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LeBron's Ex-Teammate Exposes Him for the Fraud He Is

Michael Reaves. Getty Images.

There's a story that might be apocryphal, but that wouldn't make it any less useful to tell. It seems that when Lyndon Johnson was President, he asked one of his aides, "Why don't people like me?" And the answer allegedly was, "Because, Mr. President, you're not very likeable." 

I've used that any time someone has asked me why I don't like LeBron James. He's thoroughly unlikeable. And it goes way beyond the obvious: The flopping:

All the lying on the floor writhing in pain. Beefing with teammates. Getting coaches fired. The blatant and completely unnecessary lies:

But there's one big, sustained, serial lie that James has been perpetuating for years that goes right up my prison wallet sideways and always has. The Book Lie:

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The Book Lie first struck me when LeBron was facing the Celtics in a playoff game. Now anyone who's ever lived in a place that had a TV  knew how this would play out. ESPN would place a camera in the hallway of the Garden and show footage of LeBron walking to the locker room. And on this night, as he did, he once again had his nose buried in a book. In this instance, Mario Puzo's The Godfather. And yes, he was on Page 1. Meaning he had a copy of a then-50 year old novel, and decided the best time to start diving in was the 10 minute bus ride from the team hotel. And wouldn't you know it, the network cameras just happened to be there to capture this private moment. Just a regular guy, taking a stroll down a tunnel, relaxing to the funeral director Bonasera pleading with Vito Corelone to exact vengeance on his daughter's attackers. You know, the way us regular folks do. 

And finally someone who has played with him has confirmed what utter bullshit this gimmick is. Alex Caruso was James' teammate on the Lakers from 2018-19 to 2021-22. And he went on a show that shall not be referenced, and was asked about this legendary Bibliophile's insatiable appetite for the written word:

Q: "Does LeBron read those books?" 

Caruso: [Pregnant pause] "Wait … what books?"

Giphy Images.

I don't give a tuppenny fuck whether LeBron James or anyone else is a huge bookworm or never cracks one open. I think all people should support the literary arts (starting with the two greatest tomes ever published), but I don't hold it against anyone if they're more of a listener than a reader. To each his own. 

What I cannot and will not tolerate is a phony. You can even be a gigantic arshole - believe me, some of my best friends are - and that's not a deal killer. But at the very least, what we should demand of any famous person is that they be authentic. What LeBron does with this phony baloney Book Nerd persona is just the reverse of when a politician tries to talk about sports. Both are trying to be something they're not, because they think it'll make them seem more relatable to us normies. And we'll be impressed by the realization there's another side to them the public rarely gets to see. That they're complex people of depth, with many interests beyond what they're famous for. 

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And I don't know what's more insulting. That James ever thought this con would work, or that he thinks it's working on the idiot public enough to keep doing it. At least his teammates never bought it. Regardless, I say he should be required to give a book report for every one he's ever front of a camera reading. And hope it goes better than this: