Blog Entry

LeBron James backs off his contraction talk

Posted on: December 28, 2010 11:05 am
Edited on: December 28, 2010 11:32 am
King James steps away from contraction talk, claiming he didn't know what it meant, and that eliminating teams isn't what he meant when he said things which explicitly outline contraction. 
Posted by Matt Moore

When LeBron James stuck his foot in his mouth the other day about contraction, it wasn't just small market advocates like myself who wound up tweaked. NBA Union President Derek Fisher wasn't too happy about a player, the biggest player, breaking ranks on the Union's stance regarding contraction. That's enough to get the backtrack started. And oh, has it, with James immediately running full speed away from the subject under quite possibly the most idiotic of excuses. He didn't know what the word meant. From ESPN:  
"Thats crazy, because I had no idea what the word contraction meant before I saw it on the Internet," James said after the Miami Heats practice Monday. "I never even mentioned that. That word never even came out of my mouth. I was just saying how the league was back in the 80s and how it could be good again. I never said, Lets take some of the teams out. "
via LeBron James: I never said I advocated contraction - ESPN.
James had more words regarding the word he didn't know the meaning of. From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

“I’m with the players, and the players know that,” he said. “I’ve been with the players. It’s not about getting guys out of the league or knocking teams out. I didn’t mean to upset nobody. I didn’t tell Avery Johnson to leave either.

“I didn’t say, ‘Let’s abandon the Nets, and not let them move to Brooklyn,’ or, ‘Let’s tear down the Target Center in Minnesota.’ I never said that.”
 via The South Florida Sun-Sentinel-Ira Winderman.

So he was not talking about contraction, which he didn't know the meaning of, when he said that players should be taken from their teams and put on other teams and not great teams should go away. Got it. This is a guy who had a television special built around his free agency decision, who has his own brand, has a team of handlers, and is the face of the NBA. You'd think he'd be able to avoid the seemingly daily blunders he finds himself in. There will be some, like's own Ken Berger, who thinks that James is on point about contraction being good for the league, and that is should hearken back to the vaunted 80's. 

Of course, it turns out that quite as stacked as we may remember them. In fact, during the vaunted 80's, you really only had two stacked teams (Lakers, Celtics naturally) and two pretty great teams (Detroit, Philadelphia for a single season). Houston could be considered if you want to start dipping into the bottom of the superstar barrel. So not only did LeBron not know the word of what he was talking about, but he was still wrong about the reason for implementing that concept that he didn't know the name of. 
For a guy who looked phenomenal taking down the Lakers this weekend, he's not exactly on his game in the PR world. 

Since: Oct 10, 2006
Posted on: December 28, 2010 3:55 pm

LeBron James backs off his contraction talk

Maybe he should just shut that big fat ol mouth up once in a while! Ya think?

Since: Sep 7, 2009
Posted on: December 28, 2010 1:59 pm

LeBron James backs off his contraction talk

well said, i rarely watch a regular season game until playoffs.  Just zero intensity besides a very select few.

Since: Dec 28, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2010 1:43 pm

LeBron James backs off his contraction talk

It is good that Lebron James understands the history of the game and that today’s NBA is on a downturn again as it was before Magic and Bird saved the league.  However, the number of teams in the league was irrelevant to its popularity in the 80"s.    It was better not because of the number of talented players per team but because those players players loved the game and were fundamentally sound.  Players do not seem to get serious until 2 minutes left to go in the 4<sup>th</sup> quarter or during playoff time.  It did not matter in the 80’s.  You tuned in because you knew all the players were going to play with heart and passion no matter if it was the first or last game of the season.  The 80’s player was tough and it hurt them to lose.   I do see that intensity with Kobe and Lebron at times, however the modern day player becomes wealthy before they have proven anything.  I love Lebron however he has zero rings and has done nothing major in the postseason.  So note to Lebron, if you want to make the league better, make it an incentive based league and you will see that fire and passion return.  When that happens I will tune in again, but until then I will watch college basketball until NBA playoffs start. 

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