One day after he suggested LeBron James should sign with the Chicago Bulls, the NBA fined President Barack Obama $100,000 for violating the league’s anti-tampering rules.
During an interview with Marv Albert, the President said that Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah are, “a pretty good core” and then added: “You know, you could see LeBron fitting in pretty well there."That was all the NBA front office needed to hear, as they slapped the Commander In Chief with the same fine given to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who recently stated he will try to bring Lebron to Dallas.
“We want to remind everyone that no one is out of the NBA’s jurisdiction. If you go on the record about any player before July 1st, you are going to be fined," said Commissioner David Stern. "It doesn't matter what position you're in, even if it's perceived to be more powerful than mine."
This isn’t the first time an Administration has found itself in hot water with the world of professional sports. In 1962 the Kennedy Administration was slapped with a "cease and desist" notice by the NFL after organizing a Sunday game of two-hand touch football on the lawn of the White House,which directly coincided with a Redskins matchup. In 1997, President Clinton was fined by Nike after sporting a flag pin lapel instead of a pin with the Nike swoosh, per the conditions of a campaign donation. And in 2006, President George W. Bush was suspended for 50 games by Major League Baseball after testing positive for cocaine following the first pitch at the Nationals Opening Day game.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president hopes to speak with Commissioner Stern in hopes of avoiding the fine.
"I am sure they can come to a gentlemen's agreement," said Gibbs. "After all, the president did Commissioner Stern a favor last year and looked the other way when he used advance interrogation tactics on Tim Donaghy. No man should be forced to sit in a cell and answer questions from Craig Sager for 36 hours."
According to U.S. Department of Justice sources and those close to Lebron James camp, Lebron James will be broken up into several smaller corporations pursuant to the Sherman Antitrust Act. The agreement was reached when both parties agreed that the current structure and size of Lebron James was harmful to all involved.
Lebron James will be separated into six distinct corporations. Lebron James Global Marketing, Lebron James Entertainment, Lebron James Family, Lebron James Nike, Lebron James Basketball and Lebron James New York. As it was when Lebron James was a single entity, Lebron James Nike will remain the largest and most influential of the new businesses.
"Lebron James was never a true monopoly because monopolies crush opposition and Lebron James never actually won anything," said Michael Klein, lead negotiator for the U.S. government in the case. "But, it had grown so big it could not serve anyone's interests the NBA, the City of Cleveland, the public, Lebron James himself all were being harmed by size of Lebron James. This should fix that."
Lebron James himself, who will be allowed to decide which new Lebron James company he would like to lead, said the agreement relieves a lot of pressure.
"The days of corporations the size of Michael Jordan are over," he said. "We gave it a run, but it's a new world. I'm just happy to stay a part of one of these great companies."
James is reportedly deciding between taking the helm of Lebron James Global Marketing, Lebron James Nike or Lebron James New York.
"Running Lebron James New York is very tempting," said Lebron James. "It would be a new challenge. And I could grow the Lebron James brand there while Lebron James Basketball stays headquartered in Cleveland. Or moves elsewhere. Who knows. It's not my call anymore."
Lebron James Basketball will reportedly be headed by entertainer Jay-Z.
Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were eliminated in the 2nd round of the playoffs. And while Mr. James' stock may be down a bit, by no means is Cleveland ready to see him leave to New York, Chicago or anywhere else.
That's why they threw together this billboard campaign that's being rolled out across Cleveland today.
There are only six weeks until the start of the NBA free agency, and teams around the league are already chomping at the bit to offer a contract to Lebron James, easily one of the biggest failures and chokers in NBA history.
"Everyone knows, of course, that we will be offering Lebron a max deal," said Knicks head coach Mike D'Antoni. "This franchise will do everything it can to land Lebron James. We will stop at nothing to reach the second round of the playoffs."
James has been coy about his plans.
"I'm just really disappointed with the way this season ended," he said, following Cleveland's playoff elimination at the hands of the underdog Celtics. "I thought we could win a title. However, it is encouraging to hear that teams still want me to play for them. With how much heat I've been taking the last few days in the press, I was worried that wouldn't be the case. I was going to just take the league minimum from whoever would take me."
But some of James' suitors have said they will consider reducing their offers to him due to the fact that he is a complete and total loser.
"It is a concern," said Bulls GM Gar Forman. "Do you want to pay all that money to a worthless fk up like Lebron James? I mean, we're still offering him the max, of course. Because he's awesome. But it's unlikely we also make him majority owner."
“This is a long time coming,” said power forward Anderson Varejao, after it was announced on Tuesday that the Cleveland Cavaliers had been named Least Valuable Teammates for the first time in franchise history. “I think we deserved to win this more a year or two ago. In fact, I honestly thought we were somewhat valuable this year. But either way, it’s an honor.”
The Cavaliers won the Least Valuable Teammates in a landslide over Kevin Durant's Thunder teammates, Kobe Bryant’s Lakers and Dwight Howard's supporting cast on the Orlando Magic as the most worthless collection of schlubs in the NBA.
"I know not being valuable," said Cavaliers head coach Mike Brown. "And these guys are the best at it. I don't know what I'm doing, they don't know what they're doing together we are without any value at all. In a lot of ways, Lebron would probably be better off if he was the only one on the court in a Cavaliers jersey. It's often like one-against-nine out there."
But not everyone agreed with the vote.
“All due respect to the Cavaliers,” said Oklahoma City's Durant. “But I felt my teammates were far less valuable. I mean, Thabo Sefolosha plays significant minutes for my team. Thabo Sefolosha! He should be given the Least Valuable every year.”
Bryant stressed that his teammates proved their unmatched inadequacy by getting tested by an eighth seed in the first round of the playoffs.
“I had to personally drag their sorry asses into the next round,” said Wade. “LeBron didn’t have to do that. Heck, LeBron averaged more than eight assists per game in his series. That means he has people worth passing to. Must be nice. My shitty teammates were robbed.”
But James feels Least Valuable Teammates voters got it correct.
“I wish everyone could see what I see every day in practice,” said James. “I mean, these guys I’m stuck playing with really suck. A lot. I don’t think television properly conveys the degree to which guys like Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Jawad Williams and Anthony Parker are worthless stiffs. They are awful. And no offense to any of the other guys I haven’t mentioned by name. They also blow. This team’s success is 100-percent me. In fact, if it wasn’t for me, I bet we would never win a game. You know, now that I think about it, you could probably call me the most valuable player in the entire league. If only that was an award.”
The NFL free agency season kicked off at midnight on Friday without a salary cap and Lebron James has reportedly already received big-money offers from all 32 NFL teams.
"Lebron is our No. 1 priority," said Browns general manager Tom Heckert. "We don't want him to leave Cleveland and we are fortunately not constrained by a salary cap like the Cavaliers or teams in the NBA. We have the first opportunity to get him, and it's our intention to do that. Browns fans have been through too much. We owe them this."
James was an All-Ohio wide receiver at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, before quitting football after his junior year to focus on basketball. But it's not so much his accomplishments on the field that make him attractive to NFL teams.
"Think about it Tim Tebow is a good football player and he had a 38.5-inch vertical leap at the combine," said Raiders scout Mike McKinzie. "Lebron can jump even higher than that, so we're basically talking about what would have been a multiple Heisman winner. And who knows how fast he could run the 40. He has really long legs. Maybe 3.5 seconds? Maybe 2.5? Wow."
The Raiders have offered James the largest contract so far 15 years, $400 million, with all but the final year guaranteed but James' advisor, Maverick Carter, says the Cavaliers star will look for more than just money.
"Lebron knows the only thing missing on his resume is a ring," said Carter. "He wants to sign with an NFL team that can win a championship. So then he can also sign a basketball contract with the Knicks and lose for a ton of money and not feel bad about it."
In just the latest sign that Lebron James may not be committed to the City of Cleveland for the longterm, and that he is definitely not concerned about pandering to the city's residents, the superstar forward today denounced Cleveland's most famous and revered act: the Steamer.
"That sh-t is disgusting," James told reporters. "No pun intended. I've been here for six years, but sorry you won't get me near a Cleveland Steamer. I don't mean to offend anyone. But just the thought of it makes me sick. You people make me sick."
James' anti-Cleveland Steamer stance has many Cleveland fans terrified he is gone for good this summer when he becomes a free agent. In the past James has worn a Yankees hat to Cleveland Indians games and was linked to reports of a Nike shoe with the words "I Love New York" on it. Then this week he announced plans to change his number to No. 6 next season. And now this latest and most crushing statement.
"I think Lebron is 100-percent gone," said longtime Cavaliers season ticket holder Mike Blumpkins. "Would Tom Brady say he hates clam chowder or would Derek Jeter say he hates pizza? Would Kobe say he hates movies? Of course not. Those cities are known for those things and here in Cleveland we're known for our Steamers. Lebron knows that and I think he is just taking the first steps to emotionally separate himself from the fans here so he can leave more easily. Why else would he rip our beloved Steamers? They are amazing. They are everything Cleveland is about."
Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry said he doesn't feel Lebron's statement is anything to panic about, but admitted Cleveland's link to Steamers has hurt the team's ability to lure free agents in the past.
"That's the first thing players ask about when I talk to them about signing here," said Ferry. "They're worried about Steamers, about their prevalence in the city, about whether they'll have to participate. Although to some players it's actually a plus and enables us to sign them below market value."
Ferry stresses that there's no way to know Lebron's true intentions until he becomes a free agent in July.
"It's no use trying to read the tea leaves," he said. "We can't know what will happen. I would just encourage our fans to not panic. To just go on with their normal lives, dumping on their partner's chest. Cleveland Steamers have been here long before Lebron James, and they'll be here long after Lebron James. I know that gives me great peace."