Well, maybe everybody does hate Chris in Cleveland now.
Chris Rock pulls no punches. It’s why his stand up is so great — he tells you straight out how he sees it. And in an interview with Esquire Magazine (done by Scott Raab who is writing a book about LeBron leaving Cleveland) Rock says Clevelanders should have seen this coming. (via CBS’s Eye On Basketball)
Chris Rock: I don’t even see what the big story is. The owner’s an idiot. Why is the owner an idiot? I said it on television — you can look it up. I was at a Lakers game — they were probably playing the Knicks. It was on TNT, and Kenny and Mark Jackson and whoever interviewed me on the sidelines, they asked me about LeBron. I said, “They should trade him.” I said it, on national television.
Scott Raab: We thought he was coming back, Chris.
Rock: I said you should trade him. I said any owner, any big-ego owner would take this shot. You could’ve got any player — you literally could’ve got Kobe Bryant. You could’ve got any player you wanted. You could’ve gotten literally any player outside of Kevin Durant and Dwight Howard. Any player. You could’ve got any two or three players you liked. I said this on national television. You could look it up — you’re a writer.
I said that in the middle of the season. The day the season was over, I was doing press for Grown Ups, the movie I did with Sandler. They asked me again: “Where’s LeBron going? What’s going to happen?” I said, “Well, if he’s going to Cleveland, you will know within 24 hours, but if Pat Riley gets him in a room, it’s all over.”
Rabb: We thought he was coming back.
Rock: Why would you think he’s coming back? People move from Cleveland to Miami every f—ing day. They don’t move from Miami to Cleveland.
Hey, Chris, what do you think about Carmelo Anthony?
It was a historic, epic loss by the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday night. They didn’t just lose to the Lakers, they were an embarrassment. James Naismith was rolling over in his grave. The final score, 112-57, had people shaking their heads.
Except for LeBron James, who tweeted this late Tuesday night:
Crazy. Karma is a b****.. Gets you every time. Its not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!
Not exactly taking the high road there.
We’ll let LeBron’s thought’s stand with just one little thought: He’s right that Karma is a b****, but I’m not sure he really understands how Karma works if he’s rubbing salt in the Cavaliers’ wounds. That comment is going to come boomeranging back someday.
Every time he steps on the court in a road arena, LeBron James hears boos. That was to be expected in Cleveland. Everyone knew it was coming in cities such as New York where the fans wanted him and he chose to take his talents elsewhere.
But it has become more than that — James is hearing boos in every stop. He’s hearing them in restaurants. He’s hearing it from fans of teams that had no shot and didn’t even go after him. He has become a villain to many.
NBA Commissioner David Stern told Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports he’s no fan of those boos.
I don’t like it. I think that it’s theater. I don’t think he’s really viewed as a villain. I think people love to either love or boo the Yankees. You either loved or booed Kobe and the Lakers. People used to love or hate the old Celtics. I think it will morph into the Heat being one of our really elite teams. And people boo the elite teams when they come into town to beat up on the hometown team….
I don’t mind it if he’s booed in the context of the dominant team he’s playing for. I think that I’m not sure people know exactly what they’re booing. Are they booing because he left Cleveland? Certainly they’re doing that in Cleveland. Are they booing him because it took 18 minutes for “The Decision” to say where he was going? Yeah, probably. Are they booing him because he’s part of a team that people think is too strong for their home team to compete with? Probably more so. And that will fade, and then they’ll boo him because he’s a member of the high-performing Miami Heat.
In the wide-ranging interview, Stern also talked about LeBron’s comments on contraction, or the retraction of his comments on contraction, or whatever it is he wants us to think he said.
As soon as I saw that commentary, I said, “This young man is going to wish he hadn’t raised the subject,” and I felt badly for him.
Stern goes on to define the talk of contraction not really as an issue of talent — with 85 foreign-born players in the league the depth is there for the current 30 teams — but rather a matter of economics. Can teams survive in some of the league’s smaller markets, and how much money should the larger market teams pay in revenue sharing to keep those teams afloat? That is an issue for the owners to hash out, but it is directly tied to the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations as well.
Maybe if we could boo the CBA negotiations, that is something Stern would be okay with.