LeBron James continues to prove that he has a bad management group around him, this month’s evidence being his much-hyped interview with CNN’s Larry King, set to air right in the middle of the NBA Finals. I guess he is taking a page from the A-Rod playbook, where a player whose fame out ranks his successes seeks to steal any glimpse of the limelight he can (you may remember A-Rod’s decision to announce he was opting out of his contract during the World Series that neither he nor the Yankees were participating in).
The ill-timed interview airs Friday night, an off night for the Finals, and the transcript was released today (here’s the link). In it, LeBron and Larry talk about James’ upbringing in Akron, his early ventures into athletics, his childhood adulation for Michael Jordan, his own children, his increasing stardom, his pick for the NBA Finals (he ‘s going with the Celtics), and then they finally address James’ pending free agent status and how it will effect not only his future, but that of the entire NBA.
They frame the discussion around James’ ultimate goal, going to a team that is ready to compete for an NBA Championship.
Larry King uses the term “good team” so many times I lost count while reading and then asks about “not a good team” – that’s right, the Los Angeles Clippers. LeBron stays the politically correct route, saying that the Clippers have “some really nice, solid pieces” in place with Blake Griffin, Baron Davis, Chris Kaman and that if they could land a couple of free agents, they “could be a really good team.”
When pressed by King on whether those hypothetical free agent additions were James and Chris Bosh, how would L.A appeal to him, James goes back to say it’s not about the city but about the team’s capability to win, mentioning that the Cavaliers would benefit greatly from a roster that included himself and Bosh or Dwayne Wade or Joe Johnson.
They go on to talk about James’ decision to skip college, his relationship with Warren Buffet…and a whole lot more. But the jist of it, for us here in Clipperland, is that James realizes that the Clippers have to be in play at some level when he and fellow free agents sit down to talk about their respective situations.
Now, do I expect James to wear a Clipper uniform next season? No.
But am I confident in the fact that he realizes the untapped star power the Los Angeles Clippers have to offer one of his fellow free agent peers? And that one of the others needs to go to the Clippers to both bask in the limelight while simultaneously stealing some of said limelight from the only player in the NBA whose star power matches (or tops, depending on the circumstance) James’, that player being one Kobe Bryant, who also plays in Los Angeles and currently has the market cornered on athletic stars in Los Angeles? Yes.
So, while the constant theme of optimism is once again present here in Clipperland as we get set to watch the free agent drama unfold, it’s not accompanied by the delusion that had been a hallmark of all optimism that dared to show its face around these parts.
Topics: Baron Davis, Blake Griffin, Celtics, Chris Bosh, Chris Kaman, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dwayne Wade, Joe Johnson, Kobe Bryant, Larry King, Lebron James, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Michael Jordan, Warren Buffet