Jason Whitlock: Cleveland should be bothered by LeBron saying he is flattered by billboards recruiting him to Philly

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Jason Whitlock talks LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Hear why he thinks the billboards recruiting 'King James' to join the 76ers should bother the defending Eastern Conference champs.

COLIN COWHERD: Whitlock, should the Cavs be bothered by it?

JASON WHITLOCK: Yeah, actually. You know, LeBron says some great things then some things I disagree with. I don't think this is the right thing to be saying at this time. Let's just go back to February when there was a rumor about LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors. Listen to what LeBron said just a month ago about the rumors about him and the Golden State Warriors.

LEBRON JAMES: Well, please for the rest of this season, don't ask me about nothing else, no other team unless we're competing against them the next night or you were to ask me about a highlight that happened the night before. Don't ask me about being on the team or on another team because it's unfair to my teammates here, my 14 teammates that we come and work hard for, the coaching staff and this fan base.

JASON WHITLOCK: So here he is just three weeks ago. Doesn't want to-- don't talk about-- this, to me, is an indication has he given up on his new team already. And now that he's given up, it's OK to talk about other cities, Philadelphia, Golden State, whatever. Just two or three weeks ago, hell, it's still February. Shortest month, but it's still February. He was saying, don't bring this up to me.

COLIN COWHERD: There you go finding an old clip to ruin my argument.


That was pretty good, I've got to be honest with you. I will say this, he's a really smart guy. I don't think he's going to be swayed by billboards. LeBron is a real smart guy, but that's pretty good evidence. That was Forensic Files right there.

JASON WHITLOCK: COLIN COWHERD: He's given up on his current team.

COLIN COWHERD: I'm not going to lie.

ANALYST: I think he should be flattered, you know, any time you're wanted in any job.


JASON WHITLOCK: How should his Cavaliers teammates feel?

ANALYST 1: Well, I don't think they should be worried. This is why I say that. You have a better life and you are happier when you worry about things you can control. They can't control if LeBron is going to be there or not. Don't even worry about it, you can't do nothing about it. If they want to put billboards around the whole United States, come play on my team, so what? You have no control. Worry about the team you got now. You can't control whether he's going to be there or not.

ANALYST 2: Hey fellas, you've got to understand we live in a different day and age of transparency, where players can speak out. Players have voices, you can be yourself.

JASON WHITLOCK: Is he speaking out three weeks ago?

ANALYST 2: He was and he made a choice.

COLIN COWHERD: And now he flip-flopped.

ANALYST 2: He made a choice to make a statement for his team going into the trade deadline in amidst chaos. That chaos has died down now, so he can speak out and he can be himself. You couldn't say this before. You didn't see Jordan go out and do this. You didn't see Kobe, you didn't see Magic, those guys didn't speak about other teams. But now we have the freedom to be ourself in which it's not always wrong. You're just getting what LeBron is really thinking and today and age, in the age of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, all this.

JASON WHITLOCK: If you were on the Cavaliers team, how would you feel about it? I mean, it's great--

ANALYST 2: I wouldn't mind-- I would say he's being upfront and I would know darn well that there's a realistic chance that LeBron could leave. And he's been upfront. Do I want to hear about that now? Not necessarily, but there's no way I'll blow it out of proportion.

COLIN COWHERD: By the way, for years and years, all these pro athletes get traded and have no control.

ANALYST 1: Shaq got traded.


COLIN COWHERD: But now that a player, an NBA player is like, yeah man, I'm kind of maybe initiating the trade, we don't like it. LeBron James can talk about move-- by the way, the GM is--

JASON WHITLOCK: Here's what I don't like about it, Colin. I would not be giving up on this current collection--

COLIN COWHERD: I don't think he is.

JASON WHITLOCK: --of Cavaliers players. It's too early. Keep a single focus, making the most of this situation because again, it's like, control what you can control today.

COLIN COWHERD: OK, let me ask you this.

JASON WHITLOCK: He ain't going nowhere today.

ANALYST 1: Right.

COLIN COWHERD: Whenever you see in newspapers or blogs stories about trades, do you know how those get there? General managers leaking them.

ANALYST 2: Mm-hmm.

COLIN COWHERD: So why can't GMs talk about that.

JASON WHITLOCK: The trade deadline is past, Colin. The only thing he can accomplish the rest of this year is to win with this group of player.

ANALYST 1: Or lose with this group of players.

JASON WHITLOCK: So why not focus on that.

COLIN COWHERD: I think, what? That comment means he's not focusing? He was asked a question in a presser.

JASON WHITLOCK: Three weeks ago he was all in and don't bring up nothing about any other team unless we're playing them. It wouldn't be-- his words. Wouldn't be fair to these teammates. That's what he said then.

COLIN COWHERD: Yeah, but those guys are all out of town now.

JASON WHITLOCK: And so now this new group, he can be unfair to them. He ain't got to be all in with them?

COLIN COWHERD: It was a pretty good case by you. You brought some old tape in and so you feel good about yourself.

JASON WHITLOCK: Do we have tape of Jordan ever doing this? Bailing on a team.

COLIN COWHERD: To Ryan's point, it's a different world.

JASON WHITLOCK: We don't have a tape of it. We don't have tape of Jordan bailing on a current--

COLIN COWHERD: Back then, if you did that, it was disloyal. We live in a new world where players have smartened up and have power now.

ANALYST 2: We know LeBron, he doesn't have to be all in. He's not all in, all right? It is safe to say, if they don't win it nobody's going to lose their mind if the Cavaliers don't win the championship this year.

COLIN COWHERD: By the way, his contract is like a year. He tells you with his contract I'm not all in. LeBron is totally honest, make my team better or I'm leaving.

JASON WHITLOCK: And so this is good thing. He's not all in, he's given up, he's conceded the title to Golden State. This is a positive? I mean--

ANALYST 1: He's still focused.

ANALYST 2: I would argue, is he not the guy that's performed, fellas?


ANALYST 2: He's performed the months, we could say, the nonsense. Our generation says it's not, shut up and go play basketball. Well, LeBron is I'm more than an athlete, I'm speaking out, and he's delivered.


JASON WHITLOCK: We've seen LeBron raise a white flag before. The first time he was in Cleveland and they got in that Boston series and he raised a white flag. You'll want to see that again and keep comparing him to Jordan, not going to happen.