Doug Robinson: Still can't root for LeBron James

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  • BYU fan of the North usa, UT
    June 15, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    What a bad article! Doug, your comparisons are unfair and irrelevant. James handled the decision situation poorly, but that was due to bad advice by sponsors and a young kid. You can't fault him for wanting to go to a better job situation. Fault Pat Riley for building a team that was loaded, and for getting them all to take less money to play together. James is from Cleveland, and it was probably a tough decision to leave the town that all of his friends and family lived in and favorite team since childhood.The Cavs' owner is a horrible owner, and James saw that he was too cheap to give him any help. Jordan, Johnson, and Bird; all played with multiple hall of famers, who did James have? Johnson had Kareem, Wilkes,Cooper, Worthy, Green,.Bird had McHale, Johnson, Ainge, Walton, Parish, Jordan had Pippen, Kukoc, Rodman,Grant,Cartright, Purdue, Armstrong,and Longley. James had Mo Williams. Many people change jobs to work for more money , work for a better boss, or have co-workers that bring their careers to another level.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    June 12, 2014 12:21 p.m.

    I have to admit I root for San Antonio because by and large they developed their talents with the team that drafted them. Miami meanwhile is just a group of guys who have "taken their talents" to a convenient location to dominate the NBA.

  • BumperDogg Madison, WI
    June 11, 2014 7:07 p.m.

    I've always thought Lebron schemed his way into the championships rather than earned it. Look at the top paid NBA athletes: it was Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett all through the 2000s (while winning championships). In 97-98, MJ made more than TWICE as much as the #3 highest paid guy. These guys knew they were worth the money, and could still win championships making that much. Lebron knows he can't win, and has to take a huge pay cut to make it (he is the 9th highest paid NBA athlete, less than Pau Gasol, and $10 million less than Kobe). The economics are there -- Lebron isn't worth the big $, at least he doesn't believe he is.

  • Socal Coug San Diego, CA
    June 11, 2014 4:52 p.m.

    You are right on with most of your points. LeBron is not the competitor Magic, Bird, Jordan, Kobe, etc were. Really he wanted to be on a team with a couple of his buddies in "South Beach" that could carry the load.
    He is a great player that felt pressure to win championships as all the legends have before. He'd hate to have his legacy tarnished by not having rings. So he did take the easy way out.
    It's obvious there are some Utah fans on here that are anti-Jordan and anti-Kobe, for obvious reasons. But to bash them for having ego's and say that Karl didn't have one??? Please.

  • Jeremy234 SLC, UT
    June 11, 2014 4:48 p.m.

    How is Lebron putting together a dream team different than the Spurs putting together a dream team? What was the argument behind this article? That it's somehow bad to have multiple good players on a team? If the other teams don't like it, it's not the Heat's job to slow down and give them time to catch up.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 11, 2014 1:30 p.m.

    @truth in all its forms,
    So you're OK with SOME being "slaves" to the league... just not others? What happened to truth in ALL it's forms? Be consistent!

    It just seems consistent to me to have everybody in the draft (not just new players).

    When somebody wants to leave their team... they should go into a draft where all teams have a chance to get them (not just the richest teams).

    When a team wants to get rid of a player... they should put them in the draft. A team may want a veteran player instead of a new rookie... this would give them the chance to get them (without all the agents and money flying around).

    If it's good for rookies... why not for everybody?


    If we want small markets to compete in the league as more than farm-teams to teach new players and let them prove themselves and the best players move on to the elite teams... we need to make some changes.

    The season has become an almost unimportant warm-up competition for the elite teams, and the Playoffs are the real season (where the elite teams play).

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    June 11, 2014 1:27 p.m.

    Business move? Hmmmm.... I'm with Doug on this one. "Taking less money, to make a great business move... what's best for his family???? Let's see.... 5 million less from 20 million equals still... 3 squares and a place to sleep. Comparing us taking less money to do what we do versus them taking less works out differently for us... especially without the endorsements. Loyalty to money and self v.loyalty to team, fans and organization is the difference between the Heat and Spurs. You choose which one best represents integrity.

    It stinks to me. To me they have become a team that is fun to see lose. Sorry...Go Spurs! ( and anyone else that plays them for that matter.)

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 1:03 p.m.

    re: Fitness Freak

    [LeBron James has a "supersized big gulp" ego sized problem.]

    Sadly, James & his buddy Manziel are par for the course these days.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 11, 2014 12:35 p.m.

    Don't get me started....

    No question Lebron is the best player in the NBA. Ok that's settled. Now about the NBA in general and how it creates these mega-millionaires right out of high school. I stopped watching the NBA for the most part after Stockton retired. Today there seems to be more and more "LaBron's" who have nothing more than a high school education(which you can tell when they are interviewed after games) and yet they are built up to be these larger than life super stars which giant endorsement deals to go along with there 200 million in salary. It says something about America - how shallow and empty the culture is today - and how the younger crowd (age 18-28) tend to know everything about the LaBron's and the pop-stars but ZERO about the country they live in let alone it's history. Creating these uneducated mega stars is a dangerous game because it cheapens the things that really matter while wildly exagerating the value of a guy that can dunk the basketball. I guess this is why so many pro athletes go broke soon after their ball-skills leave them.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    June 11, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    So many issues here. One that stuck out like a sore thumb is that Jordan did not pick up Bird and Magic to make his team. Bosh and Wade are good, but they're not in the same stratosphere as Bird and Magic. Maybe more like Pippen and Horry. The equivalent to what he's stating would be LeBron somehow getting on a team with players like Kobe and Durant. Then we're getting closer (and I only mean closer) to your analogy.

    Additionally, Chicago and Cleveland aren't equivalent. Chicago is a large metropolitan area where players are happy to live--it always attracts talent. Cleveland? Not so much.

    Finally, I still don't get all the hate for this guy. He's a team player, he's never had issues off the court, he prioritizes family, and his level of arrogance will never reach the same orbit as Jordan (seriously, the guy used his hall of fame speech to call out some kid who made the basketball team ahead of him in high school).

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    June 11, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    @ 2 bits "Maybe free-agents should be put back through a free-agent draft, where the teams who need them can get them, instead of the teams with the most money that want to build an all-star team." I'm sorry but I want my free agents to be free, not slaves to the league.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    June 11, 2014 10:36 a.m.

    I've never been a LeBron James fan either. Not because of how he pushed to build the current team around him. There are other players in the league who have done similar things. I just can't stand his attitude that he is destined for greatness and everyone just needs to get out of his way or jump on his coat tails.

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    June 11, 2014 10:34 a.m.

    I am sorry Doug that Lebron wanted to play for a winning franchise like the heat and not the Utah jazz. It is to bad that a player would want to play for a winning team. I cant understand why any player would ever want to do that.

  • myvision7 Golden, CO
    June 11, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    The article is ridiculous. Agreed that the decision was a fiasco and not fair to the Cavaliers but he has since apologized for that and it did raise a lot of money for charity. If Pat Riley had masterminded those three getting together he would be lauded as GM of the century (much like Danny Ainge was when he got Allen and Garnett to play with Pierce) but because the players orchestrated it themselves they are circumventing the system? The fact is James realized you need more than one star to win a championship and it wasn't going to happen in Cleveland. Every team signs free agents hoping they will put them over the top. Why are you upset that it worked for them?

  • oddman ,
    June 11, 2014 9:33 a.m.

    Re: Brave Sir Robin

    If memory serves me correctly, his net went up exponentally because of the favorable tax treatment he could obtain in Florida. Essentially giving him a big raise. His income still doesn't match his enormous ego.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 11, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    Maybe free-agents should be put back through a free-agent draft, where the teams who need them can get them, instead of the teams with the most money that want to build an all-star team.

    LA is notorious for this (Miami has adopted the same strategy). The salary cap means nothing to them. They make more money from the playoff games and possibly winning the championship than they penalty for exceeding the salary cap. That penalty means nothing to them. The TV contract pays it. They make more than the penalty in a week of endorsement deals for their all-star players.

    The real thing that bothers me is... this league of normal teams vs the all-star teams in LA, NY, Chicago and Miami.... is just a business, not a sport. You win by throwing the most money around... not by equal teams and players playing the hardest when any given night any team could win.

  • Simpe Spectator St.George, UT
    June 11, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    I'm not a heat fan, but I completely disagree. Who are we to get mad at Lebron for doing what was best for him and his family? The world has such a negative view against his move. I don't see people freaking out at google for acquiring different assets/companies. Its a great business move. In economics you learn that merging is better for a company/individual. Tim Duncan missed a championship winning lay up last year and no one seemed to care. Lebron gets cramps and the whole world go bonkers. I think we are trying to judge a guy for doing whats best for him and his family. Doug (the writer of this article) I'm pretty sure at some point in time, you left a job you were at or made a hard decision to take your job with the Deseret News. Why? Because its what you thought would be best for you and your family. It would hopefully make you more money and lead to a successful career. Why let bitterness, spite, and jealousy get in the way of being happy for someone who made a good business move?

  • NumpDuck Madison, WI
    June 11, 2014 9:11 a.m.


    This is LeBron's 5th final. He's won two. He's the best in the world doing what he loves. He'll earn $500+ million before he's done. What have you done to make your opinion of him relevant?

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 11, 2014 8:48 a.m.

    A couple issues with this article.

    "James stacked the deck so he could win a championship." So what? He took less money so he could play on a better team. Have any of you ever left a job so you could work for a different company with more growth potential, better coworkers, better management, etc.? According to Doug Robinson this is wrong. According to Doug Robinson this is "stacking the deck."

    "Imagine picking your team on the playground and getting the first three picks; how fair is that?" This is a complete straw man argument. Of course this scenario isn't fair, but guess what? This isn't picking teams on the playground. This is the NBA. LeBron didn't break any rules...neither did the Heat. Everybody operated within the rules established by the NBA. The Heat (and LeBron) built their team through free agency, the draft, and the salary cap just like everyone else had the opportunity to do.

    I'm no Heat fan - far from it. But this article is the worst of the sour grapes.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    June 11, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    Don't I remember something about the "honorable" Spurs tanking the 1996, 1997 season to get a shot at drafting Duncan?

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    June 11, 2014 5:36 a.m.

    Lebron wants to play the villain card. And the league wants him to do it. He's like the Yankees to most basketball fans. Best thing for the league that could happen would be for him to lose this ring and then come back and win another. People would flock then to see who can beat him. You need someone powerful to root against, but they need to be vulnerable at times too. Almost everyone of course wants the Heat to lose. Go Spurs!

  • EPoint Roy, UT
    June 11, 2014 5:14 a.m.

    Guess'n Robinson doesn't like the Yankees either, as they purchase the best players with their bottomless payroll. I agree at least in part with Robinson, as a fan of the underdogs of the world. It probably has something to do with having been there, done that. Love the Spurs because of their team approach, as they have their stars, but play as a team, all 5 players can score, all play tough defense. The Star system works for me, as long as every player is considered a star, respected for his/her abilities and contributions.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:57 p.m.

    who ever score the most points wins. Popularity contest is not involved.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    June 10, 2014 7:44 p.m.

    Karl Malone had a small ego problem.

    Michael Jordan had a large ego problem.

    LeBron James has a "supersized big gulp" ego sized problem.

    I like good basketball, just NOT the egos that the multi-millionaires seem to have that go with their good basketball.

  • Samwise Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 10, 2014 7:30 p.m.

    I am not a LeBron fan, and found the whole "the decision" thing ridiculous. But I can't blame him for doing what was in his own self interest. There was nothing illegal or immoral in what he did. And why is it the "right way" to stay on the same team for their whole career and build a team with only players you drafted? Don't get me wrong, I respect stars who stay on the same team their whole career. And I suppose it is more the "traditional" way. But that does not make building a team through free agency wrong. Contracts run out. And when they do, players should do what is best for them.

    One more thing, the author should work on his analogy of Jordan not going after Magic Johnson and Larry Bird to join up with him, as it is not comparable given who James teamed up with.

    Larry Bird + Magic Johnson >> Dwayne Wade + Chris Bosh

    And don't forget that Jordan already had another legitimate all star (and future Hall of Famer and top 50 ever player) in Scottie Pippen as part of his supporting cast, making it less tempting to move elsewhere.

  • NT SomewhereIn, UT
    June 10, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    Amen, Doug.

    I must say that I do miss the good ole days (meant as open-ended and subjective).