Archive for the ‘ Sports ’ Category

We are NOT Lebron…

Anybody who has been following the sports world even just moderately, knows that Lebron James is getting ready to become a free agent on July 1st. With other major NBA players like Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh becoming free agents as well, it promises to be a huge spectacle.

Originally this post was going to be about how pathetic the state of Ohio made themselves look by making their “We Are Lebron” video”. However it seems like someone realized how pitiful it made them look because “Break.com” the site that originally hosted the video has removed all instances of the clip and they’re aggressively keeping it off Youtube. Almost like it never happened…

It truly was pathetic. The video had Cleveland celebrities, local and state politicians all begging for Lebron to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers. The sang (off-key) about how they would name streets after him. Even if the video was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, the whole video made everyone involved look pathetic for kowtowing to a spoiled multi-millionaire who already has an ego the size of Jupiter. When the state of Ohio has a lot of real problems with their economy in the toilet, maybe this video isn’t the best idea. This may explain why the video has “disappeared” from the Internet.

But just when I thought sanity was returning, here comes Mayor Bloomberg of New York with is own Lebron video:

On the plus side, Mayor Bloomburg is the only one who humiliates himself and the rest of the clip comes off as a tourist promotional video of New York. Though I still wonder how long it will be before this clip gets taken down as well.

Ironically, most basketball fans could care less about the Lebron Circus right now because Lebron is already in the wrong place. While Kobe, Gasol, Garnett, and Rondo battle it out in the Finals for another championship ring, Lebron is sitting at home for the third straight year in June, once again failing to meet expectations.

These cities may want to keep that in mind before they debase themselves to get an ego-maniacal player who has yet to win anything beyond individual awards.

Advertisements

Ben Wallace – Traitors Welcome?

The story of NBA basketball player, Ben Wallace, reads like a made-for-TV movie. It’s inspirational. It has a person over-coming seemingly insurmountable odds to live the dream. But like many made-for-TV movies, it ends with a sour taste in your mouth.  TV movies never seem to get the 3rd and final act just right and you’re ultimately reminded why it’s just on TV.

So goes the career of Ben Wallace.

Ben wallace new image web

Most All-Star NBA players were scouted when they were just in high school and then get pampered all through college (if they even go). Ben Wallace didn’t get this star treatment and he had to scratch and claw to get in the NBA, and then to eventually become an All-Star.

Eventually it paid off in 2004, when Ben Wallace along with other talented but under-appreciated players like Richard Hamilton and Chauncy Billups won a NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons.

piston6

A couple of years later, the Pistons were still one of the best teams in the NBA, but couldn’t quite get over the hump to win their second championship. Ben Wallace was still the celebrated player in Detroit and considered the heart and soul of the team and even the franchise. But his contract was about to expire and instead of rewarding the team and the city that made him an All-Star, he ditched them and went with a lesser team (Chicago Bulls) that offered more money. 

He didn’t fare well in Chicago and then got traded to the Cleveland Cavilers. Injuries set him back even further and got traded again this summer. He was on the verge of retirement, but decided to come back and make a second run in Detroit, the city that made him famous.

Unfortunately, the Pistons are now a shell of their former selves. Players have left and there have been numerous coaching changes. The Pistons are basically in a rebuilding phase. Still, should Ben Wallace be welcomed back? He chose to get his big pay day over team and city loyalty. When he originally left Detroit, the difference wasn’t that big in the money the Pistons offered him compared to Chicago. The Pistons offered him 54 million, Chicago offered him 60 million. Not a very big difference I think. Not big enough to abandon the city and all its fans.

Ben Wallace isn’t the only one who’s done this. Many players in the past decade and a half have chased the biggest contract over team loyalty. In some ways I sympathize because basketball players have to make the majority of their money over a 7-12 year period that may have to last them for the rest of their life. However once we get into these big multi-million dollar contracts, I think that’s less of a concern unless they’re really bad with money.

The real problem the last 10-15 years is sports agents.

JerryMaguire

Sports agents get a cut of the athlete’s contract they help negotiate with teams. So obviously the bigger the contract, the more money the agents get. Yes they help the athlete’s get more money as well, but now it’s just been reduced to a bidding war, which the sports agents encourage. The agents could care less about team loyalty. The agents want the athletes to sign-up with any team that will offer the most money, regardless of the history they have with a team.

So while I’m not really thrilled to see Ben Wallace come back to Detroit, he may have been a victim of an aggressive sports agent when he originally left several years ago. Clearly his heart is still with the Pistons.