LeBron Shows World Everything Wrong With Sports
Hour-long ego trip lays bare pointless pastime
By M. Morris, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2010 1:20 PM CDT
LeBron James answers questions from Jim Gray during an interview on ESPN on Thursday, July 8, 2010, in Greenwich, Conn. James said he's decided to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat.   (AP Photo/ESPN, Rich Arden)

(Newser) – As the news broke that LeBron James will join the Miami Heat, fans whose teams lost out were disappointed, "but mostly they were flabbergasted by the tone deafness of the whole enterprise," Will Leitch writes for New York. Worse, the hour-long display of cluelessness surrounding the announcement exposed a raw nerve: "We've truly seen the ugly, dark heart of sports, and we won't be able to come back."

From the format to the content, James' ESPN special hit a symphony of sour notes, including an omission that "was so, so cruel to Cleveland, not once thanking the fans who made him into what he was." Sports fandom is founded on a tacit agreement between athletes and the people who pay their salaries, writes Leitch: "We cheer for athletes because sports does not matter, not really. We trust that they are not laughing at us. That trust felt broken tonight."

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Jul 10, 2010 10:07 AM CDT
LeBron James showed America everything that is wrong with THEIR sports culture. Honestly, how many sports fans think it's a skill to be able to down a whole six-pack in a game and have a beer keg for a belly? How many old men rarely leave their homes because they'd rather fall asleep watching a game, sometimes with beer in hand and a divot on their couch. How many fans at games make their whole lives about being a "fan"? The sad thing is, a lot do.
Jul 10, 2010 5:45 AM CDT
The trouble is not with the conmen who get paid; It's with the people who pay. Voluntarily. We should be grateful that this money-greed was NOT handled better by the PR and Spin Doctors. We want a glimpse of the truth behind the charade that is professional sport. Don't we?
Jul 9, 2010 9:00 PM CDT
I don't understand why people hate on James. This guy's story makes me proud to be American! He came from nothing to having it all! These same people generalize athletes to make them out to be greedy monsters. If you don't like the money these guys make, don't support it! Pro sports is the best example of supply and demand. I for one think basketball is the greatest sport man ever made and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.