At the core, this is what frustrates so many people: why does LeBron put out a documentary about himself in the offseason instead of figuring out more post-up moves? Why is LeBron in Jay-Z’s music videos and on stage with Drake and Young Jeezy at their concerts, when he should be studying up on how to avoid situations where he’s forced to go 1-on-4 against the Celtics defense? Michael Jordan never let extracurricular happenings get in the way of him being the best (and most winningest) basketball player of all time. Kobe Bryant hasn’t done that on his way to five championships (and it’s definitely worth noting that both of them had serious off the court scandals involving their home life and the law).
But LeBron isn’t like Kobe or Michael, for better or for worse. When LeBron finally chose a Twitter name, he picked “King James,” which is the way he’s branded by Nike. When LeBron makes his decision for which team he’s going to during free agency, he does it by way of a live ESPN one-hour special.
The Awl’s David Cho puts the entire LeBron James attention-seeking boondoggle free agency period into apt perspective. This could all be avoided, of course, if American sports just used the same business model as European soccer clubs. The one where players are bought and sold by teams.