Someone Tell King James To Put On Some Clothes

I’d like to introduce you to LeBron James‘ neighbors: Kim, Khloe, Kourtney and Kris. The Kardashians. That’s where James lives. Like the the Kardashians, the line between lying and living isn’t just blurred. It doesn’t exist.

LeBron James

What am I talking about? Most of the Kardashians’ reality show is in no way a reflection of actual reality. Take for instance Khloe’s relationships with NBA players Rashad McCants and Lamar Odom. From the NEW YORK POST last November:

NBA star Rashad McCants says there was nothing real about his stint on former girlfriend Khloe Kardashian’s reality show. The shooting guard said Khloe and sister Kourtney, who claimed he cheated on Khloe, “made the whole thing up.” McCants said a “Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami” episode — where they were seen hacking into McCants’ voice mail and listening to suggestive phone messages apparently left for him by a female fan — was staged. He said the curvy sisters did not have his current phone number and he and Khloe “had already called it quits” in January, before the segment was even taped.

Meanwhile, Khloe wasted no time finding herself another NBA star to play ball — she wed the LA Lakers’ Lamar Odom in September, after a monthlong romance. Not surprisingly, the reality show cameras caught every moment. Reps for E! and Khloe did not return calls or e-mails for comment.

Khloe’s marriage to Odom? The union was never legally consumated. The “non-binding” wedding ceremony was merely a plotline for Khloe’s reality show - though reported as fact by most major news and sports media outlets.

Lying about real life is nothing new in the reality show genre or for tabloid-fueled celebrities, but it is somewhat of a novel concept in sports media.

Generation Y is the first to celebrate reality shows, in which life’s mundanity is mistaken for entertainment. That concept folds perfectly into life-by-Facebook, which similarly celebrates the ordinary while extracting a person’s every last ounce of privacy.

With that scene-set, the faux reality show perpetrated on the public by the 25-year-old James last week in Cleveland should come as no surprise.

Even forgetting every public appearance or proclamation James has made the past three years has been meticulously manufactured in advance to sell us something - be it sneakers, washing machines or himself as a global icon - the past week’s narcissifest in Cleveland is impossible for me swallow as legitimate.

James never had any intention of leaving the comfort of Cleveland despite what he’s desperately tried to make public the believe.

LeBron James Yankees Hat

His deliberate misrepresentation of himself in public is no different than what we’ve seen peddled by the likes of Khloe, Lamar and other reality show drones. If there’s ever a reprise of Paradise Hotel, I think we’ve got our lead.

Not that there weren’t obvious clues to the illegitimacy of last week’s proceedings:

1) Making the meetings public is the most obvious sign that James never intended to leave Cleveland. If he were to sign with Chicago, would he want to leave the impression that the deal was consumated in full view of downtown Clevelanders?

2) William Wesley (World Wide Wes) not attending the meetings was a clear sign that James had made up his mind to stay in Cleveland. Wesley was likely the source who leaked the “Big 3 to Miami” story and if James were to leave Cleveland, would’ve likely been the driving force behind such a deal.

If James were to leave Cleveland, the three childhood friends who run his marketing company would have their power base significantly eroded. Also consider that outside of Cleveland, those hanger-ons are anonymous. In Cleveland, they’re bonafide celebrities.

Guess who was in the meeting? James’ three amigos.

3) The hiring of Byron Scott clearly was a move by Cavs management to appease James. It also gave James cover for justifying his decision to stay.

4) Chris Paul joining James at his basketball camp today in Akron. Paul is close friends with James and Scott and counts Wesley as a mentor. (Like James.) James clearly wants Paul to be traded to the Cavaliers and Wesley has the kind of influence to make it happen - regardless of what the Hornets may claim to the public.

While I’ve never bought what LeBron was selling, I have to give him credit for the way he’s duped the public into thinking that he’s bigger than he really is. So far James’ celebrity has been built on an empty storefront that’d make David Beckham blush.

But for someone who disgraced himself in the NBA playoffs less than a month ago, you’d never know it with the orgy of overcoverage.

That trend will only change if James ever stops mistaking the games he’s playing with all of us for the game.

Sorry LeBron, “It will always not be about more than basketball.