Friday, July 9, 2010
The Lebron Effect
I’m not sure where to begin about Lebron James’ decision and all the hoopla of last night. So, I’ll just jump right into it. I don’t want to break down why him going to Miami is a good or bad thing because there’s so much else that went on last night and there will be plenty of time for player talk. But, for the record, I was surprised he chose Miami, but I’m still excited he did.
I spent much of the day functioning while checking my Twitter feed on my blackberry. The outrage of so many for Lebron having an hour special was enormous, yet ridiculous. People came at me about how “Lebron thinks he’s bigger than the game”, “He’s going about this all wrong”, “He’s a quitter”, “I have no respect for him”. And on and on.
First of all, Lebron decided an hour special was good idea to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club charities. Secondly, he has never said anything about being bigger than the game. He’s only said and demonstrated the opposite. He’s the ultimate distributor on and off the court.
People said he went for the money. Not true. He left $30 million plus on the table by not signing with Cleveland. He’s preached TEAM all along and said that he wants to win. Period. Some say he’s big headed and has a big ego. If that were true he wouldn’t go to a team where it was unclear who the best player was (a number one trending topic on Twitter was people were calling him the new Scottie Pippen). If he was all about himself and being the man, he would’ve gone elsewhere to be the clear number one guy. He didn’t do that. He thanked Cleveland for everything they’d done for them. He explained he was sorry he couldn’t bring them a championship. He didn’t even react when his jersey was being burned. Some said he quit on his team in the playoffs. Since when is having bad games quitting? He looks for his teammates, his shot may be off at times, hell, he may even get tired at times. None of that is quitting. It’s part of the game. So what is there not to like about the guy? You tell me.
Following Lebron’s decision, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert lost his mind when he wrote a public letter to the fans. Instead of telling you what he said, I’ll let you read it for yourself.
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 home grown "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.
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....
Classless . That’s the first word that comes to mind. He’s the owner, but he sounds like a bum at some bar in Cleveland. He’s way out line. Gilbert gave a lot of talk about loyalty. Mike Brown had the best NBA record for two years straight. He was fired. Where’s the loyalty there?
Players are consistently blind-sided by trades every year. They find out while on cruises, from the ESPN ticker, from fans, etc. People complain all day about how players need to be loyal and not chase the money. If that’s the case, the front office needs to be held to the same standard. They fire people and chase money all the time.
Dan Gilbert must learn one thing: Fans, especially in Cleveland, are fickle. They’ll show up if you’re good, they won’t if you’re bad. So, there’s absolutely no need for him to be spouting off to all the fans about how he thinks Lebron is disloyal a narcissist, and a coward. The fans can’t win games. Players do. Last night Dan Gilbert killed himself in the player/agent world. If I’m an NBA player or agent I’m in no hurry to ever discuss anything with him. No deals, no money, trades, and especially not free agency.
That’s another thing that Gilbert lost sight of in all this. Lebron was a free agent. That means he’s free to work wherever he wants! He’s earned that right. He owes nothing to Dan Gilbert or to Cleveland for that matter. He’s lived and played there for years. He entered a business where you use your body to make your living. Making as much money as possible is important because you could be cut, traded, or released at any moment. It’s a business. Also, it’s not like Lebron said ‘I hate the city the city and am never coming back.’ He made the best decision for him and his family – the decision that makes him happiest. Shouldn’t we all be doing that in our lives? Why criticize someone for doing so? It makes no sense. He obviously still loves Cleveland. It’s his home, but he just chose to work somewhere else. Cleveland fans will survive.