I’m Sorry Cleveland
Please allow me to express my condolences on the loss of your home-grown superstar LeBron James. The King is dead, long live the King!
I know this is a difficult time, but all pain fades with time.
I really, really thought James was going to stay in Cleveland. I wanted to believe that he wasn’t just another money-grabbing pro athlete.
Even I forgot my mantra of: “It is and always will be about money.”
People will say he left a lot of money on the table by leaving Cleveland.
He will make a nice chunk of money playing for the Heat and I’m sure his Nike contract won’t be discounted in South Beach.
Now he goes into the “Cleveland hate box” along with Art Modell who took your beloved Browns to Baltimore for the 1996 season.
We all know your region is suffering economically – whose region isn’t? – but LeBron gave you hope and a reason to smile.
Cleveland hasn’t won anything since the Jim Brown days, but it’s probably two or three generations now that only know Brown as an activist/actor rather than as a Hall of Fame football player.
There was no down side for James if he stayed in Cleveland. Now he goes from being beloved to “hated.”
Not real hatred in the sense of doing bodily harm, but whenever he steps onto the NBA hardwood – forget about your home court or New York for instance – he will be lustily booed.
By going to Miami to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, there will be new money to be made.
You can’t sell new James t-shirts in Cleveland if he stays. Now, James’ Miami uniform will definitely be a high-priced item. A must have for all the South Beach denizens.
And the fans will pay though the nose to celebrate the King’s arrival.
So Cleveland, keep your chin up. You still have the Indians … oh, sorry. You still have the … Rock n Roll Hall of Fame.
I know, it’s not the same, but it’ll have to do for now.
My wife asked me the million dollar question on the day James made his decision.
“And what if they don’t win in Miami?”
And what if they don’t win indeed?
Think back, way back to the 1968-69 NBA season for instance.
The Los Angeles Lakers had a power-house squad that included three future Hall of Famers. Elgin Baylor averaged 24.8 points and pulled down 10.6 rebounds; Jerry West scored 25.9 per game; and Wilt Chamberlain scored 20.5 and grabbed 21.1 rebounds per contest.
The Lakers won nada. They lost Game Seven to the Celtics AT HOME after being up three games to two.
And what if the Heat don’t win indeed?
I guess you guys in Cleveland get to smile after all.
Just the same, I’m sorry Cleveland.