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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. Anonymous - Aug 17, 2010 at 3:49 PM


  2. H25 - Aug 17, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    Did you make it past the 4th grade?

  3. Alex - Aug 17, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Oh, and further to the above, one last point. Like him or hate him, that doesn’t matter, he’s still gonna have fans. But anyone who agrees with/defends his conduct in his departure leading up to “The Decision” needs to question their own warped psyche

  4. John - Aug 17, 2010 at 4:50 PM

    His mommy told him that adversity brings out a persons true character. Like the adversity LeBron faced in every playoff and folded like a little bitch.

  5. Kim - Aug 17, 2010 at 4:55 PM

    Hey ‘LeQuitter’ – High School were some of the best times of your life? GROW UP! You’ll never be in the same league as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson. Go play ball with your homeboys!

  6. dave - Aug 17, 2010 at 5:18 PM

    thousand dollar suites in HS while Mom on welfare, latest cell phone, ride, etc. He needs to STFU.

  7. why_all_the_hate? - Aug 17, 2010 at 5:23 PM

    Think about this for a moment. This was never about Cleveland or Gilbert. LeBron is a kid that loved basketball and obviously has loyalty to his friends. In casting all the negative light on LeBron, no one has every really addressed the crux of what went wrong in his literal home. For years, he was the only figure in the world that Cleveland fans could trust. He made EVERYBODY money in that city. And the city assured him that he would always be KING. Nevertheless, because he was a kid, he did not realize that the Cleveland fans, Gilbert or anyone else, could not protect BOTH of the things that mean the world to LeBron: basketball and his mom. Sounds ridiculous (and yes, it is easy to say “he should grow up” and that “she is a grown woman”) but it does not change the fact that he dealt with his humiliation (a teammate sleeping with his mom) by becoming the humiliator (going on primetime just to tell all of CLeveland – I’M NOT HAPPY AT “HOME” ANYMORE). Hard to swallow, but truth is better swallowed in ounces anyway…

  8. Bob - Aug 17, 2010 at 5:24 PM

    “Moehringer doesn’t let we sports fans off the hook.”
    Doesn’t “Moehringer doesn’t let us sports fans off the hook” sound much better? It also has the advantage of being gramatically correct.

  9. Anonymous - Aug 17, 2010 at 5:30 PM

    Really? Because, to me, he came off as someone that is completely out of touch with reality. His view of the world is incredibly skewed.

  10. Anonymous - Aug 17, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    I am sick of reading about this dude. Getting to where I want to puke when I hear, see or read about him. ENOUGH ALREADY !!!!!!

  11. dwhat - Aug 17, 2010 at 5:49 PM

    Sounds to me like he has a lot of groming up to do, he may be a man physically but it seems like his attitude is that of a teen.

  12. Anonymous - Aug 17, 2010 at 6:00 PM


  13. Jack - Aug 17, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    Dear Lebron. Go away. Basketball has enough prima donnas.

  14. Celtics fan 4 Life - Aug 17, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    Who’s your daddy LeBron…you have to beat Shaq, Garnett, Pierce, Rondo, Allen, Robinson, Davis, and Wallace before you can even think about getting a ring…hahahahahaha
    Game 1 LeBron…in Boston….October 26…you will be 0-1
    Season ticket holder for 20 yrs…

  15. The Truth - Aug 17, 2010 at 6:23 PM

    I hope to see you on these forums after the Heat whip that ass on 10/26. Who cares if you are a season ticket holder, does that make you more knowledgeable? Thank your mom for hooking for the past 20 years and was able for you to get those tickets you ungrateful ass hole

  16. Get On with Your Life - Aug 17, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    LeBron is likely to do just fine in Miami. If he helps that team win a number of championships he will have plenty of individuals who will admire his basketball accomplishments. He made a calculated decision — trading the admiration that he already had for the hope that he can go to the next level and do what he could not do in Cleveland. That is certainly his perogative. It’s not personal, just business. However, by the same token, no one “owes” him any loyalty or appreciation, and he should not delude himself into thinking that he will be able recoup those intangibles that he has lost. In any event — in the scheme of things — this is just a small blip on the screen. In a country currently contending with financial woes, high unemployment, fellow citizens fighting for their lives overseas, etc., this just does not really matter or deserve the attention that it has received.

  17. Lemonverbeena - Aug 17, 2010 at 6:28 PM

    O M G, I can only hope LeBron gets his literacy coach to read all these posts to him, LMAO!!! Oh, and Jimmy Farlins Fan? Don’t you think you’re getting WAY ahead of yourself with your prediction, given the company these guys keep? You’re going to look like a big fat AZZ you dope.

  18. mrouprich - Aug 17, 2010 at 6:30 PM

    Never in the history of the NBA has a team won a championship with a Lebron James on the roster.That wont change next year.

  19. Lemonverbeena - Aug 17, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    Amen brotha… maybe she should practice what she preaches and be more of a granny instead of a hoochy cougar.

  20. jacklmeoff - Aug 17, 2010 at 6:37 PM

    lebron went to miami for the hot young boys on south beach, that is how he rolls.

  21. sanclementejedi - Aug 17, 2010 at 6:38 PM

    Im glad Delonte West banged his moms.

  22. bobotum - Aug 17, 2010 at 6:55 PM

    This bitch should get nut cancer and suffer to bring him back to reality…he has done nothing in 7 years,the only ring he has is the one around his ass hole.

  23. Anonymous - Aug 17, 2010 at 6:58 PM

    lebron got tired of sucking shaqs cock so he went to south beach………….

  24. sedfrty - Aug 17, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    his mother is a whore and he is a hated cock sucker all the $$$$ wont change facts.The whole Miami team is a sack of aids.

  25. combust - Aug 17, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    Cleveland doesn’t rock, it whines and cries. A trashy city with trashy fans (beer bottles thrown onto the field, remember that one Browns fans?). Gilbert was to busy trying to get his Casino passed by Ohio voters instead of getting LeBron a true sidekick and a team mentor. Indians, Browns, and now the Cavs, oh the tears will just on and on.

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