Is It Cute or Annoying That LeBron is Super Cheap?

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Scene might have been among the first outlets in America to let the general LeBron-curious public know the King is, for lack of a better word, cheap.

Back in 2008, we reported that after James had dined at XO in the Warehouse District, one of his favored haunts in his then young career, he had stiffed the wait staff with a $10 tip on an $800 bill, despite keeping them til the wee hours of the morning. It'd be hard to label LeBron a cheapskate based on a single incident, but Scene, ever-dutiful reporters that we are, have frequented a bar or 37 in our day (like, a single day) in search of stories and sources and confirmation, and it was an open secret that should James walk in the door, expectations of gratuity were to be severely curtailed.

Though James' PR team worked to explain away what they called an innocent mistake, James himself has done little to soften his reputation as a tightwad. Quite the opposite, in fact. As Yahoo! reminds us, LeBron's also been chided in the media and by best pal Dwyane Wade for, among other Scrooge McDuck habits, of being an "exact tipper" who won't use his phone unless it's connected to WiFi.

There's more, as you'll see in an interview James and Wade did with Rachel Nichols that'll air during Monday Night Football this evening. Here's a snippet Nichols tweeted out as a tease.


James: “That is so, so, so, so false—ly true. That is so falsely true.”

Wade: “He ain’t using his phone if it ain’t Wi-Fi.”

James: “No, I’m not doing that. I’m not turning on data roaming. I’m not buying no apps. I still got Pandora with commercials. … I’m not.”

Nichols: “You know you’re rich, right?”

James: “I’m not paying for it. I’m not paying.”

Premium, commercial free Pandora, if you didn't know, costs $4.99 a month.

So is this some endearing quirk for one of the richest athletes on the planet? Or annoying as fuck? Our take: As long as LeBron's changed his tune on tipping, and hopefully by multiple tens of percent, he can listen to all the shitty Pandora commercials he wants.


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