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The Sound of Ideas

Reporters’ Roundtable: LeBron Does ‘What’s Right… For Him’

Posted Friday, July 9, 2010

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Reporters’ Roundtable: LeBron Does ‘What’s Right… For Him’ In the eyes of some fans Lebron has become LeBum overnight not only with his choice of Miami as his new basketball home but in the super-hyped way he handled his free agency announcement. On the Sound of Ideas reporters roundtable, a chance for you to sound off, sigh in resignation or otherwise prepare to move, our analysis from some "experts." And, some of the news that's been buried beneath "King" James: Cleveland makes the short list for the Democratic National Convention and a notorious congressman struggles to come back. Join us with your take and your questions. Friday at 9 on 90.3. *photo courtesy The Plain Dealer


Education, Government/Politics, Other, Community/Human Interest


Andy Baskin sports director, WEWS Channel 5
Marla Ridenour sports columnist Akron Beacon Journal
Mike McIntyre columnist, The Plain Dealer
Charles Michener cultural critic

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Jerry 7:03 AM 7/9/10

Anyone who was surprised by this self-serving decision hasn’t been paying attention the past seven years. The only “Loyalty” he feels is to the guy wearing the tattoo.

Joane Johnson 9:15 AM 7/9/10

LaBron has done just what so many young black men are doing, today.  Following the crowd, good or bad as long as it is ‘hip’.  I see it with my son-in-law.  He’s over 30 and won’t grow up.  What he did was funny.  I did not watch, I preferred a rerun of Criminal Minds but the whole thing was a pretty childish act.  He is following the crowd.  They have the new style, I’m getting it, too, no matter how stupid.  He is not thinking.  He truly believes he has a championship.  WRONG.  It may happen but my experience has been ‘dream teams’ usually tank.  You cannot account for the variables, like injuries.  Season ending injuries.  Then what?  You whine, cry, bemoan your fate or go to another ‘dream team’.  He should have been careful for which he wished for, he got it.  This is not sour grapes.  I am not into professional basketball.  Too many dimwits.  I love my Indians and Browns.  I am a black, 61 yr old woman.

Bambi Vargo 9:17 AM 7/9/10

The biggest disappointment was LeBron’s unprofessional behavior toward Dan Gilbert and the Cav organization.  He may know a lot about playing professional basketball, but he does not know much about the appropriate behavior when leaving an organization.  I think Cav fans created a Frankenstein in the course of the last seven years, and now he has turned on the fans who created him.

Toni Chanakas 9:22 AM 7/9/10

I have to agree with Jerry, I was definitely NOT surprised. His only agenda was the “championship ring,” and, in his mind Cleveland could not do it for him. I was just disappointed in his performance during the post season. I knew in my heart that once the Cavs did not advance in the play offs, he was going to leave.

I am not hurt by his decision. He is just looking out to advance his career just like anyone else would do in his position.

My only concern is how it will impact our city. It will hurt our revenue stream in our neighborhood restaurants and local economy (selling out the Q), etc.

thanks so much.

Becky 9:26 AM 7/9/10

Although I am sad, angry, and disgusted by the circus last night and for the past month, I am encouraged by Northeast Ohio’s ability to get behind a cause. I want to see the community put the same energy and commitment behind something critical to our area such as hunger or education. And if the Cavs led that effort, I’d be an even bigger Cavs fan!

Roxanne Jaber 9:27 AM 7/9/10

"Beware of False Idols” - rings true here. Professional sports (particularly the NBA and MLB) has run amuk--period. This whole circus went on too long. Anyone can throw money at a team and the Heat will win with LeBron and gang. Meanwhile we Cavs fans love the city has more commitment to their home team like Cleveland. We are the real thing!

Kris, Mentor 9:29 AM 7/9/10

If you’re going to talk about the economic impact, here are my two cents. You can’t build an economy on any athlete’s shoulders. At best, you get 10 years or so of “economic stimulus”. At worst, he gets injured and his career is over within a year of signing him. We need to focus on the medical mart, green energy jobs, and other projects that will provide jobs and prosperity for decades or more, not just a few years.

Rose from Chesterland 9:29 AM 7/9/10

Saying that he wants to win lots of championships shows that LeBron is just one more typical super star trying to make one more personal history; but his best history would have been staying here as long as it takes to bring a championship to Cleveland.  One for Cleveland would mean far more than a list of wins anywhere else.  Maybe he’s trying to outscore Lance Armstrong?

Richard 9:30 AM 7/9/10

I think it’s time this city gave up on sports as a way to bolster the city’s standing. And it’s certainly time to give up on sports as a measure of our self-worth. There is plenty to like and love about Cleveland. Cleveland has a visual art scene better than Chicago’s, great musical venues, premier educational institutions, medical institutions. Those are the things we need to embrace. This idea of a manly, blue-collar sports town is doing nothing for us.

Ron McClendon 9:31 AM 7/9/10

The last caller said most of it best..."get off his back.” How pathetic it is how you bigots sit there and try and dictate the life of this young black man.  ("He needs a father!!!")Dan Gilbert and the other “name callers” are all from the same pack similar to those bigots that resorted to calling President Obama the racist names when they couldn’t get their way!

Dave 9:34 AM 7/9/10

Who is now the face of Cleveland sports?  Jake Delhomme?  Grady Sizemore??

Bob, Cleveland 9:34 AM 7/9/10

“Loyalty”? “Home”? “Commitment”? These words are meaningless in the big-business, big-ego world of sports today. The fans and media hyped this guy to high heaven and hitched their star to his self-driven wagon. Maybe it’s time for people to re-think where they’re making an emotional investment… there are more important things in life.

Paul, Cleveland Heights 9:36 AM 7/9/10

This is true Cleveland. Loosers wallow in their hurt. What did we think this 25 year old jock was going to do? The future of our city does not reside in jocks and never should. Is there any news today?

Jennifer 9:39 AM 7/9/10

Could you please talk about how this LeBron debacle plays into our city’s chronic inferiority complex? We’re like the Eeyore City, always finding the darkest lining in every cloud! I am originally from Cincinnati and have lived here about 15 years, and other non-natives like me seem to have a greater appreciation for all of the assets of this city than those who have grown up here ... and they go far beyond just sports.

By the way, I’m more upset about Dan Moulthrop leaving the airwaves than LeBron leaving the Cavs!!

Debra 9:40 AM 7/9/10

I have to say, I am embarrassed listening to Cleveland and Cleveland sports fans respond to this situation.

LeBron is an ambitious, highly talented young man. Why can’t we just wish him well? Why can’t we appreciate and support our players? This reminds me of the unfortunate manner in which we dealt with the Brown’s player who contracted staph - a very potentially dangerous disease. Our behavior is typical of the Cleveland sports scene - negative, vicious and non-supportive. Bad sportmenship.

The comment the speaker made about LeBron’s not having an active father participating in his life is indicative of this lowbrow mentality. How dare you? No wonder he left. No wonder I’ve remained a Steeler fan.

Mhoire 9:40 AM 7/9/10

This will lebron’s ‘college’ experience in Miami. He needs to go away and grow up.  He will be one of the talent not THE talent. He will have to accept being coached and be part of a team and accept decisions that he doesn’t like. He has to grow up and learn to be a real man or a jerk.  His choice.  And cleve will continue to wish him well as he grows up and hopes he chooses to be a man.

Good luck and hope you learn more class.

Eric Meyer 9:42 AM 7/9/10

Is it too much to ask that we be grown-ups here?  Okay, LeBron left for Miami; okay, he didn’t handle it in the classiest manner.
The proper response here is not outrage and a sense of betrayal.
It’s a disappointed shrug and a “good luck to ya, kid”.  Let the man go.  We have far more important things to pay attention to and get done here in our home.

judith angelo 9:44 AM 7/9/10

It might be interesting for any of you to consider how obscene this all looks to someone who is not a sports fan, or someone who has a different vision of hwo to build community. Cleveland insists on putting all its emotional and financial and political eggs in one basket and the media plays along.  I’ve only been here about 30 years, and watching this city sell its soul and sell out its children has been like watching an immature person who doesn’t have enough self-respect to believe in him or herself instead of trying to marry a superhero.

James’ decision was a no-brainer - but that show could have been a salute to the town he was leaving.  That’s who you wanted to beleive he was, even tho nothing about his behavior has ever given you any reason to.

He is incapable of respect - granted - he is getting bad advice because no one has any reason to challenge him. But staying here would have been the wrong decision regardless.

But the same could be said of Cleveland’s media and leadership. The utter lack of vision, the willingness to abandon its people and use time, money and passion to beg an immature sports star to stay here - LeBron is not a picture of what you lost, it’s a picture of how you lost it, and continue to lose it.

Tim 9:44 AM 7/9/10

Check out the article in the Wall St Journal sports section. They point out how James, Bosh, & Wade had all been friends since 2003 and had purposely taken short contracts to be free agents this summer. This has all been planned ahead.  Its about James, by James.
We all put on the blinders and gave him a lot of passes on bad behavior.
And when he shows his true colors we are shocked. He’s no worse than most of the other over paid pro sports knuckleheads, just different.

Barbara 9:45 AM 7/9/10

I appreciate this morning show, as usual.

Regarding LeBron, it should not be surprising that loyalty does not mean the same to him as it may to others.  After all, what did he learn about loyalty when he never knew his father.  When his mother had someone else care for him when she couldn’t, what did he learn about loyalty?  He has learned another set of values due to his upbringing.  We are partly responsible for idolizing him & others who excel in athletics, turning them into hardly recognizable beings.

Linda 9:45 AM 7/9/10

It sure would be great if we as Cavs fans would sell out every game next season.

Jayne Ryan Kuroiwa, Berea 9:47 AM 7/9/10

Here’s a few things I haven’t heard said yet:
--Would we expect any other Akron high school grad leaving their first job to know the best etiquette for leaving an employer?  I don’t blame this 25 year old for that life lesson.  Someone, Mom, and agent, even Dan Gilbert should have coached “if you leave this is how to go about it to be gracious.”

--At 25 LeBron has come to age in the era of reality tv.  We may wish, in our midwestern Cleveland way, that such spectacle is not a part of our culture, but Cleveland has had Survivor, American Idol and Bachlorette, participants, to name a few.  This is in the water.
I don’t blame LeBron for knowing he is marketable as a reality tv interest.  And certainly the local media are complicit in this perception.

--All the anger is a convenient scapgoating.  We’re putting grief and frustration on the one rather than on the amorphous whole NEO situation. 

--And Dan Gilbert?  Talk about unprofessional!!  He’s trash talking out of his anxiety.  He just witnessed his bottom line taking an enormous hit.  Bet he views his casino differently today.

Cliff, Parma 9:49 AM 7/9/10

This is so funny not being a die hard basketball fan.All the time I try to get people to realize the evil that corporations do all the time.Mr. James at the end of the day IS a corporation and in this world justified, or so some say.Moving to Miami,or moving jobs to China,what`s the difference?

Becky, Hudson 9:51 AM 7/9/10

As with others, I don’t begrudge LeBron leaving. What I really don’t understand is the way he did it. Was he intentionally trying to embarrass us by CHOOSING to name his special “the decision.” He HAS to know about “the fumble,” “the drive,” “the shot.” Is he clueless or is there something Gilbert and the organization did to him to make him choose to add “the decision” to that list?

Noelle Celeste 9:52 AM 7/9/10

Loyalty is not only taught in two-parent families. Are you kidding me? We are going to chalk up Lebron’s behavior to being raised by a single mother? That is ridiculous. How about considering the influence of insane amounts of money on one’s character? Much more likely scenario.

John, Cleveland 9:56 AM 7/9/10

I think all the free agents knew LeBron was leaving that’s why Gilbert couldn’t get anyone to come to Cleveland to help support LeBron.  That’s why Boozer went to Chicago, etc.  And I think that’s a low blow by the so called king.  Get the pitch forks and torches!!!

Phil Bessler 9:58 AM 7/9/10

There is a natural conflict between fans and business.  Rarely will the two be aligned.

Suzie 10:00 AM 7/9/10

It’s not what you say but whether you say it on a one-hour ESPN prime time special.

Casey 10:01 AM 7/9/10

I think LeBron needs to add a “dis” prefix to his loyalty tattoo.  I have lost all respect for him for making such a big media spectacle of his public cuckolding of Cleveland.  His ego has become bigger than this talent.

Amy Sparks 10:16 AM 7/9/10

I’m more upset that Dan Moulthrop is leaving than LeBron!

Jim Ridge 10:38 AM 7/9/10

On the same night that LeBron made his announcement, the Cleveland Rowing Foundation held an open house at the future home of Rivergate Park, a permanent home for human powered recreational sports in Cleveland.  The 7 acre park (formerly the home of The Commodore’s Club Marina) is a wonderful example of what can happen when public and private entities come together in a united effort to preserve public space and create a unique recreational outlet for Cleveland’s citizens and visitors.

LeBron will be missed, but in 20 years he’ll be a distant memory.  Meanwhile, northeast Ohioan’s will soon be able to enjoy public access to the Cuyahoga River, a body of water that figures so prominently in our region’s civic and cultural life.

Interested in learning more?  Check out


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