Talk about Grab Em By The Posse, am I right?
(Sorry, sorry. Trying to delete)
I’ll admit, I’ve fallen off of tuning in to Mike these last few months or so. Part of it is needing to actually focus on work and not being able to multitask while Vito from Queens screams at Mike about the Mets bullpen depth. But part of it is that Mike has seemed to mellow out a little. We’re now almost exactly one year away from his official retirement, but it’s felt like he’s already halfway out the door. There’ve been a lot less moments like this and a lot more “hey, that’s the way it is. Wuddya gonna do” subdued responses to callers. I was beginning to worry if he’d lost his fastball.
My GOD was I mistaken. Claiming there’s no speech out there from Donald Trump with profanity? Mike has made a lot of outrageous statements over the years (OVAH THIRTY YEAHS), but this one is up there. There might not be a speech out there where Trump didn’t curse – that’s how preposterous this claim is. I mean I’m not going to get into how unrelated Lebron saying “shit” a few times on stage is to the whole “posse” controversy. Picking something small and unrelated and going on about it is a Francesa staple. But to claim that Donald Trump has never cursed in public? That’s next level.
All time… ALL TIME Francesa moment if you ask me. God damn I’m gonna miss this man.
Oh and an obvious kudos to Funhouse. Hell of a job putting that together.
I talked a little about the “posse” thing when it originally happened, but let’s just expand on it more here…
Look, everyone knows what he or she is saying when they say posse. Old timer, young kid, whoever. When you say posse you mean the group of guys/girls that follow a person around. Lebron and his friends don’t want to be seen as that. They’ve all been wildly successful in the business realm. They want to be seen as business men, not as Lebron’s friends. That’s not a wild concept.
Are a lot of Lebron’s friends in the position they’re in due in part to Lebron? Of course. They utilized a relationship, in conjunction with a ton of hard work, to further their business career. You know who else does that? Every single person in business, politics, whatever. You use relationships to further your career. Maybe your parents, maybe it’s your high school friends, maybe it’s a mentor, whatever. The point is that regardless of how Maverick Carter and Rich Paul and all of Lebron’s friends got to where they are, they want to be seen for what they are now – businessmen. Viewing and labeling them as anything else only serves to diminish their reputation in that realm. Even if you don’t think “posse” is a demeaning term (and in most cases it’s not intended like that), that’s not how these guys want to be seen for the sake of their own careers.
Did Lebron overreact? Sure, you could say that.
I see it more as a strategic business move.
He utilized his power in the industry to get a significant portion of the basketball world to turn on Phil Jackson: a competitor of his. Lebron and Phil are competing for free agents, competing for sway in NBA circles, competing for power in the NBA. With this move, Lebron showed the basketball world and potential free agents what Phil Jackson thinks of a player who wants to give his friends opportunities to advance in the business world. That matters to players – that matters A LOT. And if you think potential free agents won’t be thinking about that when deciding whether or not to take a meeting with Jackson next summer, then you’re severely underestimating the interests these guys have outside of basketball.
Lebron is intent on removing power from the front office and giving it to the players. Just look at the last three years. In that time he has brought down Pat Riley’s Miami Mafia… diminished Riley’s reputation with future free agents by revealing Riley’s “Going back home is the worst mistake in your career” comments… convinced Dwyane Wade to leave Miami… held Cleveland hostage with one year contracts… made Cleveland trade for Kevin Love, sign Tristan Thompson, trade for J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, fire David Blatt, and resign J.R. Smith… Helped Chris Paul reshaped the CBA to give the players more power… Sat back-to-backs and forced the NBA to extend the season to reduce the number of back-to-backs… and the list goes on and on.
Lebron is the biggest power player in the NBA. Not just amongst players, but amongst everyone. Coaches, front offices, league executives, owners, everyone. He’s more powerful than Adam Silver, than Joe Lacob, than Gregg Popovich, you name it.
He didn’t react as forcefully as he did because his feeling were hurt – he did it because he knew he could damage Phil Jackson. And he did.
So while you banter and bicker over the connotations of a word, just know that Lebron has more sway now than he did before. He increased his influence and diminished some of Phil’s. In other words, he grabbed him by the posse.
P.S. I can’t tell if that was the cheesiest or most fire flames scorching hot closing line of all time. I’ll let you be the judge.