I was hoping it wouldn't come to this, but. . .

. . . after a day of listening to ESPN Radio's take on the LeBron agent switch, I have no choice but to make this the latest installment of NBA Racial Semiotics. That's #1,546,721, in case you're not keeping count yourself.

All morning I heard talk about loyalty, character, and stay true to the people who got you where you are. Your agent is not that guy. Granted, Goodwin seems to have taken a special interest in the welfare of James and his camp, but at the risk of sounding cynical, wouldn't you if you were an agent? Bottom line is that agents are to the sports world what lawyers are to the corporate: they'll always get paid, they're out to get paid, and anyone who thinks otherwise would never make it in their line of work. No one talks about staying loyal to their lawyer, or how he helped broker the deal that got them where they are today. You get the best money can buy, and move up the food chain accordingly. I suppose you can fault LeBron for going unorthodox in his choice of representation, but that's a professional issue, not a personal one.

What people seem to be forgetting is that Goodwin will continue to profit of LeBron until this current set of contracts runs out. So, even if there were a personal component to this move, he's not screwing Goodwin by any stretch of the imagination.

No, what seems to be upsetting people most is that LeBron is bucking the system. Not sticking with the white power structure that secured his financial future. When they say "loyalty," they mean "be thankful that there's a system here to keep you paid, and don't do anything to disrupt it." Goodwin helped him get where he is by providing a middle man between LeBron and his camp and the white world of corporate America; LeBron wants to cut out the middle man (and his cut), and that apparently scares some people. The argument that "his boyz" can't do the job (or that Russell Simmons and Jay-Z, if it's true they're on board, aren't convincing enough businessmen to keep LBJ Incorporated on top) might as well be "and we don't want them to be able to." If LeBron feels he can entrust his inner circle with the fail-safe track he's on, why not?

After all, they're the ones he owes loyalty. The ones that got him where is today. The ones who helped him even get in a position to have Goodwin knocking at his door.

I'm sure Aaron Goodwin is a decent person and a find mover/shaker. But he's a business casualty. Or, more accurately, a choice by someone who has the luxury of not having to go along with business as usual. To let his personal priorities shapes the way he goes about conducting it without up-ending it. Is that so hard to understand, or anything an outsider has the right to turn into a referendum on LeBron's sanity or character?

At the end of the day, it's all about fam. You call in a stranger, or a socio-cultural stranger, only because they can do the job better than your own (or your peers). Don't even try to tell me that we'd all rather not, so to speak, keep it in the family.


At 5/12/2005 11:27 PM, Blogger Ken said...

LeBron is a good guy, let him hook up his boy. It's not like his agent is hurting. I just hope Jay-Hova isn't trying to bring him to the Brooklyn Nets.

At 5/13/2005 3:06 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

at the risk of sounding completely and totally naive, a nets team that consisted of kidd, carter, lebron, garnett, and no one else would be the best thing ever and still win a championship

At 5/13/2005 8:19 PM, Blogger Ian said...

At the risk of sounding cynical, you just listed a bunch of guys who have trouble getting beyond the first round. Or maybe I'm just a little mad you couldn't dish out a little Veal Scalabrine to round out the starting five.

At 5/13/2005 9:05 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

i thought of leaving him on as the fifth.

that's the only reason why this is remotely a possibility. . .since all of them but lebron are valued lower than they should be

At 5/14/2005 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

kidd has been in the finals a couple times and carter and garnett have been to the conference finals. what are you talking about?

At 5/14/2005 5:23 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

none of those three really have that tag of bonafide post-season winner hanging around their neck. those nets teams were a mirage, vince's conference finals seems like a lifetime ago, garnett has had problems getting out of the first round.


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