The sports universe has never come across anything like LeBron James’ free agency as perhaps the greatest professional basketball player of this century courts offers to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and the state of Ohio in which he was born. As of 12:01 AM today the free agency period began and it was like a world summit in Cleveland with an invasion that included billionaire Russian moguls, Jay Z, head coaches, paparazzi, and the king himself rolling into town in a white Cadillac Escalade reminiscent of the O.J. Simpson Bronco chase!
While every NBA franchise with enough cap space is courting LeBron, his home state politicians have clasped on to his b-ballin’ coattails in any way they can. There’s currently a heated race for Governor in Ohio and sticking with partisan politics the two camps, Republican and Democrat, are split on the LeBron James situation.
Democratic Governor Ted Strickland took time out of his busy schedule on May 3rd, 2010 to take part in a little “We Are The World” LeBron James plea parody music video called “We Are Lebron.” Here is the clip of a sort of who’s who of Cleveland celebrities singing their best sales pitch:
WE ARE LEBRON:
While the Lebron free agent free-for-all is a wild new beast of wackiness for the sports world, it looks like the political world felt right at home with the insanity. Here is a screen-shot from the video of the Governor singing his Ohioan heart out:
In response to this musical LeBron wooing from the Democratic incumbent, the Republican challenger, Mr. John Kasich made a few comments of his own about possibility of LeBron leaving the Buckeye state. During a radio interview Kasich was asked if he would be appearing in any chorus to keep LeBron in Ohio and part of his response was:
“I’m not singing in any chorus for LeBron James.” Then Kasich went on to say, “Alan, we’ve lost 400,000 jobs out here and the last guy I worry about is LeBron James.”
The Democratic party in Ohio ran with this little nugget all the way to a brand new website called Ohioans Against Lebron. Via the website there is a photo-shopped image of Kasich (seen above) in which he is seen holding a crossed out LeBron James sign. Next to the image it calls Kasich the “Founder and President.”
In addition they included a video that contains a portion of the audio from the radio interview in which Kasich made the LeBron comments. Here is that clip:
It is important to note that the clip contains only a brief portion of what was said during the interview. There was definitely some purposeful editing in the process. Here is a little more of what Kasich had to say for perspective:
“Alan, we’ve lost 400,000 jobs out here and the last guy I worry about is LeBron James. You know I mean, we all hope he’ll stay in Cleveland. We think we’ve got a great guy there that can turn everything around, but we got some serious problems,” Kasich said.
“It’d have been so great for the Cavs to be playing because Cleveland has struggled with its sports teams and we need a little, we need a little victory so we might need to steal some players out of New York to help us out,” Kasich told Colmes.
It seems like the only peeps in Ohio not lost in LeBron madness is the seemingly cool, calm and collected James himself. Perhaps that’s part of what makes him so great and appealing to his fans in Ohio. That and the fact he’s a walking triple-double waiting to happen!