Thursday, June 9, 2011

GQ: LeBron James Is a Dickhead—A Taxonomy

Thanks to the good-natured badgering of Bethlehem Shoals (a/k/a @freedarko), I have a piece today on GQ about the various kinds of LeBron hatred and where they seem to come from.

It's peculiar how unwilling many people are to accept the story of a man who essentially did what he was supposed to: take less money, to be part of a team, to win a championship. Those are the sorts of high-minded goals we demand of sports figures, but this time they don't seem to count.

Although there wasn't space to explore the idea in the piece, it's interesting how LeBron's conduct is so readily dismissed as phony; yet, when a former superstar devalues his own play by being lazy, troublesome or a malcontent, then cleans up his act after a low-value trade to a contender, we are often willing to see the act as redemptive. There's a value in preemptively being a cad: it makes the steps of ingratiating yourself seem laboriously insincere instead of slickly insincere. Lie to us if you must; just make it look like work.

Also, for those of you who might panic that this place will be closing shop and the contributors off to seersuckier pastures, in the land of glossy pages and cravat blogging ("SEE THE FALL '11 ASCOTS!"), I own too much Hickey Freeman and not nearly enough Italian stuff to hang out with quartered gentlemen.

Click here to go to GQ.


  1. I honestly can't think of another superstar - from this era or any other, that would take 1 shot and score 0 points in the 4th quarter of a close Finals game

    I literally cannot comprehend the best player in the NBA being so completely invisible

  2. So hey it looks like you were wrong as hell about predicting LeBron's title.

    Everything else, I think you're pretty spot on.

    Just remember what Derek Jeter always says: "We'll get 'em next year"

  3. The idea that James "took less money" is one of those true yet false statements which overlooks where the real lucre is in professional sports. He stands to make far more money as a title winner in Miami than as a great individual player on a lousy team in a dying rust belt city. So sure, he's gambling and could end up with less. But the less he'll end up with is still tens of millions of dollars over the next couple years. And if he succeeds he outdoes that by a factor of 10 or more. I support his leaving Cleveland - it's bullshit for fans to whine about that. But to deem it altruistic seems a tad naive.
    Bob, C’ville, MD


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