It seems I owe you an apology. As you have pointed out, here's what I said on July 1:
14. LeBron+Wade+Bosh Just Ain't Happening
Does the idea of competing against Michael Jordan's legacy scare LeBron away from Chicago? I have no idea. But this much I do know: LeBron does NOT want to share credit for whatever championships he wins. Oh, he wants help... but not "first-tier" help. Chris Bosh? Amare Stoudamire? No problem there, because the King Exiled Prince would get all the credit. Those guys would qualify simply as the "help" LeBron needed (and supposedly didn't get, per the revisionists). But Wade? The man has already led his team to a championship. If LeBron can't even get out of the East with a Cavs team that won 60+ games two years straight, but then goes on to win with Dwyane Wade, you know what they'll say. Couldn't win without Wade. In fact, some would even credit Wade for leading them to the championship. Worse yet — it could actually prove true. And what if Wade has an awesome playoffs and gets the Finals MVP? LeBron couldn't bear that. And it will be worse if he plays with Wade AND Bosh. No, LeBron couldn't bear that. Plus, he doesn't want to share the ball as much as he'd have to with Wade (I don't care what his assist numbers are, LeBron's game revolves around him dominating the ball). No, LeBron won't play with Wade, and he sure as hell won't play with Wade AND Bosh.
It appears I misled you — but in all fairness, I was only half wrong.
The part about what everyone would say if he joined Bosh and Wade in Miami? I was right about that, and they're already saying it. In fact, it almost seems that nobody is not saying it. Well, nobody that doesn't work at ESPN.
SI.com's Michael Rosenberg had this to say:
But James does not have the heart of a champion. He does not have the competitive fire of Jordan, the bull-headed determination of Kobe Bryant, the quiet self-confidence of Tim Duncan, the willful defiance of Isiah or the winning-is-everything hunger of Magic Johnson.
He is an extremely gifted player who wants the easy way out.
... "We don't have the pressure of going out and scoring 30 every night or shooting a high percentage."
Whoa. Hold on there. Scoring 30 a night is too much pressure for one of the five most talented players ever?
Find me another all-time NBA great who would utter those words. Jordan would rather do an adidas commercial than say that. Bryant must have laughed as he heard the so-called "King" say that. Larry Bird? The next time he complains about pressure will be the first. Magic was the greatest team player of the last 40 years, but he was also so competitive that he wanted to play Jordan one-on-one in a promotional event -- and this was when Magic had won titles and Jordan had not, so Magic had more to lose.
The Washington Post's Mike James had similar thoughts:
On the night the NBA's No. 1 free agent proposed to Miami and dumped northeastern Ohio, at least the showman was smart enough to know that if he ever wanted to hoist a championship trophy, he needed a genuine leader such as Dwyane Wade to get him there.
Oh, and he can't be Magic now. Or Bird. Or Michael. Or Isiah Thomas, Tim Duncan or Bill Russell or any other NBA supernova who stuck around long enough to win championships for a town and its people.
LeBron can be Shaquille O'Neal, who left Orlando amid hard feelings to become a basketball mercenary in many more glorious pastures. He can be Kevin Garnett, who had to leave Minnesota to win it all.
Then there's the Philadelphia Daily News' John Smallwood:
I'll admit that I'm old-school, and to me, James running to Miami to join Wade and Bosh to form a coalition of superstars almost eliminates him from ever joining the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and even Kobe Bryant in the discussion of greatest ever.
When you are having the highly subjective discussion concerning "the greatest of all time," subtle nuances are often the determining factors. No one is saying those guys did it by themselves or didn't need help, but none of them bailed out of the situation in which they originally were placed.
They stayed in one place and became the centerpiece of dynasties. No matter how you frame it, James quit on the challenge of bringing a title to Cleveland. He went to Miami where Wade, who already has a title and was a Finals MVP, can show him how to become a champion and Bosh can pull the weight he couldn't shoulder.
Bruce Arthur, the National Post:
To say this was a cop-out is true. True stars try to beat one another, rather than arranging a grand puppet show and then join forces. This removes the chance that LeBron will be seen as the greatest player of all time, ever. It’s over. Michael Jordan did it with Scottie Pippen and role players. He beat Magic. He beat everyone. He stood alone. LeBron’s best-case scenario is to be Russell.
Adrian Wojnarowski, great as always:
Now, Clevelanders truly see it for themselves: He was a fan of the Cowboys, the Yankees – never the Browns and Indians. He was a frontrunner, and he just made the most frontrunner move in the history of the NBA. Off to Miami with Riles, D-Wade and Chris Bosh.
... After all these years, it was clear he had been coddled and protected and ultimately prepared to do one thing: Take the easy way out. Wherever he was going, he looked conflicted, lost and completely confused.
I could go on all day, you know. Everyone is saying it, and that's because it's true. With this move, the man who spent the last seven years proclaiming himself the King and the Chosen One, strutting around like he owned the league, and none-too-subtly seeing himself as the best player in the world decided to become Dwyane Wade's second fiddle. The man who spent the last seven years setting himself up for the possibility of eventually retiring as the greatest ever to play the game decided that was just too much for him, and gave it up.
There's simply no way I saw that coming. I was operating on the premise that LeBron still thought he could be the best in the world, that he still thought that he could beat Kobe on his own (and by "on his own," I don't mean without any help; I simply mean with a good supporting cast, and with no more superstar help than Kobe has). I was also operating on the premise that, like Michael Jordan before him, LeBron James' image was the most important thing to him. And doing this would destroy that image. And it has.
To put it simply, I never thought this was possible, because I just didn't think LeBron was this stupid. What a train wreck, indeed.
But WaveOcean, here's my question to you: Do you really want this guy? He's the ultimate front runner. But worse than that, it's clear that he doesn't think he could have led the Cavs team to a championship. Not now, not later. Not with any supporting cast. Because, understand this: If all he needed was a better supporting cast, he'd have gone to Chicago. A player couldn't ask for a better supporting cast, and a supposed NBA great would never have a better opportunity to lead a team to a championship. If he truly believed that he could be the superstar to lead a supporting cast to the promised land, just as Kobe has for the last two years, he would have gone to Chicago. But he clearly doesn't believe he could do that. Instead, he has to have Wade and Bosh to make it easy for him.
Do you really want a guy that can't handle that pressure? Do you really want a guy who felt the need to take the easy way out? If he doesn't believe he could lead the Cavs to a championship, then why should you?
I know it's tough as hell, but if I were you, I'd say, "Good riddance!" and I'd be glad that at least the rebuilding process can happen now, instead of being held hostage for the next 10 years by a talented egomaniac who can dazzle us with highlight plays but ultimately doesn't have what it takes to get it done at the highest level, when the pressure is on.
Is it better to be bad and know it, or to constantly be tortured with a hope for success that will never be realized, because ultimately, it is a mirage? Maybe you'd take the mirage. But LeBron James just showed us his true colors, in several different ways, and personally, I'd want none of it.
I'm sorry to have given you hope where there was none, and more than anything, I'm sorry for what LeBron James has put you and your fellow fans through. It sucks to be you right now. You're a good dude, and you deserve better. Better than this, but also better than him.
I'll close with this. Everyone's had their chance to put into words what this means for LeBron, so I'll give you my take, as well. If I was you, he wouldn't be the guy I'd want, and here's why:
They say if you can't beat them, join them — "them" being your opponents. By joining them, LeBron James just admitted to the world that he can't beat them.