Monday, July 12, 2010

Par For the Course.....

In the wake of last week’s Lebron James sweepstakes, and the over-the-top response from Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, Jesse Jackson has, as usual, chosen race obsession over reality.

In the lead-up to the start of free agency, Lebron James let it be known that he’d test the waters.

Cleveland, where he’s played for the last seven years since leaving High School and virtually “next door” to his actual hometown of Akron, could offer him the most money by far. New York, Chicago and New Jersey all pitched the added money-making potential of those larger markets.

In the end, in a self-aggrandizing, narcissistic 1-hour TV Show (The Decision), James spurned Cleveland for...Miami, where he joined friends and Beijing teammates Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

OK, his exit wasn’t handled gracefully at all and Cleveland fans have every reason to revile him now, although Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s post-decision rant was not only over-the-top (in promising a title in Cleveland BEFORE Lebron James wins one), but absurd, as well. Well, not unless you’re prepared to pay that luxury tax, Dan! It looks like it’s going to take a pretty loaded team to even compete with Miami this year and Cleveland doesn’t have all that much to bargain with...sooo, prepare to pay that luxury tax Dan, that is, IF you’re going to make good on your claim.

So what do you think Jesse Jackson takes issue with?

If you guessed race and "white racism" nailed it.

In the wake of Dan Gilbert's wounded rant, Jackson noted, “He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers,” the reverend said in a  Rainbow-PUSH  Coalition release. “His feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner employee relationship — between business partners — and LeBron honored his contract.”

Yeah baby! Now that’s the ol’Jesse Jackson we all know! A shoot from the lip narcissist who’s been about as spoiled and immune from criticism as Lebron James has been.

Gilbert spoke as the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, which, of course, he is. Of course, in Jackson’s view, that’s the same as seeing LeBron James as a “runaway slave”...oh, except for the part where slaves toil for free and Lebron James plays a game for tens of millions of dollars...PLUS millions more in endorsements.

Soooo, the “new slavery,” is very similar to the “new racism,” that both are about as hard to find as a unicorn.

Upping the ante only slightly, Jackson claimed that the owner’s comments put the James in danger.

Truth is, Gilbert’s comments were only over-the-top in claiming that Cleveland (a now decimated franchise) will win a title before Lebron James wins one.

How they’re going to accomplish that, remains a mystery, although, you HAVE TO root for them.

Lebron James didn’t handle the situation at all well and not only came off looking childish and immature, he’s really hurt his legacy going forward. He’s basically put himself in a no-win situation. After all, if he wins a title, or three or five with Miami, the refrain will be, “So what, the Heat’s a veritable All Star team, they SHOULD win!” If they don’t come through, it amounts to a monumental choke.

What’s more, any comparison to Michael Jordan are effectively over. Jordan never had a great Center, in fact, you could argue that all Jordan had around him were talented role players. Yes, even Scottie Pippen had a reputation for being “soft,” before Jordan took him on as a project. Other than Pippen, Jordan was surrounded by the likes of an aging Bill Cartwright early on, and journeymen like Bill Wennington, Horace Grant and role players like Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr and Bill Paxson.

Kobe Bryant took heat for having been on the same team as Shaq! Bryant never planned and plotted to play with Shaq and he stayed with LA through the rebuilding after Shaquille O’Neal was traded to win another title last month.

So, Dan Gilbert, the Cav’s owner is guilty of “acting like a fan,” which he is and Lebron James is guilty of acting like a spoiled, immature 25 year old kid, which he is...and Jesse Jackson is guilty of reacting like an idiot, which he has repeatedly shown himself to be.

Bottom line, Lebron James fulfilled his contract and left his original employer and his hometown to play with two close friends on a virtual All Star team. He committed no crime, other than dashing the hopes and dreams of his hometown fans. In response, Dan Gilbert reacted like any ardent Cleveland fan would.

As for Jesse Jackson, well, his comments show the long standing race obsession and bias that he’s shown in virtually all of his previous dealings.

They don’t call him “a professional race hustler” for nothing.

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