An Open Letter to LeBron James

Dear LeBron,

We have a number of things in common, presumably the biggest is that we both play basketball. I love the game and I am going to guess that you do as well. But while I know who you are there is no reason to assume that you know me or have a clue that I exist.

That doesn’t bother me. Why should you know about the 41 year-old Jewish kid in L.A. I am not famous, can’t dunk the ball now and couldn’t do it when I was 20 either. Not that it matters because I never had the talent that you have, though I had ample desire.

The fellas that I play with will tell you that much. They’ll tell you that I fling my ancient body all over the court. They’ll tell you that it is dangerous to get in front of the freight train as I drive the lane. I suppose that we have that in common too, both of us have enough muscle to force the opposition to do what we want them to do.

But the reality is that for me it is more of a dream. I picture me flying through the air with grace and skill but if video footage existed it would probably be pretty ugly to watch. But not as ugly as the spectacle that you have created.

This overblown hype about which team you are going to sign with is shameful and you should be embarrassed. I don’t begrudge you the opportunity to make a living. I don’t really care that some team is going to pay you more money than you can possibly spend. If someone is willing to pay you than it is not my business to tell you that you shouldn’t take it.

But the fashion in which you are doing this is what I take issue with. I am killing myself slowly to provide for my family. Our troops are literally dying in Afghanistan to protect you and yours. My friend John is dealing with a real challenge with class and dignity. The New York Times reports that your generation is finding the American Dream to be nothing more than a dream.

The oil spill in the gulf has created devastation that has an impact that we cannot begin to conceive of and you have the gall to agree to a one hour television special to announce whether you are coming or going. This is foolishness, idiocy and just wrong. I want to grab and shake you, drag you into the real world and remind you what life is like.

I am angry and you should be too. You should be pissed off that you let this nonsense turn into something that could haunt you for years. It doesn’t matter whether you decided to do this yourself or were talked into it because it is wrong and ultimately you will pay the price.

Or maybe you don’t care. It is possible. You have already earned enough to retire. You have a brand that will probably overcome the boneheaded move you are making. The country loves celebrity. You could go have sexual relations with three sheep, a goat and a cow and people would forgive you, provided that you can still play.

So the rest of us have to take some blame for establishing a foundation that allows you to think that it might be ok to do something like this. But ultimately the buck stops with you. You have created quite a situation for yourself. I hope you are happy with it and I hope for your sake that you recognize why this is wrong because if you don’t, then I feel sorry for you.

Good luck LeBron, for the record I am still confident that you are on track to become the next superstar not to win a championship, but maybe you’ll prove me wrong. I hope you enjoy your day- the rest of us non media types might catch the news on Twitter, provided that we are not caught up working like most normal people do.

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  1. TheJackB July 9, 2010 at 6:52 am

    You know when I think about where things are at- the values that we as a society seem to hold dear I cringe a bit. It all reminds me of The Running Man. Not very promising.

    But I can't indict all of us or say that society is all bad either.
    My recent post Former hot dog eating champ arrested

  2. TheJackB July 9, 2010 at 6:49 am

    LeBron seems to have forgotten that you need role players to win. How are they ever going to pay for more guys- it is a team sport.
    My recent post Former hot dog eating champ arrested

  3. TheJackB July 9, 2010 at 6:47 am

    it is really hard to listen to their silly and foolish complaints. So many have lost touch with reality. It is just sad.
    My recent post Former hot dog eating champ arrested

  4. TheJackB July 9, 2010 at 6:33 am

    I like the idea of unplugging. sometimes I think about it, wonder how hard it would be to just move out to the middle of nowhere and give up all the electronic gadgets.
    My recent post Former hot dog eating champ arrested

  5. TheJackB July 9, 2010 at 6:32 am

    And now fortunately it is done.
    My recent post Former hot dog eating champ arrested

  6. PJMullen July 8, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    Big thumbs up for this one Jack. Right now I'd pay him $100 million even if it took me 100 lifetimes to do so for him to just go away.

    Unfortunately, this also goes way beyond LeBron and basketball. Personally, I don't care for basketball, but I am a diehard football fan. I'm so sick of millionaires and billionaires whining that I'm even considering not watching the NFL this season. With everything else that is going on in our world, peoples priorities are seriously out of whack.
    My recent post She says “La-”

  7. johncaveosborne July 8, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    this was awesome.

    "So the rest of us have to take some blame for establishing a foundation that allows you to think that it might be ok to do something like this."

    americans are turning into a vapid society. you're right when you say we created this. we did.

    you're also right when you say the buck stops w/ him. b/c it does. and he messed it all up.

    i love basketball. period. and though i love the sport, and though i enjoy witnessing greatness, and though LeBron is, indeed, great, in my mind, he's always brought an ugly brand of basketball to the table. it's like a robot plus a video game divided by two. and he always wins.

    until playoff time.

    which brings me another thing you're right on. he ain't ever gonna win a ring. especially acting like that. the great ones love the game. LeBron loves himself.

    thanks for the mention. you're a good man. per usual, excellent work…

  8. J.R. July 8, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Kobe is the man and the only way LeBron will ever win a ring is on an All-Star team like he is allegedly going to. Fuck him. Lakers rule. Kobe baby!!!!

  9. Chris ( July 8, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Good post Jack. Our celebrity-crazed society just doesn't get it. It's why so often, my wife and I inevitably return to our conversations we had while we were dating, about just dropping everything and going to live in another country where we can start a school for kids who want to but can't get an education, live on a farm, simply just unplug.
    My recent post Wordless Wednesday- A weekend away

  10. Dr. Lisa July 8, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    Well said!! This LeBron nonsense is well, nonsense!
    My recent post Triathlon for a Cause

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