Mixed Bag: Lebron James, Race & the NBA

Although Lebron James stopped short of completely blaming race as the reason for the negative backlash he’s received in the months since the decision has aired. His comments from his interview with Soledad O’Brien have sent a firestorm through the sports media landscape. Take a look at a few of the thoughts on the topic from some of your favorite Sports writers.

“…race doesn’t affect acceptance, it affects tolerance. When people behave in a manner accepted by society at large they are easy for everyone to embrace. It’s who chooses to align with the outcasts that is telling.”

“The racial element won’t be measured in the condemnation, which came from all corners. It will be measured in the willingness to forgive.”

Those are 2 quotes from J.A. Adande’s piece on Lebron James, Race and the NBA. A great piece with a very balanced examination of the subject. HERE

Vincent Thomas’s ESPN piece from September 20th looks at what he deems “black protectionism”. A theory that African Americans will rally tighter around Lebron as mainstream media continues to press against him. Written before Leborn’s interview with Soledad O’Brien, Thomas’ theory is playing out right before our eyes. HERE

“People are jealous, The guy’s making a lot of money. Some people are thinking he might be the best player ever to play the game of basketball. There was something to those two or three days that just didn’t feel good. So you got to blame somebody, don’t you? You can’t blame the system.

Comments from Denver Nuggets Coach, George Karl HERE

Lebron even had the chance to clarify his comments after the CNN piece aired during the Heat’s training camp.

“I think people are looking too far into it, But at the same time, sometimes it does play a part in it. I’ve said what I had to say, and I’ll continue to move on.”

Which is really the bottom line but unfortunately, once this topic makes an apperance, it doesn’t disapear as easily.  HERE

And Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, always the epitome of class and grace, he decided to call Lebron an A-Hole on twitter. How quickly he’s forgotten he wanted that “A-Hole” representing him for the next 5 or 6 years. HERE

Yahoo sport’s Adrian Wojnarowski used his colum to focus on Maverick Carter’s role in the aftermath. “Maverick used Lebron as a human shield to redeem himself in the marketing world.”

Has Maverick been given the benefit of the doubt? Was he allowed the space to prove that he deserved the role as Advisor and Marketing Guru to the King of the NBA? Should we not point out that he screwed up just because there are people who were looking for an excuse to trash him because he’s a young black man in a prominent position?  Wojnarowski examines some of these issues.  HERE

Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com uses this opportunity to exam Lebron’s Jordanesque approach to hot button issues of race & politics in the past. Freeman asks, If you want the praise of success, don’t you have to live with and accept responsibility for the downfall?

The same role Jordan played, Lebron has played up until this point. Why speak on race now when he previously avoided the topic? All money is Green.  HERE

Fox Sports Jason Whitlock weighed in with a scathing review of Lebron & Maverick’s comments. Always controversial, I’m quite certain Jason is on Lebron’s “List” after this. HERE

“You see it in entertainment. You see it in sports. You see it, of course, in every race, creed and color. The problem is fame and wealth of a degree that leaves a young person hopelessly out of touch. It happened to Mike Tyson. It happened to Lindsey Lohan. It’s happening to LeBron James.”

Fox Sports Mark Kriegel thinks that these 2 should just be quiet as they have lost touch with the real world now that they’re apart of the upper echelons of American wealth.  HERE

LRMR Marketing (Randy Mims, Maverick Carter, President Obama, Rich Paul & Lebron)