LeBron James is an Akron man. Born and raised. Still lives there.
Do not confuse that with being a Cleveland man. He played for the Cavaliers, but don’t go thinking Akron and Cleveland are one in the same. Well, Clevelanders may consider Akron a suburb but the feeling is not mutual. The fine folks of Akron see themselves as living in their own city, separate and distinct from Cleveland.
Which is what Maverick Carter — LeBron James’ right hand and the CEO LRMR, the marketing firm that handles LeBron — said about yesterday’s full-page ad in the Akron Beacon Journal.
The ad was a letter where LeBron thanked the people of Akron for their support. It’s an ad that did not once mention Cleveland, nor was it supposed to Carter told the paper.
”This is where he lives and where he will always live,” Carter said. ”This had nothing to do with Cleveland, nothing to do with the Cavaliers.”
The ad came just a couple weeks before LeBron’s big charity bike-a-thon in Akron.
Still it comes off as a glaring omission that no similar gesture was made to Cleveland, especially in light of the personable letter from Zydrunas Ilgauskas to the people of Cleveland last week.
Carter said LeBron may eventually run a thank-you ad and letter for Cleveland.
It may not have been intended this way, but it feels as just another slap in the face to Cleveland by LeBron. Another public relations error. Another thing ding in the image of LeBron.
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.
The Wizards are getting a new practice facility.
For some reason, the Wizards have to pay just $4.46 million for it. Washington D.C. will cover the rest.
How much is the rest?
Jonathan O’Connell of The Washington Post:
The District”s sports and convention arm, Events DC, is proposing a series of upgrades to a planned Washington Wizards practice facility and entertainment center in Southeast that would likely reduce the total number of seats but add $10 million to the original $55 million price tag.
The new spending would be paid for by Events DC, which is funded by a percentage of hotel occupancy taxes. It does not require approval by the D.C. Council but will have to be voted on by the Events DC board Aug. 11.
Wizards owner Ted Leonsis pledged to move the team’s practices there as well as home games for the Washington Mystics and a future Wizards’ NBA D-League affiliate team. His company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, agreed to pay $4.46 million — or 8 percent of the original $55 million cost.
But in a July 26 letter to D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive of Events DC, wrote that the original $55 million budget was “based on a preliminary estimate, as development and analysis of the program and concept design had not yet been performed.”
So, the District agreed to pay for a project without knowing how much it would cost and got the primary beneficiary — Leonsis — to kick in a share based on a low early estimate? It’s almost as if politicians are inept or have ulterior motives.
At least Wizards practices and WNBA games will bring plenty of new money into the community.
As Leonsis said, “There’s never been a better time to be an owner of an NBA franchise.”