Memo to LeBron James: Stick to basketball. Go ahead and enter dunk contests. Feel free to lead fast breaks and bury 3-pointers. You can even continue that silly pregame chalk-toss routine. Do anything you want on the basketball court. Just don't talk anymore.
Leave the philosophizing to Phil Jackson. Leave the NBA's business to David Stern. Leave the player commentary to Dwayne Wade and Ray Allen and other guys who can, you know, think, talk and make a lucid point.
Let's face it: James is not at his best with a microphone in his face. He should just stick to cliches — one game at a time, focus, execute the offense, etc. Because when he tries to go beyond that, he seems to have no clue what he's saying. He's Karl Malone all over again.
James was back in the business of talk and self-justification recently, and, as is usually the case when he opens his mouth these days, he had to explain himself later. We'll get to that, but first, let's listen to what James originally told ESPN:
"Hopefully the league can figure out one way where it can go back to the '80s where you had three or four All-Stars, three or four superstars on the same team," James told ESPN. "The league was great. It wasn't as watered down as it is (now)."
Does anyone see the irony here? It's pretty good, so I hope you didn't miss it.
Maybe it wouldn't be so "watered down" if a certain insecure superstar didn't feel compelled to team up with his rivals on another team because he couldn't persevere and make it work with his own team a la Jordan, Magic, Bird, Robinson, Wade and the rest of the guys with rings.
Cleveland — just to use one random example — wouldn't be languishing in last place with eight wins if a certain CHOSEN1 hadn't deserted them and taken his talents to South Beach to team up with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
Continuing, James told ESPN that he would like to see the league eliminate some teams so that the remaining teams could have more stars. Well, we think that's what he said, although he later said it isn't what he said, although actually it was what he said — if you follow.
Unless you use Bronbron "logic," it seems reasonable to assume that if James wants teams to have three or four superstars each, then some teams have got to go since superstars are in short supply. James was asked which teams would he want to eliminate — or "contract," as they call it now?
"Imagine if you take Kevin Love off Minnesota and add him to another team and you shrink the (league)," James answered. "Looking at some of the teams that aren't great, you take Brook Lopez (New Jersey) or you take Devin Harris (New Jersey) off these teams that aren't good right now and you add him to a team that could be really good. Not saying let's take New Jersey and let's take Minnesota out of the league. But hey, you guys are not stupid, I'm not stupid, it would be great for the league."
Hold that last thought. When the next day's headlines said James was advocating contraction, he turned into Bill Clinton while trying to explain himself.
"That's crazy, because I had no idea what the word 'contraction' meant before I saw it on the Internet," James said. "I never even mentioned that. That word never even came out of my mouth. I was just saying how the league was back in the '80s and how it could be good again. I never said, 'Let's take some of the teams out.' "
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