Tag: LeBron James special

Charles Barkley on LeBron: “Just when you think it couldn’t get any stupider…”


Thumbnail image for cbarkley.jpgWell, the chances of Charles Barkley and TNT getting a one-on-one sit down with LeBron just fell to below zero…

Charles Barkley went on WIP in Philadelphia with Howard Eskin and Ike Reese, primarily to talk about football because… sorry, don’t have an answer for that one. But Barkley talked McNabb coming back to Philly Sunday.

Then, of course, somebody asked him about LeBron saying race played some role in the backlash to his decision and… here we go:

“It’s like watching a movie. Just when you think it couldn’t get any stupider, it gets more stupid…

“Howard I’m telling you. Sometimes you just say he’s making bad decisions and you’re like okay, he’s gonna get it together. Then he makes more bad decisions. The thing that’s interesting about LeBron, I don’t think Magic, Michael, and myself, we said we wouldn’t have did it. That’s not a criticism. We were asked a question. I don’t want to play with Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, or Michael, I want to beat them. That’s strictly basketball. The only criticism I’ve heard about LeBron and it was my biggest criticism, that decision thing was just stupid. It was stupid. The second thing when they all came out there dancing around on stage, that was silly. That’s the only thing I’ve heard LeBron get criticized about. That has nothing to do with race. That’s what makes this last thing so stupid. That’s stupid. The only criticism of LeBron has been the decision and the one hour of our life that we can’t have back. And ESPN, oh my God. Oh my God. To go down to training camp and report everyday is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen. I’m watching yesterday and one of the guys actually said LeBron looked fierce in practice. I’m like fierce in practice? What the hell does that mean? He was fierce in the second day of training camp. You’re like come on man, he really didn’t say that did he. This summer with LeBron and all the stuff that went on is like a bad movie. You just can’t make this stuff up.”

No you can’t make stuff like this up.

Practice your booing now: LeBron returns to Cleveland Dec. 2


Thumbnail image for CAVALIERS_LOGO.pngThe entire state of Ohio just circled Dec. 2 on their calendars. Well, except for Columbus which cares only about the Michigan game, but the rest of the state circled Dec. 2.

That is when LeBron James and the Miami Heat come to Cleveland to face the Cavaliers, according to Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The game and constant booing will be broadcast on TNT, and it will be the second night of a back-to-back for the Heat.

The other time Miami comes to Cleveland will be March 29. Cleveland will take its talents to South Beach on Dec. 15 and Jan. 31.

The Cavaliers will open the season on Oct. 27 at Quicken Loans Arena against Boston, which will be playing the second game of a back-to-back after opening the season at home against Miami the night before.

The full Cavaliers schedule will come out Aug. 10.

David Stern thinks LeBron might have handled all this better. Just like the rest of us.


Here are the words of the man himself, speaking at a press conference after an owners meeting. Maverick Carter is really steamed somewhere after hearing this. Dan Gilbert was less steamed and more poor.

Super-agent Ari Emanuel gave us LeBron James decision show, and he wants to see it again


Thumbnail image for lebron_decision.jpgBacklash? Who cares?

LeBron James’ “The Decision” got killer ratings and is a blueprint for the future if you ask Ari Emanuel. And if you don’t know who he is you don’t read the Hollywood trades — he is a super agent. William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. Watch Entourage? The Ari Gold character is partially based on him. He is a true power broker in the entertainment industry.

If he wants to see more of these, you will see more of these.

A fascinating story in Ad Age Monday includes an interview with Emanuel telling us how “The Decision” came together with Emanuel help pushing it.

It began when Mr. Emanuel was sitting with media mogul David Geffen at an NBA Finals game in Los Angeles last month and was approached by Mr. James’ business manager, Maverick Carter, and Mr. (Jim) Gray. The group talked about how best to announce Mr. James’ team choice and settled on the concept of a TV show.

We knew from other reports that Gray had been in on this from the start. He had helped come up with the idea of a television show. So they started pitching the idea and ESPN was interested.

But the egofest that was the July 8 show almost was worse. It was almost an entire night of ESPN ego stroking.

The plan was then to have Mr. James make his announcement in a special on ESPN on July 14, prior to the network’s annual ESPY awards show. After the announcement of where he would play next season and the conclusion of the one-hour show, Mr. James would then walk onstage during the live telecast of the 18th annual event from Los Angeles and present the night’s first award.

I just threw up in my mouth a little. Fortunately, the timing of the NBA free agency period didn’t match up — too many contracts would be in place by the 14th, teams would have made plans. Plus, we all already pretty much knew it was Miami before the pick was announced, six days later and there would have been far less suspense.

As for the media and public backlash on egopaloza? Emanuel does not care, he think it worked just fine.

“Everybody can say what they want — it was the wrong decision, there was too much hoopla, whatever — but for me it was about doing the event, getting the advertisers to participate and doing it for charity,” Mr. Emanuel said. “This was a major success for advertisers, and we’re getting closer to pushing the needle on advertiser-content programming.”

Great. Just great.

Emanuel got the ratings he wanted. These were big numbers. In his mind that justifies another one. And the image of the athlete? Whatever.

Complain about LeBron infomercial all you want, you still tuned in to watch


lebron_decision.jpgMedia is the ultimate democracy in our profit driven world. We know exactly how many people come to this blog every day and what you read. Same with every other Web site out there. Same with television.

Don’t like something, ignore it and it goes away. If you can’t deliver viewers to advertisers, if people don’t watch, you’re gone. It’s about profit and your eyeballs are the vote.

So keep venting all you want today about “LeBron James: The Decision” and how awkward it felt, how Jim Gray was paid by LeBron’s people, How James said things like “One thing you can’t control is you never know” all you want. Bottom line, it worked.

ESPN got a 7.3 rating for the show. That was ESPN’s best non-NFL number of 2010. It is what NBA playoff conference finals draw (the NBA Finals this year were higher). It’s a bigger ratings number than LeBron got when he was in the finals.

You voted. You watched. Vitaminwater and Nike and the University of Phoenix got a lot of publicity before a lot of people.

It could have been handled far more smoothly, no doubt. It will be next time. Because with the ratings success of this you can bet there will be a next time.
ossible rookie of the year.

Maybe that is Turner. Maybe he just has to adjust and he will be fine. But it bears watching.