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The power of words

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  December 7, 2009 06:29 PM

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As far as the words, it's the kind of talk you can also hear it in an inner-city school or on a corner in Downtown Crossing. Talking about the language would be opening up a dialog about a larger issue that's more up Oprah or Al Sharpton's alley, not this blog's.

Whether LeBron should be more self-aware is a different issue, and sort of a solvable one.

The easy fix would be for LeBron to just smarten up. Dwyane Wade's twitter account made waves in the offseason, when he let the n-word go a few times. He cleaned it up for the public. Brandon Jennings, who's in town tomorrow night, was in hot water not long after he was drafted when a conversation he had with rapper Joe Budden hit youtube (Jennings used the slur a ton at one point using it for his coach Scott Skiles). Judging by his conversation with the Globe's Gary Washburn, he's done a 180 publicly. They realized people were watching their every move so they decided to step wisely.

The other fix is organizational. Some teams have policies about music in the locker room. Music doesn't play at all in the Celtics locker room. Headphones only, and there's not a ton of dancing. The atmosphere is pretty business-like, which makes it hard for something like what James did to happen.

James' image is pretty established at this point, although absolutely nobody is bulletproof. Looks like Hill's just giving James and a lot of other players something to think about.

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