With the news that LeBron James is open to leaving Cleveland (again), I am going to post this Nike commercial from this summer with no comment.
While Toronto has been able to get over Vince Carter and eventually Chris Bosh, Cleveland will never forget or forgive LeBron James. He abandoned his hometown, humiliated them on national television, and then profited from his decision. While it may be great for the NBA and Nike, he hurt an entire city and state with his actions. Cleveland will still be booing LeBron James at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Adrian Wojnarowski dishes out how the Cleveland Cavaliers lost their childish superstar to the Miami Heat
When the NBA powerbroker and adviser to James, William Wesley â€“ famously known as Worldwide Wes â€“ heard the news, he was duly impressed. After all these months, all this careful planning, Riley had cleared the cap space to give the three stars of free agency contracts starting at about $15 million.
For months, Wesley had believed Jamesâ€™ choice would be the Chicago Bulls, but no one had counted on Rileyâ€™s relentlessness in clearing enough cap space to accommodate the three stars. Free agency wouldnâ€™t officially start for another week on July 1, but from then on, Wesley had two words about LeBron and the Heat for the closest of associates: done deal.
Worldwide Wes had understood something about James the Cavaliers refused to believe, and even Jamesâ€™ childhood buddies from Akron were still somewhat unwilling to accept: LeBron James was never re-signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and now it was a matter of securing him the proper complement of teammates for the greatest free-agent haul in history.
Riley was 65, a five-time NBA champion, a Hall of Famer and he wanted a dynasty to fade into the sunset of his basketball life. He had kept his word, continuing to dump contract upon contract in a high-wire act that left him without a safety net.
Riley believed he could unload those contracts. And mostly, he believed in his own power of persuasion. He is still the biggest presence, biggest voice in the room. Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, a statistics analyst, met with Chris Bosh at 12:01 a.m. on July 1 armed with an iPad. Moreyâ€™s cult followers on the web hailed it as a resounding success, but Riley never believed he was losing Bosh to the MIT gang.
Riley believed in his ability to get into the room with James and sell him on the way the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers sacrificed salary, shots and statistics for the greater good of a dynasty. Most of all, Riley believed he could benefit on the close relationship that James had with Wade, and that there wasnâ€™t a franchise with cap space that could offer such a compelling case to the two-time defending MVP.
The article is a great one and goes a long ways to show how incredibly sheltered and immature that LeBron James and his inner circle are and why his legacy of one the greatest basketball players in history will always be tarnished and redefined as a self-absorbed, manipulated, quitter. Quite the price to pay for a championship ring.
Dan Gilbert, the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, writes an open letter to fans on his website about LeBron James. First of all, he seems a little angrier than I would have expected. I wonder if LeBronâ€™s camp lead him to believe that he was going to stay in Cleveland. Secondly, he used Comic Sans as his font. If I was a Cleveland fan, I may consider that as the final straw. Lastly, I would assume some very large fines are coming Dan Gilbertâ€™s way. Some of what he said seems to cross the line.
Probably more interesting than the font, is the accusation that LeBron quit during the playoffs. If he was right, the same thing could be said about many other players but most times their owners donâ€™t say it publically.
Finally, it has to suck to be a Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, or New Jersey Nets fan. Your team got rid of a lot pieces so it would have cap space to get LeBron, Bosh, or Wade and now you are all fighting over Carlos Boozer and not much else. Good luck with that since by almost all accounts, you donâ€™t seem to have a Plan B. Yes, NY got Amare but they donâ€™t have much else in terms of talent.