lebronathon: the perils of supergroups
  • FRIDAY, JULY 09, 2010

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Yesterday we talked about the world's most important decision of importance, which was announced last night in a haughty, one-hour, televised special on ESPN. First thought: Will Smith was right.



Second of all, City Of Cleveland, Ohio:


More musicians are involved in the conversation (like The Black Keys), not just bajillionaire sh*tty basketball team part-owner Jay Z. I mean, he only has a 1.8% portion of the team. That is not a lot of interest! LeBron probably met with Hov to talk about how much the Nets suck, and to go over South Beach waterfront mansion prices and where to find top quality hookers and blow. You know, rich buddy stuff.

For the rest of us life goes on (New York just drank for a few hours and forgot the mess), but Ohio was in rough shape, and this makes matters worse. LeBron is a star and he generated a lot of money for the city of Cleveland and subsequently the state, a fact summarized by Akron born drummer Patrick Carney, one half of the wonderfully gritty Black Keys. In his letter to the WSJ, he takes a melancholy look at the implications of LeBron's departure from a dying state. It's a tough place to be from, and lots of the places they grew up with have closed down.

"Either way, these decisions are hard. He is 25 and has spent his whole life in one town. No college. No Peace Corps. Maybe he needs to explore the world, and you can never fault someone for that."

Sure, but you CAN fault him for choosing Miami, and not for the hookers or the blow. For the SUPERGROUP. For those of you who thought all the chatter about stacking the deck meant LeBron was joining Animal Collective (which is a strikingly similar musing to the one I thought up for today), here is the short version: LeBron James joins Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, two very talented and noteworthy basketballers. This makes the Miami Heat a "super-group", or a group comprised of more than two "super-stars", or so the sports people tell me. Sometimes super-groups work. And sometimes they don't (actually, all the time they don't). So to better help LBJ, we're going to review some super-groups and why the whole was way less than the sum of it's parts, even when those parts were HUGE.

I understand people like these bands. Remember: this is about why their individual successes were better than the lot of them together. Please direct your hate to my secretary.

Velvet Revolver
A hard rock super-group consisting of former Guns N' Roses members Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum, alongside Dave Kushner formerly of punk band Wasted Youth. Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots was on vocals, but left to reform his old band, because let's face it, Velvet Revolver kind of sucked. But you could still enjoy it, if it wasn't for the DRAMA.

Reason they didn't work: Weiland and the rest of the band just didn't get along, because they were ALL USED TO BEING THE MAN, so Weiland did a lot of drugs, and he quit, and it isn't really the same band anymore, is it? Too many big egos can't fit in such small packages, even those big things usually come in there? (Ugh. Also what?) LeBron better work on his second fiddle chops, or Dwyane Wade will be telling us in two years he can't wait to put out the quintessential Miami Heat record, as soon as they find a new lead singer.

Audioslave
Remember that one Audioslave song (the only one that was memorable)? That was a good song, I guess. Some people find it annoying. Would you rather have a new Soundgarten song/Rage Against The Machine song? Probably. Did they win a Grammy? Yup. Did they break up because no one could agree on anything? YUP. Their third record didn't go platinum, and when you have two mega-churches in your band, there is no excuse for going platinum 66% of the time, EVERYTIME.

Zwan
An American alternative rock super-group (I see a pattern here) that was formed by members of The Smashing Pumpkins, Slint, Tortoise, Chavez, and A Perfect Circle. Billy Corgan, of course. When your Wikipedia page says you broke up "acrimoniously", maybe you shouldn't have been a band. Remember: there is a "ME" in "TEAM", and big headed basketball millionaire has like four "I"s.

Were there a bunch of successful super-groups that don't hate each other? Sure! Maybe! But mark my bitter, the-Knicks-are-going-to-be-losers-forever words: egos will clash in the Florida heat. In the end, they're going to need a bigger basketball, and I'm pretty sure they only come in one size. Right? Maybe? Someone call The Sports Authority. -joe puglisi

BONUS: Cleveland has a hometown anthem for this exact situation.

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