LeBron in favor of a less watered-down NBA, not contraction

LeBron is in some fairly hot water (…again…) after he spoke without thinking (…again). Here’s what he said about the idea of a less watered-down NBA.

“Hopefully the league can figure out one way where it can go back to the ’80s where you had three or four All-Stars, three or four superstars, three or four Hall of Famers on the same team,” James said. “The league was great. It wasn’t as watered down as it is [now].”

“[Contraction] is not my job; I’m a player but that is why it, the league, was so great,” James said.

“Imagine if you could take Kevin Love off Minnesota and add him to another team and you shrink the [league]. Looking at some of the teams that aren’t that great, you take Brook Lopez or you take Devin Harris off these teams that aren’t that good right now and you add him to a team that could be really good. Not saying let’s take New Jersey and let’s take Minnesota out of the league. But hey, you guys are not stupid, I’m not stupid, it would be great for the league.”

Anyone who knows the definition of ‘contraction’ knows that’s what LeBron is talking about here. Some people believe that it would be good for the NBA if there weren’t so many teams because there would be more stars on each team and the quality of play would go up. The downside with this strategy is teams (like Minnesota and New Jersey in LeBron’s example) would no longer exist.

So LeBron is in favor of contraction. Wait — no he’s not:

“That’s crazy, because I had no idea what the word ‘contraction’ meant before I saw it on the Internet,” James said after the Miami Heat’s practice Monday. “I never even mentioned that. That word never even came out of my mouth. I was just saying how the league was back in the ’80s and how it could be good again. I never said, ‘Let’s take some of the teams out.’ ”

“I’m with the players, and the players know that,” James said Monday. “I’ve been with the players. It’s not about getting guys out of the league or knocking teams out. I didn’t mean to upset nobody. I didn’t tell Avery Johnson to leave either. I didn’t say let’s abandon the Nets, and not let them move to Brooklyn or let’s tear down the Target Center in Minnesota. I never said that.”

Welcome to Semantics 101, with Professor LeBron. No, he didn’t say that we should be “knocking teams out,” but he did say how great it would be if the league weren’t so watered down, which would absolutely require fewer teams. He didn’t say the T-Wolves shouldn’t exist, but he did say it would be great if Minnesota’s star player were arbitrarily moved to another team. What happens to the T-Wolves in his world?

Just because he didn’t say the word contraction doesn’t mean that he didn’t come out in favor of contraction.

I like the Sportress of Blogitude‘s take on this:

Aha! That is sound, logical reasoning right there. How can LeBron be in favor of something if he has never even heard of the word until he saw it on the internet? Allow me to illustrate: let’s say – simply for the sake of argument only – that some misguided pundit argued that killing some of the babies born into the world every day would be an effective means of population control. Obviously, such a deplorable opinion would generate a lot of controversy. But if someone later asked said pundit how they possibly could be in favor of infanticide, that person could potentially argue that if they have never heard of the word “infanticide” before, how could they be in favor of it? Unless a person can identify the exact word which perfectly describes some particular act, they cannot in any way support said act, even if that person previously stated they were in favor of exactly what that particular word means. It’s all about semantics, you see.

Well played, LeBron. Well played. Your keen mastery of logic mystifies us all.

That about sums it up.

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