Memo to the sports fans of Cleveland.
LeBron James is gone and he did the right thing. Now it’s up to all of you to forget about it and move on.
What LeBron did was actually refreshing when you think about today’s sports stars. For many of them, it’s all about the money. It’s extracting every last penny out of a team with no real interest in winning.
LeBron wants to win a ring or two before he hangs it up. That opportunity was never going to come in Cleveland, so he decided to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. While it’s not good news for Knicks and Nets fans here in New York, it’s clear that “The King” will now have a legitimate shot at a championship. Maybe more than that.
Right now in Cleveland, they are screaming bloody murder. How can LeBron leave? How can he just get up and walk away without leading the Cavs to the promised land? Where’s his loyalty?
“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,” said Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert in a statement on Thursday night. “You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.”
Betrayal? C’mon now! LeBron’s loyalty is strictly to himself and he did what he thought was in his best interests. He left $30 million behind in Cleveland for a chance to finally hoist the Lawrence O’Brien trophy. Now, I’m not going to run James a benefit over that, but money is money and he put his money where his mouth was.
As opposed to Gilbert who fired more sour grapes out of his mouth.
“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.”
And by the way, the Knicks had no trouble (yes $100 million over 5 years spoke volumes) getting Amar’e Stoudamire to come to the Big Apple and to a team that has stunk up the Garden for a long time. Maybe the blame shouldn’t be on James. Maybe there’s something else wrong with this picture?
Cavalier fans are of the belief that James owed it the entire city to stay.
What did he owe to the sports fans of Cleveland who booed him this past season? Granted James did not perform well during the playoffs, but those fans that booed him are the same fans who cheered him so many times and treated him like royalty.
If you really wanted to show him how much you loved him, more of you would have filled up the streets of downtown Cleveland when he was welcoming all of those teams who made their best offers.
James’ decision was also a blow to the Knicks and Nets who desperately wanted to bring the star to the metropolitan area. All of the teams who didn’t get James either have or will move on to plan B. Life goes on.
The fans in Cleveland have to understand that. The Cavaliers were never going to put James in a position to win a championship.
So the long list of sports disappointments in Cleveland just got bigger.
“Jordan stuns the Cavs at the buzzer”
“CC and Cliff Lee pitch in the World Series for other teams”
“The Cleveland Barons Leave”
Okay so maybe the fans in Cleveland are over the fact that they don’t have an NHL team to root for. But getting over the defection of LeBron to South Beach may be something they never forget.
But the bottom line is that LeBron made the right choice. He was free to do what he wanted to do and decided that playing on South Beach was more appetizing than playing near Lake Erie.
We’ll get over his decision here in New York where top players have come and gone.
But if you’re a sports fan in Cleveland, things are going to be tough without LeBron.
All of a sudden, Eric Mangini’s stock has risen in Cleveland.