(N.B.A) No-Body Asking Lebron?

lebron

Former NBA Allstar Allen Iverson, became the king of the sound byte when he went on a verbal tirade in addressing allegations that his “practice” habits were alleged to be subpar by his coach (we talkin practice!). Although he’s synonymous with that quote, I have another quote from Allen Iverson that is less infamous that I like to extract and utilize from time to time. The quote came on the fringe of Kobe Bryant’s rape allegation case, when addressing the idea that Kobe was thought to have a squeaky clean image. Iverson assessed “Squeaky clean? There ain’t no such thing as a squeaky clean human being”. Such an insightful perspective embedded inside a serum of truth. One would have to deeply theorize what is the “truth” nowadays as we see more and more veils of deception being worn at the podiums by public figures. The NBA has long suffered with image issues throughout its inception, as they have fought issues of cocaine abuse and racial discourse, especially in the 80’s, where black players and their troubled lifestyles had become a hard sell to caucasian consumers. In fact I will go deeper into the darkness by declaring that Larry Bird actually saved basketball, not because of his skill-set, but because of his skin color. The epic duels between Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson propelled the NBA into profit mode, catapulting it into a viable, mainstream option for the average, casual sports fan. We would then see the NBA audience increase in the early 90s and throughout, with the arrival of Michael Jordan. Michael would become that once in a lifetime transcendent player/persona, that would shatter the mould and redefine what “Superstar Athlete” would mean moving forward, from both a talent and financial perspective. Jordan reinvented the wheel and turned it into a virtual money making machine that spewed out a brand recognition (Jordan) comparable to the likes of familiar corporations such as McDonalds and Coca Cola. Michael was the cash cow who laid the golden eggs on the side as a part time hobby. Before bringing forth the focus of my blog topic I would first like to recount. The 80s saw a marketing image makeover that culminated into financial success with the epic “Bird versus Magic” headline, only to transcend to an even greater echelon with the emergence of Michael Jordan. All of these great accomplishments came under the guided rule of one acting commissioner ; Commissioner David Stern. Bare with me as I move the car into another parking stall.

We started off referencing Allen Iverson’s squeaky clean insight, so let us try to complete the montage. Michael Jordan was the quintessential “superstar”, however, there was a flawed aspect to his character that is rarely discussed openly and was pretty much swept under the rug by the media and especially by the NBA. There were investigations into his alleged association with “made men” who he routinely gambled with and was indebted to. In fact the NBA launched its own investigation into these allegations, as they feared Michael could have been compromised in what could be speculated as a Pete Rose type of scenario surrounding gambling. It has been noted that investigators were beginning to define Michaels role in these tainted association with criminal elements, however, Michael conveniently retired at the peak of his success, stating that his passion for the game and desire to compete had suddenly dwindled. This coming from a man who lived for competition to the point where he cheated a close friends mother during a family game night in order to win. It’s hard to fathom an individual like this losing desire to compete, however, is it reasonable to project that perhaps the NBA persuaded him to lay low until the dogs lost their scent? The NBA investigators would conveniently cease their investigation and called off the proverbial witch hunt after he announced his retirement. Coincidence? Perhaps if you are a bumbling detective like Inspector Gadget you may resign to this theory, but commonsensical individuals can read between the blurred lines. Michael would resume his basketball career less than two years retired, citing his love for the game as being his reason for returning. We would then see Michael return to dominance, winning three straight championships with no mention of the gambling allegations by the NBA and its team of investigators. A classic “sweep under the rug” tactic used to hide the remnants of dirt particles, while cashing in on the popularity of a marquee juggernaut. Brilliant, devious and deceptive; all for the love of money.

In moving forward, Michael retires a second time, this time due to issues surrounding the Chicago Bulls organization. Yes, Superman had left the building with no heir to his cape; just an empty phone booth with no dial tone. The NBA needed a new hero; in fact when Superman is not available we usually call on Batman and Robin (a.k.a Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant) to save the world from Dr. D (D=diminished ticket sales). The NBA, lead by film director Stern, would shoot the new film starring Batman and Robin on location in Tinsel Town (a.k.a. The Los Angeles Lakers). This film would be given a budget big enough create a trilogy (the Lakers would go on to win three straight championships) and cover all of the expenses associated with the hiring of extras and stunt doubles (referees) required on set in order to captivate an awaiting audience. Well if my words sounds more like a plug for a summer blockbuster instead of a basketball game, do know that it is not by accident. The NBA, in all of its knee jerking reaction to Michael taking his ball and going home, began to do what I call “W.W.Eing” (World Wrestling Entertainment) basketball games in an effort to create a new era/dynasty for its most marketable players: Shaq and Kobe. Now of course this is all “my” opinion as there is no factual evidence (only the tape of LA Lakers versus Sacramento Kings playoff series) to support my theory; but it is safe to say that certain calls by the referees during Lakers march to their three championships seemed (blatantly) to highly work in their favor. This seemingly “staged refereeing”, gave an additional advantage to two players with exceptional, superior skill-sets; making it near impossible to overthrow them. This epic (movie) run seemed like it would not stop at three championships, however no one could foresee the mighty duo (co-leading actors) would start to bicker with one another regarding whose (stage) team it was, causing an eventual Hollywood split, with Shaquille taking his talents to Miami (cue the Will Smith song). Ahhh, Miami, the home of scantly clad women, hot sun and the home of my blog subject: Lebron James. Lets take my talents to South Beach.

Let’s recap again; I have watched basketball for over 30 years, so the game is like a religion to me. These instances I speak of are known but not spoken enough about in theory. The Michael Jordan gambling is noted and documented, the Shaquille and Kobe refereeing issues became substantiated by a whistle blowing referee named Tim Donaghy, who admitted to fixing/calling games and alleged that the NBA played a role in him doing so. We have never seen any of these allegations thoroughly investigated nor the results revealed from the findings of these said investigation by the league. They have been summarily dismissed with a “how dare you question us” demeanor by David Stern as he would vehemently try to destroy the credibility of those coming forward with such allegations. To set the record straight, the NBA is not a blind league, as I had a conversation with an investigator some years back, who revealed that he had been ascertained by the league to monitor Allen Iverson’s activity. So to believe that the league is laissez faire regarding the lifestyle of their players (employees) is strongly misleading when they announce that they were “unaware of the fact”. This brings us to Lebron James. We have all heard about Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and Major League Baseball’s issues with steroids and human growth hormone; but what is not receiving enough attention is the fact that baseball was only one of several different sports mentioned as having a connection to the clinic. The NBA was also on that list, with claims that notable superstar athletes in basketball were part of their client list as well. It was revealed that a player whose initials on file were “LJ” had a regiment he was obtaining from them that was being routinely picked up by an associate of his named “Mr. Paul”. Now I will never work for NASA, as I am no rocket scientist, but I will say that I am a master of dot connecting (and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express). First and foremost, “LJ” does not stand for Leon Jones. Secondly, Biogenesis is a business based in Miami Florida. Thirdly, Paul Rich is the name of Lebron James’ agent. In this case 1+1=3, as the sum of these three parts make a whole. You can ask anyone who follows the game of basketball, who is the supreme physical specimen in the league and Lebron James (Iron Man in keeping with the Super Hero theme) will be the answer without hesitation. The man looks like a scientific creation; with his power, speed, athleticism and durability levels registering off the charts. We can speculate he had some of these physical talents when coming into the league, however, he has become titanium like, as I cannot recall him missing games other than the ones he elected to. This from a player who endures and shoulders the full brunt of his teams success night in and night out by carrying the load of a multitude of tasks equated to that of three people. In this years playoffs, he appeared to get stronger and stronger while others, including his teammates, would begin to decline. Also to be noted, Lebron participated in the 2013 Olympics as well. Is this all a result of training? Can weightlifting and endurance training turn a body into an indestructible Terminator exoskeleton? We know the benefits from steroids, so does Lebron’s physicality exude traits of a user? These are questions I am asking, but apparently David Stern and the NBA are not, as reports from Biogenesis substantiated that the NBA has not inquired nor asked about their league’s possible involvement. Is this David Stern hoping to not taint his legacy as he awaits his exodus from the commissioner’s throne? The NBA is now implementing a steroid policy for next season, conveniently when David Stern officially retires. So I ask, why is no one asking Lebron James about Biogenesis? Maybe the NBA hired Olivia Pope to help detract the scandalous vitriol the league would endure if its most marketable athlete faced an A-Rod like musical ensemble. Perhaps this, becomes Stern’s Terrific Trifecta; Gambling, Tampering and Enhancement. Sounds like an autobiographical depiction of a commissioner who knows how to do one thing well in order to preserve a squeaky clean image and that is cover his (league) own a&&…#scandal

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