Kirk Bohls: LeBron did himself few favors by leaving Cavaliers; plus, other musings on baseball, the British Open, Le Tour
NBA star could’ve handled his move with more class
1 Did LeBron ever make up his mind? Missed it. Actually I could have been in Antarctica and not missed the most recent example of What’s Wrong With America Today. Please, LeBron, get some help. Find a mentor like a David Robinson to assist with these career decisions. I don’t think any pro athlete ever did more to sabotage his own reputation with one moment than James did. Kobe Bryant, who paid for his moment, never acted with such fanfare when he twice re-signed with the Lakers. Charles Barkley said the other day, “Mike (Michael Jordan) and I are in 100 percent agreement on this. If you’re the two-time defending NBA MVP, you don’t leave anywhere. They come to you. That’s ridiculous.”
LeBron just became a bigger villain in Cleveland than even Art Modell, if but for one reason. He is in the news constantly whereas Modell could be a Russian spy or a U.S. vice president, and we’d never know. He’s become invisible whereas James has no escape from the public and apparently doesn’t want one. That said, Dan Gilbert thinks he’s the new George Steinbrenner. I do believe every pro franchise protects its star, just as Gilbert did. Not sure if another high-profile free agent will ever sign with the Cavs after Gilbert’s naïve, over-the-top tirade.
2 No. 2 on the WWWAT list is the ESPYs, an overdone self-promotion of the network. I did miss those. Thankfully. Didn’t watch a second. Is that show over with yet? What’s next on this network? A look at Chris Berman, The Adolescent Years. Stuart Scott, the man, the myth, the iconic force in journalism. I’ll read a book instead.
3 Classiest move by a pro athlete (take note, LeBron): Derek Jeter’s wish to continue being introduced by the late Yankees voice Bob Sheppard. I love it. In fact, if I could have a second job, I’d want to replace Sheppard or Larry King, although I have never worn suspenders. Of course, then I read not a single Yankee went to Sheppard’s funeral. Really?
4 A forgettable All-Star Game was matched only by the longest pregame ceremony in the history of pregame ceremonies. This is not just sour grapes either because my Yankees lost home-field advantage in this year’s World Series.
5 When exactly did Lance Armstrong and Greg LeMond start their own reality TV show? If you have information that Lance has doped, present it. Otherwise, give it a rest, Greg.
6 Roy Oswalt has to be traded. Come on, Drayton. Don’t botch this one. Nearly every other major-league team chooses this route to rebuild. Your staunch insistence that there is no such thing as a rebuilding year curses your franchises and keeps it from restocking its depleted farm system. Get something, anything for Roy. Now. Unless the ankle contusion he suffered in Sunday’s start scares off potential suitors. The Phillies, Mets and Twins could all use a veteran starter. 7 Didn’t love Inception, almost from the beginning. I was thoroughly intrigued, however. I love everything Leonardo DiCaprio has ever been in, but this script was so convoluted, so confusing, that I was almost hoping the 2 hours and 22 minutes were a dream. I love the premise, the thought-provoking nature of the film, but I think the movie-maker tried too hard and could have explored the whole psychological nature of and our total fascination with dreams instead of reverting to so much action footage.
8 Was that the most boring British Open — excuse me, Open Championship — ever? Made me long for the All-Star game. That said, I love how runaway winner Louis Oosthuizen wished Nelson Mandela a happy 92nd birthday. Very classy.
9 Chris Johnson, ESPN reports, will make $550,000 for the Titans this season after topping 2,000 yards last season. Tom Brady, one of the best three quarterbacks in the NFL, along with Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, is scheduled to make $3.5 million. Meanwhile, Sam Bradford will sign a deal paying him between $45 million and $50 million in a signing bonus before throwing a single pass in the league. Is there anything more ridiculous in sports? I know about rising tides raising all boats and veterans’ salaries and all, but there is nothing more ludicrous in professional sports than rookies making more than proven players. If nothing else, the next collective bargaining agreement needs to fix the discrepancy.
10 One crazy predic
tion: Texas will receive verbal commitments from both running backs Malcolm Brown and Aaron Green by the end of the summer. And Texas will run more this fall than it has in four seasons.
LeBron James answers questions posed by Jim Gray during an interview on ESPN on July 8, the night he announced his intention to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat.