Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

LeBron's home hype 'garbage,' Cataldi says

"What a scam!" declares the WIP morning show host.

It´s "propaganda" that basketball superstar LeBron James (left) is returning to Cleveland purely out of love for Northeast Ohio, WIP host Angelo Cataldi said. (File photos)
It's "propaganda" that basketball superstar LeBron James (left) is returning to Cleveland purely out of love for Northeast Ohio, WIP host Angelo Cataldi said. (File photos)

Many have sung the praises of LeBron James for a classy decision to return home to Cleveland to play for the Cavaliers.

Not Angelo Cataldi, morning mega-mouth on SportsRadio 94 WIP.

"If you have bought into any part of of the LeBron James propaganda campaign ... you are stupid and you should move to the Midwest, where they always believe this stuff," Cataldi declaimed this morning.

"Garbage!" he said of the idea that "the only reason" James was returning was because he loves his home town.

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  • "He's going back because he can win more," the former Inquirer sportswriter said. "And the only reason he can win more is because he left! What a scam!"

    The ranting included several reasons.

    "If you are going to make this big stink about going back to Cleveland ... you don't have an escape clause after one stinking year," Cataldi argued this morning.

    Cataldi even ripped LeBron for going to Brazil to watch the World Cup, before having any news conference in Cleveland.

    It's true that James' new deal pays $40.7 million over two years, and that he can opt out after a single season.

    Cohost Al Morganti defended that decision, saying it will force the Cavaliers to do everything they can to win a championship -- or James could walk.

    Another reason for the short contract is so LeBron could get even more pay later, since the NBA salary cap is expected to rise, as explained by Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who also noted that James makes most of his money from endorsements and investments.

    Still, that does sound more about money and winning than love of Cleveland.

    Even Cavaliers CEO Len Komoroski acknowledged in an interview with Cataldi that James was attracted by Cleveland's "very strong developing core of young talent" and the chance to play a strong "leadership role."

    "There's nothing about this story that's genuine except that he found a better place to go where he can win," Cataldi said.

    "Why would you continue to live in Bath, Ohio, if you didn't like it there?" Morganti countered.

    "Well, that I can't answer," Cataldi said.

    "BECAUSE HE LIKES IT THERE!" Morganti and co-host Rhea Hughes shouted back simultaneously.

    Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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