LeBron James steroids accusations would have brought Cleveland and the NBA down. Yet LeBron James steroids talk was raised, almost as some sort of gag. Once it got out that someone named LeBron, from Cleveland, had tested positive and was suspended for 50 games, it wasn’t hard to guess the rest. Of course, the asterisk to that story was that it wasn’t who people thought it was. Instead, a minor league Indians’ player got the positive test – yet that didn’t stop LeBron James steroids fears from spreading much of the morning.
Today, the Cleveland superstar will return to the court for the first time in a week, after missing a few games. But before his first game back against the Sixers, he was the center of shocking, and then ironic, rumors.
A few hours ago, word got out that a Cleveland player named LeBron got a positive drug test. Immediately, everyone thought it was a LeBron James steroids test, and feared the worst. But instead, the story was about Cleveland Indians’ minor league outfielder Steven Lebron, who is suspended for 50 games.
If Cleveland’s other LeBron got caught on steroids, he couldn’t be suspended for 50 games, since there aren’t even 50 games left in the regular season and playoffs combined. Of course, he would have to be sidelined for a while – but maybe not too long, given his importance. Yet he is drug free, as far as everyone knows, and he will play as scheduled tonight.
The mere rumor of LeBron James steroid use is enough to get everyone jumping, even though it was clearly untrue. It was an ironic story that drew a laugh, once everyone saw the truth. But it speaks to much more, and how the NBA and Cleveland would have collapsed if it was true.
The NBA has largely avoided the drug scandals of other major sports lately. Yet if James did have a positive drug test, the league wouldn’t have recovered for the rest of the year, at best. He is one of the biggest stars in the world, so the league’s entire image hinges on James, and his abilities on and off the court. What’s more, the entire city of Cleveland needs him – to stay clean, to finally win a title, and to not go somewhere else in summer 2010.
For Stephen Lebron, his positive test has already cost him his spot in the Indians’ organization. At the very least, the fact that he shares a name with James is good for one laugh today. But the Indians and baseball will survive Stephen’s error – whereas LeBron James would harm much more if he really tested positive.
Now that the LeBron James steroids rumors have actually been vetted, the King will return to the court today, and get back towards winning his first ring.
Gather.com- “LeBron Tests Positive for Steroids”
Cleveland.com- “Cleveland Indians minor leaguer suspended 50 games for steroid use”