Why Beyonce Has To Tell Bitches To Bow Down (…And Why Lebron Doesn’t)

Jay-Z-Beyonce-Lebron-Savannah-at-SI

There is a sizable percentage of sports fans who steadfastly believe that Lebron James will never be as good as or better at basketball than Michael Jordan was. Note, I didn’t say “believe that Lebron James is currently as good as or better than Michael Jordan.” No, these people believe that Lebron is completely incapable of ever reaching that status. There is literally nothing he can do to change their minds.

The reasons for this belief vary. Some provide factual arguments. (Jordan never lost in the NBA Finals. Lebron has already lost twice.) Some prefer to craft their arguments around style/aesthetics. (Jordan’s game was more graceful and seemed a bit more refined than Lebron’s.) Some even get caught up in selective nostalgia. (The faultiest argument, these are the type of people who discount anything that happens now because things were “better” back in the day.)

The most common argument, though, is based on something that’s both completely intangible and completely true: Jordan was, by all accounts, an uber-competitive asshole who’d cut his own mother’s throat to win a hand in spades. Lebron, by all accounts, is competitive enough, but not nearly as competitive as Jordan.

And, the argument states, since he’s not that type of competitor—since he doesn’t have that same killer instinct—he’ll never be able to match or exceed Michael.

At this point, you might be wondering why I’d include Beyonce in the title of a piece comparing Michael Jordan to Lebron James. “Perhaps” you might be thinking “he originally wanted to write about Beyonce, changed his mind, but forgot to change the title. That damn Champ is a rascal!”

Well, Beyonce has been on my mind since the oft-talked about release of Bow Down/I Been On. As alluded to last week, the reaction to the song has been more interesting than the song itself, and one of the main reactions has been, simply, confusion.

“In the last two years, Beyonce has given birth to her first child, performed at the Super Bowl and the President’s inauguration, and signed multi-million dollar contracts with Pepsi and H&M (among others). Oh, and she also has a devoted fanbase anxiously anticipating her every move, is worth a couple hundred million dollars, and is married to man worth more. She’s at the top of the world. Why the hell is she worried about haters, bitches, and hating-ass bitches?”

I won’t pretend that I know exactly what makes Beyonce tick. But, from what I know of her, it seems like she has the exact same thing driving her that seemed to drive Michael Jordan: Insecurity. Not “insecurity” in terms of a lack of self-esteem or self-belief. But, the type of insecurity that makes someone perpetually worried about competitors. The type of insecurity that makes someone so consumed with being the best and with having everyone agree that they’re the best that they actively search for slights to motivate them. And, if these slights don’t exist, they invent them.

This is what makes someone sing an impromptu acapella national anthem just to prove to everyone that they can actually to it—even though no one actually doubted that they could. It’s what causes a man to go out of his way to dominate a person who had the misfortune of dating the man’s wife before he even knew she existed!

This way of thinking isn’t limited to Beyonce and Michael Jordan, either. There are multiple accounts of how Steve Jobs’ motivation and creativity stemmed from him being consumed with other companies somehow catching up to Apple. He drove as hard as he did not because of a joy of innovation but because he believed he needed to be that way to stay ahead. He felt that his company’s—and, by extension, his own—status was tenuous, and he was willing to so whatever he could to maintain it. This “drive” regularly resulted in him insulting and publicly humiliating members of his own team.

Jobs is just one example, and I could probably list dozens more. People so obsessed with maintaining their place and position that they sacrifice a bit of their humanity in the process. Naturally, when people who act this way happen to be successful, we have the tendency to attach a certain romanticism to it.

“So what if Michael Jordan put rat poison in Karl Malone’s Gatorade? He’s a winner, and that’s what winners need to do to win! Maybe if you put rat poison in your bosses’ coffee, you’d finally get a promotion.” 

Sometimes this romanticism is taken to an extreme. We start to believe that being completely consumed with beating everyone else, with having a “killer instinct,” with being a queen who needs to remind others to “bow down,” isn’t just a way to be successful, it’s the only way. 

This takes us back to Lebron.

As mentioned earlier, I do know there is a widely-held belief that he’s not a “killer” the same way Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or, shit, Beyonce is. And, while a “killer instinct” is an immeasurable quality, there are certain things a person can do or not do to indicate whether they possess it. Those believing Lebron doesn’t commonly cite him joining up with Dwyane Wade as proof. Basically, Jordan never would have volunteered to team up with a rival because he would have been too focused on beating him.

I agree. Jordan would not have done that. If you believe that and you’re reading this, you’re probably also thinking that what Lebron did shows more “insecurity” than anything Jordan has ever done. But, when you start thinking of Lebron in terms of what a regular human being would do/think instead of how we’ve been conditioned to believe how “successful” people are supposed to act/think, his actions seem more, well, “secure.”

Lebron doesn’t actually have any rivals. The media and some fans might try to push certain narratives, but from every reasonable and objective measurement, he’s been the best basketball player on Earth for (at least) the last four years. Jordan also had that title while he was in his prime. But, the difference between him and Lebron is that Lebron doesn’t seem to have the same need to prove it. Knowing you’re already peerless allows you to look at people like D. Wade and Chris Bosh as friends who could help him achieve a goal and have some fun instead of rivals that need vanquished. It allows you the belief in yourself to make the right basketball play instead of attempting to mimic the style of “hero ball” expected of you. It lets you invite the guy who’s supposed to be your rival for the next decade to workout together and learn from each other.

As I type this, the Miami Heat are coming off of their 26th consecutive win. Lebron was two rebounds shy of a triple double. He will win his 4th MVP this spring, and, barring injury, he should win his second NBA title. He is also 28 years old, which means he has a good four or five more years with the “best in the world” crown, more than enough time to collect more MVPs and championships.

He will still never be like Mike or Steve or Beyonce. Neither will most of us. But—as he continues to prove—you can be the best at what you do and still be human too.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

  • Royale W. Cheese

    “But, from what I know of her, it seems like she has the exact same thing driving her that seemed to drive Michael Jordan: Insecurity.”

    My theory is that she is aware of the fact that she is a manufactured pop star. She will always be a beloved hard working pop star, but never a beloved genuine artist who does anything clever or forward-thinking. She will never be the inventor or founder of anything. She needs to just embrace this and just be the best pop star she can be. Not everyone is born a creative genius.

    • AfroPetite

      *nods head*

      You know who’s a super creative feminist-like artist? Mellie Jackson. I can listen to her songs on repeat and be all types of empowered without feeling like I should read some George Yancey right after to balance out the ratchet.

      • Jen

        Who?

        • AfroPetite

          **Millie Jackson

    • Malik

      I agree with this assessment. To use a contemporary example, not everyone can be Janelle Monae.

      • Kismet J.

        Amen.

      • Rewind

        Hell yea. That’s the Highlander rules:

        “There can only be one”.

    • Latonya

      Agreed!

    • Em.

      Indeed.

    • Rewind

      Indeed. Indeed. It is a jarring feeling to claim to be original but have literal proof that everything about you comes from a cookie cutter mold.

    • Gypsy Curl

      I have noticed that Beyonce never shares the spotlight with anyone. Besides Jay-Z, as a solo artist, she doesn’t collaborate with other artists (D.C doesn’t count…the superbowl performance was a slap to Kelly and Michelle…showing them what they never will attain).

      The polar opposite is Mariah Carey. Hands down, one of the greates singers with the sickest vocals. She has collaborated with other great artist like Whitney Houston. She even has even pulled a fan from the audience to sing with her (the girl was really good too). She has had one of her back up singers sing with her.

      I don’t see Beyonce doing any of that. I see some really talented singers on youtube singing her songs and I think it would be really nice if Beyonce actually reached out to some of them and helped put them on. Side note: There is one girl on youtube that sings the H.E. Double Hockey Sticks out of Love on Top. I will even venture to say I like her voice better than Beyonce’s. I wish I knew the girl’s channel and could post the link but I have forgotten it.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “I think it would be really nice if Beyonce actually reached out to some of them and helped put them on”

        yeah, it might be “really nice,” but what’s the upside for beyonce?

        • Gypsy Curl

          “what’s the upside for beyonce?”

          IDK Champ, I am just thinking out loud.

          People might actually believe she is human and accessible?????? (As opposed to making a faux-cumentary to show how she is human and accessible)

          • Rewind

            Are you sure that’s actually something SHE WANTS?

          • Natural Mama

            Preach!

      • everythingl

        That’s actually not true. She’s shared the spotlight more than most big pop stars (i.e. Madonna, Britney Spears, Katy Perry). She’s collaborated SEVERAL times with Lady Gaga, probably her only rival (at that time) in terms of biggest pop star on the planet. This is a strange standard to apply. Mariah collaborated with Whitney and…who else? Rappers? So has Beyonce (Sean Paul, Slim Thug, Lil Wayne, TI, etc.) I can’t say whether Beyonce has pulled people from the audience because I haven’t seen all her shows (you probably haven’t either. But, I imagine she has, as most artists do at one point or another. It’s often schtick, not some deep sense of generosity. And Mariah isn’t the polar opposite of anything. We’ve all heard stories about Mariah’s self-centeredness, so I don’t get this comparison at all.

        • Sweet GA Brown

          Hmmm so do you think Beyonce and Nicki Minaj will ever collaborate? I dont think so unless its on a soundtrack for a chick flick.

          • Mikie

            OMGlob! I sure hope not.

        • Marshal

          I totally forgot about Rap collabos when I wrote my comment below

        • Malik

          Well all those collaborations are pretty much a decade old. Recently the only rappers she’s collaborated with are Kanye sort of and Andre 3000.

          • AfroPetite

            J.Cole

            • Malik

              I was referring to her own albums, but I did not know that they ever collaborated ever.

              • AfroPetite

                He was on the Party track she did with Andre 3000

        • Jen

          “I can’t say whether Beyonce has pulled people from the audience”

          She has.

      • Marshal

        I cosign all of this. Just to espound on this, when is the Last Time or How Many Times has Mrs. Carter was Feature on somebody’s album? Yes, she does Hove on the regular, but the only times I’ve ever hear her as #2 was on Amil’s I Got It, Luther Vandross duet on Closer, the Dreamgirls duet with Jamie Foxx, and Alicia Keyes. That’s only aout 4 times I can Remember; maybe there’s more but the Amil track is the earliest one I can recall.

        • I Guess Because I Am A LADY

          She was on Kanye’s GOOD releases before MBDTF. This line from the chorus-> “My niggas is home!” is like my favorite Beyonce’ism. But I guess Kanye doesn’t count since he’s an extension of Jay Z.

      • NicoleW

        Actually Beyonce has collaborated with other artist. Lady Gaga, Usher, Justin Timberlake

      • Royale W. Cheese

        “I have noticed that Beyonce never shares the spotlight with anyone.”

        Very good observation. Another sign that for Beybey, “being great” is more important than creating great music.

      • ivorp

        It’s Syesha Mercado…her cover of Love On Top is FIYA

      • ivorp
      • bahati Sobukwe

        In addition to grace, Mariah Carey can sing!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “My theory is that she is aware of the fact that she is a manufactured pop star.”

      perhaps this it what drives her to be the way that she is. is she’s aware that she is a pop star, then she’s also aware of how tenuous that status tends to be.

      (Not sure if I agree with your use of manufactured, though. I mean, isn’t every star manufactured in some way? There’s no one who’s ever been able to be a household name without help)

      • Rewind

        There’s a big difference between help and being produced.

        Kendrick Lamar was HELPED. Adele was HELPED. They both got to keep their core individuality and characteristic traits while giving their overlords what they wanted.

        Lady Gaga = PRODUCED. Beyonce = PRODUCED. Both was breeded to create a character and follow through with that character at all times to gain the upper hand. It could be argued but I barely see evidence to say different.

        • Gypsy Curl

          Rihanna= produced like BELLZ! Her first album was launched and re-launched and re-launched (no seriously 3x). The people behind her really wanted to put her on.

          • http://missrosen.wordpress.com esa

            ~ The people behind her really wanted to put her on.

            and that would be Jay-Z. red flags fall like raindrops ..

        • everythingl

          The fact that you’ve crafted an image of yourself doesn’t mean that you can’t be unique, individual or extraordinary. I think it really depends on who does it. Some people create an image and reach the top and it’s hailed as genius. Others do it and it’s called phony. Funny how that is.

          • Rewind

            This has nothing to do with crafting an image of your choosing. It has to do with the structure BEHIND THAT IMAGE. If it was solely your idea and hard work that went into making you a niche celebrity, that’s awesome. But when a record label hires a marketing team, designing team, and the best entertainers in the business to give you a specific kind of style so that you will be noticed, you are then the product of machine, not a product of your own choosing.

            My favorite example of this is Pink. EVERYONE forgets she came into the business as a blue-eyed R&B singer, thanks to L.A. Reid. She had to fight her ass off to get creative control of her image & music so that she could do what she wanted.

            • Jandy

              Well said and great analogy. I used to resent Pink for that because I thought she used the Black/R&B base to get put on and then crossed out once she blew up. I never thought it went against who she was from jump street. Thanks for sharing that.

            • Aliyah

              As I’m reading your comments a thought came to mind: As beautiful and wonderful as Whitney Houston was, she was a manufactured image. She had Clive Davis behind her and it seems that the deepest parts of her were suppressed.

              Never thought I’d make a comparison between Bey and Whitney in terms of similarity but there you have it.

          • http://missrosen.wordpress.com esa

            image is an illusion that mediates the most abstract space of authenticity. we manufacture illusion to see and be seen, as a reflection of ourselves and the world.

            images that work best feel the true to the heart. some hearts are more open than closed, and some hearts are the reverse ..

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “There’s a big difference between help and being produced.”

          what evidence to you have that beyonce hasn’t kept her “core individuality.” If anything, the type of music she creates has been maddeningly consistent for the past decade and a half

          • Rewind

            It’s not her music. It’s her presence. She’s an all around pop star, like Janet Jackson & Madonna, doing the singing & dancing of huge proportions. There’s a reason there aren’t many superstars of that caliber, because it takes teams of people to help give that one star the presence they have. Check out any of Janet’s or Madonna’s old tour videos and documentaries. Quite similiar to Beyonce’s.

        • karmell

          yes, this is the absolute perfect definition!

        • thE Woman

          COSIGN.

          B’s production is just straight up copied. Just like Lady Gaga is rip off Madonna and Nicki is a rip off of Lil Kim.

          I just prefer “the original” to any remake as any general rule and most of what Beyonce does looks familiar to me:

          Hair: Tina/Ru Paul
          Facial Expressions: Tyra Banks
          Footwork: Tina Turner
          Outfits: Tina Turner
          Walk w/hair bounce: Ru Paul/Tyra Banks
          Popping out of the stage and some of her posing: Michael Jackson
          The way she edits and narrates her work: Michael Jackson History DVD
          Claims to be hardest working women in the industry: James Brown was known as the hardest working man in the industry.
          Referring to herself as King: Michael is the King of Pop
          After Aaliyah dies Beyonce has an obsession with doing the slow wind, which used to just be called Aaliyahs move

          It has always seemed like she’s the type of sprinter who is clearly winning the race but is constantly looking back and to the left and right to see what her competitors are doing, which then changes her strategy which looks really weird because again she was already winning :-/

          Now I’m a die hard Jordan fan so I’m not seeing the comparison to Beyonce. To me Jordan and Kobe are more similar. They’re obsessed with themselves. They don’t trust anyone else to get the job done. They believe they are the sole determiners of whether or not a game is lost. James attitude is more what makes him not in the league with Jordan. He acts as if his game is perfected, vs the Jordan mentality that your game can never be perfect enough. I never saw Jordan looking to the left or right. It always seemed like he was constantly looking inward or checking his own game. Lebron shines when he feels like shining. Leads when he feels like being a leader.

          So yeah. Not a fan of Lebron (or Beyonce for that matter).At.All.

          • Rewind

            Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice

          • Sweet GA Brown

            Dayum if only you would put that over a nice beat…

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            no idea is original…

            • thE Woman

              That is something that most people believe. I don’t agree.

              • thE Woman

                Unless you lifted this article from someone else. There are some pretty original ideas in this post.

                I can usually tell who wrote a post on vsb without looking at the author. You have original ideas.

                When Beyonce does something, I go “now where have I seen that before?”

                • Mikie

                  But isn’t that the same thing? Surely, he’s not the first person with these ideas/ sentiments to write a blog. Sure. If you want to be literal, he’s the only one to write the words he’s written. But there’s nothing new under the sun. Even Tina got her image from somewhere (think Ike Turner) and so does pretty much anyone that’s out there. Albeit, a new twist on something old… I maintain, there’s nothing new under the sun.

          • Jandy

            Bam! This right here!

          • Lady_Dragon7

            Agreed! Couldn’t have said it better myself!

    • Asiyah

      I agree with your assessment on Beyonce, RWC. I also feel that she is fully aware of the tide turning against her. She’s not as beloved as she was years ago. There is a significant population that truly does not embrace her. So it’s not so much insecurity because of other possible competitors, it’s insecurity because she knows she’s not a genius. It’s more internal than external.

    • A-O

      I agree!

    • Valerie Denise Jones

      I totally agree (with the article and comments made by Royale W. Cheese).

      Question: Are we not concerned with the symbolism and spiritual undertones featured in her videos and performances (before large audiences)?

      What’s more important :: The fact that HER genius was manufactured versus genuine… Or that SHE hired a team of ‘creative geniuses’ who clearly know the Bible (and have elected to mock Gods word and teachings)?

      I’m curious…

    • Valerie Denise Jones

      Typo … Concerned about

  • http://www.blacklatinafabulous.com Maris

    All. Of. This!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      thanks!

  • DG

    Good point(s)…

    Off topic, Savannah looking rather nice in that pic above…

    • WayUPThere

      +1

    • BlueWave

      +2

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

      There’s something about Savannah she’s like regular dope

    • http://uphereoncloud9.wordpress.com/ Wu Young, Agent of M.E.

      Yep. Like I don’t want to get out of bed to leave the house good too.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      I’ve always been a fan

  • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem

    hmmmm if Beyonce is more like Jordan than Lebron than you’re saying she has competition and she therefore is using her “insecurity” to push her to stay on top. but Beyonce has no competition. at. all. she could record herself sh*tting out cats in heat and she’d still probably dominate the charts and media. sooooo i dont get how she fits into your little analogy.

    i think she did the song cuz she can. her husband spits about how hot he is on plenty of records cuz he can, not because he has anything to prove. and it seems like she did this track while changing Blue’s diaper – just for fun.

    *shrug*

    • Sweet GA Brown

      I agree.

    • Rewind

      You actually just proved Champ’s point.

      Jordan didn’t really have rivals per say after getting to a high point, so he MADE rivals instead to keep his competitiveness up. Beyonce has the same issue. Once her solo album came out, it was quite clear she held the crown, and nobody has been able to knock that off yet. BUT….and this is a big BUT…she has to come stronger with each effort to assure no one will come for her position. Henceforth, she makes up beef in her head to give her the focus she needs to not give a damn and keep it moving.

      If anyone sincerely believes Beyonce aint got it in her to take the gloves off and go HAM on chickenheads & internet haters all day, I’d think they were full of shyte. No person alive could go for 15 years of fame without ever being negative AT LEAST ONCE. But since she can’t come right out and curse the hell out of everyone, she has to use songs like the forementioned to get her point across.

      • everythingl

        I think that if Madonna did something like this people would be calling it some kind of marketing genius, because she has “everybody talking about her.”

        *shrugs shoulders*

        • everythingl

          Well maybe not Madonna anymore. Maybe Britney or Katy Perry.

          • everythingl

            Or Lady Gaga.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “I think that if Madonna did something like this people would be calling it some kind of marketing genius, because she has “everybody talking about her.”

          well, no one is talking about madonna right now. so, if she released a song that had everyone talking about her, people would…talk about it. not sure of what point you’re trying to make

        • Rewind

          Nah. Madonna is damn near 60. If she did, we’d clown her ass.

          If she did it back in the 80′s, yup. The singers back then were catty.

      • http://thatswhatgemsaid.wordpress.com Gem Jones

        “You actually just proved Champ’s point.”

        how you figure??

        Champ said Lebron – not Jordan – has NO competition and NO rivals. reread. ill wait…

    • everythingl

      Hate to say it, but if she were white and/or male this wouldn’t be an issue at all.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        ?

      • Rewind

        lies.

        What famous White male needs to sing a song about haters?

      • Sweet GA Brown

        JT so did not take this route…minus the verse change on SNL.

        • SororSalsa

          Oh….but he did. After Prince made a comment about “sexy never left”, JT jumped on a Timbaland record dissing Prince.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “but Beyonce has no competition. at. all. she could record herself sh*tting out cats in heat and she’d still probably dominate the charts and media.”

      This is basically my point.

    • MK

      Is it possible to have Bey fans (Stan’s) to be objective about anything regarding her as an artist. If your opinion gals outside of praise for Bey, then you are a hater. Further, the fans begin to list her credentials . I don’t dislike Bey. I am no die hard fan. I like many of her tracks. Yet, this last ” bow down b” is tacky. It is my opinion that Bey looks and dance performance ( selling sex) is what has driven her to the top. She is no extradionary singer. I mean there are artist that can sing rings around Bey. She ( Bey) has been doing what sells for the past decade . It is the same music and dancing.

  • Malik

    Lebron is the antithesis to Jordan. He’s a man dedicated both on and off the court to making the people around him better and takes joy in other people being successful. Jordan is an evil spiteful soulless man that takes joy in others destruction and subservience. More Lebrons, less Jordans.

    • msdebbs

      “More Lebrons, less Jordans.”

      Tell that to Nike! I wonder how big Mike feels about these kids out here killing & robbing each other for his OVERPRICED (UGLY yea I said it) shoes.

      • http://thejahfiles.blogspot.com/ B. Brown

        I promise you Mike doesn’t care. He didn’t care about the kids who made the shoes in sweat shops, and he didn’t care about taking a stand on social issues (“Republicans buy sneakers too”). Cheese Eyes ain’t thinking about anyone else, but he sure thought about himself going into this new marriage.

        • Mandingo X

          I guess old “Cheese Eyes” and “Black Cat” was thinking about himself, when he first financially supported and raised campaign funds for then U.S. Senatorial Candidate Barack Obama for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and I guess he was really only thinking of himself, when he hosted a campaign fundraiser for President Obama in August 2012 in New York City, which raised over $3 Million for the President’s re-election campaign. Further, I guess Cheese Eyes was thinking of himself, when he personally donated his own money to help Spike Lee finish filming and of the classic film, Malcolm X. The Jordan haters have amused me since the 1980′s and continue to amuse me to this day. They will have you believing that Mike does not do any charity work or give back to the “community,” when in fact he has personally donated millions of dollars and raised millions more for various charities, such as the Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity and the Make A Wish Foundation. Heck, Mike and his two oldest sons and his finance that you seem to hate were all personally feeding the homeless and hungry on Thanksgiving Day 2011 in Miami, Fl…LeBron’s home turf. However, Jordan does not call a press conference or issue a press release every times he gives a “dime” to the “community” similar to other high profile Black athletes. Moreover, just because Jordan does not support the charities or causes you prefer he supports, does not make him less charitable or a “Sell-Out.” For example, is “Saint” and “Cultural Icon,” Ali a sell-out for calling Joe Frazier an ugly gorilla, degrading Frazier for his African Phenotype, and mocking Frazier with a toy gorilla…also is Ali selfish for promoting overpriced Louis Vuitton merchandise to the Black Community. Remember, one man’s “hero” is another man’s sandwich.

        • Mandingo X

          I guess old “Cheese Eyes” and “Black Cat” was thinking about himself, when he first financially supported and raised campaign funds for then U.S. Senatorial Candidate Barack Obama for the U.S. Senate in 2004 and I guess he was really only thinking of himself, when he hosted a campaign fundraiser for President Obama in August 2012 in New York City, which raised over $3 Million for the President’s re-election campaign…The Jordan haters have amused me since the 1980′s and continue to amuse me to this day. They will have you believing that Mike does not do any charity work or give back to the “community,” when in fact he has personally donated millions of dollars and raised millions more for various charities, such as the Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity and the Make A Wish Foundation. Heck, Mike and his two oldest sons and his finance that you seem to hate were all personally feeding the homeless and hungry on Thanksgiving Day 2011 in Miami, Fl…LeBron’s home turf. However, Jordan does not call a press conference or issue a press release every times he gives a “dime” to the “community” similar to other high profile Black athletes. Moreover, just because Jordan does not support the charities or causes you prefer he supports, does not make him less charitable or a “Sell-Out.” For example, is “Saint” and “Cultural Icon,” Ali a sell-out for calling Joe Frazier an ugly gorilla, degrading Frazier for his African Phenotype, and mocking Frazier with a toy gorilla…also is Ali selfish for promoting overpriced Louis Vuitton merchandise to the Black Community. Remember, one man’s “hero” is another man’s sandwich.

      • tink tink

        You do know that Lebron’s sneakers are made by the same company, and retail at or above the cost of Jordan’s sneakers? The reason there is no hoopla over Lebron’s shoes is because they just don’t hold as much relevance as Jordans.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          “You do know that Lebron’s sneakers are made by the same company, and retail at or above the cost of Jordan’s sneakers?”

          this is true.

    • Rewind

      Its crazy how nostalgia makes us think of him like a superhero but reality showcases he’s just a do-uchebag dedicated to money.

      But given his circumstances, I sort of understand why he is a dyck, and find it an easy trap to fall in.

      • Asiyah

        I don’t see him as a superhero, but I do recognize that he is a superb basketball player.

        • Rewind

          He was seen like that when we were kids back in the 90s.

          Remember the slogan “Be like Mike”?

          • Asiyah

            Yeah, I definitely remember that. The powers of marketing. I may not have wanted to be like me but I didn’t want to be like Mike either haha

    • Asiyah

      Man, Malik is making me like Lebron too! What the heck is going on?!

    • Asiyah

      Man, Malik is making me like Lebron too! What the heck is going on?!

  • http://www.iamyourpeople.com I Am Your People

    Aside – Blue Ivy is 1 year old. Why is she tall enough to dunk on LeBron? https://twitter.com/KarenCivil/status/316006398712508416/photo/1

    • AfroPetite

      She is such a cutie! Jay-Z is 6’2 so I wouldn’t be surprised if Blue were to be in the 5’8+ range

      • Latonya

        Blue is cute! I never thought she was going to be ugly. Personally I did not think Jay is that ugly.

        • Think2Inspire

          lol @ “that ugly”

        • Em.

          Jay was probably a cute baby too.

          • Sweet GA Brown

            The extremely cute babies are the ones that turn out to be ooogly.

          • Charcoal Burnt Brother Lover

            umm, *sips tea with a raised brow heavenwards*!!

    • A Woman’s Eyes

      She has JayZ’s scowl & is such a cutie pie!

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      duh. she’s that tall because she’s the antichrist, and the antichrist can’t be no short chick. I thought we already cover this.

  • msdebbs

    I can’t disagree with any of this. Insecurity drives people to do crazy things like drastic weight loss or too much plastic surgery(lil Kim). Nice article….Go HEAT!

    • http://stanoffewwords.wordpress.com Tristan

      insecurity to an extent is good, you never want to be too comfortable (well you should always be comfortable in your own skin, Lil Kim)

      • AfroPetite

        + 1

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “insecurity to an extent is good, you never want to be too comfortable”

        i think objectivity is better

        • OSHH

          Keeping the proper perspective is crucial Champ, not being insecure. Insecurity is fertile ground for ugliness, in all it’s many forms, to grow and thrive. The opposite of complacent is dissatisfied, not insecure.

  • jamesjones

    There is always Kevin Durant…a 24 yr old scoring machine…and there is always Nas, a more lyrical rapper than Jay-Z….one would argue that “this is and always has been about BUCKETS…”which KD is the BEST at….one would also argue that Nas, is a better MC than Jay-Z (especially in the stage in life Life is Good > WTT

    • Rewind

      Good analogy.

      But unlike Nas, I do believe KD will get his props.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      are you saying kd is to lebron was nas is to jay-z?

  • http://thejahfiles.blogspot.com/ B. Brown

    It’s partly that LeBron doesn’t need to prove he’s the best (it’s obvious), but he doesn’t have that instinct. Only two players still in the league have it, IMO. Kobe and KG are it. Today’s players are talented and all, but…naw. I also wonder if, in this PC world, people have agents saying “you can’t be the bad guy and display those traits (especially while being black) – might hurt the endorsement dollars”.

    As far as Mrs. Carter, who knows if she’d be in her current position had it not been for a plane crash in 2001? Do we know? Does she know? That may very well be a cause of the insecurity Champ was talking about (folk could say the same about her husband and a shootout in 1997, but that’s another matter). Keri Hilson and Keyshia Cole? I wouldn’t know what they looked like outside of BET reality shows. She has far less competition than Jordan or James, but she may think she has an opponent that she can’t beat.

    • Sweet GA Brown

      Yeah if Aaliyah was still alive Im pretty sure Beyonce would be the one bowing down. But Aaliyah probably wouldnt have made a song about it.

      • Gypsy Curl

        “if Aaliyah was still alive Im pretty sure Beyonce would be the one bowing down”

        This is a crab in the barrel mentality. Why can’t everyone be successful in their own right? My success is determined by the success or failure of someone else and neither is Beyonce’s success.

        Disclaimer: I am not stanning for Beyonce. I am just sharing my opinion.

        • karmell

          “This is a crab in the barrel mentality. Why can’t everyone be successful in their own right?”

          Yes, this is precisely one thing I find wrong with this song. why tell anyone to bow down? why can’t everyone be successful in their own right? that and the song is just not good.

        • Rewind

          How can you be so sure of that?

          How can anyone be absolutely sure that their success is merited soley on their skill & hardwork, and nothing else at all?

          No one can. That’s the point. No one is that good. EVER. Luck, timing, the actions of others….THOSE HAVE A HUGE INFLUENCE ON SUCCESS…but an individual’s hardwork alone is not all that create success.

          • Sweet GA Brown

            True. When it comes to the business of entertainment, fans and critics are responsible for success.

            • Rewind

              Among other things. But honestly, that’s life period. Everything happens for a reason. You might have your job because someone prior to you failed a drug test or got fired. You might have found $20 in the street because someone forgot to tuck the money in their pocket. You might meet a guy you like because on that day, he decided to head to the supermarket instead of hanging out with his friends.

              Success in life is based on way more than one person’s actions. Its just about how the world works.

          • ChrissySnow

            Had Selena not been murdered, Jennifer Lopez would not be J.Lo or anything else.

          • Asexylady31

            I couldn’t have said it better because there’s definitely always other circumstances that influences our success as well as our failure. Very true. Ex: If someone else had not got fired or became ill the other employee wouldn’t have become manager and be in the position they are today especially if they had been seeking promotion and could never get it. Sometimes you work hard for your position and sometimes the odds just happens to work in your favor.

    • Rewind

      I always say Aaliyah was once step away from taking the pop princess crown, because she had everything on the path ready for her. I just know that Beyonce would be in a totally different position if Aaliyah didn’t die, and that thought has nothing to do with skill, but rather timing.

      Yea Beyonce already had a huge buzz with Destiny’s Child, but if the position she desired was already filled, would she have worked as hard as she did to eventually take over the world? No one knows. So I just chalk it up to timing and taking advantage of a situation.

      • Marshal

        Maybe having Aaliyah around changed Jay. Think about it, Amil- “First Lady” of Rocafella was ditched and Damon Dash was dating Aaliyah; was gonna propose to her after Rock the Boat but never got the chance. If Dame could date an R&B singer like Aaliyah, then Beyonce was definitely NOT Untouchable for Hov. That and $$$$ may have been the reason for their breakup, IMHO

        • Rewind

          True. That’s an interesting way to look at it.

      • hehe

        Why are people always saying that? During her days Aaliyah wasn’t even outselling Destiny’s Child. She strictly r&b and that’s a dying art. Also she wasn’t a good performer. Beyonce would’ve stayed Beyonce. I swear nostalgia is clouding your judgement.

    • Gypsy Curl

      “As far as Mrs. Carter, who knows if she’d be in her current position had it not been for a plane crash in 2001?”

      Ahhh spit! Why did you have to go there. Why compare apples and oranges? I am not partial to Beyonce one way or the other but I will give her her just dues. Aaliyah’s singing was decent but she could not pull of Love on Top or any other Beyonce song. Beyonce is crazy with her runs (and annoying at times because then I can’t sing along.)

      • Marshal

        Um, Aaliyah died in 2001, so how would you know she couldn’t do Love on Top, or even a song that would/could have eclisped it? Plus, Love on Top was an ode to her Husband and Blu Ivy during Pregnancy…

      • Rewind

        When the comparison to Aaliyah comes up, it is never about skill. Yes, Beyonce can sing & dance better than Aaliyah.

        It is simple. Aaliyah came first. She was popular first. She got good sales first. She got recognized by pop audiences first. She was in movies first. She was on the path to pop princess FIRST. But she died. And no one filled the gap until Beyonce broke away on her own.

        • Marky

          Beyonce can dance better than Aaliyah? You call floor humping, booty shaking, and gyrates dancing? Beyonce could never see Aaliyah on the dance floor.

          And why are people talking about vocals? Beyonce had the time to improve and grow with her voice. Aaliyah died @ such a young age, How do we know if Aaliyah was still here, she wouldn’t have stepped her vocal game up? WHen Destiny’s Child first came out, I don’t remember people saying Beyonce was a great singer. *shrugs*

          • Asexylady31

            So true. I always loved Aliyah better even when Destiny Child was out. I loved the way she could sing and on top of that Aaliyah could move and didnt have to do stripper dances to keep the attention to her. Don’t get me wrong I like the old Bey but she’s getting too conceited and on top of that the music isn’t the same and it actually changed for the worse instead of the better.

      • I Guess Because I Am A LADY

        We all know Beyonce wouldn’t be the star she is today if Aaliyah hadn’t died and if Aaliyah had remained on the trajectory she was on. Not that Beyonce wouldn’t be famous. She just would have had more comparable competition.

        Not comparing apples to oranges. They’re completely different artists with different personalities and styles. I simply mean Aaliyah’s presence in popular culture and her cross over ability was mega huge a decade and some change ago.

        I love Beyonce. She’s one of the best entertainers of the past 100 years. But as a 12 year old, I wanted to emulate Aaliyah.

        Case and point: http://youtu.be/rnBMWN4aw30

        That video sums up my 2001 view of both of them.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      “Only two players still in the league have it, IMO. Kobe and KG are it.”

      this is the type of sports commentary that frustrates me. how can you say that, out of a league full of hyper competitive/alpha athletes, that only two out of the 450 of them have a “killer instinct?” how do you know that, I dont know, marcus thornton doesn’t have it too?

      (also, I wouldnt be so quick to make kg an example for your point. he was criticized in the prime of his career for basically the same things lebron has been criticized for, and he went three straight years—in his prime!—without even sniffing the playoffs.)

      • Marshal

        KG was Loyal and put in Years, Bron-Bron played 7 Years. KG was playing Against Iverson, McGrady, Jordan, Prime Shaq, Kobe, RayAllen, Jason Kidd, Dirk, etc- All in their Primes and their Zeniths. Plus, Minnesotta TRADED him, same with the Bucks and Allen, to a Celtics team that Sucked all those years with a Paul Pierce, not “The Decision” and Dwight Howard’s whining to get out of Orlando.

        After winning the ‘Chip, KG became more of a Jerk, but he was an OK guy with a Competitive Streak

        • Charcoal Burnt Brother Lover

          KG, is not a jerk, he just has interesting vocabulary.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          basically, a guy who was thought of as the best all-around player in the game either wasn’t good enough or wasn’t enough of a “killer” to have his team be one of the top eight teams in a fifteen team conference for three years straight. if he was such a competitor, why couldn’t he will his team to the playoffs?

  • http://www.twitter.com/Bmorebmw Tentpole

    Jordan vs. James is no different than white collar vs. blue collar. All the basics comparison are there. Jordan is polished and refined and James lacks a certain level of culture. One the Beyonce front, this reminds of the time Jermaine did a song in the studio about how he felt about his brother at that time and the label released it when it was never supposed to leave the session.

    • Rewind

      I don’t think it works like that Tentpole.

      Jordan came from an era where EVERYONE was a superstar. Almost every team had a monster on deck, but he came out on some Godzilla shyte, and made those same monsters step their game up. Whereas the talk of Lebron is that he made his teammates better, Jordan made the NBA better because no one wanted to be dominated by him (like they had a choice though).

      LeBron on the other hand, is simply a bright light in a dimming universe, because clearly most people don’t love the NBA the way they used to years ago anymore. With that said, I don’t even see it as good vs. evil, so much as I see the world has changed and LeBron managed to get in while there was still a chance to be important.

      • http://www.twitter.com/Bmorebmw Tentpole

        You’re are right it is not good vs evil. I am referring to perception. Jordan had a better PR team than James. James shot himself in the leg when he left Cleveland. Jordan stayed with Chicago and played the hand he was dealt.

        • Rewind

          True. But Jordan got his team to do what he wanted, so he never needed to look elsewhere. LeBron was tired of bringing his team to the Promised Land, only for them to leave him hanging each time.

          • Marshal

            As a Clevelander, I am saying On Record that LeBron had Kobe Influence on the trades that the Cavs made, from Larry Hughes all the way through Shaq and Antwan Jamison- the EXACT same way he made deals with Wade and Bosh to go to South Beach.

            When the Heat lost to Dallas in 2010-2011, Dirk was The Man with a squal that honestly, Couldn’t do Squat with the Cavs that won 60+ seasons previously, they were Scrubs, and the ONLY other player on Star Caliber was J-Kidd (who made it to the Finals Two in a Row with HIS Scrub Squad and lost to LA and San Antonio). I’ve been a Lakers fan since ’99, but as I’m FROM Cleveland, I’ve got to Try to give context to what was going on from 2003-2010. LeBron is a Great Player, maybe the Best RIGHT NOW but he is Not GOAT nore was he UNTIL Last Year, IMHO

            • Negro Libre

              If Cleveland Cavs had accepted the Amare Stoudemire trade for JJ Hickson from the Suns, they would have changed NBA history.

              • http://www.alltherightquestions.com T.Q. Fuego

                +1 Negro Libre. I was bout to say the same thing. I was so pissed when they botched that deal

            • Rewind

              Even if you say that, on his first two seasons, his teammates let him down, and he had no influence then on who was on the team with him. So the point was, they relied on him to do all the work, but when he needed them, they choked.

              I remember distinctly the first year him & Carmello got drafted. Mello went to the NBA playoffs, Lebron DID NOT. Why? Because Mello’s team supported him, LeBron’s did not.

              • Marshal

                You had Ricky “I’mma get my Record Rebound on MY OWN Rim” Davis, Carlos” I’m gonna Stay and Help Mentor” aka, Constantly Injured Boozer, and some other guys that weren’t 100% All In for Lebron. Plus they went from John Lucas to Paul Silas before Mike Brown showed up

        • http://twitter.com/inomallday Shamira

          Jordan didn’t have a better PR team, Jordan just wasnt at the mercy of twitter, the 24 hour news-cycle, and “TV commentator” Skip Bayless.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        “Jordan came from an era where EVERYONE was a superstar. Almost every team had a monster on deck, but he came out on some Godzilla shyte, and made those same monsters step their game up.”

        i think you’re stretching the definition of superstar.

        • Rewind

          How so? Back in the day, there used to be arguments that Jordan was not the greatest, given that plenty of b-ball players like Dr. Jay, Clyde Drexler, Kareem-Abdul Jabar, Earl “The Goat” etc, had all paved the way and done much better. But during Jordan’s tenure, he had opponents like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Dikembe Mutumbo, etc…all men who were specially gifted in their own right…and none of them wanted to play second fiddle to Jordan.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            Yeah, you’re losing me right now. You’re randomly naming people who have no place whatsoever in any conversation anyone has ever had about basketball greatness. Dikembe Mutumbo? Clyde Drexler? Earl Manigoat? Might as well name Fat Lever. Or Scott Skiles. Or World B. Free.

            • Rewind

              When I was younger, those were the names the historians kept saying were important.

              If you’re saying otherwise, then so be it, but they made their mark on the NBA regardless.

      • BlueWave

        The 90′s were the most watered down era in league history. They added six teams from 1988 to 1996. Yet, this was before the large influx of foreign players. If players are to get “era” points then it goes to Magic, Kareem, Bird, McHale, etc. Not Jordan.