Monday, February 19, 2007

"A" is for Akron?

What was LeBron doing?

I'm devoting some time in an attempt to answer the most important of question coming out of last night's All-Star game:

What was LeBron doing with his hands during the All-Star game introductions? (God invented blogs in order to answer these types of questions.)

Henry at True Hoop says that the sign James held up during the All-Star introductions was:
the dynasty sign, associated with Jay-Z and his Rocafella empire.
Needless to say, I disagree.

This is just more propaganda by the ESPN-istas pushing LeBron out of Cleveland and to New York or the Nets (where Jay-Z is a part owner). James has been rumored to be leaving the Cavaliers since he was drafted in 2003 and as a Cavalier fan, I've been getting kind of sick of it. We never hear national pundits say that other players "need" to be in a big market; not KG, not 'Melo- just LeBron.

Am I overly touchy about the subject? Probably, but as a Cleveland fan, that's my job. Our teams never win and we don't even get credit for not winning like other cities (I don't want to hear it Cubs fans, your city had Michael Jeffery Jordan). Cavs fans finally have a guy (and team) that actually gets highlights in the first half of SportsCenter and what happens? Constant speculation that the hometown kid is going to leave. Fantastic.

Alright, back to LeBron and the dynasty sign. Now, I may be naive, but I always thought that sign was an "A". A as in Akron. The reason I think this? Well, I'm not sure if you've heard, but LeBron is from Akron. He also has a 330 (the area code) tattoo (this is why Cavs stooge homer unbiased announcer Fred McLeod says "from 3! 3-Oh!" whenever LeBron drills a trey).

But that could just be wishful thinking on my part. Again, I could just be naive to the hip-hop culture (Will Smith is still cool, right?) and LeBron could be flashing the dynasty sign.

The thing is, I've seen Ohio State running back Antonio Pittman flash that same sign. And Antonio Pittman is from Akron. Check out the 2:44 mark (or 1:05, depending on how the clip plays back) in this highlight clip (btw- I'd imagine this clip was made before the Florida game):

Is that the same symbol that LeBron flashes during the intros?

They look the same to me. Does Antonio Pittman has some connection to the Jay-Z empire I'm unaware of? Cause, if not, my money would be on Akron.

I could be wrong, obviously, could it be both? Are there differences I'm not seeing?

[Update 7pm: Holy Crap! Go to work and this is what I come back to. Welcome Deadspinners! Come back often and go visit some of my friends: Papa Cass, Disappointment Zone, God Hates Cleveland Sports, Vinny and the Hornless Rhino, Kid Cleveland, Pojo Dojo, Lake Erie Hope and the Cleveland Fan]


Lake Erie Hope said...

that's some good video work Ben, and I agree, it looks the same. LeBron also has had a friendship develop with Pittman too I believe, so that makes the case even stronger that the signs are similar.

Nothing like trying to define signs flashed by athletes...

Erik said...

Even if LeBron is flashing the "dynasty" sign, what does that really have to do with where he's playing?

He could take off his jersey during introductions to reveal a humongous "Jay-Z 4 Life" tattoo across his chest. What does that say besides he is the No. 1 Jay-Z superfan?

Can LeBron be friends with anyone famous from New York without it creating a buzz that he is headed to the Nets or Knicks in 2010?

Funny how LeBron can get "330" tattooed on his person and it makes for back-page fodder. But then he lays his Yankees cap on a table in a certain fashion, and all of a sudden it's "GOD SPEAKS THROUGH YANKEES CAP: LEBRON HEADED TO NYC!!!"

I've said it before and I'll say it again: There is too damn much media in New York, and they all have to weasel their own angle out of stories, resulting in what amounts to blatant lies and total bullshit.

For me, I'll go directly to the horse's extrememly valuable mouth, in a recent ABJ article. When Windhorst asked LeBron about his future as a Cavalier over the weekend, he said this:

"You can't put all your eggs in one basket, but right now I am concentrating on being a Cavalier and winning a championship."

Can you ask for much more loyalty than that in pro sports?

Matt Senne said...

See Jay-Z doing it:

It's indistinguishable from the symbol LeBron does. LeBron and JayZ are boys. See XXL magazine cover:

LeBron is definitely throwing up the dynasty sign. Is he going to play for the Brooklyn Nets? Probably not.

Also, the first thing he flashes is 4 fingers, probably for the Four Horsemen.

Anonymous said...

LeBron's endorsement contracts contain provisions to increase the amount of money he gets if he moves to a bigger market. Money talks...

Unsilent Majority said...

guys, this has nothing to do with Akron or lebron going to play for the Nets, it's just Jay Z's Rocafella symbol.

Larry Johnson throws it up every time he scores (although he's got a contract with Rocawear). It's not at all uncommon to see people using the symbol to show love.

Mickey Free said...

As a native NE Ohioan, take it from me. It is the "A-town" sign for Akron. Home of LeBron, and OSU RBs Antonio Pittman, and Chris Wells. All of whom flash the sign

Anonymous said...

It's the Jay-Z sign.

BTW, if you want to have a good laugh, retired pro wrestler Diamond Dallas Page is suing Jay-Z over use and ownership of the handsign. (DDP started using his "Diamond Cutter" sign back in ~1996. Jay-Z a few years later). DDP once sold lots of merchandise featuring the sign and his "celebrity friends" (mainly Karl Malone) flashed the sign during games and appearances. Now, Jay-Z sells merchandise with the sign and Roc-a-Wear endorsers and Jay-Z fans flash the sign.

Anonymous said...

The four fingers stands for his four buddies, who call themselves the "Four Horseman". I'm also pretty sure the diamond is about Jay-Z because I believe LeBron is part of Roc-A-Fella Records in some way.

Anonymous said...

It is for Jay-Z.. He is affiliated in some way with Roc-a-fella, and appeared on a XXL magazine cover last year sparking some to think that Jay was managing him, later to be denied. Larry Johnson is endorsed by Jay also; here is a pic of the mag...

MCBias said...

I think you may be right, but it's tough, good arguments from both sides. I linked to your story from my blog; there definitely is a NYC Factor out there, it just is hard to tell when it is and is not occurring.

Anonymous said...

here's what brian windhorst has to say:

--LeBron has always flashed that Jay-Z "Dynasty" symbol when being introduced at All-Star Games. This time he tossed in holding up four fingers for the "Four Horsemen." Even though they don't want to be called that anymore. They all wear suits now and want to be known as a corporation.
--Speaking of, when LeBron first did the Jay-Z thing a few years ago in Denver and I wrote about it, a guy e-mailed me all upset and said he was making an "A" for Akron. Um, no.

Anonymous said...

It's definitely a sign for Jay Z's dynasty. He doesn't care about Akron anymore!

Dan W said...

He absolutely cares about Akron - he's got a freaking 330 tattoo and he's given a ton of money to the community where he grew up.

However, the sign he flashed looks like Jay-Z's Rocafella sign you commonly see him flash. Plus there's no arch in the A. Someone should ask him... Get Fred McLeod on the phone.

Ben said...

Anon @ 3:48 - Windhorst basically slammed that door shut didn't he? (btw, I wasn't the guy who emailed him)

I figured the fingers were for the four horsemen and that the sign was for Akron, but it's probably Jay-Z.

But, you can't blame a guy for being confused right? I mean, I just watched an entire season of Antonio Pittman and Beanie Wells throwin up similar signs. All of 'em are from Akron...

Anon @ 2:14 - I know he's got endorsements, but that doesn't explain the media's fascination with him leaving. If Durant gets drafted by Memphis next season, will ESPN and Marc Stein be counting the days til he can bolt? Will people be 'reading the tea leaves' due to the position he puts his baseball cap? Somehow I doubt it.

Finally, I think we can all agree that whatever sign he (and the other guys) are flashing, it's much better than Darius Miles's 'head bob antenna' thing he did after dunks and successful bounce passes.

Anonymous said...

its def the roc-a-fella sign, him and jay-z are bys. jay-z even raps about it, on his new album he says, my young'ns lebron, off the do you wanna ride track. check it out.

Anonymous said...

you people are thick headed. the rocafella sign is obviously the same thing as the a.k. ron sign. if you were trying to come up with a sign for your thing, could you do something cooler than the a-town? i don't think so. so why bother making up your own? if it ain't broke don't fix it. and why you think they got lebron in the rocafella thing?

a.k. ron, duh. nyc cannot get enough of it.

Anonymous said...

I swear I read a quote a few years back and Lebron said he was "throwing up the Akron A". MAybe I'm wrong though

Bad Becks said...

I'm jumping on the Diamond Dallas Page bandwagon on this one. Jay-Z already has all the women, must he steal what little the wrestling industry has left too?

Anonymous said...

It is the dynasty sign. Others do it, and LeBron has done it in the past.

As far as the New York Media pushing the "LeBron wants to play in NYC angle," I live in NYC and have never heard a local media-type or citizen say anything about it. They're probably too busy figuring out a way to pay their outragous rent/mortage payments.

As long as the team is moving towards winning a championship, I expect LeBron to stay in C-Town, I hope.