Today we got the news that LeBron James wants to doff his #23 in order to facilitate the number being retired by the league. Instead, James claims he will soon switch to #6. James says the move isn’t about marketing or merch, it’s about remembrance. About honoring the legacy of Michael Jordan.
One small problem: #6 was worn by a NBA player every bit as influential as Jordan, a player who won nearly twice as many championships as Jordan and who changed the way the game was played. The player? Bill Russell. Oh yeah, and there’s the little matter of Julius Erving’s personal digit too. Like he didn’t have something to say about how the NBA game is played today?
Jordan’s number should not and will not be permanently retired, because if it is, you can get busy mothballing dozens of numbers of players who were just as influential as Jordan. And it goes without saying that Jordan is no Jackie Robinson, something that is apparently lost on the embarrassingly myoptic James.
James’ numbers game is one more fake news story that he’s manufactured for the sadly dogmatic media. Much like his recent, ridiculous claims that he’s tired of the speculation regarding his impending free agency. Jim Rome had an epic take on that yesterday, via ESPN’s Jim Rome is Burning:
But while Rome’s relentless beatdown of James brought me tears of joy, James claim that he cared more about winning than money elicited tears of laughter.
While doing his best Urkel last Friday before the Knicks game, James said on national television that he didn’t care about a max contract, that all that mattered to him was winning.
But isn’t James’ best chance to win a championship in Cleveland, where Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert can hand James an unlimited handle of his loosest nickel slots? If James were to go to another team, the Bird salary rule wouldn’t apply, and his exorbitant salary would cripple the cap of his intended destination.
Add in that a day after James said he didn’t care about a max contract, he recanted, saying he had every intention of getting max money wherever he landed.
The truth is, James views his sports career as a vehicle to becoming a billionaire mogul, like his entertainment biz buddies. Winning is incidental, though he’ll utilize his dubious marketing skills to try to convince you otherwise.
James is an empty vessel. His life’s only substance is a bullrush accompanied by an ever-predictable right hand dribble. Off-court, the next time he isn’t contrived will be the first time. But thanks to the blindered, reporting hordes that doesn’t mean I’m not listening. Just wonder how long I can stand only one flavor at the fountain.