Tag Archive | "lebron james"

ESPN yanks LeBron in Vegas story


 Below is an image of the controversial LeBron James story detailing his trip to Las Vegas. ESPN has since yanked the story. Here’s their statement:

The story should have never been published. The draft was inadvertently put on the server before going through the usual editorial process. We are in the midst of looking into the matter.” 

And here is an image of the original story published by ESPN.com:

Posted in NBA, Recent BuzzComments (3)

Staggering stats of Top 50 paid athletes


In the turbulent economic times of today with few professions being safe from financial challenge, the top American athletes continue to find guaranteed financial success.

While the economy dips, the average salary of the top 50 highest-earning American athletes shows an increase of 11 percent from the 2009 average with an unprecedented $26.2 million.  Not only guaranteed of the salary agreed to in the terms of their contracts, today’s athletes are raking it in for various endorsements deals.

Golf actually topped the list with the top two American athletes in terms of overall earnings are golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.  Despite the recent troubles Tiger Woods has faced, as well as the loss of several endorsements, he still leads the way as the highest paid American athlete at over $90 million dollars.  Woods also remains the leader in endorsements at $70 million.

At nearly $30 million behind fellow golfer Tiger Woods sits Phil Mickelson at a total of over $61 million in earnings.  Mickleson is second in endorsements as well at $52 million.  Woods and Mickleson represent the only two members of the PGA on the list.

Surprisingly, the NHL is not represented on the list and the only boxer listed is Floyd Mayweather coming in third at just over $60 million.  Mayweather was not listed last year but the earnings from two successful fights propelled him near the top.

While racing is represented on the list, it is only represented by NASCAR with three competitors receiving mention.  Of those, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was highest at 16th.  Each of the NASCAR drivers were alike in that the endorsements they received outweighed their salary and winnings by millions.  Coincidentally, all three are currently under contract to Hendrick Motorsports with the other two NASCAR representatives, in order of earnings, being Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.

The NBA had the most athletes on the list at 16.  Not surprisingly, the league leader in terms of earnings was LeBron James at 4th.  Of the nearly $46 million James received in earnings, $30 million came as endorsements.  James’ new teammate Dwyane Wade landed 10th on the list at nearly $28 million in earnings.  The majority of Wade’s earnings came from his salary and winnings.  The other new resident of South Beach, Chris Bosh, is not currently on the list.

The NFL was the second most represented league with a total of 15 representatives.  Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning led the way at 9th.  Of the nearly $31 million earned by Manning the split between salary and winnings along with endorsements was almost even.

The second representative of the NFL was Matthew Stafford at 11th.  Nearly all of the almost $28 million Stafford earned came from his record breaking contract following the 2009 NFL Draft.  Stafford received less than $1 million in endorsements.

MLB players occupied 13 spots on the list.  Of these, five were members of the New York Yankees with the top MLB representative Alex Rodriguez coming in at 5th with $37 million as he looks to hit his 600th career home run in the near future.

The Boston Red Sox represented three spots on the list while the Toronto Blue Jays held one which may mean, in terms of salary, the ultra-competitive AL East appears to be the place a free agent looking for a big payday might wish to land.  Between New York, Boston and Toronto, the division held nine of the MLB’s thirteen representatives.

The MLB also held the final spot on the list.  New York Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett was listed as 50th at a total of just under $17 million.  Nearly all of Burnett’s earnings were due to his salary.

The list appears certain to change.  For instance, popular Yankee Derek Jeter is currently 8th on the list but may be destined to climb higher as his contract ends and negotiations are likely to guarantee a pay increase.  Though not currently on the list, one might estimate that the recent deals of Joe Mauer and the soon to be on-the-market Prince Fielder will be propelled into the top 50.

The average of $26.2 million among the top 50 seems like an amount that is meant to be overshadowed with these and many new deals looming.  As sports in the major four professional organizations seems to be more competitive than ever with late season pushes into the playoffs and ratings at all time highs one can safely assume that these deals are only likely to continue as markets fight to place a winning product onto their fields.

Used with permission of the author.

Cade Caldwell is an Atlanta-based sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Tug-of-war over LeBron . . . jewelry


The tug-of-war over LeBron James continues.

Not the one for landing the NBA’s biggest fish in this year’s free agency, that one was won by the Miami Heat, but the one pertaining to that expensive piece of jewelry with the number 23 on it that’s pictured here.

 The Associated Press reported that the Ohio woman who said she paid $5 at a yard sale for a LeBron James pendant worth nearly $10,000 says it’s been taken from her. The piece is said to contain a total of about 2 carats of diamonds.

Vaneisha Robinson had the basketball jersey-shaped white gold pendant appraised and put it for sale on eBay but after she responded to a call Wednesday from the mother of Maverick O. Carter, the CEO for James’ marketing company, the pendant was taken from her.

Robinson said the caller told her ‘The King’ himself wanted to buy the pendant but when she went to the woman’s house LeBron wasn’t there and other people threatened her and took it.

Wadsworth police Sgt. James Elchlinger said he determined the pendant belongs to Carter after Carter said it had been stolen from him.

Robinson on the other hand told WEWS-TV that the pendant belongs to her and she wants it back.

Aren’t there two other pieces of fine jewelry with the numbers 1 and 3 on them that should go along with this piece?

MORE LeBron: Cavs Owner Dan Gilbert Spanks LeBron

Used with permission of the author.

Jay Donetelli is a Tampa-based freelance sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax. With an opinion sharper than an Ovechkin skate blade with the sting of an Ali jab, Donetelli has a loyal cult of readers who have found a way to love him.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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ESPY Awards rock the Nokia Theater in L.A.


The ESPY Awards kicked off on time at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Host Seth Meyers treated the audience to an opening monologue that could have been written for “Saturday Night Live”.

It was edgy, filled with plenty of references to Tiger Woods, who wasn’t there and there were many jokes at the expense of ESPN, the network that produces and broadcasts the show. All of them related to “The Decision”.

Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd appeared in a taped piece that parodied the awkward interview of LeBron James by Jim Gray. Others who were teased by Meyers were Brett Favre, yes he showed up, Olympic snow boarder Shaun White and even race car driver, Danica Patrick.

The first award of the evening was presented to Tennessee Titan’s running back, Chris Johnson. His category was Best Breakthrough Athlete. Johnson is going through a very public contract dispute with his employer but it didn’t keep voters from acknowledging him as one of the few 2000+ yard runners in NFL history.

The award for the Best Record-Breaking Performance was given to John Isner and Nicolas Mahut for the mind boggling first round match at this year’s Wimbledon Championships.  Their match took more than 11 hours to complete, stretched over three days. It ended with the score of 70-68 in the fifth set.

The Best Sports Moment of the Year was given to Landon Donovan for his game winning goal against Algeria. Donovan connected in the 91st minute of the match and sent the U.S. team to the second round of the World Cup tournament. Most of the team went up on stage to accept the award.

The ESPY Awards are fun and meant to award achievements in and around sports. However, there are loftier goals that are noted by the ESPY’s. The Arthur Ashe Courage Award and the Jimmy V Comeback Award are given to people who personify the traits of the men for whom the awards are named.

This year’s Ashe Award recipients are the family of Ed Thomas, the Iowa high school football coach who took a town on his back after an unthinkable tragedy. He ultimately was the victim of another.

Thomas’ town of Pakersburg, Iowa was leveled by an EF-5 tornado in the summer of 2008. He lost his home and the high school at which he taught and coached looked like it wouldn’t host another game, never mind be ready for the first game of the 2008 season.

Slideshow of ESPY Red Carpet attendees

He worked tirelessly to keep the town’s 2000 citizens focused and together. On cue, the football team took the field and didn’t just play the season, they went 11-1. It gave solace and solidarity to the town.

But one year later, he was shot to death by a former student who suffered from a mental illness. Thomas’ sons and wife not only consoled each other but made certain to reach out to the parents of the boy who had taken Ed’s life

They never even considered vilifying the troubled young man or his parents. It’s a small town, you see and the word “neighbors” means something special in Parkersburg.

The Thomas family led the town’s grieving as well as healing process and gave new meaning to “turn the other cheek”.

This year’s Jimmy V Comeback Award was given to Denver Nuggets’ head coach, George Karl. He was stricken with cancer for the second time within a few years and it kicked his butt.

He had to bow out of leading his team through the end of the season as well as the 2010 playoffs. The Nuggets struggled without him and were bounced in the first round.

Karl had already beaten prostate cancer and lived through his son Coby’s two surgeries for thyroid cancer. But the throat and neck cancer he contracted tested him like nothing else.

Forty rounds of radiation burned through his skin, took his voice and he thought the cure would kill him before the disease.

He appeared on stage in the shadow of the Jimmy V banners and talked of the support he has had as well as his hopes for how to find and fund a cure for the dread disease.

It’s clear he’s ready to return to the rat race that is the NBA season but he will forever be changed.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Features, Recent BuzzComments (0)

Dan Gilbert spanks LeBron James


The NBA has a true villain, LeBron James, and ESPN’ 1st and Ten analyst Skip Bayless just accrued a million fans overnight.

Bayless, who has been ripping LeBron as being overrated as an NBA star and his inability to win an NBA championship for years, will now be admired by the thousands of Cleveland fans who burned No. 23 jerseys and millions of other NBA fans across the country who are disgusted with James and “The Decision”.

After ‘The King’ as he calls himself, joined Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade to create an All-Star trio in Miami, the most outspoken was betrayed Clevland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert who vented and accused James of “quitting during the playoffs”.

Gilbert posted a scathing message to Cavs fans on the team’s website shortly after James announced he was deserting the shores of Lake Erie for the nude beaches in Miami.

Being accused of quitting by your owner is about as big an insult a player could get but I agree with Gilbert’s accusations and actually thought the same as I was watching those games against the Celtics when James was dominated and outplayed by the aging Celts who came back from a 2-1 game deficit to win that series.

“He quit,” Gilbert said. “Not just in Game 5, but in Games 2, 4 and 6. Watch the tape. The Boston series was unlike anything in the history of sports for a superstar.”

The Game 5 Gilbert is referring to is the game the aging Celtics took James to school and won by 32 points. During that game, James played lethargic while he team got blown off the court then made a cowardly remark after the game, ducking accountability saying he “spoiled people” with his play over seven seasons, whatever the hell that means.

Gilbert, who has owned the Cavs for five years, said he felt disrespected by James’ behavior since the season ended and that James never returned a single phone message or text since that time and that the Cavs were not informed of James’ decision until he went on the air last night.

During an interview with the AP, Gilbert pulled no punches saying:

“[Lebron] has gotten a free pass. People have covered up for him for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is. LeBron James needs to go to another team with two superstars already so he can win a championship. We will win a championship before [the Heat] do.”

Gilbert went on to call LeBron “disrespectful”, “narcissistic” and “cowardly” and added a few other colorful words like “shameful”, “selfishness” and betrayal” and referred to LeBron’s move to South Beach as an “act of disloyalty,” and “heartless and callous”.

When it was all said in done, millions of Bayless haters are jumping on the Skip Bayless bandwagon and the NBA has themselves a true villain.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Features, NBA, Recent BuzzComments (1)

LBJ and “The Decision”


“The Decision”, a one-hour special on ESPN is the first network program to receive our Bitch-Slap-of-the-Week and it shares the honor with the show’s star NBA free agent, LeBron James who will be making his decision regarding where he will land and attempt to become, in his words, the world’s first billion-dollar athlete.

During the FIFA World Cup game between Spain and Germany, ESPN’s ticker tape “Breaking News” announced the show that in many people’s minds is nothing more than a network handing an egotistical, arrogant overpaid athlete their own one-hour special to announce to our recession-infested country, where he will be making his 100’s of millions of dollars.

That’s great, King James, now your audience can go climb up on a hot roof and nail some shingles for $800 a week or flip burgers at their second job so they can have electricity to pay for air conditioning this summer. Hope you enjoyed rubbing it in their faces and reminding them the reality of how overpaid pro athletes like you really are.

Kevin Blackistone of AOL Fanhouse wrote this about James in his article entitled, “Free Agent Circus Stains LeBron’s Image”.

“. . . all of a sudden [James] appears to be as egotistical and megalomaniacal as any of the most self-absorbed athletes we’ve come to know over the years. What a shame. Over the past few weeks, James has made himself as easy to dislike as he’d made himself over several years easy to like.”

In another article entitled, “ESPN Defends LeBron Special”, the network is quoted as they explain the purpose of the show. “We believe this is a unique program,” Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president of production said.

Yeah, it sure is. No network has ever wasted an hour of air time for an announcement of a free agent on where he will land.

The great champion NBA players like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaq, players who have all WON championships, something LeBron has not come close to accomplishing, have discreetly made decisions and taken their $100 million contracts as quietly as possible.

Getting beat by Orlando two years ago and again losing to the underdog, aging Boston Celtics this year, I guess LeBron can accept this special as a consolation prize as opposed to the back-to-back victory parades that Kobe and his Lakers team had, the confetti Shaq was driven through in Miami and L.A. and the half dozen Michael celebrated in the Windy City.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in Bitch Slaps, The Mosh PitComments (1)

Knicks inking Stoudemire for $99.7 million


BIG APPLE – The New York Knicks opened their checkbook real wide and agreed to a deal that will ink free agent Amare Stoudemire a five-year, $99.7 million contract. The deal cannot be officially signed until Thursday.

Knick coach Mike D’Antoni must be ecstatic to be reunited with a big man he is familiar with from his days in Phoenix coaching the Suns when Stoudemire averaged more than 20 points a game every season the two were together.

Speculation is rising that the Knicks wanted to land Stoudemire to bait the NBA’s biggest free agent fish, LeBron James. James pushed hard for the Cavs to pick up Stoudemire last year during the trade deadline.

“I feel great, really, about being a pioneer,” said Stoudemire. I think [LeBron] feels great about [me signing]. It’s a situation where no one wanted to make that first move, and I felt confident enough to take that first step, and hopefully now we can bring in a few guys to join us.”

“I’m not sure where [LeBron’s] leaning. If he’s leaning more toward New York, that would be a great start for us.”

James and, or, his agent have had talks with the Cavaliers, Bulls, Nets, Clippers and Heat.

Stoudemire flew into New York on Saturday, broke bread with D’Antoni and agreed on the deal on Monday.

Madison Square Garden already has billboards and signs throughout the arena picturing Stoudemire in a Knicks jersey.

This is the first big move by the Knicks who have spent the last few seasons dumping overhead and salary cap anticipating making a serious bid for James. The team however, has enough cap space to add another maximum contract player but the question remains, who will that be?

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in NBA, Recent BuzzComments (0)

Tom Izzo may have to wait for James approval


CLEVELAND, OH. – Michigan State Spartans basketball coach Tom Izzo is one of the top basketball coaches in the country and his ability to make sound decisions is one of the reasons. That same attribute may keep him behind a bench surrounded by Spartan green instead of NBA Cleveland Cavaliers jerseys.

Michigan State AD Mark Hollis has announced that Dan Gilbert has expressed a strong interest in his coach, Izzo, although he has not been given an offer yet. But who is Gilbert? The main interest that will put a guy behind that Cavs bench may need to come from LeBron James but only IF he is in the land of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame next season.

Gilbert is a Michigan State alum and thinks Izzo walks on water but until James thinks the same AND has a contract signed, we may see Izzo left hanging in quasi-land.

In 15 years as an NCAA coach, Izzo has won a national championship and led his Spartans to 6 Final Fours but regardless of his ability to win and lead, many do not expect him to take the Cavs job unless James has signed on the dotted line. On the flip side of that, regardless of his resume, he may have to wait for LeBron’s approval anyways.

To wad up and throw away his current contract that has him locked in until 2016 for a total rebuilding scenario without LeBron in Cleveland would be like trading in a Bentley for a Yugo.

The Cavs have remained one of the top teams and contenders in the Eastern Conference with James on the court but have still failed to win a title even though they have opened their wallet and surrounded James with a variety of talent over the years.

That being said, if James leaves for a larger NBA market like New York or Chicago, then Izzo may prefer to stay put in Lansing where Spartans fans are pacing the floor, awaiting this decision.

The LeBron sweepstakes has taken center stage even to the Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers NBA Playoff Finals and now Izzo’s name has been thrown into the fiasco.

Teams like his Cavs, the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls and New Jersey Nets are drooling over the image of seeing James suit up in their buildings, salivating over the idea of having him suit up in their uniform.

Knicks president Donnie Walsh has basically thrown away a few seasons creating enough cap space while it was earlier that rumored Derek Jeter and Jay Z would get involved in the recruiting mission.

In the Windy City, a billboard sits at Grand Ave. and La Salle St. that says “Chicago wants LeBron.” LeBron probably won’t even be driving in that area in Chicago but that’s how much hype surrounds his free agency.

Politicians are even getting in the mix with Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland leading a group of people singing a song entitled “Please Stay LeBron,” and President Obama suggesting where James should sign.

With this circus atmosphere surrounding LeBron and the Cavs, Izzo may have to wait for the official offer that may only come after James signs and APPROVES him as coach.

Izzo may not be used to players making coaching or organization decisions like that but welcome to the NBA . . . before even getting there, Mr. Izzo.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in NBA, NCAAComments (1)

LeBron James to Chicago? New York? Miami?


Rumors will be flying in this NBA off-season about what jersey LeBron James may land in.

SLAP! Excuse me, I just hauled off and slapped myself.

There are still two rounds to go in these NBA playoffs and the media, including us, are already absorbed in the LeBron sweepstakes.

Last time I looked there were four NBA teams that earned some press time by advancing to their NBA Conference Finals. Boston, Orlando, Phoenix and the L.A. Lakers all deserve the attention since they . . .

Forget that, back to LeBron.

After the Cleveland Cavaliers were given a shocking quick exit courtesy of Kevin Garnett and the Celts last night, Celtics fans was throwing in their two cents and giving a national television audience their prediction raising the roof with a chant:

“New York Knicks. New York Knicks!”

James had a statistically good night throwing up a triple-double, 27 points, 19 boards and 10 assists.

‘Throwing up’ may not be the best description pertaining to LeBron’s scoring; it seems more suitable for describing the symptoms Cavs fans may be having after another early ouster from the playoffs and the realization James may have played his final game in Cleveland.

When asked, James did not lay out any detail as expected about slam-dunking in another NBA uniform but he also did not suggest he will stay in the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame either.

“It’s all about winning for me, and I think the Cavs are committed to doing that,” James said. “But at the same time I’ve given myself options to this point.”

If LeBron does pack his bags, his final game could not have been a worse going away party. He was actually booed off the court after the Celtics took it to the Cavs blowing them out 120-88.

So where does ‘King’ James land? And I use that name lightly after his failure in this year’s playoffs.

The Chicago Bulls make a lot of sense since they have a foundation in place and plenty of championship history with Michael Jordan’s No. 23 jersey hanging in the rafters. Derrick Rose is one of the top point guards and Joakim Noah is developing along at a nice pace.

The Bulls gave away John Salmons and their No. 1 pick to the Fear the Deer group in Milwaukee and many believe that was solely to free up a butt-load of cash to bid on LeBron.

Miami is a part of this buzz as well and the timing of Pat Riley going to the press and declaring he may be interested in coaching again may not be a coincidence. Besides, they have the hottest cheerleaders on the planet who make every game feel like a sexy Halloween night.

Finally, the Celtics fans’ prediction, the New York Knicks. James has come right out and said New York is his favorite city and Madison Square Garden is his favorite NBA arena to play in and the Knicks have been clearing cap room for quite some time preparing to make a maximum offer to James.

If James is serious about wanting to be the first billionaire athlete in the universe, then the Knicks would almost have to be the place.

For sympathy reasons we will mention the train-wreck New Jersey Nets and give honorable mention to the L.A. Clippers because we have a really smart writer on staff here who lives on the west coast and thinks they may be prepping for the auction.

This summer will be one of the most interesting NBA off-seasons for sure, oh and BTW, I almost forgot to mention, the NBA Conference Finals start this weekend.

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in NBAComments (1)

LeBron James to Chicago? New York? Miami?


New York? Chicago? Miami?

Rumors will be flying in this NBA off-season about what jersey LeBron James may land in.

SLAP! Excuse me, I just hauled off and slapped myself.

There are still two rounds to go in these NBA playoffs and the media, including us, are already absorbed in the LeBron sweepstakes.

Last time I looked there were four NBA teams that earned some press time by advancing to their NBA Conference Finals. Boston, Orlando, Phoenix and the L.A. Lakers all deserve the attention since they . . .

Forget that, back to LeBron.

After the Cleveland Cavaliers were given a shocking quick exit courtesy of Kevin Garnett and the Celts last night, Celtics fans was throwing in their two cents and giving a national television audience their prediction raising the roof with a chant:

“New York Knicks. New York Knicks!”

James had a statistically good night throwing up a triple-double, 27 points, 19 boards and 10 assists.

‘Throwing up’ may not be the best description pertaining to LeBron’s scoring; it seems more suitable for describing the symptoms Cavs fans may be having after another early ouster from the playoffs and the realization James may have played his final game in Cleveland.

When asked, James did not lay out any detail as expected about slam-dunking in another NBA uniform but he also did not suggest he will stay in the home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame either.

“It’s all about winning for me, and I think the Cavs are committed to doing that,” James said. “But at the same time I’ve given myself options to this point.”

If LeBron does pack his bags, his final game could not have been a worse going away party. He was actually booed off the court after the Celtics took it to the Cavs blowing them out 120-88.

So where does ‘King’ James land? And I use that name lightly after his failure in this year’s playoffs.

The Chicago Bulls make a lot of sense since they have a foundation in place and plenty of championship history with Michael Jordan’s No. 23 jersey hanging in the rafters. Derrick Rose is one of the top point guards and Joakim Noah is developing along at a nice pace.

The Bulls gave away John Salmons and their No. 1 pick to the Fear the Deer group in Milwaukee and many believe that was solely to free up a butt-load of cash to bid on LeBron.

Miami is a part of this buzz as well and the timing of Pat Riley going to the press and declaring he may be interested in coaching again may not be a coincidence.

Finally, the Celtics fans’ prediction, the New York Knicks. James has come right out and said New York is his favorite city and Madison Square Garden is his favorite NBA arena to play in and the Knicks have been clearing cap room for quite some time preparing to make a maximum offer to James.

If James is serious about wanting to be the first billionaire athlete in the universe, then the Knicks would almost have to be the place.

For sympathy reasons we will mention the train-wreck New Jersey Nets and give honorable mention to the L.A. Clippers because we have a really smart writer on staff here who lives on the west coast and thinks they may be prepping for the auction.

This summer will be one of the most interesting NBA off-seasons for sure, oh and BTW, I almost forgot to mention, the NBA Conference Finals start this weekend.

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax, LLC

Posted in FeaturesComments (2)

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