As I’ve pointed out a few dozen times since July 1, whoever is running the public relations strategy for the NBA players union is doing a terrible job. But I’m also willing to bet that nobody is really in charge of the spin machine, as we’ve seen both the players and owners struggle to grasp reality during this entire lockout.
However, it’s worth pointing out that the players, despite coming off as greedy and arrogant at times (*cough, Dwyane Wade claiming he deserves $50 million per season, cough*), really do have their acts together for the most part. Sure, some of them are acting like they don’t give a crap about whether or not there is a season, but some of them are using their free time for the betterment of society and they’re not necessarily doing it so they can pose for the cameras.
Us basketball fans may be pissed, annoyed, frustrated, and flat out angry, but we’re also ignorant to the better efforts because a couple guys giving out Playstations to terminally ill kids doesn’t make a front page look as sexy as Wade telling off the league’s commish. Fortunately, I was doing some fall hard drive cleaning and came across a slew of images that proves that even the most robotic, soulless eventual billionaires like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony have big hearts. They just don’t have good marketing teams.
(Images via Getty and the AP.)
One of my favorite "30 Rock" jokes comes from Dennis Duffy as he's being removed from the NBC building by security: "Hey, hands off the jacket. It's from Amar'e Stoudemire's evening wear collection." It made his appearances at New York City's Fashion Week so much more special.
Who says a black Jewish man has it hard in America?
Andre Iguodala also made an appearance at Fashion Week, which must have been a treat for all of the huge NBA fans in attendance.
Andre Iguodala also showed up to last Friday's labor negotiations, and this is key because he is the type of player whose contract is being targeted by owners. Granted, he doesn't have a terribly burdensome contract for his talent level but the Philadelphia 76ers could be doing a lot more with the money they're paying Iggy.
Ron Artest, AKA Metta World Peace, spent time with students from Compton High School at the Grammy Museum. Artest's charity, Xcel University, has donated $285,000 to mental health charities this year.
And then Metta World Peace became the first person eliminated from the current season of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars."
Portland Trailblazers guard Brandon Roy, whose current contract is a perfect example of why the owners want two amnesty clauses under the new CBA, participated in the GameStop Xbox Giving for Good G3 Game-a-Thon this weekend, benefiting the Children's Miracle Network.
Carmelo Anthony attended the 2011 New Yorkers for Children Gala.
He also attended Fashion Week. Not pictured is the leash that his wife, La La Anthony, keeps securely around his nugget pouch.
Anthony also took part in Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day of Play, fulfilling every 80s kid's dream of being slimed.
Anthony and Washington Wizards guard John Wall were two of the many stars who participated in Chris Paul's CP3 Foundation Charity Game on Saturday.
Anthony also attended Friday's negotiations, and was one of the key players who threatened to walk out when Dwyane Wade felt that David Stern was singling him out, even though he wasn't.
Chris Bosh and his wife attended the premiere of the second season of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire." I feel bad for the person who sat behind him.
Bosh and his wife also attended the U.S. Open, as they sat with that actor from that show that my girlfriend watches while I pretend that I have a writing career.
Chris Paul's charity event was just one of many exhibition games that players have been hosting for good causes.
Paul has been Mr. Charity this summer, having hosted his own tournament and appeared at the Nickelodeon Worldwide Day of Play, among many other events.
Again, if the owners get their way with two amnesty clauses and less years and money for mid-level contracts, this picture could become a reality with Paul, Wade and James wearing white and red.
Like some other players, Chicago Bulls guard and league MVP Derrick Rose used this summer for promotional and branding purposes. Rose spent some time in Taiwan waving to people.
Former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates Kevin Durant and Jeff Green participated in a charity game at Coolidge High School in Washington, DC a few weeks ago.
Durant also stopped by his alma mater, the University of Texas, and made an appearance on ESPN College Gameday before the Longhorns played against Rice.
Durant appeared in the Nike commercials for the release of the Nike Mag shoes, which were made famous in the Back to the Future film franchise. The shoe sales raised a ridiculous amount of money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, with pairs of the limited edition high tops selling for more than $10,000 on eBay.
And Durant also attended multiple NBA labor negotiation meetings.
Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard, whose impending free agency should have him very interested in the outcome of the new CBA, made an appearance on BET's "106 and Park."
Howard also paid a visit to Disney World for the opening of the new Star Tours ride. Khloe Kardashian was also on hand.
And Howard was also at Fashion Week.
In case you were wondering if Greg Oden was still alive, he walked the red carpet at a recent premiere for the Hugh Jackman film, Real Steel. It's a movie about robots punching each other in the balls. Should be a leading Oscar contender.
Chris Bosh and Kevin Love challenged fans at the first ever Call of Duty XP event.
Kobe Bryant spent time in Bologna, Italy, teaching kids how to play basketball. There has been a lot of news lately about Bryant possibly playing in Italy for a month while the lockout drags on. I think it's safe to say that his decision will be our best indicator of whether or not there will be a season.
Bryant also inspired a new "Haters Gonna Hate" meme with this penalty kick at the 2011 Herbalife World Football Challenge, between Barcelona and Manchester United.
Bryant presented Man. U's Nemanja Vidic with the Turkish Airlines Trophy, whatever that is.
Bryant conducted a promotional tour through China, apparently helping Chinese youth become stronger for their eventual domination of America's fatties.
Bryant's time in Singapore fueled speculations that he would end up playing in China during the lockout. This left me wondering, "What the hell is wrong with his finger?"
Lamar Odom attended the Teen Choice Awards with the reason why our society has crumbled.
New York Knicks guard Landry Fields also took part in a GameStop Gaming and Giving for Good Charity event in New York City.
LeBron James addressed the U.S. Congress about supporting the endeavors of the Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the country.
He also put on a hell of a highlight reel at the CP3 Foundation game. This time he didn't even dunk on kids!
James played for Team Melo against Team Philly at an exhibition game in Philadelphia. Some people might think that James and Wade playing in all these exhibition games during the lockout might provide them with an opportunity to recruit quality role players for the Miami Heat, and those people are right.
James hosted a basketball clinic for kids in Barcelona, Spain. Spain is cool because people get to take naps all the time. Just wanted to give a shout out to my love of naps.
James doesn't really get enough credit for his work with the Boys & Girls Club, as seen here recording a PSA. Even when he's raising millions for the organization it's overshadowed by something silly like arrogantly airing a one-hour TV special dedicated to ripping the hearts out of the chests of hundreds of thousands of fans.
"Imagine if all contracts are declared null and void and you become a free agent and come play in Miami... SERIOUSLY."
James showed up to the labor negotiations on Friday, apparently rocking the same style that I wore to Bar Mitzvahs in middle school.
Wouldn't it be fun to watch Paul and Wall play in something aside from exhibition games? We should work on that.
Paul Pierce was busy securing his own finances in the World Series of Poker.
Ray Allen is clearly preparing for a run in politics, as he spoke at a Democratic fundraiser at the Boston Center for the Arts.
He also raised money and awareness for breast cancer by playing in the Birdies for Breast Cancer Foundation Liberty Cup.
Of course James and Wade played it up for the crowd at the CP3 Foundation charity game.
I think someone was showing highlights of the NBA Finals.
Her dad was probably cool with it.
Is Wade ever not the best-dressed person on this planet?