Another non-story

When I first heard about LeBron agent switch, I was like "why should I care?" The only agent sports fans need to know by name is Drew Rosenhaus, and that's only because he'll probably one day have his own Sports Century.

Then, I panicked. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Why mess with the braintrust behind [superlative superlative superlative]? And replace it with a bunch of first-timers?

The truth is, this probably won't have much of an impact on LeBron, the athlete or the man. LeBron's guaranteed a max contract, wherever he wants, till the end of time; his endorsement deals are sent in stone till the end of the decade, and he can have his pick of whatever other deals he wants. Bringing on his hometown boys to get a piece of the pie (even more than they would have already as his entourage) also seems to make it all the more likely he's planning to stay with the Cavs long-term. Basically, you could manage LeBron's career if you were brain dead. It certainly doesn't hurt that the man himself seems to have made about one questionable decision in his entire life, meaning that his staff doesn't have to work against him. Hell, he could probably be his own agent. They say you judge a man by the company he keeps, and there's no reason to assume that he'd have anyone too rash or megalomanical steering his career. Note: Eddie Jackson, his somewhat shady surrogate father figure, is not part of team LeBron.

Scoop Jackson makes the point that this might be about setting up a full-fledged, independent LBJ business. So that once his playing days are over, he and his boys can continue to be players in the basketball, entertainment, whatever, industry. That might be what this is all about, in the end: making sure that those close to him don't just get to reap the financial rewards of his success, but also can get in on a serious, lifelong career opportunity.

Factor in the possibility of Jay-Z's involvement, and this is seeming more and more like a political statement. Black capitalism for the new millenium. Using money to make more money, personal success to position to do the same. Like the world's most noble, inverted pyramid scheme.

That, if anything, is what we should be talking about, not the potential, cataclysmic fallout for one man's career. Don't worry about LeBron--he'll be just fine.

BASKETBALL-RELATED: I've given up on this round, but the next should be outright bestial. Suns/Spurs will decide a lot of things, once and for all. As much as I'd rather see two running teams going at it, a clash of styles is always the most significant kind of match-up. And Heat/Pistons, while not quite the fate-of-the-universe showdown that Phoenix vs. San Antonio will be, will probably be the best, most hard-fought basketball we see all year.


At 5/12/2005 2:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about this today. Will there ever be a prominent athlete to talk, during his playing days, about social or political issues. Will there ever be anyone ever again like Ali, The guys in the long jump who held up their gloved fists, or jesus, even just goofy different like Bill Walton. Or has Michael Jordan changed the paradigm so much that Tiger Woods refusing to name a sponsor is now what passes for D-I-G-N-I-T-Y. I mean, for as much as one might joke about Ray Allen being the tallest gay president since Lincoln, I don't hear him making any noise. You have to respect Lebron for playing the game so well at 18, but I'm just wondering, when you gonna stand up?

At 5/12/2005 5:02 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

there's certainly something to be said for athletes using their careers as springboards to politics once they're over. using it as capital to get people to "root" for them in political context, making people listen to them based almost largely on their athletic reps. if anything, these people have it better off than those who are controversial and split opinion on them by talking politics during their careers.

kemp, bradley, tom osborne, bunning, ventura, almost ditka this past year, maybe greg anthony, i hear. . actually, here's an interesting link about it



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