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Whitlock: Jerry Jones photo can’t conceal that LeBron James is ‘Pookie’ from ‘New Jack City’

Slaven Vlasic / Stringer | Getty Images

Like the Chris Rock character “Pookie” in the movie “New Jack City,” LeBron James is tweaking again. He fell off the dopamine wagon. He needs another hit off Twitter’s glass pipe, and it appears the NBA star is willing to jack Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for a fix.

Last night, following a Lakers victory over Portland, LeBron turned his postgame news conference into a trap house. He ended his media session complaining to reporters about their failure to ask him about a 1957 photo of 14-year-old Jerry Jones outside an Arkansas school engulfed in a desegregation protest. Last Wednesday, the Washington Post published a story about the photo.

James, an NBA player, said he couldn’t understand why NBA reporters failed to ask him about the NFL owner, particularly since NBA reporters asked him questions about NBA player and former teammate Kyrie Irving.

“When I watch Kyrie talk and he says, ‘I know who I am, but I want to keep the same energy when we’re talking about my people and the things that we’ve been through.’ And that Jerry Jones photo is one of those moments that our people, black people, have been through in America. And I feel like, as a black man, as a black athlete, as someone with power and a platform, when we do something wrong, or something that people don’t agree with, it’s on every single tabloid, every single news coverage, it’s on the bottom ticker. It's asked about every single day.

“But it seems like to me that the whole Jerry Jones situation, photo – and I know it was years and years ago, and we all make mistakes, I get it – but it seems like it’s just been buried under, like, ‘Oh, it happened. OK, we just move on.’ And I was just kind of disappointed that I haven’t received that question from you guys.”

LeBron’s logic is obviously tortured, even by today’s low standards. It’s one of the worst examples of “whataboutism.” It’s so bad that the “What about Brett Favre” people are embarrassed for LeBron.

A basketball player is pretending to be upset that basketball reporters didn’t ask him about an old picture of a football owner.

In the era of social media and brand control, do athletes need permission from the media to comment on whatever they want? Did LeBron wait for a media question to fire off an opinion about an Ohio cop who shot and killed a young woman trying to stab another young woman? Or did he simply tweet a threatening warning to Officer Nicholas Reardon?

Is LeBron disappointed that NBA reporters never peppered him with questions about Ethan Liming, the teenager murdered in the parking lot of LeBron’s iPromise school?

Being a former Cowboys fan doesn’t qualify LeBron as an expert on 65-year-old photos. Nor does being a 38-year-old billionaire black man connect you to the pain and oppression black people suffered 65 years ago in the South.

It’s all a gimmick. LeBron has been a pampered elite disconnected from reality since about age 12, when Nike and other athlete prospectors discovered gold in his DNA. The Chosen One turned into the Golden Child long before he could fully comprehend the consequences of poverty and in plenty of time to be shielded from oppression.

America exploits talent. It doesn’t oppress it.

James’ limitless athleticism and limited intellectual evolution make him a prime candidate for exploitation. His puppet masters hooked him on dopamine, the crack cocaine of social media. He’s a dopamine fiend. He’s a user. He gets high on the endless supply of dopamine that 137 million Instagram and 52 million Twitter followers provide.

We’re all recreational users. James is an addict. No different from Stephen A. Smith, Shannon Sharpe, Jemele Hill, and all the other celebrity influencers vetting their worldview through Silicon Valley algorithms.

James is going out of his way to take a dump on the Cowboys' owner to clean up the social media mess he made when he publicly criticized Kyrie Irving. Ripping Kyrie weakened LeBron’s supply of dopamine.

Let’s remember. A month ago, when the NBA’s power structure sought retribution for Irving’s vaccine defiance by labeling a tweet the first domino in a second Holocaust, social media influencers sided with their puppet masters against Irving.

James said at the time: “I believe what Kyrie did caused some harm to a lot of people. He has since … apologized. But he caused some harm, and I think it’s unfortunate. I don’t stand on the position to harm people when it comes to your voice or your platform or anything. So, it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, how tall you are, what position you are in. If you are promoting or soliciting or saying harmful things to any community that harm people, then I don’t respect it. I don’t condone it.”

Everyone, including Smith and Sharpe, followed LeBron’s lead. Unfortunately for them, social media users instantly saw through the Brooklyn Nets' and Adam Silver’s facade and recognized Irving’s right to free speech and right to freedom of religious association.

Black influencers exposed themselves as battery-backed useful idiots. They unintentionally revealed a truth about modern celebrity. The digital media age rejects adherence to a set of values and requires obedience to the whims of public opinion. Social media platforms control the whims of public opinion. With no values or consistent worldview to guide them, digital influencers botched their reaction to Irving’s harmless tweet.

LeBron’s forced comments about Jerry Jones are another attempt by James to establish a new position on Irving and win the approval of his social media followers. LeBron wants that good dope again.

He failed to stand by Kyrie when it mattered the most. That failure has damaged his ability to manipulate and influence black people at the behest of Nike, the Democrat Party, and his other global puppet masters.

Irving’s bold vaccine stance and the unjustified punishment he received for a tweet have positioned him as the modern-day Muhammad Ali, not LeBron James or Colin Kaepernick.

LeBron is Pookie. He’s dusty, thirsty, and fraudulent. Jerry Jones can’t save him.

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