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David Stern doesn’t like people booing LeBron

Jan 7, 2011, 1:15 PM EDT

Houston Rockets v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Every time he steps on the court in a road arena, LeBron James hears boos. That was to be expected in Cleveland. Everyone knew it was coming in cities such as New York where the fans wanted him and he chose to take his talents elsewhere.

But it has become more than that — James is hearing boos in every stop. He’s hearing them in restaurants. He’s hearing it from fans of teams that had no shot and didn’t even go after him. He has become a villain to many.

NBA Commissioner David Stern told Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports he’s no fan of those boos.

I don’t like it. I think that it’s theater. I don’t think he’s really viewed as a villain. I think people love to either love or boo the Yankees. You either loved or booed Kobe and the Lakers. People used to love or hate the old Celtics. I think it will morph into the Heat being one of our really elite teams. And people boo the elite teams when they come into town to beat up on the hometown team….

I don’t mind it if he’s booed in the context of the dominant team he’s playing for. I think that I’m not sure people know exactly what they’re booing. Are they booing because he left Cleveland? Certainly they’re doing that in Cleveland. Are they booing him because it took 18 minutes for “The Decision” to say where he was going? Yeah, probably. Are they booing him because he’s part of a team that people think is too strong for their home team to compete with? Probably more so. And that will fade, and then they’ll boo him because he’s a member of the high-performing Miami Heat.

In the wide-ranging interview, Stern also talked about LeBron’s comments on contraction, or the retraction of his comments on contraction, or whatever it is he wants us to think he said.

As soon as I saw that commentary, I said, “This young man is going to wish he hadn’t raised the subject,” and I felt badly for him.

Stern goes on to define the talk of contraction not really as an issue of talent — with 85 foreign-born players in the league the depth is there for the current 30 teams  — but rather a matter of economics. Can teams survive in some of the league’s smaller markets, and how much money should the larger market teams pay in revenue sharing to keep those teams afloat? That is an issue for the owners to hash out, but it is directly tied to the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations as well.

Maybe if we could boo the CBA negotiations, that is something Stern would be okay with.

  1. thestudiokida - Jan 7, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    I agree that people arent clear about why they hate LeBron now. They say he’s a heartless egomaniac but there are dozens of NBA players (who we dont hate) that fit that mould better than LeBron…and how well can we really know what he thinks/believes?

    There simply isnt solid evidence that LeBron is a good or terrible person and the real reason people are booing now is because they cheered for him the loudest before. We deluded ourselves into believing that LeBron was a saint and role model because he is such a spectacular athelete. Then he surprises us by acting selfishly and against our better judgment so we have no choice but to boo as loud as we once cheered.

    LBJ not a terrible human being but he’s also not very mature. Maybe we’ve opened our eyes now and can see that he thrives on praise and doesnt understand handle criticism well. Those things about him are unfortunate but LeBron James is still the best basketball player on the planet and those boos will become cheers again when we remember why we really loved him.

    • secdominance - Jan 7, 2011 at 3:57 PM

      how did he act selfishly?

  2. deiong - Jan 7, 2011 at 3:00 PM

    maybe we should boo stern for his hand in rigging games

  3. hashfest - Jan 7, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    LeBron IS a terrible human being

    • secdominance - Jan 7, 2011 at 3:57 PM

      yeah, all that charity work and taking care of his family is just a front

  4. frankvzappa - Jan 7, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    i hate LBJ because of that TV charade…i hate cleveland, but to do that to a loyal fanbase? he is just a huge douche, and admitting he wasnt good enough to win a championship by going to someone else’s team is just icing on the cake…

    • secdominance - Jan 7, 2011 at 4:00 PM

      loyal fanbase? if they’re burning your jersey because you left, how loyal could they have been? Was their loyalty contingent on Lebron performing at a Lebron-level in a Cleveland uniform? Where was this loyal fanbase BEFORE Lebron became a Cleveland Cavalier?

      Just go away and keep spewing the media narrative they’re pushing.

      • zackd2 - Jan 7, 2011 at 5:05 PM

        You’re serious? When LeBron was in Cleveland there wasn’t a whisper of criticism. Burning the jersey is a which-came-first; did they burn his jersey because they weren’t loyal or did they burn their jersey because the player they all adored since 18 was leaving their team (after winning 110+ games over the last two years) and ownership taking on and signing guys just to appease LeBron so he wouldn’t leave. Then he goes on national TV and makes a mockery of the situation and brings charity into it?

        Once he leaves it’s the whole “Akron doesn’t even like the Cavs, I was a Bulls fan growing up,” (He was also a Cowboys and Yankees fan…. let me guess he liked Duke basketball, USC football, and UCONN womens basketball too? NJ Devils for hockey? Patriots were his 2nd favorite football team? Lakers his 2nd favorite basketball team?)

  5. goforthanddie - Jan 7, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    If Stern doesn’t like it, maybe he should tell LeBum to shut his stupidhole. Even better, maybe Stern should shut HIS stupidhole so it doesn’t look like he’s playing favorites.

  6. thestudiokida - Jan 7, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Like everybody else, I can’t believe what he did with The Decision… but I really believe LeBron’s greatest crime is immaturity. The ubiquitous spotlight that once elevated him to international icon has now multiplied his immaturity to villainous levels.

    I was a huge fan of LeBron in Cleveland but I must admit that I didn’t see the signs. He handles the media well, but is notoriously silent when asked about his current teammates & coach… which has led to endless speculation that either he’s unhappy or the coach is doing a poor job. James has been a star athlete since middle school and now we have glimpsed the spoiled, attention-hungry kid beneath. My point is that he didn’t do anything violent or illegal, he didn’t make a mockery of his family by sleeping with porn stars… he’s just immature. That doesn’t excuse him from humiliating his former team on national television, but it doesn’t compare to what Tiger, Favre & Vick have done.

    Dwyane Wade has proven to be a true professional this year, especially when compared to James. He praises his coach and says he’s happy to play on Christmas for his fans, while James side-steps his coach and admits he’d rather do his own thing on Christmas. I hope that Wade wears off on James so we can all love him again, but he may never escape his spoiled inner-child.

  7. booemall - Jan 7, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    We’ll see how many people are left to boo after next years lock out

  8. ocgunslinger - Jan 7, 2011 at 5:14 PM

    One dope talking about another dope.

  9. willeyb296 - Jan 7, 2011 at 5:46 PM

    LEbron will be another Vince Carter in 3 years.. Mark my words.

  10. mrklutch - Jan 7, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Sounds like everyone wants some cheese with their wine.

  11. ogyu - Jan 7, 2011 at 7:15 PM

    One douchebag sticking up for another douchebag. Big surprise.

  12. secdominance - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:30 PM

    thanks for proving my point. no one was supporting the Cavs before Lebron got there. And to all the other people calling me a douchebag for pointing out how self-righteous everyone seems to be, if my comment wouldn’t get deleted, I would tell you all what you can do.

    If would involved a part of your anatomy screwing yourself it was long enough

    • lebronsinsecurity - Jan 8, 2011 at 10:25 AM

      A.) Why do you take negativity towards Lebron so personal?? B.) Why do you just assume that people that don’t like him have an affiliation with the Cavs?? C.) Stooping to the level of telling people to screw themselves for making a comment based on their own opinion is exactly the same level of immaturity that your boy Lebron keeps showing..

      Seriously though, I’m a huge Kobe guy.. Does that mean I get all bent out of shape and emotional when people say they can’t stand him or don’t like his attitude. absolutely not! Kobe’s kind of a pompous hard headed jerk at times..But I love him for that, to me Jordan was the same way.. But I also understand why some people absolutely hate him, so I can’t be all mad about it. Get upset when people say LBJ has no talent, that’s deserved since we all know he’s super talented.. Don’t get all mad when people just call it like they see it.. It’s not like it’s only a handful of people that don’t like him or his personality, it’s nearly half of all NBA fans..

  13. jayzus - Jan 7, 2011 at 10:36 PM

    Nice misleading headline.

    “I don’t mind it if he’s booed in the context of the dominant team he’s playing for.”

    and for the record I think he is absolutely right

  14. financetude - Jan 8, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    Who cares what Stern thinks?! Boo james if you want and for whatever reason you want. The guy is an egomaniac and feels he’s better than anyone anyway. Don’t shed any tears for him cause he ain’t shedding any for anyone other than himself.

  15. progress2011 - Jan 12, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    ahahahahaha….did you see the SCRUBS, Danny-BOY brought to Cleveland to play with LBJ ( as one writer said, to appease LBJ )….THE LAKERS BLEW THEM SCRUBS OUT BY 55 POINTS !!!!

    What this shows is that the entire Cleveland roster ( including Danny-BOY ) should be contracted out of the league ! LBJ wasted a 7 years in that hole !

    Without LBJ, those bums can’t beat a mediocre WNBA team !

    Unless one of the Cleveland ” loyal fans ” have a $1 Million to donate to the Boys and Girls Club of America…Keep your trap closed about ” The Decision ” !!!

    Oh, I forgot…the entire city of Cleveland gross only $1 Million a year ! LOL

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