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LeBron James: Have your feelings changed?

Mike Wise wrote about LeBron James and "The Decision" airing tonight at 9 p.m., and had this to say of the NBA star: "Many people have asked me recently, 'Mike, you used to cover the NBA regularly -- do you know where LeBron James is going?' Being the responsible kind of columnist who checks his facts before he writes, I always promptly reply, 'Yes. LeBron is going to Hades, which will be almost as miserable as Cleveland tonight. He will be sent there for putting us through this narcissistic charade in which one basketball player who has won exactly zero NBA championships has decided to hold a league hostage because nothing else is on TV.'" Read Wise's full column.

Have you been turned off by James's actions? Do you care? Weigh in below.

By Jodi Westrick  |  July 8, 2010; 10:40 AM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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The guy's chasing his dream, get off his back. Who would turn down an opportunity like that to make sports history a be a part of a legend? Makes me want to move to South Beach!

Posted by: mybri | July 9, 2010 9:16 AM

*YAWN* When does football start?

Posted by: ericroks | July 9, 2010 10:53 AM

Hat is a pretty strong word. Disgust is a more fitting one.

Hope Miami NEVER wins a title. What will poor LeBron say then, his teammates didn't live up to his expectations?

Posted by: pjohn2 | July 9, 2010 10:55 AM

Unlike most employees he will not be able to "work" until retirement age. He has marketed himself as any employee would and his resume allows him to have several great options and he chose the one that was best for him.

I'm confused about the hate that is being spewed and the lies (Joe - Morning Joe) because someone is able to make millions because someone wants to pay him millions.

Why the WaPo is participating in the hateful and spiteful comments and a poll that is encouraging hateful comments is beyond me.

Posted by: rlj1 | July 9, 2010 10:56 AM

Sorry, that was "hate" not "hat". I think the biggest target for the outrage was the manner in which it was done, on a big stage and not man-to-man. Just another TO type who cares about no one but himself. Good as a player, despicable as a human being.

Posted by: pjohn2 | July 9, 2010 11:01 AM

LeBron's rookie contract did not stipulate indefinite and unconditional retention of his services. Had Cleveland's professed love for its hometown-boy been genuine, the franchise would have presented him with a contingency-free, lifetime contract at the outset. In fact, Cleveland's love for LeBron has depended almost entirely on his performance for the franchise. It is no betrayal (or surprise) that LeBron would leave the Cavs because of their inadequacies. Had he fallen short of expectations and was dismissed, surely no one would have accused the franchise of betrayal; rather, such a move would have been appropriately regarded as a prudent divestment. It is only fitting that LeBron's move be similarly regarded.

Posted by: PeteJGrace | July 9, 2010 11:30 AM

I agree with RLJ1 (BTW, we all type too fast when trying to get our thoughts out, so hate came out hat). People make moves all the time in their place of work/business: those who famous, infamous, known, unknown, celebrity or regular Joe. I think LeBron made the best decision for LeBron. Maybe he realized that he cannot carry a team alone and needed to be part of a franchise where he doesn't have to tote the team on his shoulders alone. (And judging from the reaction of those in Cleveland, they didn't like him as much as he thought they did. Besides, he does not "belong" to the city of Cleveland; I think his parents and God may have more of a claim).

Posted by: Carol7701 | July 9, 2010 11:54 AM

I don't understand why there is so much vitriol for Lebron by the media. There is little mention about the proceeds of last nights program going to the boy/girls club. I heard somewhere around 2.5 million dollars donated.That can't be all bad.
I see Lebron James, still a young man at 25 years of age, always carry himself as a gentleman. I've heard some comparisions of his character to Tiger Woods. Personally I find it differcult to compare.
With all of the critism about Lebron I question those who've been critical and wonder if those individuals would have acted with the class of Lebron James. I wish him all the luck.
from a Celtics fan

Posted by: richmonet | July 9, 2010 12:01 PM

The whole situation begs a new nickname for LeBron. Perhaps "Jester" rather than "King" with all the silly frenzy he played into.

Posted by: GingerJoe | July 9, 2010 12:28 PM

I feel sorry for Cleveland, other than that, he can do what he wants. I don't wish him luck however. My loyalties are with another team!

Posted by: MrsKirby | July 9, 2010 12:43 PM

I couldn't care less about where LeBron signed, I care about the one hour special in July about where he'll play in the winter. Of course I didn't watch so I shouldn't complain, but would any of the NBA top 50 players pull off such a stunt? The ego trip and accompanying circus is both blinding and deafening.

Posted by: jostitos | July 9, 2010 12:47 PM

Yeah, someone who refers to himself in the third person as the "King" is classy....

Guess you have a pretty low standard for class.

Posted by: bhuang2 | July 9, 2010 1:04 PM

I'll wager that most people commenting here have left a place of employment for a better job elsewhere. Why can Mr. James? He is a worker who is paid to work. If he sees better employment elsewhere, he should go - and people should stop complaining. It is ok to feel down if you are a Cleveland fan, but it is unreasonable to blame LeBron for your dreams.

Posted by: lswonder | July 9, 2010 1:39 PM

The NBA has a very limited following in the U.S. these days. More people watched the US-England soccer match than any of the first four games of the NBA playoffs. James' actions didn't warrant the amount of publicity they received.

Posted by: jalewis1 | July 9, 2010 2:00 PM

LeBron James loves to play the role of Michael Jordan off the court, but on the court he just a shell of the other "23". His immaturity showed itself after his team was blown away by the Celtics and he stormed off the court without congratulating his opponents. He's not a leader, not like Jordan, Magic or Bird. I guess he would rather be another guy than be "the man". Just wait till D-Wade injures his knee again a LeBron has to step up his game. He won't, and all of Cleveland will laugh.

Posted by: duffman1 | July 9, 2010 2:26 PM

The guy's chasing the Republican dream, to get filthy rich without actually working for living, so get off his back.

Posted by: jjedif | July 9, 2010 2:50 PM

The trade will reveal that this is one of the least important events that we will face in a lifetime.

Didn't Snyder(?) spend a lot of money buying celebrity football player based on the premise it would bring a championship to the Redskins? How did that workout? Some of the real good ones can lead, but very few of them can follow.

Posted by: dikaslogos | July 9, 2010 3:03 PM

LeBron? What does he do? Has a team he played for ever won a national title (at any level)? If not, what makes him "special"?

Posted by: dhmcgee | July 9, 2010 3:10 PM

LeBron resembles the schoolyard kid who wants to be on the team with all the good players so he can say he won, regardless of how well he plays. Unfortunately for him, his critics can now say, with some justice, that we will never know if he is "great" since he failed to prove that he can carry a team to a championship on his own. Rather than work hard to improve himself and his teammates in Cleveland, LeBron took the easy route to, he hopes, a championship ring. If he wins one, he may admire it and himself in the mirror, but others will simply see a tarnished jewel.

Posted by: stafford123 | July 9, 2010 3:31 PM

I do not hate him and unfortunately he is a product of the world today. It is easy to understand the ownership and their fans, in Cleveland, being very unhappy. There is very little loyalty in todays sports business, it is all about the money. He has burned a bridge and there will be hard feelings for a long time in Cleveland. I have stopped watching sports on TV and I have not been to a baseball game since the early 90's and the last pro basketball game was several years ago. I'll probably never go again, please bring back Willie Mays, Hank Aarron, Mikey Mantle, Cal Ripken, etc, etc.....

Posted by: dlfumuc | July 9, 2010 3:48 PM

LeBron is free to do what he wants - that is not the issue here for me. The problem for me is that he was such a jerk for the way he handled himself, that I actually feel bad for Cleveland. Fact is, I can't stand Cleveland or their fans - especially the ridiculous way they embraced him as a demigod. Curse you, LeBron, for making me feel sympathy for Cleveland!

Posted by: BT23 | July 9, 2010 3:49 PM

Hey who cares? The NBA is a contrived league anyway. The regular season is all about entertainment made up of shock and awe highlights featuring certain select players. While real baskeball being played in the play-offs.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | July 9, 2010 4:10 PM


Posted by: dgaines | July 9, 2010 4:14 PM

Feel bad for Cleveland my ---. LBJ kicked some serious butt all year long, alone. He is indeed the superstar everyone is making him out to be and should not feel bad about his decision at all. He is doing what every player in the NBA would do and mostly all the folks dogging him out would. If Cleve;land made the mistake of think he alone would be the only draw to the "Mistake By The Lake" that's their problem not his. He is the most exciting player in the NBA and if the city of Cleveland wants true excitement to come their way find someone who can beat this Miami Dream Team. THWT I'm buying a Heat Jersey. Go King James!!!

Posted by: | July 9, 2010 4:23 PM

This in 2010, Mr. James was raised in Ohio, went to school in Ohio, played 7 years in Ohio, when in a bad relationship or things are not working to one's advantage, the best thing to do is to "Keep it moving", when I read the letter by Mr. James former owner it read like a child who is a bully and just got his butt kicked. Dan the owner of the Cavs. is upset because of the money that he going to lose, not because of his love of the fans, and after reading the letter, one can clearly see what kind of people Mr. James had to deal with and I don't blame him at all for leaving

Posted by: joannalopezledbetter | July 9, 2010 4:27 PM

Some of you are missing the point. Most people can understand James leaving Cleveland. You're right; it's a completely legitimate personal and business move.

HOWEVER, it is HOW James went about this that is so awful. His methods were essentially narcissistic, egotistical, and disrespectful. When you've entertained offers from multiple potential employers, the polite thing to do is contact them personally and let them know you're turning down their offer. You do NOT set up an hour-long show about your "decision" and let that serve as your rejection of their offer, ESPECIALLY when you know that your current employer and hometown will be so heart-broken. You find a humane way to let them down. James should have followed Durant's lead.

So, can you all put on your thinking caps now and realize it was the WAY James handled things that was so bad?

Posted by: rlalumiere | July 9, 2010 4:55 PM

For Pete's sake, this is simply a basketball player trying to stack the odds in his favor to win a ring.

Posted by: johncomerford | July 9, 2010 4:56 PM

So Mr. Gilbert, the CEO of the Cavs fires employees at will, releases players at will and then goes ballistic when someone fires him! Mr. Gilbert certainly is not loyal to the people who work for him so why should they be to him?

Posted by: AnotherContrarian | July 9, 2010 5:32 PM

Professional basketball is showbiz. Mr. James is doing his best to exploit the hero illusion his White handlers have made of him to make himself richer and more popular. While the Cavs' owner in spitting flames over the money he will be losing, the entire charade is fabricated hype. It will all die out soon, and LeBron's career as a player will soon begin to deteriorate, as his feeling of grandeur begins to chip away at his intelligence and common sense.

Posted by: jewishmother | July 9, 2010 5:47 PM

espn made this even worse.

stick to televising sports with clueless announcers, not clueless announce types yammering aimlessly.

unwatchable trash.

Posted by: xxxxxx1 | July 9, 2010 8:47 PM

I have watched LeBron play since he was in high school. He has shown a very mature approach to playing basketball and has decided that he wants to continue his career with his friends.... Life is good and they have accomplished their goals of playing together. We shall see if the marriage is a good one... As someone has said there is only one basketball to play with... and it gets lonely on some night even in South Beach..... But... he performed well in Cleveland and I'm sure he will continue to grow as he matures even more. I wish he had stayed, however, that is not reality and now it is time to move on.... Life is about change and adjust we will... but being bitter and hateful because he bolted really is a childish act. This is business and people have made a lot of money and wanted to make more money but now have to adjust... That is the way business goes...Good luck, Lebron. I thank you for freeing up some of my time. I don't have to be witness to your greatness any more... smiling, of course.

Posted by: golfer5944 | July 10, 2010 6:22 AM

Oh, gee golly willikers. We are supposed to be shocked, shocked, to discover another egotistical, self-centered, money-grubbing sports star. When will all you jock-sniffers admit the reality that the whole of professional sports--and most collegiate--is dysfunctional. Do a Google search on just two entries: NFL and crime. That is the brutal reality of professional football. But don't hold your breath until fans recognize this reality. There are just too many pathetic souls with no lives who have nothing better to do than to link their well-being with the weekly accomplishments of a bunch of brainless thugs. How sad.

If sports is a metaphor for life, what does it tell us that our economy has collapsed and we face mountains of debt whose burden will weigh down even on our grandchildren. Provided we stave off total disaster.

Posted by: tbarksdl | July 10, 2010 6:40 AM

From Cleveland.

He had ever right to leave, not the issue.
It showed total disregard for his friends, teammates, and fans by doing it the way he did.

His leaving the basketball court after losing in the playoffs gave us a hint of his disregard and disrespect for his fellow players and fans.

You people that think the hate is all about him leaving are just idiots. It's about he went about it.

Posted by: LiberalBasher | July 10, 2010 10:59 AM

His leaving the basketball court after losing in the playoffs gave us a hint of his disregard and disrespect for his fellow players and fans.

Without shaking the hands of the winning team.

Posted by: LiberalBasher | July 10, 2010 11:00 AM

Waaay, waaaay to overhyped! Outside of Miami and Cleveland, who really cares? ESPN should stick to sports programming, but there was time to fill.

When does the World Cup Final begin? :)

Posted by: wxdancer | July 10, 2010 12:01 PM

Sure, he can do what he wants. And I can do what I want. i will root against him forever. As a fan who supports teams through good times and bad times, I root for players who support their teams. Not players who abandon their teammates to instead attempt to collect the very best players they can (why a league is stupid enough to allow this, which made the NBA in the fifties with the Celtics, or colelge basketball in the Wooten era, so boring)because they can't lead their own team to victory with ahrd work, courage and deciate. I say to you LeBron, booooooooo. I say to all the psoters who defend your right to go where you want, who even think you are cool to do so, booooooooooooo. I am allowed to do this because the freedom that lets LeBron be a jerk allows me to say booooooooooo to those who admire jerks.

Posted by: richardshaker | July 10, 2010 12:09 PM


Um, in that scenario, would you

a) Talk face to face with your boss and co-workers about your plans to move, out of simple courtesy and decency,


b) Buy an hour of national TV time 300+ miles away, and break the news to your former boss and colleagues in the middle of a disgusting gala celebration of your own ego?

It's not about the money, fools -- LBJ will make less in Miami than he could have in Cleveland. It's about the utter classlessness with which LBJ chose to conduct himself. It's about the fundamental dishonesty and pre-meditated [d***] slap in the face to everyone who worked with and supported him.

So, yes, it is not about money or changing jobs. It's about basic decency.

As for the charity angle, save it. No doubt, some cooler head brought up with James and his personal staff how all this would be received, and the fundraising bit is some image spit-polish.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | July 10, 2010 12:26 PM

carol77 wrote: "...I think LeBron made the best decision for LeBron..." -- Wrong. I believe he's made a huge mistake. He's now placed himself in a no-win situation: If he should win championships, it would not be by a "LeBron" team; if he doesn't, he can't blame a lack of support anymore. As evidenced by the recent Celtic team (although they won once and came close last year), it's not a foregone conclusion that Miami will win ANY championship with LeBron. Kobe and his team will be particularly motivated to prevent them. Regardless, LeBron will never be mentioned in the same breath as Jordan, Magic, Bird, even Bryant, unless Miami wins a ridiculous number of championships, an unlikely event.

Posted by: KT11 | July 10, 2010 2:01 PM

well, Miami has 4 players total now, they will need a few more unless these guys get in REALLY good shape...

Posted by: Impeachbush99 | July 10, 2010 2:36 PM

"I didn't know I was a slave until I couldn't do the things I wanted." -
Frederick Douglass.

To all who supposed LeBron James to be the property of the city of Cleveland and a servant of Dan Gilbert, may I remind you that slavery has been abolished.

Posted by: blackman1 | July 10, 2010 2:46 PM

I cannot quibble about the choice, just the way the decision was announced; it was not handled in a mature manner. Chicago added Boozer to Rose and Noah, Miami added Bosh and kept Wade, and Cleveland added no additional top tier players. For a chance to win a championship, the choice becomes Chicago or Miami (NY area teams have been deluded).

Posted by: Bushman1969 | July 10, 2010 4:58 PM

Cleveland has been adding players to surround James for several years (Larry Hughes, Shaq, Jamison, Moe Williams among others) and they just couldn't do it, mostly due to sub-par coaching. My guess is that unless Pat Riley takes over as Coach, Miami will be a 55-60 game winning team that loses in the playoffs to a team with more chemistry.

Lotta things can happen in an 82 game season--hope Miami has good backups...oh wait, they just spent the farm on 3 guys and gave away multiple future draft picks..

Posted by: bowie2000 | July 10, 2010 6:09 PM

The guy I really for sorry for in all this is Brett Favre. He's had a good chunk of his WillIPlayBallThisYear media season usurped by some kid barely half his age.

Posted by: agurcak | July 10, 2010 8:59 PM

The real losers in this is ESPN and Mike Wilbon. Talk about selling out. Wilbon's ass-kissing of James throughout the interview was disgraceful and brings shame to the journalist profession. It reminded me of one of theose infomercials you watch at 4:00 a.m. on an obscure cable station. Pretty sad...

Posted by: dougbaj1 | July 10, 2010 9:27 PM

To all who supposed LeBron James to be the property of the city of Cleveland and a servant of Dan Gilbert, may I remind you that slavery has been abolished.

Posted by: blackman1 | July 10, 2010 2:46 PM

Really? Are you sure? Hmmm...this is going to make it really awkard around the house.

Posted by: Section104 | July 10, 2010 9:44 PM

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