Friday, July 9, 2010

The Decision: To Dethrone Oneself

And the survey says, "...I will take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat."

Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James were all apart of the 2008 USA Olympic Men's Basketball team. Word has it they loved playing together so much that they wished they could have that opportunity together in the NBA.
Now they do.

The 2010 free agent market in the NBA has been the most anticipated ever. Besides James, Bosh and Wade other star free agents include Amare' Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, and David Lee. As of yesterday all of them have new destinations. All except Dwyane Wade. Wade was the 2006 NBA Finals MVP as he and Shaquille O'Neal brought Miami it's first NBA title. Now, they are expected to win many more because Bosh and James are joining him. Bosh has spent his entire NBA career a member of the Toronto Raptors. He was expected to make the move to Miami as he and Wade are good friends and have the same agent. However, LeBron's free agent campaign has been much more anticipated.

"The King" has been the face of the NBA since he was drafted first overall in 2003. When his first contract was up, he resigned for three years with the Cleveland Cavaleirs which leads us to today. The New York Knicks had every intention of clearing up enough salary cap space since then to resign him this year. To lure him in, they signed Amare' Stoudemire. Chicago, New Jersey, Miami, New York and the Los Angeles Clippers were all in the running of landing James. He met with all of those teams and last night made his decision. ESPN aired a live broadcast of it and it was entitled "The Decision". He there announced he was teaming up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh who a couple days before said they were going to sign with Miami.

I have enjoyed watching LeBron play in Cleveland. They've had the best regular season record two seasons in a row. They made their first Finals appearance in 2007. James is one of three two time MVP's who haven't won a cchampionship. Steve Nash and Karl Malone are the others. The city of Cleveland is notorious for having their hearts smashed by their sports teams failing and disappointing. But never have they been betrayed by a home grown hero like LeBron. James grew up in the Akron area. The Cavs were lucky enough to win the 2003 NBA Draft Lottery and therefore select James with that #1 pick. And until yesterday, he didn't disappoint.

Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers said in a public letter to Cavs fans that LeBron will take that Cleveland sports curse with him to south beach. "The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma." The letter also said LeBron is a narcissist and self-promoted this entire event. The letter included a guarantee, "I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE". "This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn." The complete letter can be found at the team website. Dan also said in an ESPN interview that LeBron gave up in the playoffs. Later today, Gilbert, who is also the owner of Fathead marked down the LeBron James cutout to $17.41, the birth year of Benedict Arnold.

LeBron wants to join forces with Wade and Bosh. He feels they can win championships continually together. He has personally and willingly taken his throne off and hung it on the shelf. This is the NBA version of the NCAA superconferences. Except this is reality. The first NBA Superteam. Cav fans are burning James' Cleveland jersey in the streets and vandalizing his billboards. Nothing hurts more than being abandoned by your own kind. No longer can he be called King James. Wade already has a championship. He is atop the scoring charts every season. He's been in Miami his entire career. James is in his world. He can't take the pressure of being the man to lead a team to victory. What kind of king doesn't carry his troops on his shoulders? What kind of king stabs his hometown in the chest for the whole world to see? What kind of king gives up in the eyes of the man he works with side by side? I'll tell you. It's the same King who willingly gives up his throne and lets his fate lie in the hands of others. A coward. That man is LeBron James. LeBron, you are no king. You are now owned by Dwyane Wade. You work on his corners. That was your decision. And to quote your NIKE campaign, we are all witnesses.

1 comment:

  1. Gilbert's bold comments are pretty shocking coming from an owner. These guys are usually buttoned up and image conscious. But kudos to him for having the team and the city's back. Pretty gutsy to guarantee a championship in Cleveland before LeBron gets one in Miami. I lost a ton of respect for LeBron with this whole process. First, doing the announcement on global tv was crazy and unprecedented, epecially when that meant taking a huge dump on your team, teammates, and what amounts to your hometown. Second, to keep using the phrase "my real fans" when addressing angry Cavs and to continually say he took Cleveland to greater heights than they had ever been (but with no rings) was so narcissistic it's crazy. And third, to basically wuss out and go ride D. Wade's coattails is wild. Couldn't do it himself is the message. Paranoid at 25 that he'd never win on his own. For a guy so obsessed with his image and legacy, he sure didn't seem to do the math on how he compares to the great ones who didn't hitch wagons to rivals, they beat their brains out. Think Mj would have ever joined the Pistons because the beat the Bulls two years in a row in late 80'S? Literally, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em? Not happ'nin'.

    We are all witnesses indeed.

    And the most motivated guy in the world during all of free agency is Kobe. Going for ring #6 to tie Jordan, and 3-peat #2 as well. We've all discovered Kobe doesn't need extra motivation. Now he has it in spades.