LeBron-Onomics (Part Two)

By Prof. Clifford Benton, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: June 8, 2010

Re-visited Bron, Bron hopes its not a re-peat

QUEENS, N.Y. (BASN) — Call him King — as in Larry.

The guy on CNN who supposedly is a softball interviewer. (But we’ll address that nonsense.) Then we have the Emperor — as in LeBron. Not King James, but Emperor James (homage to the great actor Paul Roberson — athlete, actor, activist, and then some — who starred in the movie, “The Emperor Jones”).

Emperor Bron-Bron isn’t just twisting the owner-athlete dynamic, he’s mangling it. Last Friday, the King (as in Larry) went to meet the Emperor (as in LeBron) for a little chat.

Mr. King continues to get the most sought-after newsmakers first. I wonder why?

LeBron could have sat down with ESPN, but he opted to go with Larry. Now, media experts would have you believe that LeBron knew Larry wasn’t going to ask him tough questions so that’s why he (LeBron) chose Larry to conduct the interview.

Well, for those who believe such rubbish, all I can say is: A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste.

Larry King just happens to be the best interviewer this side of Gil Noble (“Like It Is”). As an interviewer, it’s not about the questions you ask; it’s about the answers you get. The interviewee is supposed to be the star, not the interviewer.

Many of the interviewers today are looking for props from their peers.

These interviewers want to ask the “tough” questions. The audience is more interested in the answer than the question. So what Larry does so adroitly is that he turns the interview into a conversation, not an interrogation.

Larry will ask one question or make one comment and get a response from the interviewee as if he asked five questions. The so-called superb interviewer asks five questions and gets one-fifth of an answer.

But his or her colleagues say, “Hey (fill-in the name), you really put it to LeBron.” Yeah, and you got a well-guarded answer. A good example of one little question getting you one large answer happened on the ESPN’s Mike & Mike show.

They asked Bill Walton one small question about Coach John Wooden and got one BIG answer.

So Larry King inquired about LeBron’s upbringing and relationship with his father, asked him (LeBron) about why he hasn’t married his long-time girlfriend and mother of his children, and where he intends to play in the upcoming season.

All good stuff.

However, the Emperor is no dummy. He was coached. There’s a plan in place. It’s business, and LeBron is doing it right. He knows CNN is using him, and he’s using CNN. It was an infomercial.

LeBron was saying, “Here’s my message. I want rings. I’m seven seasons deep with no championship hardware. My mileage is high (when you play that hard, for that long, starting at such a young age — watch out. Check Allen Iverson and Kevin Garnett. And Kobe is going to get old overnight, like some boxers do.).”

“I can’t be in the discussion of ‘the greatest of all time’ unless I have at least three championships (two won’t do). I need to be with an organization that is committed to winning (like the Yankees. Could you see George Steinbrenner not keeping Jordan, Jackson, and Pippen when they could have won more championships?).”

“I need a competent coach. I need a competent G.M. who will surround me with a strong core of players as well as functional role-players.”

“I need players/teammates who “get it” meaning they want to win — every season, are fanatical about their conditioning, stay out of trouble, and are image conscious.”

That was the Emperor’s message. All who can’t deliver need not apply. He did what many customers do if you listen — they tell you how to sell to them.

So let’s get down to LeBron-onomics. You know what he wants. It’s not really the money. He’s paid. It’s not New York’s Madison Avenue (’cause Madison Avenue can and will find you — if they’re interested).

It’s not an adoring fan base.

It’s not “da most beautifulest arena.”

It’s not a fair and intelligent local sports media.

It’s not the neighborhoods.

It’s not the restaurants. It’s not the theater district. It’s not the schools for his children. It’s not the high life or fast life. The Emperor couldn’t give a … (shut your mouth).

Mayors can plead and people can bleed. It means nut-in (nothing). It’s the wrong pitch. This is LeBron-onomics. Knicks, wake up. You’re not selling him with Spike Lee or Bruce Lee.

You have to let him know that you’re looking to do the dynasty thing. It’s been a few decades since you’ve one won. Cleveland, wake up. You didn’t have the horses around him.

Firing Mike Brown is a band-aid at best. Miami, wake up. So what if it’s sunny all the time. You’ve got to pitch better than that. They (Miami) are not pressing their advantage at all. LeBron & Wade is attractive.

Check out how many championship teams have had a superstar pairing. Chicago, wake up. Just because you feature the house that Jordan built, please don’t believe that’s enough. It’s not.

Clippers, wake up. You have the wrong organizational culture.

Get some self-esteem and then get your own arena, first. Then you can have a seat at the table instead of the floor. But right now, you’re the Lakers’ little brother.

Some teams that have a shot and may not realize it are as follows:

Boston — And I haven’t heard anybody float that one.

Orlando — Having Superman watching your back is a good thing.

Dallas — Do whatever it takes to keep Dirk.

Denver — Imagine ‘Melo and LeBron.

The teams that want him are pitching imperfectly, and the teams that have what he’s looking for are not pitching at all.

So the Emperor (LeBron) and the King (Larry) had a not-so-private chat. Good for the King. Good for the Emperor. Message sent. But was message understood?

Message: “You don’t need to show me that you will “kiss the ring” you need to show me that you can “bring the ring.”

BASN Nation. Get back to me. Here’s my question to you: As a team that wants LeBron, what would be your pitch?

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