KEN KARRSON: Lookin' for love in all the wrong places

2012-03-14T19:00:00Z 2012-08-28T23:48:07Z KEN KARRSON: Lookin' for love in all the wrong placesBy Ken Karrson Sports Memorabilia nwitimes.com
March 14, 2012 7:00 pm  • 

I may be going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing that LeBron James probably doesn't concern himself with how most Americans think of him -- or if they even think about him at all.

Why should he? Every time he cashes his paycheck, he's given a reminder that those who employ him definitely care about him quite a lot.

Every U.S. worker should be so fortunate.

But that same eight-figure income that makes James a very wealthy man has also caused him to be viewed in a poor light by nearly 500 of his fellow citizens.

In a survey of 2,000 people conducted jointly by Yahoo! and Ipsos MediaCT in November and recently reported on the former's sports website, the following question was posed: "Who do you think makes way more money than she/he deserves to?"

Twenty-four percent of the respondents pegged James as one of those overpaid types. He ranked third in the voting, behind only the ditzy-diva duo of Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Kim Kardashian.

And LeBron thought he was surrounded by a talent shortage in Cleveland.

The impetus behind the anti-James sentiment is somewhat puzzling. Granted, he has yet to win a world title, but so have most of the guys who are getting paid bigger NBA bucks than he is in 2011-12.

Why wasn't Gilbert Arenas' name found on the overpaid list, or Rashard Lewis' or Joe Johnson's? Saying they're anonymous to the marginal fan isn't an excuse.

Jumping to LeBron's defense isn't something I'd normally rush to do, but this whole thing strikes me as rather bizarre. Even without a championship ring to flaunt, James' on-court credentials are indisputable.

And if he is overpaid -- which everyone in athletics and the entertainment field is -- whose fault is that? Don't those of us who purchase replicas of his jerseys, any James-related memorabilia or tickets to a Bulls or Pacers game when the Heat are in town shoulder some of the burden for LeBron's insanely high income?

Of course we do. This is true for anyone pocketing big bucks. If there weren't a healthy -- or maybe that should be unhealthy -- dose of Kardashian Krazies or Snooki Sycophants in the U.S., they'd be minimum-wage candidates.

Dislike LeBron if you must, but not solely because he's making too much money. At least he's productive on the job.

That probably puts him one step ahead of many critics.

Collectors show: The 21st annual Chicagoland Auto Racing and Memorabilia Collectors Show will be held Sunday, March 25, at the Will County Fairgrounds. For more information, call (219) 838-0737 or (219) 923-1475.

This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at kenneth.karrson@nwi.com.

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