LeBron’s “Pros and Cons” In Going To Miami
I need to open this column with a statement from Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. It echoes my sentiments exactly and I applaud him for having the balls to say it. I now count Dan Gilbert as a top-5 owner in sports for this display of strength.
Dear Cleveland, all of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers supporters wherever you may be tonight;
As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.
This was announced with a several-day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.
Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.
The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.
There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.
You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.
You have given so much and deserve so much more.
In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight: I personally guarantee that the Cleveland Cavaliers will win an NBA Championship before the self-titled former “king” wins one.
You can take it to the bank.
If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.
Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there. Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.
This shocking act of disloyalty from our homegrown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow up to become.
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.
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.
Just watch. Sleep well, Cleveland. Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day…
I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:
DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue…
The Positives in Miami
In Miami there are tons of positives. We know that the beaches and nightlife are fantastic. The weather is great all the time. Heck, I’ve been there at the end of December. While the rest of the country is freezing its ass off, it’s 85 degrees in Miami.
There are many, many famous people living in Miami. There are plenty of opportunities for hobnobbing and schmoozing. I remember taking a cruise by Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga’s house in Ft. Lauderdale—his property is shaped like Florida!
Besides the sightseeing I can’t see how this is positive for anybody but Wade, Bosh, and LeBron. They get to hang out and chill in Miami.
The Heat are run by Pat Riley. He’s won 5 titles as a coach and he’s got a great basketball mind. Whether he takes these 3 guys plus some “flotsam and jetsam” to a title or not—the Miami “Big 3″ will have fun. That is, until . . .
They See All The Cons
The “cons” in Miami are mighty. They are small, but great things can come in small packages. A trio of 28, 26, and 25-year olds are probably not thinking about how they will actually play the game.
When Pat Riley figures out how to cut the ball into threes and hand it out to each of them a third at a time—then they will be able to play well.
Can Mario Chalmers run this team from the point? Probably not. Remember, he hasn’t translated well to the NBA. In fact, even if he was a brilliant, Rajon Rondo-type Point Guard, the “Big 3″ wouldn’t allow him to run the offense.
LeBron will likely become the “Point Forward” in Miami—trying to mimic Hedo Turkoglu with Orlando in the 2009 playoffs. The only problem with that? He’ll get tired of it.
I hope he doesn’t think that letting Wade take passes as a Shooting Guard will open him up for more chances. Wade will take the ball and run straight to the basket.
Now LeBron is annoyed.
LeBron may have more chances to rebound, but wouldn’t that be Chris Bosh‘s job? Bosh is 7 foot tall. LeBron, at 6’8″, would need help pulling down rebounds because Bosh has only averaged 9.4 rebounds a game for his career.
So, Bosh doesn’t have the “killer instinct” and he isn’t even a superstar. He’s just lucky that he’s D-Wade’s friend. Let’s scrap Bosh from this conversation. He’ll just be salary the Heat will want to dump near the end of his contract.
Wade v. James For the Ball, the Team
These two gentlemen will be fighting for the ball while Mario Chalmers stands by and watches. LeBron has this “kingly” image to uphold, but deep-down inside he knows he can’t hack it alone.
So, while he knows internally that he isn’t a winner—he’s outwardly fighting Wade for the ball so he can prove to the world that the move to Miami helped.
He’ll want to win games for Heat to prove to Cleveland, and himself, that the move was right. He’ll fight every instinct he has to become the “Paul Pierce” of this “Big 3″.
Paul Pierce was the slashing-scorer in Boston. Meanwhile KG was the emotional center and Ray Allen shot daggers all night.
In this scenario LeBron wants to be Pierce and KG combined. He was already hamming it up with his teammates in Cleveland. He led them emotionally. He led them on the court, but he couldn’t close the deal. He already tried this and it didn’t work.
The first few times he hams it up on the court Wade will let it go. After a while, Wade will be over it.
They will not only fight for the ball—they will fight for the team. Bosh and Wade are best friends. They’ll go to dinner so Wade can complain about James and his ego. James will sit alone at home and come up with ways to become Jordan.
It’s true that Wade wants to win more titles, but he understands that winning 5 or 6 championships is a near impossibility. It is, most likely, not a reality for him.
LeBron still thinks he can be Jordan. LeBron will be fighting to “carry the mantle” while Wade and Bosh will be talking at dinner about how annoying he is.
That’s a fight for a team. It’s a fight for the team that happens after they spent all night fighting on the court with a bunch of minimum-salary players.
What Have You Done?!
Here is what LeBron has done. He’s made himself into the second-biggest villain in sports. Art Modell still holds the title from taking the Browns to Baltimore and almost immediately winning the Super Bowl.
However, the reason LeBron is #2 is simple: He picked on poor, old Cleveland just like Art Modell. He took an entire city and ripped their hearts out on national telelvision while sitting at a Boys and Girls Club.
I would argue that LeBron just killed basketball in Cleveland. But, I hope Dan Gilbert proves me wrong and creates a winner in Cleveland. I really do. However, I don’t know how they can do it. I think LeBron drove in the final stake.
LeBron became the guy who killed basketball in Miami because he wants to be famous. His ego has made him a terrible person in most people’s eyes—even though all he did was change teams.
LeBron created a situation where everybody in the country will be rooting against Miami. In fact, the Heat might have lost some fans because they don’t want to root for an ego-maniac like LeBron. Some people are going to label him a “gutless coward” and write him off.
LeBron has put a bullseye on this team’s back. He has made it impossible for this team to succeed the way they want it to. In fact, I bet they will barely win 50 games.
Without a Center, a functional Point Guard, and, you know, reserves. James just created a team where the “Miami Thrice,” as they are being called, will log about 120 minutes a night. Now multiply by 82 games.
While they’re catching their breath, Dan Gilbert is making it his “mission in life” to make LeBron James suffer. You read the letter at the top, right? He’s beyond pissed.
LeBron didn’t just make himself into the most-hated player in our current sports landscape. He made the Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and anything “Miami” into the ultimate pariah.
If you thought it was easy to hate the Yankees, or Duke Basketball, or the Cowboys—just try hating the Miami Heat. Hell, you may not even have to try.
You probably already do.