Toucher & Rich are a little confused. Specifically by the way Danny Ainge has fueled outrage over his comments regarding LeBron James and President Donald Trump.
In case you missed it, Ainge joined T&R on Friday and was asked about a recent video in which LeBron referred to himself as “the greatest of all time.” Ainge believes that LeBron referring to himself as the GOAT is comparable to how highly Trump speaks of himself about, well, anything.
“Why he’s saying that, I don’t know,” said Ainge. “Maybe he thinks that sells. Maybe he’s taking the Donald Trump approach and trying to sell himself. I don’t know. Time will tell. I don’t know if anybody knows who the greatest of all time is, because the eras are so different.”
It’s fairly clear by the quote, and the audio that you can listen to below, that Ainge is only talking about how LeBron and Trump pumped themselves up or “sold” themselves. But Trump is the ultimate lightning rod, so to even evoke the president’s name in any kind of comparison is inevitably going to draw negative reactions, especially when comparing him to a figure as prominent as LeBron.
T&R touch on two vocal critics of Ainge’s comments, both of whom found them offensive or highly off-base. One of them is radio host Karen Hunter, who had this to say:
Danny Ainge: unlike Trump (5 deferments, 6 bankruptcies, a couple of divorces), @KingJames is a real champion (NBA titles with 2 teams, programs that help people build businesses, a SCHOOL, ONE wife w/children that he actually parents!)...you look crazy with that comparison.— Karen Hunter (@karenhunter) January 3, 2019
Boston Globe writer Owen Pence also reacted strongly to the comments, describing them as “veiled racism” and arguing it further on Twitter.
Black athlete who has done unimaginable amounts of good for his community and has a legitimate GOAT claim engages in self-praise. Ainge compares said act to the behavior of current POTUS. It's really not that complicated folks ... https://t.co/JVzjyURyFJ— Owen Pence (@OwenPence) January 3, 2019
Fred Toucher was in disbelief that people would make such arguments against what Ainge said, which was entirely based on the pair’s interest in selling themselves and nothing to do with anything else.
“They both say they’re the greatest,” said Toucher. “Trump won the presidency … and he got there largely on his ability to market himself and just say he’s the greatest over and over again, and the more that you say it the more people believe it. The point Ainge was making … is so phenomenally obvious.”
Unfortunately, it wasn’t so obvious for lots of others. Ainge most certainly was not comparing the entire lives, careers, behaviors, and ideals of LeBron and Trump. Literally just the way they both boasted about themselves. But the lesson here for Ainge (if he needed one) is to just not bother mentioning Trump again.
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