As a Cleveland native, I’m getting asked my opinion of LeBron James leaving the Cavaliers — and many of my friends and co-workers expect me to be upset, indignant, jilted, etc. So, while the blogosphere hardly needs one more commentary on LeBron James’ move to the Miami Heat, I’ll make this short and to the point.
LeBron doesn’t owe me anything.
He’s a professional basketball player who wants to win and be remembered as the best to play the game. That’s a tall order, and yet he’s one of the very few with the physical gifts, youth and talent to potentially eclipse the legendary legacies of Wilt, Russell, Oscar, Bird, Kareem, Magic, MJ and, yes, Kobe. So, as an unestricted free agent, having sized up his chances for multiple NBA championships with the Cavaliers in Cleveland, LeBron has chosen to move on. So be it.
After all, LeBron already did the Hometown Hero thing. Born in nearby Akron, LeBron went to Cleveland to start his career when he could have pulled some kind of “I won’t sign” stunt to avoid it. (Others certainly have.) And he brought a lot of excitement to Cleveland: 7 seasons with no behind-the-scenes demands to be traded, no belittling of his teammates, or any of that negative superstar prima donna crap. That’s why Cavs fans loved him. It wasn’t just his points, assists, rebounds, and come-from-behind shot-blocking — it was his behavior as a relatively-solid citizen.
I don’t know what happened against the Celtics in the playoffs. How can you go from blowing the Celtics out in Boston to being unable to win anther game? (I’ve heard ALL the rumors.) But, now that the NBA playoffs are over, it’s obvious the Celtics were better than any of us thought they were at the end of the regular season. That collection of veteran all-stars took The Lakers to Game 7. Maybe, just maybe — all the locker room rumors notwithstanding — the Celtics were still the better team.
A player the caliber of LeBron James deserves his shot at winning multiple titles. That wasn’t happening in Cleveland. Am I disappointed? Yes, of course, I am. Do I feel betrayed? Not at all. The bitter Cavs owner, Dan Gilbert, says LeBron quit during the playoffs. He’s crying out loud in an open letter about LeBron’s lack of loyalty. Hey, Dan! You just fired a head coach and GM who won more games in the last two seasons than anybody else in the NBA. Stuff your indignation. Perhaps Gilbert’s fit of pissy pique is an inside glimpse at yet another factor in LeBron’s decision to exit the Cavs. Dan Gilbert owns the Cavs. He doesn’t own LeBron James.
As for “The Decision” and all the pomp, pageantry and ESPN schmaltz that attended it? If the media and fans dub somebody “King James”, don’t be shocked when he behaves like royalty. I, for one, will be rooting for my Cavs and for LeBron James and The Miami Heat. (I’ve always liked D. Wade.) But if the Cavs and Heat match up in the playoffs, I’ll be rooting for LeBron to remain ring-less. That would be a great story.
Oh yeah, now about those two wars we’re fighting and that oily problem in the Gulf…
7 responses to “LeBron: The King Moves On…”
YAAAAAAAAY ANOTHER POST!
And I couldn’t agree more about the whole LeBron thing … and the oily gulf coast and war thingys…
This was a great article, I very much enjoyed the read! Cleveland fans are really unhappy that Lebron chose to go to Miami but I think they are taking this too much to heart. Lebron is a very good player that hasn’t one a championship and feels that he can win one in Miami rather than Cleveland. He doesn’t owe anything to the Cavs because for the most part he played his hardest throughout his time in Cleveland. I have never liked and never will like Lebron but I feel that all the criticism that he is getting is unfair. Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I would love to hear your opinion on my thoughts. http://chrisross91.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/suck-it-up-cleveland/
I don’t follow basketball and I never even heard of LeBron James until I read Paul’s blog some months ago. Still don’t understand all this fuss, although I am still somewhat upset that the Dodgers have left Brooklyn.
Paul, You show great wisdom in the comments you wrote about LeBron James. Let me add that some Clevelanders are showing the mean and petty side that reveals so much about the cause for the lackluster of our city. We relied so much on one person to solve our economic and social problems; perhaps now we will start reflecting on what our community, all of us, can do to revitalize Cleveland. Thanks LeBron for bringing for seven years some needed spark and excitement to Cleveland.
What a disappointment by ESPN, but $$ rule! The only redeeming quality of this entire fiasco is that profits from the TV special went to Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs…hopefully…after skimming off the top…did they pay LeBron for his appearance? I think we need a Really Big Contest in LA to rename the Lakers. The Lakers? Ask anyone where that name came from….maybe 20% know…
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