July 9, 2010
It’s just as well that LeBron James decided not to come to Chicago. What Chicago does NOT need right now are two things: 1) continued pointless media frenzy over a national-spotlight athlete, and 2) another super-rich celebrity who doesn’t tip his waiter.
Random unsubstantiated rumor: LeBron James is a cheap tipper
This is an article about an incident from May 2008 that promotes a rumor (disclaimer: JUST A RUMOR) about one of the world’s wealthiest people, who plays basketball for a living, being the dreaded enemy of waiters everywhere.
The article announces in its title that this is an unsubstantiated rumor, so I took two extra steps to see if anything more relevant could be found. Why the lunch-hour investigative journalism, Bil? Because I care, that’s why.
An article about the same incident from Cleveland Scene gives a little more insight:
Again, this is all unsubstantiated, but one valid point sticks with me:
LeBron’s handlers also tried to downplay the incident, telling the New York Post that LeBron misread the bill. “There was a misreading of the receipt, and the appropriate tip was provided.”
But it’s not exactly believable spin, since waiters possess the vision of starved falcons when it comes to reading the gratuity line on credit-card slips. And when you’re stiffed that bad, chances are you’re gonna re-read it three or four times — purely out of disbelief that a man that rich could be that cheap.
The next clue is in the next paragraph:
And as a frequent patron of XO, LeBron knows that dinner for two equals the down payment on a new yacht, which is why he had a gofer shuttle over a $200 tip the next day.
If this much is true, then a quiet bribe to nip a PR disaster in the bud seems to have done it’s work well enough. And hush money is more believable than quotes in a newspaper.
I’ll say it again: I don’t have any reason to believe or disbelieve any of this. It’s all internet rumors. However, since the guy chose to play in Miami instead of in Chicago, I’m going to choose to believe it’s absolutely true. Jerk.
Miami can have him. I hope the restaurant scene there knows what they’re in for. I hope they accidentally spill coffee on his $8,000 suit or something.
I don’t even like basketball. It’s the principle of the thing. The rich and famous set the example because, well, they are rich and famous. If they don’t tip well, what will become of our society?