Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Opinuendo on the Lebron Decision

It turns out I was wrong (I think this is the first time), Lebron didn't stay with the Cavs. He took his one hour special and ripped out the heart of a franchise. My take on it is this: If he wanted to win championships, he would have chosen Chicago; If he wanted to be the most loved and respected player, he would have stayed in Cleveland; but apparently he wants some pressure taken off himself, so he has chosen the Miami Heat.

I don't even know if I consider him the best player on his own team anymore, let alone in the league. Ernie and I were talking about it the other day and I said that if I were a team courting one of the free agents this off-season, I would would take Dwayne Wade. He has done it before; he has been to the top. I question James in crunch time; I don't question Wade. But maybe that is why James chose the Heat. It is a place where he is not THE guy. Now he shares that with Wade and, to a lesser degree, Bosh. He even said in his announcement that Wade was letting he (James) and Bosh come to Wade's team. Now when someone that has to take over, it can be Wade. For 42 minutes, Bosh and James can do their thing and in the final 6 Wade can do his.

That is not a luxury that James would have had in Chicago. Even with Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah, James would have been the most prominent figure on the court night in and night out. It would have been his responsibility to win.

I am still not convinced that Miami makes the most sense for winning - as Lebron claims it does. First of all, the Heat only have 5 players currently... opps, now 4 and - depending on how much money Bosh, Wade, and James are willing to forfeit - the Heat should be about at the cap. Any way you cut this, they are going to need to find several players to play for the minimum. I am not sure that will cut it because in this league it still takes a team to win.

Furthermore, there are always egos involved - and as much as people don't like to admit it, feelings change and evolve over time. Today the 3 of them may well be happy to share the lime light, but what happens when things start going well and one or two of them is given more of the credit? Chris Bosh has shown he wants more publicity, but on a team with Wade and James, I don't think he will get that. Can he handle it? Can Wade or James handle taking a back seat to the other if needs be?

Or even worse - What if things start to fall apart? How do they handle losing? This seems at least somewhat like the 2003-2004 Lakers and that was a total crash and burn. I am not predicting failure, but I don't know that success is guaranteed.

In the end, this may be the best thing for Lebron - in the words of Bill Simmons - "becoming Mega-Pippen to Wade's Jordan" because I am not sure he has the mental makeup of a Kobe or Jordan or Bird. But regardless, it was the worst way to do it. A 1-hour special? No way. The only way that is appropriate is if he is staying in Cleveland and it is a Cleveland love-fest.

Don't mistake what I am saying, for the past 7 seasons Lebron has done good by Cleveland and has every right to leave, but he should have simply released a statement saying something along the lines of:
After carefully weighing the options I have and considering what is best for me and my family, I have decided to sign with the Miami Heat. I have enjoyed my time hear in Cleveland and this will always be my home, but it is time for my career to take me to South Beach. I love the fans here in Cleveland and I hope that they can support me in this as they will always be dear to my heart.
I think that would have been much more professional that what he has done over the past week. It doesn't seem that he realizes that while this is just a game it has far reaching effects. His presence in a community brings income to that community and at the same time the lack of his presence takes away money from a community. Should that fact make him stay? No, but it should have caused him to handle this in a more dignified manner.

Have you ever heard that when you are mad at someone you should write a letter to them and then let it sit in a drawer for a few days to see if you really want to send it? Maybe Dan Gilbert should have tried that before his response to this news that was posted on the Cavs website. I get it, you are mad. So is everyone else, but the tone is too much like a bitter ex - or in TimpJynx's words, "he sounds like a jilted prom queen". Aside from that, 2 points:
  1. Not a fan of the comic sans font. I feel like any letter written in that font should be signed with a crayon.
  2. To many "quotation marks"... Who is he, Bennett Brauer? (serious, if you take nothing else from this post, watch that clip!)

One final point. It is interesting that just 4-5 years ago everyone was ready to stick a fork in the Eastern Conference permanently because all the free agents flocked to the west, but now they are looking like the more dominant conference. Hmmm...

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