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LeBron may have chosen Miami to recreate high school. But he has no regrets.

Aug 17, 2010, 11:19 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for lebron_james_arty.jpgRegrets? Nope.

LeBron James is chronicled in the latest issue of GQ, by author J.R. Moehringer, who had the seats closest to ringside for the circus that was the Summer of LeBron. He has a lot of insights, he tries to answer the hardest questions.

Like, what would LeBron change if he had it to do over?

“Nothing at all,” he said.

Like “Why Miami?”

Moehringer thinks because playing with Wade and Bosh in a fun city is a way to replicate James’ high school experience, which he still says is some of the best times of his life. Moehringer gets into this more in a companion interview done at TrueHoop.

I agree with Buzz [Bissinger, who wrote James' last authorized book] that’s it’s dangerous to do pop psychologizing, but it seems to me that [James] has one formula for success in his life and that comes out of his high school experience…

He thrives, he’s happiest, he does his best when he is surrounded by friends. He just didn’t feel like that was happening in Cleveland. It seems pretty clear that Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh aren’t just the best talent he can surround himself with, but they’re a combination of talent and friends. He’s looking for camaraderie. That’s the formula that has worked for him — and the only one that has worked for him.

Moehringer paints a complex portrait (which is not fully available online, you need to buy the magazine). He talks about a man somewhat isolated from reality — a man surrounded by a layer of family, followed by a layer of friends, followed by a layer of Nike people. Moehringer said that in the room in Connecticut, where LeBron was to televise his decision, everyone had a sense of foreboding and that this was a bad idea — everyone except LeBron and his people. They didn’t get it.

How isolated did he seem from reality at times? The opening of the article says it all:

He can imagine, he says, playing for Cleveland again one day.

Did I hear him right? Cleveland?

“If there was an opportunity for me to return,” he says, “and those fans welcome me back, that’d be a great story.”

Cleveland…Ohio? Where fans at this very moment are burning his jerseys? Where fans are selling toilet paper made from his jerseys?

“Maybe the ones burning my jersey,” he says, “were never LeBron fans anyway.”

This is a fantastic bit of writing, and like all great writing it ads nuance and shades of gray to what has been painted in black-and-white terms so many places. LeBron does not come off as a bad person or a stooge, he comes off as someone who thought it through and made his decision. Someone very comfortable with that decision.

He says that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s post-decision rant only reinforced the feeling he made the right decision, as James himself said in GQ:

“I don’t think he ever cared about LeBron. My mother always told me: ‘You will see the light of people when they hit adversity. You’ll get a good sense of their character.’ Me and my family have seen the character of that man.” He went on to say that Gilbert’s post-Decision screed “made me feel more comfortable that I made the right decision.”

Moehringer doesn’t let we sports fans off the hook. We are to blame in part for this. Complain about ESPN’s “The Decision” all you want, large numbers tuned in to watch. As he gets into during his TrueHoop interview, Moehringer notes we complain about athletes acting narcissistically, then we tune in to watch them in big numbers. We are fascinated. We do it with Brett Favre. We do it with Tiger.

And when the ratings numbers start up again on Oct. 26, you can bet we will see record numbers tune in to watch LeBron again.  

  1. Mike - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:27 PM

    Did Lebron’s quote in GQ say “I don’t think he ever cared about LeBron”? Damn, why does he have to refer to himself in the third-person. THAT is the reason people have turned on him. His isolation and the whole coronation of “King James” thing (despite not winning anything yet) is the primary reason people have turned on him. When he was in Cleveland, toiling on a franchise on the brink of greatness, most were willing to excuse the excesses and self-worship becaue LeBron was putting in work in Cleveland.
    Had he made the decision he had without the fanfare, Cleveland would have been disappointed, but basketball fans as a hwole wouldn’t think he’s such a douchebag. However, because of that, people are actively rooting against the Heat. I believe he’s still young and will take a wait and see attitude, but LeBron would serve him self well to shed the sycophants…and stop the damn third-person self-references. That is the very definition of being a douche.

  2. Mike - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:29 PM

    Did Lebron’s quote in GQ say “I don’t think he ever cared about LeBron”? Damn, why does he have to refer to himself in the third-person. THAT is the reason people have turned on him. His isolation and the whole coronation of “King James” thing (despite not winning anything yet) is the primary reason people have turned on him. When he was in Cleveland, toiling on a franchise on the brink of greatness, most were willing to excuse the excesses and self-worship becaue LeBron was putting in work in Cleveland.
    Had he made the decision he had without the fanfare, Cleveland would have been disappointed, but basketball fans as a hwole wouldn’t think he’s such a douchebag. However, because of that, people are actively rooting against the Heat. I believe he’s still young and will take a wait and see attitude, but LeBron would serve him self well to shed the sycophants…and stop the damn third-person self-references. That is the very definition of being a douche.

  3. steve - Aug 17, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    his mom was right. with adversity you really see the true light of a person. i imagine she is also talking about her son.everybody got to see the true lebron with the way he handled the decision with no sensitivity towards cavs or gilbert. he seemed to enjoy sticking it to them. we all got to see the true character of the man lebron, which is not pretty. you cant have it both ways mommy. your son has to answer to same standards as everyone else. i know you dont want to believe it but he is not a king or a god. how arrogant can one be to now say he can see himself playing in cleveland again some day. in his world its only about him. mom you did a great job with your son.

  4. Jim "Bob" - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    LaaBrim is an low class idiot and loser who would never match the status of Jordan, Bird or Magic….

  5. Dustin - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    Jordan, Magic, and Bird. North Carolina, Michigan State, and Indiana State. Those greats took it upon themselves to mature in the college ranks. Lebrons high school days have been his fondest, whatever if you ask any 25 or 26 year old they’d probably come up with the same answer especially if they were pampered and adored by all their so called “friends”. People talk about him like he’s some sort of proven adult, regarding his recent activity (twitter, “the descision”, etc.) I’d say he’s got a lot of growing up to do.

  6. ron - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:47 PM

    we are to blame for the decision show is a stupid statement. just becuase fans watched it does not make it our fault. he was going to do the show no matter who watched. it still mkes him a complete arrogant, narcisstic douchebag even if fans are fascinated with it.he chose his path to be dick, now he will live with it. he cant even talk about himself without using third person references. the guy could end up being the biggest jerk in sports ever.oh and by the way if you stab somebody in the back like he did to gilbert he is not going to thank you and kiss your ass anymore. what a complete moron this man CHILD is.

  7. johnmaine - Aug 17, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    J.R. Moehringer, author of the LeBron James GQ piece, was interviewed & has some FASCINATING things to say. http://bit.ly/dhV8Pi

  8. t-gunn - Aug 17, 2010 at 2:20 PM

    Mike, you are spot on. Can’t say it any better. LeBron is a sham, hasn’t won a damn thing yet. All the third party bullsh*t and me and my family bullsh*t, is just that – bullsh*t. Go out and win something first son. No one in Cleveland is going to want you back, so you can quit with that pipedream.

  9. Sal - Aug 17, 2010 at 2:22 PM

    Oh, Baby LeBron misses High School, you know that magical place were kids don’t really have a brain. He talks about his mommy every time he needs some body to wipe his a$$. He doesn’t see anything wrong with the heartless approach to move on to greener pastures. We get it LeBron that you don’t get it. Mommy says is ok for me to have children out of wedlock. Mommy says is ok to stab people in the heart, mommy says is ok that if you can’t handle being the man, to go buy some new friends and try to buy a title. Mommy says is ok to take my ball home if leBron is getting his ass kicked by better talent. Hey LeBron, Mommy can’t make you make shots when your team needs them in the clutch. I get the feeling Wade is gonna do a lot of baby seating.

  10. mclovin - Aug 17, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    everyone has something to say about the decision he made to go to miami. 1st nba is a business ,its a job. if your were working for
    a company and your there best employee what happens when you tell them your going to quit . your boss will react the same way 2nd the havent won one game yet (remember the 2004 lakers ) 3rd in the nba its about championships not individuals stats . micheal jordan
    will go down as the greatest player of all time because he understood he has to make teamates better . every nba team that has won a championship has had a side kick or 2 (lakers kobe and shaq, jordan and pippen duncan and genobili, hakeem and clyde
    magic and worthy / bird and mchale .everyone is upset at lebron
    but if u want to win u will have to have a little help. he made the right choice .

  11. saveahoe11 - Aug 17, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    Lebron has made himself into one of the biggest jokes ever. First and foremost Cleveland is over it Lebron. You hear no stories coming out from here that have anythign to do with him. The only stories about Lebron coming out are these ridiculous puff pieces he is using as spin. Gilbert obviously never cared about you, he only gave your boys jobs, bent to your every wish, and offered to make you rich. Yeah that guy really can’t stand you Lebron. The third person speak has got to stop. You only make yourself look like an absoulte moron who has his head jammed up his a$$. This whole Akron/Cleveland divide is a way for Lebron to spin how he screwed the whole region. There are cavs fans in Akron before Lebron and there will be after. For Lebron to be so dillusional to think everyone in N.East Ohio is a Lebron fan and not a cavs fan is so ridiculous. Dont ever come back to Cleveland because Im sure there will be people here who hate for the rest of your life…

  12. banner18 - Aug 17, 2010 at 2:24 PM

    No LeBron, you displayed your true colors on July 8.

  13. rohn g - Aug 17, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    LeBron is right. The people in Cleveland weren’t ‘LeBron fans’ they were Cavs fans. Basketball is a team sport. Does he think the fans in Miami will cheer for him because he’s a good person? They know he’s a lowlife scum (see The Decision) but he can shoot, so they’ll cheer as long as he wears the uniform. Blow out you knee or quit the game and see how many “LeBron fans’ you’ll find.
    We all hate you, LeBron. Just shut up and play basketball. It’s all you’re good for.

  14. Cavs fans - Aug 17, 2010 at 2:26 PM

    What a choad.

  15. Miami HEAT for the win - Aug 17, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    HATERS!!!! LOL

  16. saveahoe11 - Aug 17, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    Frontrunner

  17. so_what - Aug 17, 2010 at 2:58 PM

    Lets just wait until the season starts and see what happens. The guy plays basketball he is not king of anything…the people who have made him king can’t seem to get over it!!!

  18. so_what - Aug 17, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    You sound a little sad that Lebron is gone……it’s ok just wish upon a star that Gilbert will bring a NBA National Championship to Cleveland..hahahahahahahahahahaha

  19. Peter Heath - Aug 17, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    The owner payed him what over 70 million, who cares if he likes you or not. Isn’t that what he is paying his minions to do.
    Good lord, grow up. The more he speaks the more he separates himself from the truly great ones. Is anyone except for his high school buddies giving any PR advice?

  20. Alex - Aug 17, 2010 at 3:11 PM

    Man, do people just not get it? Who cares whether he made the right decision choosing to join Wade & Co. in Miami or whether he should have stayed in Cleveland. Who cares how many (if any) championships he wins. That’s not what it’s all about. For the record, the guys who make the point about the NBA being a business and LeBron making a business decision, I agree with you. You’re right. However, that fact does not in any way make LeBron less of a massive douche and a person who is clearly disconnected from any sense of adulthood and common sense. Because if you were going to leave a job to transfer to a company where you feel the culture would make you more successful, you do it with at worst a moderate fanfare and respectful, courteous notice to your employer. You do not stage “The Decision” like an insecure prima donna, lapping up the sycophants and faux adulation he so desperately seems to need. The way LeBron approached his choice and announced it to the world is what makes him such a huge jackass, it has nothing to do with his ultimate choice itself.

  21. Charlie - Aug 17, 2010 at 3:22 PM

    Maybe Lebrons mom should try not sleeping with his teammates and stay home and be a grandma.

  22. LA FOR LIFE - Aug 17, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    Ain’t no one hating you “front runner”!!!

  23. rohn g. - Aug 17, 2010 at 3:30 PM

    I sound sad? Why would a Celtics fan be upset that the Cavs just got blown up because a punk player like LeBron wants to play for Dwayne Wade and not against him? The Heat can’t survive a playoff run any more than the Cavs could. When DWade goes down like he does every year or when LeBron blows out his knee crab-dribbling to his 45th point against the Clippers, the Heat drop to a below .500 team.
    Good luck running the court with big Z. I’m sure he’s even faster than he was last year…
    Seriously though, when the things got tough in Cleveland, LeBron always pouted and collapsed. It will happen in Miami too.
    That’s why everybody hates LeBron. Everybody does! He used to be funny in the commercials and now we all hate him and hope he fails.
    Oh Well!

  24. rohn g. - Aug 17, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    I’m sorry I upset you, little guy.

  25. Jimmy Marlins Fan - Aug 17, 2010 at 3:42 PM

    and the haters come out drinkin that jim jones haterade
    if the lakers can keep the finals under 6 games agains the heat…then they will have really accomplished something
    and for all the haters…you hate lebron and wade this much now…just wait until that 4th or 5th ring

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