It's Not Him, It's Them

So with the debate over LeBron's ignorance, arrogance, or mediocrity still raging, I came to a frightening conclusion. See, it's not that James flaked out by refusing to sign, it's that all the other Cavs had compelling reasons to sign. Like they couldn't have turned it down if they wanted to. Observe:

Shannon Brown: Played in the McDonald's All-American Game with Luol Deng.

Daniel Gibson: Nickname is "Boobs," which would lead to a heightened sensitivity to the plight of others.

Drew Gooden: Drew's moms is from Finland, which has given substantial humanitarian aid to Darfur.

Larry Hughes: Wears his heart on his sleeve.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas: Not so far from the Balkans.

Dwayne Jones: Trying to separate himself from Damon Jones.

Donyell Marshall: Old enough to remember "We Are the World."

Ira Newble: Name sounds Jewish, we invented the anti-genocide itch.

Aleksander Pavlovic: Feels guilt from the Balkans.

Scot Pollard: Smokes weed with a lot of college students.

Eric Snow: He's probably mad Christian, and a lot of the victims in Darfur are believers. Ask your local conservative Congressman.

Anderson Varejao: Into Third World liberation.

David Wesley: Coffee, fiber, and morning paper.

The Recluse wrote at least half of these.


At 5/25/2007 12:58 PM, Anonymous JTExperience said...

Now see, for get all that other stuff; this is the best rebuttal yet!

At 5/25/2007 1:08 PM, Anonymous Jaz said...

Stunning revelation: David Wesley, still playing. Not as in, "career not over yet" (which is a surprise), but contra Nowitzki.

At 5/25/2007 1:09 PM, Anonymous The Gong said...

very funny, I totally forgot david wesley existed and used to put up double figures.

At 5/25/2007 1:32 PM, Anonymous padraig said...

At first I didn't see what the point of being so condescending is but 10 seconds later I realized that, of course, the list is in good fun.

I just want to add one last serious thought. It's ludicrous to get all hysterical over the decisions of LeBron, or any athlete, about what political/social issues they want to support or not and projecting one's own beliefs whatever they may be onto LBJ is both unfair and the kind of moralizing, hypocritical liberalism that is being ridiculed. On the other hand, how is it unreasonable to prefer a Howard or a Nash to LeBron's would-be Nike kingship? It doesn't detract from him as a player but I certainly respect someone who is willing to voice an opinion (even, for that matter, Malone) far more. I just recognize the difference between that and the folly of getting upset when athletes don't act in consistence with what I think.

either way I'm glad that a place exists where we can have intelligent discussion about things like this.

At 5/25/2007 2:34 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

Here's a little more LeBron controversy, although IMO this is more about the league and their stupid double-standards in how they hand out punishments. In case you missed it, in Game 1 of the Cavs-Pistons series LeBron was involved in a play which was virtually identical to the ones which resulted in two suspensions for Kobe this year (video link). While the refs didn't see the foul, the league assessed LeBron a flagrant foul-penalty 2 after the game when they reviewed the tape, which meant the league felt it was a serious enough play that it should have warranted an ejection (link). Chris Webber, who was the one LeBron elbowed in the head said he didn't think LeBron "did it on purpose" (which is the exact same thing Manu Ginobili and Marko Jaric said about Kobe's elbows that got him twice suspended).

The controversy is not that LeBron elbowed someone in the head, but rather why was LeBron not suspended like Kobe was? The league already demonstrated in the Suns-Spurs series that they're all too willing to suspend major players in the playoffs for stupid reasons just to be consistent with a lame rule, even if it completely influences the outcome of a series, so what happened here? Personally I'd prefer if the league just looked at this rule (as well as the one involving players leaving the bench) and eliminated it so that there are no more suspensions for stray elbows to the head during the game on plays like this; but I'm just curious why the league has been so quiet about this and why they're being inconsistent about their punishments.

At 5/25/2007 3:07 PM, Blogger Brown Recluse, Esq. said...

if kobe's fouls had happened while his team was playing in the conference finals, he wouldn't have been suspended either.

At 5/25/2007 3:19 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

Well like I said I'd prefer if the league just did away with nonsense like this entirely, but why did they suspend Amare and Diaw in the last round over that nonsense? If the league felt LeBron's elbow was worthy of an ejection they clearly thought it was as bad as Kobe's elbows; but if the fact that it's the playoffs means that the league doesn't want to suspend major players because it could influence the series then what were those Suns suspensions about? Did the negative fallout from that incident make the league re-think doling out nonsense suspensions? I certainly hope so. Hopefully the league will carry that same attitude to regular season games as well and not be so eager and willing to suspend players for silly stuff like a stray elbow or standing up during a confrontation.

At 5/25/2007 3:37 PM, Anonymous will-i-am said...

1) We NEED as a society to take NOTICE and make STATEMENTS about such egregious acts. Now, if those with influence, even undeserved/unwarranted (such as celebs/sports figures/non-entities like hilton etc...) take any type of stand - even by saying and/or doing less then an old cat lady knitting, it is NOTICED. So we are in need for those people to pipe up, to step up, to say SOMETHING. Even if half of it is more Hardway-hardhearted-bigoted-bullshit, it needs to be done. It detracts from those from the gaggle of talking heads that everyone and their cousin Al tunes out. So when King 'Bron has opinions that amount to no more then carefully worded non-committal statements dressed up like roscoe with his wwf belt, it reflects poorly on not just him, but on those who crowned him in the first place.

Bronny doesn't live in a vacuum, and frankly I'm waiting for the day someone (maybe Artest, 'cause he's insane enough) challenges the League's fining of words and opinions (hello possible 1st amendment gavel) we can see people speaking like Wilt and Clyde back in the halcyon-Technicolor-dreamcoat-with-matching-fedora-era. Of course most of it will be nonsense that makes willy wonka look like Proust. But it's better then this doggeral we're fed at the moment.

2) The non-suspenion stems from, I believe, the fact that Kobe "JailB8" Bryant was warned about swingin' 'dem 'bows and kept doing it anyway. The one thing the godfather hates is for people to act like they ain't smokin' what he's selling. If he says you stop, you stop. No question.

PS - Darko is the to the liberation basketball the way N'Sync was the liberation of JT's talent from the cult of Mickey.

At 5/25/2007 3:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not saying that Kobe started or revived something but since he did his swinging elbow thing i have seen that same move used in a few pick up games. That move can't be part of basketball, anyone who has ever been elbowed in the face probably agrees with me. I think one game in the regular season and a monster fine in the playoffs is pretty appropriate.

At 5/25/2007 4:12 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

On LeBron: All the criticisms of LeBron this year are, IMO, totally just. He coasted through much of the regular season, and has played passively in several playoff games this postseason. He seems to be lacking in concetration and effort at times, and he settles too often for jump shots.

That being said, I really wish the media would lay the fuck off of him. Do any of these journalist dipshits remember last year, when LeBron was fantastic for pretty much the entire season AND postseason? For God's sakes, he averaged 31 pts, 7 reb, and 6 ast per game, hit two clutch shots against the Wizards in the First Round, and almost single-handedly beat the Pistons in the Semifinals.

What I'm trying to say is this: even though he's been somewhat dissapointing this year, LeBron's career isn't over yet; in fact, the last time I checked he was still only 22 years old. So, instead of judging LeBron's entire career on one season (good or bad), let's have a little fucking patience and see what happens. Instead of comparing him to MJ or Magic on one hand, or Vince Carter on the other (as Sam Smith recently did, let's at least wait until this series is over until we start labeling him as this or that type of player.

Note: Even though I'm dissapointed LeBron wouldn't sign Newble's Darfur petition, I don't think he should be singled out for scrutiny. Look at this way: shouldn't the political class, the corporations, and the media (i.e. the ones who really have power in this country) be the ones being criticized for not caring about the genocide in Darfur, and not some dumb athlete?

At 5/25/2007 4:48 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

Will-i-am: Kobe's "warning" was his suspension after hitting Manu (no warning at all). He was suspended again for the same thing on Jaric. He was never given any kind of warning, they just suspended him the first time he did it. In this case the league apparently thought LeBron did the exact same thing since they awarded him a flagrant-2 foul; they just didn't suspend him for a game the way they did Kobe.

I'm not saying they should suspend LeBron. I'm saying they shouldn't have suspended Kobe, but really I'm saying they shouldn't have suspended Amare & Diaw. While many have said "that's the rule, there was no way around it" with those suspensions, that clearly applies here as well with LeBron, yet the league has somehow (smartly) found a way around it. It's a stupid rule anyway and it shouldn't be an issue. LeBron shouldn't have been assessed a flagrant-2 foul even. If the refs saw it, it should have been an offensive foul, but beyond that a swinging elbow on a play like that is part of the game, just like Kobe's were. Players have played with reckless abandon like that for a long time (Barkley, Malone, Mutombo, etc) and it isn't something that requires suspensions. That's just foolishness.

Sean, regarding the criticism of LeBron, you need to accept that he's gonna get criticized if he doesn't perform, same as any high profile athlete. In the same way that you're so willing to sing his praises after how he played last year when he was only 21 and a long way from the end of his career (or even, more curiously, after the first 6 games of this year's playoffs), everyone else is entitled to wonder what is going on with him and why he's been so disappointing this year. The fact is that he's only 22, and at that age he should be making big improvements every year, not taking steps back. That should come 10 years from now. If the guy's slacking off already after never having won anything and while he's only 22 years old, then that's noteworthy. The question of why LeBron isn't better than he is right now is definitely a valid one, if only because he set the bar so high for himself a year ago. Did the guy peak at 21? Are the laughable conspiracies that he's actually older than he says he is true? These are questions that don't have a real answer cause they're silly questions. But the question of why he's apparently disinterested after only one trip to the playoffs last year is a very good one.

At 5/25/2007 5:05 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

Wild Yams: If you'd read what I wrote, you'd see that I pretty much agree with you. This year LeBron's been dissapointing and has stalled in the development of his game. And don't make it sound like LeBron's a favorite of mine or something; I'm a Celtics fan, and I couldn't care less what happens to the Cavs.

But to judge a player's career based off of one season, one series, one game, or one play is pretty fucking stupid. And it's a little curious to me how people in the sports media can crown you one season and then tear you down the next, all the while making it sound like they've been consistent in their position the entire time. THAT is what I'm also talking about, not just LeBron.

At 5/25/2007 5:29 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

Wild Yams: By the way, does your mind go completely blank after you read the words "but" or "that being said"? Are you afraid of the fact that people can have opinions that don't follow an either/or format? That not everything can be judged in its totality by one single instance?

At 5/25/2007 5:45 PM, Blogger bsanders37 said...

I don't know whether he got fouled or not, but this series is dunbar.


At 5/25/2007 5:47 PM, Anonymous eauhellzgnaw said...

Remember a couple years ago, when an injured Duncan had an off playoffs (for him)? The stories that surfaced amounted to "Does Duncan need to win this game to prove he can come through in the clutch?" This is after he's won 2 rings and Finals MVPs, mind you. If they said this about Duncan, obviously they will say even harsher things about Lebron.

People are letting this vapid ESPN sports-pundit culture warp their minds. This culture is what makes sportswriting, TV, and fandom in general unbearable.

As for the Lebron/Darfur thing, I really don't give a shit. I'm much more concerned that our society worships celebrities to the extent that we give their political opinions, however ill-informed, crazy media attention.

At 5/25/2007 5:51 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

"People are letting this vapid ESPN sports-pundit culture warp their minds. This culture is what makes sportswriting, TV, and fandom in general unbearable."

Exactly. They'll love you one minute, hate you the next.

At 5/25/2007 6:02 PM, Anonymous hop said...

good story: via true hoop...

At 5/25/2007 6:02 PM, Anonymous hop said...


At 5/25/2007 7:20 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

Sean, I don't know what to tell you. This is the way sports media (if there is such a term?) is nowadays. The media obsess and nitpick over everything as do the masses of people like us on the web. People probably used to do it before the internet and Sportscenter, but it was just relegated to groups of people having discussions amongst themselves and maybe an article in the local paper the next day, most likely from a local writer who was a homer anyway. It's not realistic nowadays to think that anyone's going to wait till a player's career is over to judge how he's performing; and I'm sure you're no better than the rest of us in this regard.

For the record, I think I've been pretty consistent in what I've had to say about anyone I've commented on here. When you wanted to praise LeBron after Game 2 in the 2nd round for being undefeated in the playoffs, I said let's hold off on that till we see how he and the Cavs do against Detroit since Washington and New Jersey were really weak playoff opponents; so I hope you're not painting me with that "love them one minute, hate them the next" brush. I'll be the first to admit that if the Cavs come back and win this series that it'll show a lot of growth on LeBron's part (just like I said weeks ago), but at the same time I'm also sticking to my previous statements that if the Cavs lose in 4 or 5 then you have to wonder if LeBron has taken a step back this year. To me that's a far cry from saying he'll go down as a failure when all's said and done, but it's not a good sign for where things could be headed.

At 5/25/2007 7:23 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

Wild Yams: Um, I think your thinking of a different Sean. I never "praised" the Cavs for being undefeated after Game 2 in the Second Round. As far as I'm concerned, that series (or atrocity, if you will) never happened.

At 5/25/2007 7:27 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

Wild Yams: "It's not realistic nowadays to think that anyone's going to wait till a player's career is over to judge how he's performing; and I'm sure you're no better than the rest of us in this regard."

I never said that. What I'm trying to say is that I think it's a little premature to be saying LeBron is either A.) the next Michael Jordan or B.) the next Vince Carter. And I'm not saying all sports journalists are guilty of doing this; I think Kelly Dwyer and Jack McCallum are pretty good at analyzing players. And there others out there too, obviously.

At 5/25/2007 7:28 PM, Blogger MC Welk said...

Just watched a bit on BBC World about how the Chinese are macking down on fertility drugs to have multiple pregnancies to circumvent the government's one child per family policy. I 'spose they needed to dam the Yangtze so they could drown their daughters. Yi Jianlin to the Sonics via a trade.

At 5/25/2007 7:29 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Isn't blaming ESPN for the entire state of hyper-critical sports coverage a little hypocritical? Labeling one major player as the source of an entire world of sports reporting...isn't that just like focusing on Lebron's pass at the end of game 1 to the exclusion of everything else. Certainly some things deserve criticizing, but I'm afraid that the kneejerk "ESPN = bad" association is an unhelpful (and remarkably Deadpsin-ian) one.

At 5/25/2007 8:43 PM, Blogger Wild Yams said...

Sean, I asked you back then if Cavs made it to the Conference Finals and were eliminated in 4 or 5 games by Detroit if you'd think LeBron had improved this year and you said yes because only 4 teams make it to the Conference Finals, so that is achievement enough.

It's premature to say that LeBron most definitely is the next MJ or Vince, but it's not premature to speculate on which direction he's more likely to go. You seem to be missing that it's speculation, and not me or anyone else here, or the Sportscenter guys or the newspaper reporters saying "LeBron James' career is a failure" or anything like that. We're just saying he's had a disappointing year and he's been playing this whole season like he doesn't care enough.

At 5/25/2007 8:45 PM, Blogger spanish bombs said...

Does anyone know where one might find a list of ALL players who signed this? Ostensibly players like Nash, Ray Allen and Etan Thomas would jump at this, or at least be able to give an intelligent and feasible reason as to why they didn't sign. (Okay Thomas would probably just write the worst poem ever about it, but still.) I don't think it is fair to jump on Lebron alone over this issue.

At 5/25/2007 8:56 PM, Anonymous Sean said...

Wild Yams: "Sean, I asked you back then if Cavs made it to the Conference Finals and were eliminated in 4 or 5 games by Detroit if you'd think LeBron had improved this year and you said yes because only 4 teams make it to the Conference Finals, so that is achievement enough."

A.) I think we were talking about the Suns and Steve Nash at the time, and B.) I've said numerous times that LeBron's been coasting this year and should be criticized for it. And making the Conference Finals is an achievement of a sort; if the Cavs had been knocked out in the Semifinals LeBron would have been ripped apart by his critics, and justly so. I thought the goal, after all, was to advance in the playoffs. Am I correct or not?

"We're just saying he's had a disappointing year and he's been playing this whole season like he doesn't care enough."

You mean kinda like what I've said five or six times now?

Look, I'm not saying LeBron is my hero or anything; far from it. But, as always, critiques of a player should always take into account other mitigating circumstances. Take Kobe for instance; if an outsider were to look at his style of play, he or she would probably describe him (Kobe, that is) as a selfish ballhog. In some aspects this criticism may be true; but one has to take into account the players that surround him and Phil Jackson's gameplan.

The same holds true for LeBron. While he is to blame for a lot of the Cavs shortcomings, one has to consider the fact the style of play Mike Brown has implemented, as well as his somewhat incompetent teammates. After all, it isn't LeBron's (or Nash's, or Kobe's, or Wade's, etc.) if he gets a teammate open and said teammate can't hit a shot.

At 5/25/2007 9:52 PM, Blogger Reno said...

"Scott Pollard: Smokes weed with a lot of college students."

This may be the funniest thing I've ever seen on FD.


At 5/25/2007 9:55 PM, Anonymous FD4LIFE said...

It has been a long wait, but the Spurs Jazz series will finally continue tommorow. Lets all work our FD mojo, and cheer the Spurs to a game 3 victory! go spurs.

At 5/25/2007 10:35 PM, Blogger Kirk Krack said...

you know, I thought armenians invented anti-genocide

At 5/26/2007 8:44 AM, Anonymous Freddie said...

Well, once again this blog's commenters take aim against "liberalism". Now, I suppose I could actually bother trying to make an argument-- whatever excesses or deficiencies there are within this caricature of liberalism, they don't absolve Lebron of any moral obligation to oppose genocide, or of Michael Vick to stop dabbling in fucking dogfights-- I don't think there's much point.

Because these attacks don't come from any reasoned political position, but from the worst Slate.com style liberal-on-liberal contrarianism. The commenters who love to tweak liberals, after all, are part of a readership that is, if anything like the readership of blogs in general (and certainly the blogs that link here) overwhelmingly a)white, b)male and c)generically left wing.

While I don't want to participate in the stereotyping of the "Bard College/Williamsburg hipster" that presumably reads this, the fact is that there is a certain demographic composition to the readership (and commentariat) of this blog, and I think it looks a lot more like the people who you suppose you are criticizing than
the people you suppose you are advocating for.

I mean, look: it is the left wing in this country that has taken the most active role in promoting the welfare of miniorities. And, yes, there are innumerable failures of that movement that we can all recount. But when someone from that perspective says that Lebron James should be ashamed for not speaking out against genocide in Darfur, I think they should be granted a basic assumption of good faith. And I do think it is a superior position to hold everyone to equal standards, rather than to suppose that you are advancing the cause of black people because you refuse to condemn a young black man for any action.

I mean, a statement like this:

Oh, and a note to my fellow liberals: even when young black men get rich off of sports, they are still young black men. Same goes for when they fuck with dogfighting. I know that they've let you down a lot since the Civil Rights Movement, but try and mind your rhetoric of bodies, thugs, and stupidity a little.

Now, I think I know what Shoals means. But I have to say, first, that at the risk of deliberately misunderstanding what he is saying, this notion-- that you can't expect a young black man to not participate in things like dogfighting-- that's something that I would not be surprised at all to find in the writing of Steve Sailer or Dinesh D'souza. But it's the last line that really bothers me. First, I don't think I even need to say that the idea that even most liberals are disappointed in the development of black men since the Civil Rights movement is just lazy stereotyping. And the idea that the people who do the most to support racial equality and minority advancement, as far as our lame political process allows, should apologize for what you assume to be an inadequate support of black athletes, is just empty. It's just a way to leverage a view of yourself as an outsider, as superior. It advances nothing.

The point is, don't play iconoclast by attacking people who share 90% of your cultural and political makeup. And don't suppose that in tweaking "liberals" on a blog like this that it's an act of daring, or you are somehow speaking truth to the soft-headed liberals in the sports media. It isn't, and you aren't.

At 5/26/2007 12:20 PM, Blogger Bethlehem Shoals said...

freddie--i don't think i made my point as well as i could have. you're right, that passage was lazy and sloppy. and most importantly, throwing around categories like "liberals" and "young black men" is counter-productive when i'm talking about specific examples. in part, this was all a visceral reaction to the think progress bruhaha, and also happened to come a day after i'd fwd'ed someone PETA's fairly offensive "ron artest is an inhuman thug who can't stay out of jail" post from his dog-gate.

i don't think, though, that i'm attacking liberals for the sake of attacking liberals. i like to think that it's some combination of 1) urging liberalism, which can be extremely self-congratulatory, to be a little more self-critical. and 2) admiting that this site's politics in the past have been an absurd mish-mash of zany extremism and secure progressivism, and that neither of these is particularly honest.

i don't suppose to have this shit figured out, and it bothers me when people pretend they do. but you're right, proving someone else's imperfection doesn't really give me the right to play demagogue.

this is why, on some level, freedarko is not hard-wired for serious discussions. it's not satire per se, but a lot of its enthusiasm, outrage and energy gets funneled into stylization and distortion.

At 5/26/2007 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...this is why, on some level, freedarko is not hard-wired for serious discussions. it's not satire per se, but a lot of its enthusiasm, outrage and energy gets funneled into stylization and distortion."

Very well put.

At 5/26/2007 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

forget about lebron signing the petition. how many people are actually losing sleep over the darfu situation?? not that they shouldn't be but lets not make this seem like the issue of our time that everyone is working on and lebron is the only person who is horribly out of the loop.

At 5/26/2007 11:53 PM, Blogger Brian said...

"how many people are actually losing sleep over the darfu situation??"

The UN estimates that about 450,000 people are losing sleep over it.

Or getting a lot more sleep. Depending on how you look at it.

At 5/27/2007 12:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Or getting a lot more sleep. Depending on how you look at it."....
Real smart but you kinda sidestepped the whole point of the question which I should have qualified by saying how many people on the west are losing sleep over this...???

At 5/27/2007 12:36 AM, Blogger Brian said...

I know what your point was, and wasn't denying it. Just using some stylization and distortion to try and express why I think there should be more outrage and energy out of people in the west.

At 5/27/2007 4:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys are making a lot bigger deal out of Lebron signing a petition than it really is. So the spoiled young guy doesn't know jack about outside issues and doesn't like putting his name on paper without his lawyers and shit present. Deal with it.

We should be discussing how doomed the NBA is going to be if Tim Duncan and the Spurs take control of the league for the next three years. Which is entirely possible.

At 5/27/2007 12:57 PM, Blogger Aaron said...

What I think your list sidesteps is the fact that the Cavs have been represented (here, for instance) as a team with a sense of community centered around the trio of Larry Hughes, Damon Jones, and LeBron James.

So for a team-driven effort to be missing LeBron and Damon Jones, says something about the conflict between the necessity of developing a unified team identity and the fact that these are people with different personalities who won't inevitably align on every issue.

Also, I must confess Ira Newble is one of the names that I immediately checked to see if he was Jewish when I first heard it. Why do so many black people choose Jewish names?

At 5/27/2007 1:19 PM, Blogger T. said...

@spanish bombs: Does anyone know where one might find a list of ALL players who signed this?

In one of the articles I read it was mentioned that Newble wanted to keep the signatories somewhat secret until he could get a good list including more non-Cavs (and some of the NBA's bigger names). So I'm not sure how the LeBron/Damon Jones non-signing got out

At 5/27/2007 1:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In other news: Deron Williams, bad ass motherfucker.

At 5/27/2007 9:46 PM, Blogger T. said...

I'd like to take this moment to expand that David Wesley (and his wife Shannon) are absolutely some of the most giving individuals in the NBA. While most of the NBA players were writing checks and playing basketball games (which is nothing to crticize - the money is needed) David and Shannon were moving canned goods and hitting the shelters and doing an awful lot of heavy lifting and sweating trying make sure donations got to where they were needed.

At 5/28/2007 3:39 AM, Blogger dickie said...

Can we drop this and talk about LBJ's fade-away threes?

At 5/28/2007 9:59 AM, Blogger T. said...

the caron butler story on the DC Sports Bog is pretty cool


At 5/28/2007 10:53 AM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

T, I don't mean this to belittle anyone who contributes to charity, but it's actually more charitable to write the check than it is to go out and lift boxes or nail boards together.

Now this doesn't apply as cleanly for a professional athlete, but look at it this way: If you're a lawyer, and you want to contribute some of your time to a charity, should you A) do 4 hours of manual labor, or B) do 4 hours of lawyer work and donate what you earn? The manual labor is worth probably less than 40 dollars.

Again, this is a different question with athletes. David Wesley can't just go out and play more basketball for more money, but there are lots of things an athlete can do that create a better return. It's just a misconception that going out to do dirty work is being very giving of yourself. And the misconception is usually held not only by the onlookers, but also by the charities themselves, and the contributors.

At 5/28/2007 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time for a new article Beth.

At 5/28/2007 7:05 PM, Blogger T. said...

salt_bagel - what about a man who does both? and I think katrina was a special circumstance in terms of needing time from people as much as money. and there is a "value added" for seeing someone famous (even David Wesley) out there.

At 5/29/2007 9:48 AM, Blogger salt_bagel said...

If your intent is to contribute the maximum, then the time you spend should be spent in whatever way gives the most. Voluntarily choosing to use that time inefficiently is the equivalent of taking money away from the charity. To put it another way, it's saying, "I could give four hours of my real work time, but instead I'm giving four hours of my free time."

What would be more useful to these people, part of David Wesley's weekend, or an equivalent number of hours of basketball earnings? If they could trade, and allow him to sit in his house for the weekend, and get that check instead, would they even think twice? If Wesley wants some exposure, he could give David Wesley jerseys to the 10 workers he paid for.

Again, I'm not trying to insult anyone who gives of themselves for charity. I'm just trying to explain the economics of it. It's not just the thought that counts; the numbers count, too.

At 4/13/2009 4:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...




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