Blog Entry

Miami Heat ban LeBron-bashing Cleveland writer

Posted on: November 16, 2010 4:28 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:48 pm
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The Miami Heat have informed a Cleveland-based writer that he is no longer welcome to cover the team on a media credential. Posted by Ben Golliver miami-heat-stroke

Scott Raab is a writer for Esquire magazine who has been covering the Miami Heat and, specifically, LeBron James' decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to join the Heat this past summer. Raab writes on Esquire.com that he has received an email from the Heat's head of media relations stating that he is "no longer welcome" at Miami's American Airlines Arena and that he "will not be credentialed" for Heat games.

Raab believes the measure has been taken in response to a post he wrote on Monday, in which he used some naughty language to describe James. Raab is in the process of writing a book about James' decision to leave the Cavaliers and, earlier this summer, he chronicled the run-up to the free agency period in a series of posts for Deadspin.com. In an obsessive twist to the story, Raab says he plans to test the language of the email -- the part about how he's no longer welcome in American Airlines Arena -- by purchasing tickets as a fan to two games later this week.
The Heat play Wednesday and Friday; I plan to attend both games as a civilian with a ticket in hand — God knows there are plenty of tickets to be had — and it's probably too late to buy a LeBron James mask. If I'm lucky, I might be the first fan in NBA history to be tossed out of an arena for writing.
Raab is not the first writer to go on a martyr mission, and he won't be the last. If this was a story about any other player or any other franchise, the general response would be to roll our eyes and dismiss Raab as a guy who has gone a step and a half too far.  But this is LeBron and this is the Heat, so forget all that. Instead, we'll collectively root for Raab to create the biggest spectacle possible, hopefully getting himself forcibly removed from American Airlines Arena by security and/or LeBron James himself.  You go! Stick it to them! Prove your point, Mr. Raab! (Whatever that might be.) As for the Heat, it's just one more crack in the thin-skinned armor. The organization needs to come to grips with the fact that they'll be fighting a losing battle with the media until the LeBron James / Dwyane Wade / Chris Bosh group wins an NBA championship. Antagonizing, blaming or banning reporters is only going to make that battle bloodier.  Write your history by winning on the court, not by excluding independent voices from the locker room.  Hat tip: The Basketball Jones.
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Comments

Since: Apr 20, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2010 7:55 pm
 

Miami Heat ban LeBron-bashing Cleveland writer

Got ya, good for Danny though on getting signed to a quality organization like the Spurs though.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2010 7:16 pm
 

Miami Heat ban LeBron-bashing Cleveland writer

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Spurs fan.  I just kind of liked the kid in college - he didn't stand out in any area, but looked like he had the potential to become a shutdown wing defender.  I'd forgotten all about him until I saw the Spurs signed him.

From a guy who just likes to watch good basketball, good luck to the Cavs.....and the Heat.  Cavs would be a nice story if they can approach .500 and if the Heat can shore up their weaknesses I'd love to see the talent displayed in a Heat-Lakers finale.



Since: Apr 20, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2010 6:36 pm
 

Miami Heat ban LeBron-bashing Cleveland writer

Danny is a very athletic guy, I think you will like him, and I am happy for him.  Unfortunately he just didn't get the minutes for the Cavaliers, but he should help out the Spurs.



Since: Apr 20, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2010 6:34 pm
 

Miami Heat ban LeBron-bashing Cleveland writer

That's okay, I have a complete bias against Lebron now....LOL But honestly, I like Mo, but he isn't perfect by any means.  What some people seem to forget is when people say Lebron didn't have anyone around him, Lebron is the one who asked for some of these guys.  He wanted Mo, he wanted Jamison, he wanted Shaq, so what does that say about Lebron's willingness to win in the first place?  I think they had the overall talent, but at the end of the day, the players and coaches relied on him too much in the postseason.  So alot of teams relied on him to score or have the ball and unfortunately, the coaching staff didn't adjust.

But in regards to Mo, he is a good player, nothing fantastic, but good.  Yes, he can be streaky, but right now when he is on the court, he is the glue that holds everything together.  He has been hurt this season so far, but when he does play. he has played very well, and has emerged as one of the many leaders the Cavaliers are going to have to have.  J.J. Hickson is the man who can easily become THE MAN so far.  He has the potential of a double double every single night.  And he has shown so much intensity in such a short season so far.  Again, I am not saying by any means the Cavs will win 66 games again this season, but they will win more games this year than what alot of people thought going in and one reason why is the coach we have now, Byron Scott.  Chris Paul told Lebron he should play for Byron, he could have made him better.  That might be far fetched, but he surely knows what it is like to win multiple rings, and be a factor like he was for the Lakers so many years.  New Orleans made a big mistake getting rid of him early last season, despite their hot start to the year.  Verajao isn't a starter, but he still has contributed for the Cavs and for now, he is the force in the post, but J.J. is learning how to do that too, so watch out for him.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2010 5:55 pm
 

Miami Heat ban LeBron-bashing Cleveland writer

BTW, what did you think of Danny Green?  I saw the Spurs just signed him and am just curious.  At UNC he reminded me of a poor man's Shane Battier, but he seemed to finish his college career as the same guy who started it.  Just wondering.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2010 5:39 pm
 

Miami Heat ban LeBron-bashing Cleveland writer

But I was talking about the Chauncey Billups era where they had 5 solid starters in the lineup and a good bench helping out.

Excellent example of one way to win a title.  I'd completely forgotten about that team.  Unfortunately, when I watched the Cavs play in the last few years, I didn't see anything resembling the Pistons, but at least now I get where you're coming from.  The Pistons had low post scoring and defense, awesome guard play in Hamilton and Billups (a little sad to watch them now), and some shut-down defenders.  As you said, they had five solid starters and a solid bench.  In the past I'd look at the Cavs and wonder if they had any player besides James who would start for most playoff teams.  I'm not trying to slam them - they played hard and played solid defense.  They just didn't have reliable offensive options outside of James, who's offensive game is too streaky to be relied on every single night. 
I have to admit one bias here - I can't stand the way Mo Williams plays.  There are several guys like him - guys like Flip Murray who need to dominate the ball like a point guard, but play like a shooting guard.  Guys like that can look great against lower competition and will have a big game now and then, but should really be bench guys who the coach can take a chance on when then need a spark.  When I look at that roster I see JJ Hickson and a bunch of guys who would be great bench players.  What team wouldn't like Varejao coming into board and frustrate the opposing big guys?  Daniel Gibson is a nice 4th guard doing his best with starter minutes.  Ramon Sessions' offensive style looks way too much like Williams' for me to be a fan.  But I know that's my own bias about playing style.  Anthony Parker?  Leon Powe?  Hey, I love Powe's game when healthy, so I'm not trying to slam guys - I just think they are nice complementary players on a really good team, but not talented enough as a nucleus. 

I think you're right - James needs to embrace winners more than his entourage.  Learn from those who've gone before him and demonstrate some humility and determination - qualities that help guys trust their teammate.



Since: Apr 20, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2010 4:59 pm
 

Miami Heat ban LeBron-bashing Cleveland writer

When I brought up Detroit, I wasn't referring to the Isiah Thomas era, although that mold fits too.  They were All-Stars, but they weren't true superstars, at least not until they won their first title.  But I was talking about the Chauncey Billups era where they had 5 solid starters in the lineup and a good bench helping out.  I am not by any means saying Cleveland is like Detroit, but what I am saying is Cleveland's talent is better than what anyone thinks they are.  The strength to the team is their bench.  Daniel Gibson, if healthy has a chance to be the 6th man of th year.  Wiuld he get it?  Maybe not, but he certainly would get consideration.

Also, when I say a player or team doesn't have heart, I am referring to when after Thursday night, the Heat lost to the Celtics and Lebron put some of that blame to playing 44 minutes.  Again, why say that?  The truth is Lebron, Bosh, and even Dwayne Wade do not know what it truly is like to win a championship.  Maybe Lebron should ask Magic?  Call Larry Bird on the phone, ask him for advice on what he has to do to assure his team a chance at winning?  Again, swallow some pride, don't put the coach under the bus, and ask for advice.  All it takes is to win one championship, and the rest will fall into place.



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2010 3:48 pm
 

Miami Heat ban LeBron-bashing Cleveland writer

So what makes anyone think the Heat would have a better shot at winning a championship then what the Cavs had done over the last 3 seasons? 

Optimism?  The hope that they'll acquire some depth and that the two can mesh their extreme talents?  That Bosh can adjust to his role as the #3? 

Personally, I think they have a better chance that Cleveland did, but I still consider it a longshot. The Heat have obvious holes that have to be addressed somehow.  And I'm curious to see whether Riley will be blackballed by other GMs in the trading game for getting the two biggest names in free agency.  The Heat aren't close to the highest payroll in the league, and I assume they'll be looking to add depth as the playoffs get closer.  Whether they do or not remains to be seen.

With regard to the Wade and Bosh have one ring between them comment, I think that's the kind of thing people reach for when they're trying to justify their stance.  I can't imagine any player who would have won a ring in Toronto with the guys Bosh had around him.  So I think that's irrelevant.  I think very few players could have won a championship in Miami with Wade's supporting cast.  In the one year it was even realistic he got it done.

You say "average talent" can get you so far, but look at what it did for the Detroit Pistons.  They didn't have a major superstar, but they relied on defense, teammwork, and true heart.  And that is something Miami lacks right now, wouldn't you agree with that?

I thought about Detroit, but I don't think they had average talent at all.  I think they were incredibly talented, just not flashy.  They did have a Hall of Famer in Thomas, a borderline HoF guy in Rodman, a reliable scorer in Mark Aguirre, and a six time all-star in Joe Dumars.  And that doesn't include an excellent coach.  There's no question the Pistons championship teams were defensive oriented, but the also had stars - guys whose talent would have had them excelling anywhere they had the opportunity.  It was also 20 years ago, and I'm not sure the game is the same today.

Yeah, I think after the first ten games Miami would like to see more consistent defense (they've had excellent games like Orlando, then totally sucked in others).  I'm not sure teamwork on offense is an issue - players appear to be playing within the offense and unselfishly - but teamwork is critical on defense, and they've got work to do.  True heart?  I don't know how you define that, or how you prove it in a few regular season games.  Are they clanking free throws in the last minute of games?  Are they faking injuries in crunch time because they're scared to make mistakes?  I haven't seen anything that say's they don't have heart, but that's really a subjective thing.  I do think the next 30 games will give more insight into their "heart" - they're facing adversity now because they're not running away from the competition like so many people ridiculously predicted. 



Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: November 17, 2010 3:28 pm
 

Miami Heat ban LeBron-bashing Cleveland writer

Why should he care what a journalist has to say? 

I tend to agree, but this seems to be a lot less about caring what the guy has to say than accomodating him.  The guy has made it obvious by his tweets that he's hell-bent on character assassination.  If you were this guy's target, would you help him do that to you?  If Raab wants the accomodations afforded some professional writers, he probably needs to act like one.  He even said he had no delusions that he'd ever get an interview with James - he's just trying to stir up interest in his "I Love Cleveland" book that he's writing.  The guy has a Chief Wahoo tatoo on his arm, professes to live and die with Cleveland sports, and has a grudge against James.  You read his quotes and its obvious he's not looking to information to present a multi-faceted story.  He essentially said he wants to confront James over crushing the dreams of little Cleveland children.  I'd keep him away too.  I don't see what good can come from that situation.  Maybe its pride like you suggest.  On the other hand, maybe its just sound thinking.



Since: Apr 20, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2010 3:22 pm
 

Miami Heat ban LeBron-bashing Cleveland writer

The reason I bring up Wade and Bosh to you is because I have heard the same routine from just about every fan, the Cavs didn't have "talent" they could never win a championship, blah blah blah blah.  For everything that Wade and Bosh does do well in, again combined between the 3 players, they have 1 ring between them.  So what makes anyone think the Heat would have a better shot at winning a championship then what the Cavs had done over the last 3 seasons? 

From what I have seen from James so far is the same Lebron.  Again, he is blessed with amazing talent, but he doesn't know how to win.  He doesn't have that piece in his heart that he will do whatever it takes to win.  He's fun to watch in the season, but as history has shown us, something will happen in the postseason.  Now what happened this past postseason is the Cavs switched up their game plans for some reason.  They surrounded it with Lebron.  During the regular season, Lebron wasn't doing everything.  Again, someone different every game delivered, that didn't happen in the postseason.  You can blame the players, but I also blame the coaches.  Someone should have told them that whatever brought them to this point, will take them to a championship.  You say "average talent" can get you so far, but look at what it did for the Detroit Pistons.  They didn't have a major superstar, but they relied on defense, teammwork, and true heart.  And that is something Miami lacks right now, wouldn't you agree with that?


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