On July 8, 2010, LeBron James announced a decision – a decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers as a free agent and join the Miami Heat for the next six seasons. Lebron has never made it a secret that he wants to win and win badly. Aren’t we all granted the freedom of choice to make decisions based on how it moves us closer to our goals and dreams?
On December 2 (yes, today), it marks the first time King James will face his dearly departed Cavaliers in Cleveland. There’s no water under the bridge; people still harbor resentment and death threats still linger in the air. Then there’s the “open” letter from Dan Gilbert, Cavaliers owner, to Cleveland fans. With a scathing and sarcastic tone, Mr. Gilbert rants about LeBron’s “cowardly betrayal,” “shameful display of selfishness,” and “shocking act of disloyalty.”
Gilbert promised fans that Cleveland will claim an NBA championship before Miami Heat. Only time will tell if Dan will be able to take that promise to the bank. His letter sounds more like the temper tantrum of a three-year old, not the classy acceptance of a team owner. Sure, Cleveland adored their demigod, LeBron. In his typical, generous manner, he helped hundreds of businesses improve and he continues to provide financial resources to needy children and single-parent families; all from a heart of gold and the abundance of the LeBron James Family Foundation.
LeBron simply made a decision to improve his life…to win. Whether it was truly an improvement or not is up for debate, but shouldn’t he be the one making the call? He knew he would not be given a chance to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Cleveland. As a result, he’s been cast as the spawn of Satan. A selfish villain; clothed in narcissism, with horns of betrayal.
LeBron did what any top executive in any arena would do; he positioned himself for success. He’s worked hard for a stellar record of accomplishment; he’s led a clean life – no scandals, no jail, no drugs. Major life decisions are forged in secret. There’s a ton of soul searching, of gathering opinions from trusted confidants, especially when you’re in the public eye.
On a live ESPN special, The Decision, Lebron stated, “In this fall, this is very tough, in this fall I’m going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat… I feel like it’s going to give me the best opportunity to win and to win for multiple years, and not only just to win in the regular season or just to win five games in a row or three games in a row, I want to be able to win championships. And I feel like I can compete down there.
Miami Heat needs more synergetic puzzle pieces to win a championship. And, it really doesn’t matter who wins first, the Cavaliers or the Heat. What matters is that one of the greatest basketball players of all time made a decision he thought was best for his career. However unpopular he has become in Cleveland; the gift of time always tells whether a decision has been a good one. And a good decision doesn’t always mean the road is smooth. Although he’ll be playing with Miami’s other All-World free agent signees Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, I don’t predict big wins this year or even next year.
The Cavaliers’ head coach, Byron Scott, has exhibited the classiest behavior of all. When asked about the ‘big’ game, he did not give special attention to the ensuing drama. He’s busy preparing his team to win against whatever opponent they face. Byron is not burying his head in the sand by not addressing it, he’s just refusing to give it more energy than it deserves.
Whether you agree with the way Lebron James handled his decision or not, we can all agree that we’ll be riveted to our seats in watching how his career unfolds and how he continues to handle himself on and off the court. LeBron has the heart of a champion and he continues to reveal that wherever he goes.
What do you think will happen tonight? Is it time for both LeBron and Cleveland to let go and ‘just go out and play ball’?
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Image by keithallison
Lets face it, Cleveland needs to get over this. They should have been over it months ago and no matter what Dan Gilbert says, the Cavaliers are not going to win a championship anytime soon… especially not before the Heat win. As for tonight, Cavs fans can unleash their anger and hatred, but when it’s all said and done, they need to forget about it. It’s over! The Decision is in the past and it’s time for everyone to get back to basketball. My predicition: The Miami Heat will win tonight and LeBron will score over 25 points.
@JohnRonzino I do feel for Cleveland fans. They spent 10 years following LeBron’s shadow (yes, even before he was drafted), and have had to endure hardships like a fat Shawn Kemp, Ricky Davis, and the imfamous Dajuan Wagner. I undertand why they are bitter, but yes, their current on-court product is not very good, and even if they bomb it this year, it’s a weak draft year. Pretty depressing stuff.
LeBron is going to get booed when his name is announced and every time he touches the ball in the 1st quarter. LeBron will likely take a hard foul or two and the crowd will cheer when that happens. LeBron will have awful things yelled at him coming to and from the court. It’ll be a raucous crowd, more emotional than most hostile crowds, but I don’t think it’ll be anything mind blowing.
The only knock I have on LeBron is the 1-hour special. Even he knows that was over the top. Other than that, I have no problem with him leaving. He’s gotta do what he thinks best, or at worst, what he wants to do. He wants to win and make money, Miami offered that, so he took it. If LeBron wasn’t from Akron, Cleveland fans wouldn’t have acted nearly as hostile.
I like the Christmas pun in the title. As for LeBron and Cleveland…believe me, my Detroit Pistons would love to have a guy like that…but we aren’t crying that the Bad Boys are gone or the Ben Wallace era…sometimes you just gotta deal with losing for a while until the next chance to be a winner comes along. We can’t all be the LA Lakers or NY Yankees.
Love this article! I agree that everyone in Cleveland and not in Cleveland needs to get over Lebron leaving. Lebron is an athlete who it trying to position himself to win a Title without cheating. What is so wrong about that?
It’s also a shame that one of the best role models in the NBA (as mentioned in the article he is drug free and has no arrests) is getting so much hatred for what is a PERSONAL decision. Yes, Lebron is a symbol but he is also a person, and a young one at that. Why can’t we all just give him a chance to win and enjoy ourselves while we watch him do it?
Side note: Although the special was a bit over the top, all the money made from the broadcast went to charity. People watched it, so there is obviously demand for that kind of insight and it’s nice that something worthwhile got the benefits of our curiosity.
@hannush I bet your Detroit Pistons would have loved to have a guy like Tony Parker or Tim Duncan after my Spurs took the title in ’05 😉
@GabyMoran To me, the charity thing seems tainted. It’s like, “I’ll indulge in a bit of ego stroking and then just give the proceeds to charity to make it seem like it was about more than just my decision.” I can truly appreciate giving to a good cause and I’m glad he/they did. Call me cynical or skeptical, but it still rubs me the wrong way!
@JMattHicks sniff…yes…it has all fallen apart. I like the Spurs though…glad you guys got your shots at the ring.
@hannush Hopefully both the Spurs and Pistons can have a shot a few more rings! My roommate in college was from Detroit and another friend of mine from college was a Pistons fan and always saying, “Deeeeetroit BASKETBALL!” ha ha. So I got a soft spot for ’em!
@hannush ouch, the pistons are just a bad mix of people together. Too many shoot first players, (Rip, Tmac, Stuckey, CV, list goes on) no distributors or rebounders (except what’s left of Ben Wallaces’ fro.)
@JMattHicks @GabyMoran I agree that it does “feel” a bit tainted but remaining positive, Boys and Girls club did benefit a fair amount from it. As observers, we can either go “psh but he could have done it so much better” or simply try and appreciate it for what it is. Whatever lets us sleep at night 🙂
@hannush glad you caught the christmas pun 😉
@anothersamchan @GabyMoran You’re right my man, can’t argue with that logic!
@jmatthicks Did Miami REALLY offer a winning team? Just because you have 3 all-stars doesn’t make you a good team. Look at the Celtics, actually, that’s a bad example because they’ve got at least 4 all-stars. The Celtics started with 3 all-stars and had other good talent (Rondo) that became an amazing player. The Heat don’t really have anyone besides LeBron, Wade, and Bosh…
@MarkDoten @jmatthicks Sorry, I think you’d have to be a pretty big Cleveland homer to suggest that a team with Jamison, Varejao, and Mo Will is better than DWade and Bosh. They may not be winning very much right now, but let’s not kid ourselves.
In terms of winning, I personally think Chicago would have been the best choice. Coulda been DRose, LeBron, Wade, and Noah.
@anothersamchan @MarkDoten @jmatthicks I have to agree with Sam here. People are jumping to conclusions way too quickly about this Miami team. We aren’t even a quarter of the way through the season and they still have 3 more years guaranteed to play together. You would be naive to believe that the Cavs will have a more successful next 4 seasons than the Heat. Any team LebRon decided to go to, was better than staying in Cleveland. He actually has a shot at winning a ring now.
@anothersamchan As a Pistons and Wolverines fan, my life is full of empty jump shots!
So how about that LeBron guy?
In spite of the boo hoo’s in Cleveland, LeBron and The Heat got it done on the court…that’s all that matters.
@WinningProof You had to know 30+ points was coming, too. His Heat teammates were going to get him the ball whenever he wanted it. We knew he’d be amped up (a la MJ and Reggie with Spike Lee) to shut up all opposition. LeBron was going to come in, keep it professional, drop 30+, and remain respectful of fans, making them look like the “bad guy” in it all. He did just that.
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