It is a pretty interesting interview.
Some thoughts… but first: full disclosure. I do not like what Abbott’s become. At one point in time, Henry Abbott was inventive, creative – and had a very good mind for basketball. No doubt, those things are still true – but he’s also become far more more obsessive about being anti-Bryant, and generally anti-Lakers. Obviously, that’s going to stick in my gullet.
- Haven’t read the book. That said, I think the premise is pretty amazing… in that I’m astounded (like most of you) the degree of hate LeBron James generates. Sure: I don’t like the guy, but it’s not like it really matters to me.
- Does start with a misnomer tho’. To declare that this is a bigger story than Michael Jordan, or even Kobe Bryant – because of internet traffic – ignores the reality of the growth of the internet over the past few years. Definitely not a bigger story than MJ, and not even a bigger story than Kobe – Kobe saw far more hate in the mid-2000s… unless LeBron doesn’t win the MVP this season.
- Abbott comes across pretty poorly. He has his mind made about Scott Raab. Even the initial picture they use for Raab is absolutely unflattering. He cuts Raab off, speaks over the top of him – Abbott goes out of his way to make the interview confrontational. The way he conducts the interview is disappointing, even if he doesn’t agree with Raab.
- Henry Abbott’s being obtuse if he thinks that if Larry Bird wouldn’t have been drawn & quartered had he worn a Yankees cap to Fenway for the opener of a playoff series.
- Abbott completely dismissive of the notion that players have a responsibility to the team, to the locale to be *part* of that area. I agree with Raab in that I do think a pro-athlete should be supportive of other teams in that area. You really do have to become vested in that area. Or at the very least: be politic about it.
- Despite my dislike for the concept of the book, I think Raab comes off pretty well. At least he’s honest about who he is: he describes his book as “a crazy, bitter fan’s memoir”. He even states that “…the book became unfair to LeBron. There’s no question about that.” He is absolutely honest about the fact that his despising of Miami #6 says more about him, than it does about LeBron. He is astute, intelligent… and comes across as such during the interview.
- Abbott questions whether that’s an ok thing for a fan to do, only a minute or so after stating that it’s fine for an athlete to not be at all vested in the city/area they play for. That kinda surprised me. Even if it’s not somewhat a double-standard (and I think it kinda is), it’s odd.