- I’ve been mainly staying quiet on the LeBron James saga, as I felt that as a non-basketball fan, sitting back and enjoying the insanity is better than being a participant in it. However, today’s odd turn of events has changed my tune a little bit. Just when you think that this whole saga is over and we all can go back to not giving a flying fig about the NBA again, the Reverend Jesse Jackson steps up to the plate. In a news release from the Rainbow/PUSH coalition, Jackson compared Cavs owner Tom Gilbert’s comments regarding LeBron’s departure to those of a slave master lamenting the loss of a runaway slave.
This is certainly one for the WTF files. Let’s think for a minute. LeBron made a big hoopla (a 1-hour purchased show on ESPN) of his announcement that he was abandoning his hometown team. Whether there was some master plot between James, Bosh and Wade is irrevelant at this point. You cannot make the comparison of a wealthy (VERY WEALTHY) professional athlete to a slave. Last time I checked, slaves do not get paid for their labor. They also don’t have the opportunity to have practice schedules and flight departures catered to their every whim. They don’t have ladies throwing themselves at them 24/7. Slavery is drudgery, the glamorous professional athlete lifestyle is not.
It’s just a bad comparison on Jackson’s part, and one that really didn’t need to be made.
- Continuing on with LeBron for one more moment, Ad Age did a behind the scenes look as to how LeBron’s ESPN special actually got on the air. The who talked to who and when and where stuff is kind of fascinating. (Certain sponsors declining to run ads, but make charitable contributions instead is also interesting.) The comments from media professionals are kind of hilarious and definitely to the point. I think more people are throwing LeBron under the bus for this whole thing than actively cheering him on.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer also analyzes the who said what to who and when, but this time focuses on the relationship between Bosh, Wade & James. The basketball side of things is just as fascinating as the marketing side of things. All in all, this was a massive coordinated effort from many angles. Will this be the new way that free agents announce their deals, or will common sense prevail in the future? I hope its the latter, but I do reserve my right to throw a shoe at the TV the next time someone pulls a stunt like this.
- So Thomas Vanek is having twins, due in November. Many congratulations to him, his wife and soon-to-be big brother Blake. I’m sure some are wishing that Vanek would have timed the arrival twinsies for the off-season, but better to have a baby arrival in the relative doldrums of November than in the midst of a playoff chase.
- If you haven’t already, stop over to The Goose’s Roost and read Ryan’s excellent reflections about being in the press box and interviewing players.
- When the Blackhawks announced that they matched San Jose’s offer sheet on Hjalmarsson, it made Chicago’s cap situation even more perilous. Someone(s) else on the roster will have to move in order to make way for ducklings the remainder of the active roster. Speculation this afternoon focused on Soupy as the most likely to move, but is there a team stupid enough willing enough to take on his mammoth contract? Even more important, is there a team that can afford to take on his contract that also falls onto the list of teams that Campbell would have to approve a trade to? It’s going to be very interesting watching Chicago figure this out.
- I currently have an episode of NHL Network’s “Off the Ice” sitting on my DVR. I only recorded it because it was featuring Ryan Miller. When I watch it, I might have to diarize the experience. Dunno. It depends on what he has to say and how enthused I am while watching it.
- Speaking of Miller, he announced that the 5th Catwalk for Charity will be in November. The event this year will have an 80s theme. (PS – Memo to Crunchy, the website for The Refinery is down. Get one of your talented people on that, please. Don’t make me pull out the marketing lecture on you.) Since we saw how the boys dressed up for the 50s theme last year, there’s several good ideas that they could use to dress up as outside of the traditional Madonna, Michael Jackson, et al (and this is expanding beyond the music genre, but bear with me):
- Luke & Laura
- Diana & Charles
- The Breakfast Club
- Alex P. Keaton (c’mon, if he’s with the club by then, Gerbe could totally pull this one off)
- After watching his interview on NHL Network last night (during the goalie mask documentary), I have definitely moved Ken Dryden’s “The Game” to the top of my summer reading pile. It is coming with me to Michigan in two weeks. If the style of the book is as good as Dryden’t interview style, I’ll be very happy.
- And finally, Dilbert’s pointy-haired boss wants to blog. Oy.