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Jim Brown thinks LeBron James will leave because of treatment by fans

May 21, 2010, 9:40 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for LeBron_solo.jpgAnd in today’s edition of “a celebrity with no real inside information speaks out on LeBron James” we give you Jim Brown.

Brown — one of the greatest lacrosse players in the history of the sport, and he also played a little football — said he thinks LeBron is leaving Cleveland, as FanHouse reported.

The reason: The way the Cleveland fans are treating him.

“I think he’s gonna leave, and I think that the treatment that he’s getting right now is going to be the motivating factor,” Brown told a Baltimore radio station last weekend in an interview aired Tuesday.

“You know, it’s so unfortunate that a man that’s got so much would feel so bad right now because of what he couldn’t do. I think he’s being treated unfairly,” Brown said. “I think the expectations were too high, and I don’t think he’s gonna stay in Cleveland because of it. I think as one man, there’s only so much you can do, and for people to analyze you and to basically say humiliating things about you, when you’ve given all those things through the years to that franchise, I think it’s an atrocity.”

I don’t think the expectations were too high, and I think James himself set them. He wants a title. No doubt Jim Brown has an understanding of the psyche of Cleveland. However, whether or not he stays in Cleveland is a decision that should be based on a number of factors, including if he can win a title there. If he signs in Cleveland again, Cavs fans will have no problem with him.

  1. Kevin Lockett - May 21, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    I truly respect Jim Brown and I remembered how the fans treated Eatnerst Byner after “Teh Fumble”, which as diplorable. But in this circumstance, I think the fans truly love Lebron. But the fact is that it seem like didn;t care some games. Maybe he was hurt, maybe it was something else, but the fans saw a different Lebron james that they never seen before. I don’t think it is unfaitr to judge: Jordan went through, Magic, etc. No matter what city he’s in, if he doesn’t produce, he will get criticized that’s just the name of the game.
    Kevin Locktt

  2. Lion Woods - May 21, 2010 at 10:30 AM

    Jim Brown was a great football player and is now an old dude with an opinion. I think he makes a valid point regarding the treatment by Cleveland fans. They were expecting a championship. But it doesn’t work like that. Just because you want something doesn’t mean you will get it… Lebron reminds me of a young Micheal Jordan before he realized what it took to win the big games. Full of energy and athleticism… but it didn’t matter until he learned to make everyone around him a better player. Much like Kobe does on a nightly basis. Lebron is long gone. I’ve always thought that Lebron would leave for various reasons and one was the fact that Cleveland ain’t the place for championships.

  3. Sguy2130 - May 21, 2010 at 11:59 AM

    Jim Brown is a Cleveland great and will always be respected in C-town. That being said, he is WAY OFF base here. The fans have loved Lebron his entire career. The only thing that will change that is if he leaves Cleveland. Just because some drunk trailer park fans boo’ed him in ONE GAME shouldn’t negate the countless MVP chants and constant support he has gotten in the past. How about fans even buying billboard space to show their appreciation towards him. Idk where Brown is getting this from, but he generalizes a minority and makes it a majority. Get a clue on this one Jim.
    If Lebron leaves it’s on him squarely, don’t put it on the fans.

  4. jorge - May 21, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    Jim Brown is a Football player, right?
    He was also one of the greatest Lacrosse players in the history of the sport? And he played a little football? That is funny.
    And in today’s edition of “a celebrity with no real inside information speaks out on LeBron James” we give you Jim Brown.
    Brown — one of the greatest lacrosse players in the history of the sport, and he also played a little football — said he thinks LeBron is leaving Cleveland, as FanHouse reported.

  5. jorge - May 21, 2010 at 12:50 PM

    Wherever lebron goes, expectations and criticism will follow. Lebron never brought a championship to Cleveland, only “his” own titles. Maybe Lebron only cares about Lebron.
    I would love to see him in NY, where the town is bigger than he is (although our team is a sorry excuse for a professional franchise). I would pay to watch him play at MSG (where fans cheer for him and love him, even when he is killing the Knicks). If he wants to measure his Stock against his Yankees, maybe he will sign with NY.

  6. Stone Phoenix - May 21, 2010 at 12:52 PM

    Without a doubt, Jim Brown was the Lebron James of his era. In fact, Cleveland hasn’t had a sports star that garnered as much national attention as Lebron since Jim Brown retired. However, I do believe that Mr. Brown is wrong here. Lebron was the one that set the bar high. Lebron was the one that said the fans had nothing to worry about when asked about his elbow problems. I also disagree with the statement above that Cleveland isn’t a place for championships. Chicago never seemed like a place for a basketball championship before Michael Jordan came along. Without the correct balance of players and coaches, Miami would never have gotten their title win a few years ago. If Lebron leaves Cleveland, he will not necessarily increase his chances of winning a title. It would also be a very risky move considering he would be leaving an owner that has shown he’s willing to do WHATEVER he can in order to make the team better. If Lebron goes elsewhere, he’ll have to start from scratch building a team and then developing the chemistry. Right now, he has his own team. If he goes elsewhere, he’ll be a hired gun.

  7. cifey - May 21, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    Fans/(people in general) are tough bullies everywhere.
    When the karma turns against you it’s time to go,
    and try to keep expectations more realistic in the next place.

  8. vinnie - May 21, 2010 at 12:57 PM


  9. Doug - May 21, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    Ask Delonte West why Lebron is leaving. Maybe Jim Brown means his Cleveland teammates when he says disrespect.
    Jim Brown should just blame Delonte and the other player in the locker room.

  10. Graham - May 21, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    “…when you’ve given all those things through the years to that franchise…” I can understand some of Jim Brown’s sentiment, but King James has been paid tens of millions of dollars for what he’s “given” to the Cavs. That kind of salary is going to come with serious expectations under any circumstance.

  11. GREGG - May 21, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    i agee with vinnie JIMBO… you have a lot of nerve blaming the fans . if lebron pulled off that performence in new york like he did in the boston series he would have been run out of town in a new york minute …

  12. KBR - May 21, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    The fact that Jim Brown played for Cleveland nearly 50 years ago, and people there still react to what he says, tells the rest of us all we need to know about the state of professional sports in Cleveland.

  13. Pikes - May 21, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    King James will sign for 2 years with Cleveland

  14. Pikes - May 21, 2010 at 1:40 PM

    King James will sign for 2 years with Cleveland

  15. Frank_CA - May 21, 2010 at 1:56 PM

    Here’s another outsider (obviously) who has no clue regarding Jim Brown or the city of Cleveland and their demise for the past 40 years. Jim only played a little football because he only needed to play a little football to set records at the time many felt would never be broken. Take a look at his numbers (during the time) compared to the rest of the league. It fact, it took 2 or 3 times more games and time for them to fall. With that being said, and nothing else to prove after WINNING a title, why keep going? He retired before his body and mind was beaten with no apparent hope of repeating or obtaining another title any time soon. Anything past his point of retirement would be only individual accolade and not bring another title to the team or the city. LeBron understands this because he grew up and lived the disappointments of these earlier generations of fans and mediocre teams. Since Paul Brown left Cleveland, there has not been any ownership that I’ve seen committed to winning a “championship”. I knew nothing had changed when they let Kevin Garnett fly right over the city to Boston. To play with LeBron, I think he would have signed, since he went through the same scenario. Look at him now. He knows and so does Jim.

  16. Sean - May 21, 2010 at 1:59 PM

    Yeah – Why would fans care anything about what the best professional football player ever has to say?
    Oh wait – Maybe it has something to do with him being the best professional football player ever. Just a hunch!

  17. DK - May 21, 2010 at 2:01 PM

    I guess it’s totally unfair to blame fans. Fans were just asking for a good fight and they never got one.

  18. JagdPaul - May 21, 2010 at 2:04 PM

    If you think little ol Clevland can be tough on a player, if he goes to Chicago or New York and flops…. Wew.

  19. David - May 21, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    I was born in the Ohio Valley (Youngstown) and have been a Cav fan for years. I like this kid but I think we all and the media have put him in a tough position.
    He has been asking for help for years, who did they give him? Last year they gave him Shaq to keep Dwight Howard at bay, How much real help was Shaq?
    Now, everyone is stating that he gave up in 2 games? Well, it might be a little hard when every you look the media is reminding you that the guy that wants you to pass him the ball or not give lebron the ball is banging your mother!
    In away, he did set himself up also. Remember, he was doing that King James Church Commercial before he played a game. Nike was part of the problem here when you give an 18 year old kid that kind of loot and make it a media circus.
    If he stays, great. If he leaves, I’m not mad at him!

  20. Who Cares Anymore - May 21, 2010 at 2:10 PM

    Jim Brown is bitter for some reason. I’m not exactly clear why because he is treated pretty well in Cleveland.
    Let’s face it, Lebron had just about as opposite a performance as what he did against Detroit a couple years ago when he took over that game. Close ups on Lebron in Game six about halfway through the game showed the face of a kid that wasn’t there mentally. His mind was clearly on something else and I am sorry but when you are as great as you are and are getting paid as much as you are outside distractions should not affect you in a game of this magnitude. There wasn’t a sudden illness or death he was dealing with. I don’t care if his girlfriend broke up with him or if Delonte was really shagging his mother. It is the NBS playoffs and a chance to win the first championship for Cleveland in my 44 years of existence.
    In game five he just flat out gave up. Ran to the corner and didn’t even get involved. Again, he seemed distracted and almost looking to lose the game.
    The Cavs fans aren’t the reason LeBron is going to leave, LeBron is the reason LeBron is going to leave and I personally think he left before the season was over.
    The damn shame of it, next season is the first season since his rookie year that he won’t have played ball in the summer. Would have been nice to see how fresh he would look in the playoffs if he wasn’t playing ball 10 months out of the year. He is still only 25 years old.

  21. ME - May 21, 2010 at 2:15 PM

    If he thinks the Cleveland fans are bad, then there is NO WAY he should come to New York. And I say that as a proud Yankee fan, just say no Bron.

  22. tony henry - May 21, 2010 at 2:23 PM


  23. JB - May 21, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    Go to blazers, LeBron!! www . porkchopfactory. com

  24. Anonymous - May 21, 2010 at 2:44 PM

    Management in Cleveland has had 7 years to find the players to compliment Lebron so the Cavs can win a title. They don’t seem much closer now than they were last year or the year before that.
    Lebron knows that and he wants to WIN AT LEAST ONE RING and it sure doesn’t look like it’s going to happen in Cleveland. So he’ll probably leave.
    BTW – When Jerry Krause got to Chicago in 1986 Michael Jordan was there, no one else. 5 years later the Bulls went on a run of 6 titles in 8 years. Aside from Jordan every single one of the players and coaches on the team was brought to Chicago by Jerry Krause.
    In addition between 1991 – year of the 1st title – and 1998 – year of the last title, there was an 83% player turnover – 10 out of 12.
    Granted it doesn’t hurt if your remaining 17% are named Jordan and Pippen, but that is still an impressive accomplishment.

  25. edwardo - May 21, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    I am no fan of LBJ, his ego got him here, and now he has to deliver and so far he is not up to the job, BUT…… I have always said, and i live in Cleveland, that the town has had Superbowl teams, super bowel coaches, Superbowl players, Superbowl teams, owners etc…..BUT NO Superbowl! why? the only variable left is the fans and the media. They cannibalize the players , and in the end THEY want to get the H out of here!!!!!!

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