I didn't think it would happen. I riffed on and on for a week on Twitter, and to friends that there is no way LeBron would sign with the Miami Heat. It didn't make sense to me. Why would a man who calls himself "King" and "Chosen One" who markets himself as something we should all bear "Witness" to leave to join Dwyane Wade's team? This is a man whom made such a show of being the biggest free agent ever that I didn't think his ego would accept admitting that he wanted that kind of help. I always thought he was leaving Cleveland, I just figured he wanted to do it more on his terms. I was wrong. I thought he realized what it could mean for his "brand" if he fulfilled the expectations put him front of him. Expectations LeBron embraced.
With those expectations came the G.O.A.T. tag. The Greatest of All Time. Some say he could be the greatest by the time it's all said and done. You can flush that down he toilet now, because LeBron no longer wanted that burden of proving he was more than the greats before him. How can he now be better than Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, or even Kobe Bryant, when he willingly opted to try his luck with an already champion Dwyane Wade and All-Star Chris Bosh? He may win a championship or some, but now the perception of them will be viewed through much different lenses. Much like Kobe Bryant's accomplishments are picked apart and debated, so will LeBron's. Fair or not. There's nothing wrong with being on the best team a player can be on. Just know that with doing it inorganically comes at a cost. That cost is the image LeBron has forced upon us as some other worldy basketball deity that can do it all. That image is gone. While Kobe's burns brighter. It's not just being part of a great team. It's saying you need to be on some sort of super team to beat Kobe's Lakers.
- Are we expected to believe this man is better than Kobe Bryant now? When LeBron decided he needed to a superstar trio to take the O' Brien Trophy from Kobe's Lakers? Three Olympians? It's a testament to how good Kobe and the Lakers really are. Of course, it always comes back to Kobe. What does this mean for him? It means that all those morons who discount his three titles with Shaq will either have to shut up about them, or be ready to discount LeBron's too, should ever win any in Miami. They say Kobe needed help. LeBron actively recruited a ton of it, but wants us to feel he's better than Kobe? But he's done nothing to prove it. If LeBron does get it done in South Beach, shouldn't he with that amount of help? He won't prove that he's better than Kobe now. He can't. All he would have proved is that he needed more help. If he's the player he's been built up to be he didn't need to do this. There is now no margin of error. No time to give them. LeBron called the shots, and dictated the terms of his next venture. No more excuses.
- So, now Kobe has a chance to beat the two guys mentioned as being possibly better than him. How great would that be? Three Olympians pairing up to take down the man supposedly not in the same class as LeBron. Some say D-Wade too. It just shows how good they view Kobe and the Lakers. Rather than do it with their own teams, they feel they need to do it together. It's the greatest compliment Kobe could have. It's proof positive that this is his league. Oh yeah, and those back to back titles and Finals MVP's.
- If LeBron is really sincere in wanting to be part of something great, and individual greatness doesn't matter to him, then I take it all back. I would also admit that every player needs help. Especially when you have to take it from great players on a great team. There's nothing wrong in what he wants to do in itself. It's just the image he portrayed as "The Chosen One" and the way he left the Cavs that makes it seem worse than it is. If we're all guilty of falling into this trap, then LeBron is also guilty of accepting it.
- So, blame the Lakers for the NBA's apocalypse.
- In one night, LeBron wiped out half of the Kobe haters. Those haters who propped up LeBron simply because he wasn't Kobe, will now channel that frustration towards LeBron. Ironic.
- Don't begrudge LeBron for leaving Cleveland. He wasn't obligated to stay because they drafted him and the fans loved him. That would have happened no matter what team had that #1 pick in 2003. LeBron raised the value of the Cavaliers greatly, and a lot of people made a lot of money during LeBron's seven years there. He had every right to do what was best for him.
What he did owe Cleveland was to handle it better than he did. Want to drag it out? Fine. Want to make a spectacle of it? Go ahead. Want to announce the decision on a televised one hour special? Just do it. But to see how he practically brushed of Cleveland fans by telling them "it's a business" was wrong. See, for them it's not just business. They put the faith in LeBron. Worshiped him. How did he respond?
"I didn't want to make an emotional decision, I wanted to do what was best for LeBron James and what would make him happy," James said. "This is a business and I had seven great years in Cleveland. I hope the fans understand; maybe they won't."
He's right. It's a business, but not for the fans. It was an unnecessary comment. Doing what it right for LeBron James doesn't mean he had to do what was wrong to Cleveland. He led them on.
- Dan Gilbert is taking some heat for his letter posted on Cavs.com. He should though, it's unbecoming of an owner, and it's even worse if he decides to air LeBron's dirty laundry after the fact. We all know that if LeBron said he was staying, all of Gilbert's problems with LeBron evaporate. So, if it were so bad, and LeBron's treachery so great, why not announce that the team had no shot of re-signing him when they realized it? Did LeBron really lead them on that much?
- I'll tell you why Gilbert posted that letter. It was a necessary business move. His fans are hurting right now. They're angry and feel like hope is lost. They're going to look to the team to console them. Look to the organization to promise them they will get through this. No one has more to lose in this than Gilbert himself. He had to paint LeBron as the villain, so that the Cavs fans know that the organization did what they could. He has to keep his fans no matter what.
- I also believe the Tom Izzo interest was a ploy to help set up LeBron as villain. I don't think Izzo was ever interested, nor seriously considered for the job. It was one buddy doing another buddy a favor. At that point, Gilbert had to have a sense that LeBron was removing himself from any possible decisions, and the Cavs had to feel that LeBron was slipping away or had completely. So they put this out there knowing LeBron wasn't going to give them a bone, and they instantly look like they're doing what they can for a selfish star who doesn't have the decency to pick up the phone.
- Via Dime Magazine's Twitter account:
Dan Gilbert owns Fathead, LeBron's fathead has been marked down from 99.99 to 17.41 (the birth year of Benedict Arnold). Amazing!
Through all of this mess, since ESPN is too wrapped up in it's own interests for any of their bobbleheads to write about this nonsense honestly, there have been plenty of writers like Yahoo's Adrien Wojnawrowski whom have been eviscerating LeBron James through all this mess. I hope I never get caught in his cross hairs.
here's some tidbits from his latest:
As the worst idea in the history of marketing unfolded, James looked trapped somewhere between despondence and defiance. His bumbling buddy Maverick Carter had walked him into the public execution of his legacy, his image, and there was a part of James that clearly wished he could turn back through the doors and hide. Only, it was too late. No going back now. James goes to the Miami Heat, Cleveland goes into a basketball Hades and LeBron’s legacy becomes that of a callous carpetbagger....
...So there was LeBron James, the MVP, the man of the hour, sitting in the middle of his own "Truman Show" on Thursday night. His personal network ran his commercials and celebrated his greatness and let him hijack a platform to build his brand and break hearts. He can never go home again now, and he can never completely rebuild what he let his cast of buddies talk him into losing that night. He’s taking his talents to South Beach, and the kid going away for the first time will have some party down there. 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.
What a spectacle, what a train wreck.
What a shame..
- I'd sure hate to be a Knicks or Nets fan today. Amar'e? Travis Outlaw? They're no consolation prizes. They're cruel jokes. But what's with all of these contract being given out? Darko gets 5 years/$20 million. Travis Outlaw 5 yrs/$35 million. Drew Gooden 6 yrs./$32 million. Isn't the league claiming the owners lose money annually? No wonder why. These teams are blowing this cap space they opened up like it's Brewster's Millions. On scrubs. Yet, Lamar had to fight for $9 million last off-season. Good thing we snagged Ron Ron last summer for the MLE.
- Everyone is wondering what kind of team the Heat will field. They'll get some players. Just like Boston did in 2008. They freed up more money to go after role players since David Kahn agreed to help the Heat out even more and take Michael Beasley off Miami's hands for a 2nd Round pick. Basically nothing. Had to be Kahn. Who else is that stupid?
- It's the overspending for these role players that will make it tough for Pat Riley to lure some players. His best chance is to sell the chance for a a ring and history. Some players will bite. Tell me you couldn't see T-Mac taking a minimum contract or close to it to try for a ring? He's stolen enough money in his career, and his image could use the positivity that comes with a seemingly selfless move. Raja Bell has already stated he'd like to go to Miami.
- I know LeBron got a lot of backlash for this, and I do think it was corny but I'm glad that the NBA got as much run as possible from this. I want the league to grow, and this sure beats ESPN killing us with Brett Favre's stupid will he or won't he drama. I'll take 3 months of endless LeBron speculation over 3 minutes of Rachel Nichols or Chris Mortensen standing in front of some field in Podunk, MS. As an NBA fan, we won.
- I can't wait for next season. Personally, I think LeBron and the NBA would have been better off if he joined the Bulls. The Heat would still be elite, the Bulls too, the Celtics, and the Magic in the East. Our Lakers, the Thunder out West. Would have been great for the NBA to have their biggest stars on their own elite teams. Instead Kobe has to crush the next two biggest stars in one swoop.
- Remember this. When things got thick in the 4th quarter of the 2008 Gold Medal Game against a Pau Gasol led Spain team, it was Kobe Bryant who had to carry a USA team with LeBron, Wade and Bosh to victory. The super team still resides in Los Angeles, and they wear purple and gold.
- For my daily stray bullets, you can follow me on Twitter: @wondahbap