, if you will.

All the pomp and circumstance of "The Decision" show that night would have been one thing, had LBJ announced that he was staying in C-Town and would be working with management to do all he could to bring home the trophy.

Instead, in my opinion, LBJ did what every good liberal does (and he is definitely politically liberal) - he looked for the easiest road possible to his desire.

Instead of working hard and persevering in the place it might be most difficult - yet most rewarding - he chose to go where he's likely to put a ring on his finger most quickly.

His championships, however, will forever be tainted in the eyes of true NBA fans. He didn't do it the way the true greats have - MJ, Kobe, Magic, Larry, Duncan, and so many more played for one team. True devotion to the fans is one of the two most important things in a players career, and without that devotion the championships are hollow.

And regarding Jesse Jackson... typical race-baiting Reverend Jackson. Nothing to see there, but I'm glad you pointed it out.

Just a conservative girl said...

I almost always agree with you 100%, but on this we part ways. Lebron made a business decision. You are free to change employers, so is he. That is what he did, change employers. If a town is looking to one man to make up for their ills, than that is sheer stupidity. He gave them seven years, and the owners didn't put the peices around him to get to the promiseland. I agree that I like it when a player stays with one team. But, the reality remains had he not performed as expected the team would have dumped him in a heartbeat, and no one would be questioning the loyalty of the owners. It would be looked at as a wise business decision. So, if the owners can make those choices so can the players. It is the way a free market business works.

The one hour special was odd. But, it was widely watched and it raised several million dollars for a very good charity, and one of LeBron's sponsors gave ten scholarships to needy kids. All and all I would say it was worth it. Most of those kids would have no other way to get to college, or have a place to go to in the afternoons to keep them out of trouble.

I also think that not enough people are talking about the fact that it was obvious that he looked uncomfortable at the start of it. He knew that people were going to feel let down. And by the way, I grew up in CT, so I am a long time Knicks fan. I am one that is disappointed that he choose not to go play on the big stage that is MSG. But I knew that he wouldn't be making the right choice by going to NY. They don't have the pieces in place.

LeBron tried to build a team from the bottom up, he couldn't do it on his own. No one player can. It is a team sport. You have to have the pieces around you to win. It wasn't happening in Cleveland, and it may never have. Your shelf life in professional sports is short. He could have a career ending injury in two years. He has only so many chances to win a ring, and he took it. He also has put his ego aside and took a pay cut to fulfill his dream of winning a championship. That is a refreshing change in an athlete.

edgycater said...

This was all about Je$$e trying to be relevant. IMHO, it is JeSSe Jackson and his ilk who are the modern-day slave masters. Think of the way they treat Black conservatives (or any Black who deviates from the Leftist-Statist script). They are verbally bullied and attacked as race traitors. Gilbert acted unprofessionally in this exchange, but the racial exploitation in this situation is coming from the lips of Jesse Jackson.

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