Thursday, July 22, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
Opinions on King James
Many thanks for all the comments received about last week’s column. It is certainly enjoyable hearing all the different takes, be they pro or con. I was surprised to find as I traveled to the state line last week that the LeBron James saga had not abated by much. It seems that almost everyone was more than willing to proffer an opinion. The fallout amounted to a maelstrom of comments which hit upon the James decision to the action taken by the NBA commissioner, David Stern.
There were many other things going on in the world of sports this past week but did not seem to evoke as much emotion as the building of what has already been perceived as the ultimate team machine in the NBA. The fact that Tiger Woods was going down to his eighth consecutive defeat after returning to the circuit only garnered a token amount of press.
At the beginning of the week it was reported that Stern had fined owner Dan Gilbert a cool $100,000 for the remarks he publicly made concerning the James deal. My question was – was that a fair and legitimate decision by Gilbert and did it infringe his First Amendment rights? It was a unanimous vote for the commish’s decision. Actually, league rules prohibit such verbal castigations from any level. All comments were that James had satisfied all points of his contract with Cleveland and was well within his rights.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson had some strong words of rebuttal for the Cavaliers’ owner (which will not be repeated here) and, as could be expected, was joined by the Reverend Al Sharpton, whose verbiage was stinging but a bit more tempered.
Over the weekend, former NBA greats such as Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley were sought out and both offered comments. The former suggested that he and Magic (Johnson) and Larry (Bird) would never have called each other up and said, “Hey, let’s play on the same NBA team.” Mikie says that he was too interested in competing against them! Chuck stated that he thinks LeBron will try to run the Heat as he has the Cavaliers, but offers that it won’t work because “the Heat is clearly (Dwayne) Wade’s team.”
And just how much will the “Super team’s” front men make? As well as this reporter could decipher, James would rake in about $18.3M per year, Wade at $18M and Chris Bosch at $17.7M. (And this just might be a rumor, but it was reported on someone’s blog on early Monday that King James had already purchased a $49M estate in Florida).
According to the news coming across the big pond (Atlantic Ocean), he probably could have bought Buckingham Palace for that.
P.S. For what it means, Penny Hardaway has contacted the Heat and asked for a spot on the team. Anfernee didn’t even mention terms. Penny was cut from the squad in the ’07-’08 season after a dismal showing in eight games.
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