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LeBron "afraid" to leave Cleveland?

May 21, 2010, 2:43 PM EDT

lebron celtics game 5.pngLeBron James is hard to read because he has had a facade up for so long. So very long. Well before he became a pop culture figure whose name is tossed about in rap songs the bright lights were starting to find him. By his sophomore year in high school every serious basketball fan knew who he was. Reporters — not the local prep guy, national writers for places like Sports Illustrated — have been around him constantly since he became a teenager.

He started putting bricks in the wall early.

But some people have better luck at seeing what is on the other side of that wall than others. Scott Raab, a writer for Esquire, has been hanging around the Cavaliers for a year as part of writing a book. And he has no idea what happened to James in the Celtics series, or where he will play next year.

He did, however, have some interesting insights into James the person behind the wall.

This much I think I know: What Buzz Bissinger wrote in yesterday’s New York Times, about how maybe James is afraid to leave home — that’s truth. He needs structure and familiarity and stability and control, desperately. He’s a twenty-five-year-old kid from Akron, Ohio, forced from an early age to put on a brave face by his hapless mother. His number-one goal in life is not an NBA championship. It’s to protect her, and to protect himself. And I see no way for him to do that if he moves to New York City.

  1. Darryl - May 21, 2010 at 4:19 PM

    That’s the truth. The people around her give him his space and let him be, for the most part. I hope he keeps that in mind as he chooses.

  2. Don - May 21, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    Ahh yes, the old reverse psychology move.

  3. Rob - May 21, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    Kobe is the real King! Worrying about where LeBron is going is just trivial compared to Kobe and the Lakers marching towards, yet another, Championship.

  4. Bill-Sonora - May 21, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    You got that right, Rob. WHO CARES WHERE LEBRON GOES!!Write something about the 2010 playoffs! I didnt even read this article!

  5. Omnius - May 21, 2010 at 7:03 PM

    LeBoring James is merely the King of Choke and an overhyped media miscreation. Besides I doubt he’s ever listened to Pink Floyd’s awesome The Wall album. Stop making much ado about nobody media fools. Kobe is the real King of the NBA!

  6. Jimsjam33 - May 21, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    Lebron James didn’t have Pau Gasol playing with him this year ..Kobe did ! It’s a team game and the Lakers have the best team . James can’t win the NBA championship by himself . Kobe couldn’t …Ask Shaq !

  7. Jeffrey - May 21, 2010 at 7:18 PM

    I hope he goes to portland!! Insights at

  8. Craig W. - May 21, 2010 at 8:04 PM

    Ironic statement, yours. Of course Lebron also had Shaq this year.
    Nobody wins a championship by themselves, nobody! If anyone was able to do it, that would have been Wilt, but he didn’t come close.
    Lebron had quite a few pieces though! Of course they didn’t develop any real chemistry – the forgotten component of all championship teams.
    For all Lebron’s skills he still has to learn how to play with his team and not simply dominate it. Since he is closer to Magic than Jordan, he also needs a closer for him to get the ball to.

  9. jboi79 - May 21, 2010 at 8:29 PM

    Oh cmon, Shaq is 38 years old…and Pau is clearly the best offensive and most talented big man in the league. MJ-Pippen, Kobe-Shaq, LeBron-???

  10. jboi79 - May 21, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    Oh cmon, Shaq is 38 years old…and Pau is clearly the best offensive and most talented big man in the league. MJ-Pippen, Kobe-Shaq, LeBron-???

  11. Drake - May 21, 2010 at 10:06 PM

    All i can say is DELONTE WEST. Screw Lebron and keep screwing his momma…………….

  12. Will - May 22, 2010 at 11:22 AM

    dont make excuses for this man…his team had the best record the past two years…he got to the finals with a lesser team…when will the lebron ball huggers stop making making excuses…the buck stops with him…Now if he goes to a “better” team and loses what will the excuse be then…

  13. Haters - May 22, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    Name Lebron’s second scorer ? OH you can’t. Because nobody else on the cavs can score consistently.
    I love how you call it “ironic” that somebody mentions kobe-shaq.. like shaq is the same 6 years later and 50 pounds fatter?
    Get off Kobe’s balls that man would have never made it to finals maybe not even the playoffs with the team the Cavs had in 2007.

  14. lakerfan888 - May 25, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    Lebron should stay in cleveland. Its Dan Gilbert’s and Danny Ferry’s job to fine tune the team! Honestly, they have a solid team. They just need to have the right chemistry and the right coach. They need to trade for a very good sidekick for Lebron and Chris Bosh is the man. They need to unload Jamison, West, Mo williams.They also need a pass-first mentality of a point guard.

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