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The Narcissism of King James

Was it about LeBron James or the Boys and Girls Clubs of America?

We found out quickly.  It was always about LeBron and it always will be about LeBron. 

On Wednesday (for Thursday’s post) I was going to rip LeBron James for feting himself with this over-indulgent hour of insanity.  I heard about the effort to raise money for BGCA and backed away, thinking that maybe his heart was in the right place. 



I was conned.  Wasn’t the first time and won’t be the last.

I watched the first 30-40 minutes of the hour ‘special,’ until I realized it was … yep, always about LeBron.  Not once did I hear ANYTHING about BGCA.  Maybe if the special were a half hour and LeBron spent the first 15 or 20 minutes pumping the stories of BGCA, then maybe I would have felt this was a star using his marketing heft to do some good for charity.  Instead, we got what Mushnick predicted, ESPN schtick dreck that was as phony as a $3 dollar bill.

Mushnick actually came to James’ side, saying that he spoke like “a team guy, a modest guy, a good guy.”  I love Mushnick, but I completely disagree.  Why?  Because actions speak louder than words.  Go read one of the books in the UltimateNYG Book Club, Good to Great.  Leaders do not have 1 hour spectacles in primetime that are all about themselves.  In one sentence LeBron is an overwrought victim of the two week frenzy, and in the very next sentence we are reminded that this show is the indulgence that he could have chosen to avoid.  LeBron found the enemy and it was himself.

The entire hour was cheapened when Chris Broussard and Michael Wilbon leaked (at the beginning of the hour!) that their “sources” told them it was going to be Miami.  Wasn’t the whole point of the special to have everyone find out at the same time, from LeBron himself?

Let’s finish this up by saying that hopefully this will never happen in football.  Football is too much of a team sport.  Every other team would beat the living snot out of a player if he came off like a King.  The closest football ever came to this kind of spectacle was when Reggie White shipped out to Green Bay.  For his sake, White was the first big name player to go through the new revolution of NFL free agency.  The media built it up as a professional football first and they were right. White, for his part, certainly backed it up on the field.  With 53 people on the roster and 45 dressed for every game, it is simply too hard for any one player to trivialize all the rest.  Thank goodness for that fact.  I’ve had enough narcissism for one week.