When I've got some time, I may post more about LeBron James and what his spectacle last night means for the Bobcats, because it does have a direct effect on us. First, he's in our division now. Second, the nature of free agency and sports celebrity has been changed. Third, I'm thankful we're not (yet?) enthralled with someone who would, essentially, perform the free agency equivalent of dumping us via text message on national television. On to the links. All text is snipped from the linked post.
SBN -- Eight Days of LeBronnukah and the Festival of Narcissism
The spectacle of it all was so obviously outsized and out of control, you didn't even need to say anything. Everyone knew it was historically bizarre. Whether you were captivated by it all or completely disgusted, as LeBron's final charade took shape over the past few days, it became clear this would be historic.
LeBron James: The Golden Boy No More - ProBasketballTalk - Basketball - NBC Sports
LeBron James will never become the undisputed darling of the NBA, the way so many thought he would someday become. LeBron never had much of a cult of personality -- a quick look around message boards, LeBron's FaceBook page, or any comment section will reveal that LeBron is now flat-out reviled by the vast majority of serious NBA fans.
Cleveland Frowns: Sometimes crap happens. Sometimes big crap happens. Sometimes big crap hits the fan.
Now that it's happened, I'm sure it isn't worse than what Art Modell did, and isn't really even close.
The LeBron Rant " Basketball-Reference.com Blog
If Vince Lombardi was right and "winning isn't everything, it's the only thing", then LeBron made the only rational decision last night. But the dirty secret of commentators like [Bill] Simmons is that winning by itself is not good enough -- you apparently also have to win while simultaneously vanquishing the idea of another male rival sharing your spotlight, because god forbid that another Alpha could possibly question your hoops authority when you're doing all that winning.
Basketball Prospectus | Unfiltered - You Are Not LeBron James
As much as I feel for the people of Cleveland, they don’t automatically get to be part of the choice. It came off poorly, but I agreed with James when he said he had to make the best decision for himself. This is another example of athletes being held to wildly different standards than we would hold ourselves. Would you stay at a job you hated for years just because you felt it wasn’t right to leave your co-workers?
Joe Posnanski " The LeBron Decision
This was something raw. Cleveland offered him more money. Cleveland offered him unconditional love. Cleveland offered him the chance to create his own legacy. He turned them down for what seems to him like a sure thing and a tax shelter in Florida.
LeBron James' circus on ESPN draws its fair share of critics - Richard Deitsch - SI.com
Author and LeBronologist Buzz Bissinger described it as TV's equivalent of waterboarding. New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro called it an "awful night for Cleveland, worse night for sports, worst night for ESPN." Eric Stangel, the head writer and executive producer for The Late Show with David Letterman, delivered an equally scathing review on Twitter: "I'm keeping my 2 yr old up to watch the LeBron James Special. I want her to see the exact moment our society hit rock bottom."
LeBron React: Never Has Being a Sports Fan Felt So Stupid -- The Sports Section
No, tonight, it felt like everyone involved — LeBron, ESPN, Bing, the University of Phoenix, Stuart Scott, the man who once chastised fans for having the audacity to boo, Jim freaking Gray — treated the millions of people watching like stupid, mindless consumers, empty lemmings ready to follow Sport into the abyss. Here, here are the Boys & Girls Club props. Here, here is your search engine. Here, here is your online college, Here, here is your Athletic Hero. Eat. Eat. Consume. You like it. You love it. You'll always come back for more.
FiveThirtyEight: Did LeBron James Just Cost Himself $150 Million?
In the meantime, there are signs that public opinion on James has soured significantly. In an unscientific poll conducted by SI.com, 81 percent of respondents now claim to have a negative opinion of James, whereas 78 percent had a positive opinion prior to free agency.