Not That I Believe the Stories About LeBron’s Mom, But…
Let me start off by saying that I owe Terez Owens a bit of an apology…
Only a small one though. I do not apologize for being very skeptical of the details of his story claiming that Delonte West and Gloria James (LeBron James’ mother) were involved in a physical relationship. It was secondhand secondhand information and he basically named his source, which isn’t the sort of thing you’d do with a story like this. A cease-and-desist letter sent to Owens by the Jameses’ attorney agreed that it was all ridiculous and implored him to stop spreading the rumor.
Why isn’t it believable? Guys from the other networks use unnamed sources and hearsay to break stories all the time. But those are names that we have come to know and trust and they have a history of nailing facts and reporting these things before they become general knowledge. I knew very little of Owens before all of this happened. I’d gotten a friend request from him on Facebook and figured I’d add him until he gave me reason to un-add him. This is why his report wasn’t anything I put any real faith in.
Fast forward to last night, when news surfaced of former Houston Rockets star Calvin Murphy saying his sources said basically the same things about the LeBron situation and even took it a step farther, alleging that everyone else in the organization knew about it and that West wasn’t Gloria’s only partner on the roster.
Terez Owens I’ve never heard of. Calvin Murphy I’m very familiar with. Let’s do a quick rundown of his résumé for those who don’t know:
- 13-year NBA veteran, drafted in 1970
- NBA All-Star
- Career averages of 17.9 points and 4.4 assists
- Career 89.2% free throw shooter. He shot nearly 96% in 80-81. That means in 76 games with 215 free throws shot, he missed nine times. In that season, there was a point when he hit 78 straight.
- Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993 and his #23 hangs from the rafters in the Toyota Center.
- Worked as a TV analyst for the Rockets for a number of years until it was discovered that he fathered 14 children with 9 different women and he was charged with sexually abusing five of his daughters. He was ultimately acquitted of those charges.
- Won the Texas State Men’s Twirling (yes, twirling) Championship in 1977.
In the interest of objectivity, there is the good with the bad. You can question his trustworthiness if you’d like, but when a man who has been involved with the league for 40 years says something about about basketball, I’m obligated to listen. His being a Rocket doesn’t hurt– but that’s a personal bias of mine which you likely don’t share.
Some of the things Murphy said about this whole alleged LeBron fiasco during an interview with ESPN Radio in Houston:
"It ain’t no rumor. Unfortunately, my sources in the NBA tell me that it’s absolutely true. My sources, and they’re legit, tell me.. the only people who didn’t know it was happening were LeBron and me… Rumor has it that [LeBron] may take some time off… I don’t know, as an individual, how you deal with something like this especially when everyone around you knew but you… I was told that there’s another party out there… that West wasn’t the only [one]. I never thought that LeBron would leave Cleveland. I’m saying homeboy is gone."
Once again, I’m not at all sure I believe this whole thing. But if you listen to Murphy talk about it (starting around the 8-minute mark), it has to make you wonder. And like I said the last time I wrote about this: What if it’s true? What if the new revelation that everyone knew but LeBron is true? He can’t go back there. I’d hope someone would at least tell me that this sort of thing was happening if it were me. I’d have no trust in anyone in that locker room and I can’t commit to staying in an environment lacking trust for four years or more.
But again, maybe none of this is factual. Perhaps the dude who works at the Q and Calvin Murphy’s sources are pulling our collective leg. Perhaps this is just a ridiculous thing created to try and explain why King James played like a mere peasant in the Cavaliers’ Eastern Conference Semifinal loss to the Celtics. It could be a fabrication intended to generate buzz and for Terez Owens to create a name for himself. It could all be the biggest lie ever and it could result in some people being sued for lots of money.
That list of people included Owens last week. Today, it includes Murphy. Tomorrow it could be someone else. In which case we’d again be faced with the possibility of all of this nonsense being true.
I’m still skeptical. But the room for doubt in my mind has decreased more than I’d like to admit.