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One book that will not be a love letter to LeBron

Nov 16, 2010, 9:27 PM EDT

James_chalk Getty Images

Scott Raab of Esquire is harder on LeBron James than just about anyone – when it was announced that LeBron was nominated for the TIME Man of the Year award, he mentioned that Hitler was nominated for it once.

Or, you can get a feel for his take on James by reading this latest piece for Esquire about his trip to see James and the Heat play the Raptors, filled with Ahab and Moby Dick references. Or just follow Raab on twitter, where he called James “The whore of Akron.”

Now, as noted at Sports Illustrated (via TrueHoop), Raab is going to be writing a book that is a “meditation on Cleveland and loyalty and fanhood.” Yeah, we see where that is going. Here is what he told SI:

“I’m not looking for a showdown at the O.K. Corral,” Raab said. “To the extent that Twitter is a persona, that’s where the persona is. The only thing I really want to ask LeBron is what do you tell the kid who is growing up in Cleveland who loved you and felt he was part of something special because you were The Man? The whole idea of fanhood on the face of it is silly, but it is no less real. What he put the town through, I am very angry about.”

Say it ain’t so Joe. Er, LeBron.

Sports themes can be so cyclical.

  1. david8726 - Nov 17, 2010 at 2:07 AM

    There are a lot of things in this world worth getting really, really annoyed about. I’d like to think that sports isn’t one of them.

    I don’t think we’ve ever seen people expend so much energy being angry at a guy who’s worst crime is being an attention whore.

    RE – Sports loyalty.

    The whole concept of athletes being loyal to their franchises, to me, has always been a silly concept. That’s because the loyalty has never existed both ways. Owners and GMs are “loyal” to their star players only until they sustain a serious injury or their skills start to diminish. Then they are quick to kick them to the curb in favor of newer, healthier players who will help their bottom line more.

    It’s business, pure and simple.

    • hungrybear22 - Nov 17, 2010 at 4:26 AM

      Perhaps that is how it should be, just a business. But that’s not why we as fans watch. We watch because of our devotion to our favorite team or player. We savor every win, curse every loss, feel nostalgic as we look back on the growth of our favorite players when they retire. It’s the old battle between logic and emotion. Perhaps players should treat everything as a business, because that is in their best interest. But that’s not how the fans see, that’s not why we cheer for and sympathize with players making more money than we will ever see in our lives. To the fan, the little kid growing up, maybe Lebron doesn’t owe him anything, but when these guys do care about their fans, we recognize it and appreciate it all the same, and that’s why we elevate these guys into immortality.

    • 8dollarbeer - Nov 17, 2010 at 8:43 AM

      You can go wherever you want when you are a free agent. Just dont do it on national tv in the 12th hr and leave your old team hanging out to dry. Thats where the hate comes from. If you wanna sign somewhere else do it. But don’t job your old team and owner who bent over backwards to cater to you while you were a player for them. Just sign your new deal announce it on twitter or a press release and move on.

  2. hnirobert3 - Nov 17, 2010 at 7:52 AM

    I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with being upset about a player leaving a team, especially with the way that LBJ did it, but seriously… a book? A parody of the Nike commercial? Clevelanders have turned into that ex-girlfriend who got dumped for a hotter girl.

  3. secdominance - Nov 17, 2010 at 11:08 AM

    I’m so sick of all this Lebron James hate. Chris Bosh went on TV after he signed with the Heat and ESPN played that interview continuously. And the whole idea of loyalty? Lebron was a free agent. He fulfilled his contract and was under no obligation to anyone. He didn’t job the Cavaliers out. You’ll act like Dan Gilbert gave Lebron the only opportunity he had to play in the NBA. I don’t feel sorry for Dan Gilbert because he found out Lebron was leaving the same time I did. Lebron James doesn’t owe the Cavs anything. And if he did supposedly, when you put everything on the table and look at who did what for who, Gilbert owes Lebron James for making his franchise $200 million richer. Everyone hates Lebron because he did something high school athletes do every year by going on TV and announcing where he’s going to play?

    And how do you get behind an owner who believes the city is cursed? He got mad because Lebron didn’t add any input as to who the coach was going to be, but earlier said Lebron wouldn’t have any impact on who he hired.

    I thought you had to run a dog fighting operation or cheat on your wife hundreds of time to get this kind of backlash, but I guess going on TV and saying you’re going to play basketball somewhere else is in that class

    • lebronsinsecurity - Nov 17, 2010 at 1:05 PM

      I am amazed how some people still aren’t able to look at “the decision” objectively..Comparing the way Bosh handled his decision compared to how Lebron handled it, only makes Lebron look that much worse.. Yeah, I don’t agree with the whole “hate” part of it, but your flattering interpretation of how Lebron just did what every other athlete does is completely out of context.. There wouldn’t be any backlash if he just did what every other athlete does.. I don’t get the “hate” part of it, but I also don’t get how people will defend this guys obnoxious insecurities..

      • secdominance - Nov 17, 2010 at 3:11 PM

        I remember ESPN News teasing a Tyson Chandler press conference while he was in high school. He had his own “decision”. Better question: Who are you to say what’s the right way and how Lebron should have handled it? If Lebron would have sent out a press release and never took one step on tv in the process and the next time you saw him he was in a Heat jersey, everyone would say he sent out some fake press release and wasn’t man enough to show his face. People are mad he’s not filling the “typical” athlete role. Bosh didn’t give Toronto any warning. But Lebron…he should have gave the people of Cleveland, who only loved him as long as he was winning in a Cavs uniform, an advanced warning.

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