Friday, July 9, 2010

LeBron James and "The Decision"

John Marine | 7/09/2010 06:34:00 PM | |
If you haven't heard or read, LeBron is going to the Miami Heat. This brings up a few different issues. Don't expect any professional analysis on my behalf. Instead, this is more a look at the fallout of what LeBron James' decision to go play for Miami is like. Before you read the rest of this blog entry, I want you to know a few things... I am a Houston Rockets fan and a Houston sports fan, so I don't readily respond to Cavaliers or Cleveland sports fans. I am not a LeBron James fanatic, though I do think he is an outstanding player.

NOTE: I am not sure how my opinions will be taken, but if I ever offend anyone (even if unintentionally), I am terribly sorry. The last thing I want to do is hurt the feelings of a friend or of someone who immediately thinks of me negatively. These are my own humble opinions that are not meant to infuriate anyone. Key word= opinion.

--- My Thoughts on LeBron James and "The Decision" in General ---

^ from: - LeBron James ready to slam down the rock.

For one thing, I'm okay with LeBron James' decision. What gets me, however, is how this was played out more like when high school football players commit to a college on National Signing Day. That was the first thing that crossed my mind. I didn't think LeBron had to set up this whole TV deal where LeBron picked wherever it is he wanted to go. The main mindset is that LeBron wants to be a champion, and he's done all he can to turn the Cleveland Cavaliers from a crap franchise to a contender franchise. Before LeBron rocked Cavaliers colors, the Cavs were what, 17-62? LeBron is a native of the Cleveland area (born in Akron, Ohio, USA), but it doesn't mean you have to go burning #23 Cleveland Cavalier jerseys. This decision of LeBron James is a SPORTS decision. Yet, some people treat it like a nation's leader aligning himself/herself with a crooked leader of a rival/hated nation. The way some people have hated on LeBron is almost like when some rabid University of Kentucky's men's basketball fans want to run a coach out of town just because they don't deliver a National Championship for the school.

Now You Know How I Feel...
Here's a question... how the hell do you think I feel as a Houston sports fan? Yeah, feel sad that LeBron couldn't win a championship for the Cavaliers. Thing is, LeBron alone isn't the Cavaliers. Don't make it sound like LeBron is a one-man team. What good is a team if people just see a team as one major player... and then everybody else? LeBron James did everything he could with his team (and then some) to try to deliver an NBA Championship for Cleveland. Things just haven't worked. THAT'S SPORTS! There are some times when teams and players just don't win despite their best efforts.

People talk about sports curses like with Cleveland. Well, how do you think I feel when ESPN (or usually ESPN) has nothing better to do than show my Houston teams getting beat on plays? How do you think I feel when I have to keep seeing the video highlights of the University of Houston losing the 1983 NCAA Men's basketball National Championship to North Carolina State? How do you think I feel about when NFL highlight videos show my Texans getting beat on plays? It just hasn't worked for Cleveland to get that NBA Championship with LeBron. Then too, it hasn't really worked with most Cleveland sports. Some places just aren't very good sports cities (just look at Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, and places like that). You keep playing to one day reverse the misfortunes of a city and its franchises.

I can, however, sympathize here about feeling like your heart's been ripped out with LeBron James moving on. There are still people here in Houston who hate that the Houston Oilers franchise had to be moved to Nashville to be competitive. Even my own cousin does not want the Titans to ever win an NFL Championship just because they couldn't get it done in Houston. LeBron's decision to go to Miami and leave behind Cleveland was a decision of him just wanting to become a champion with a very talented team. As much as I want players to win a championship for my teams, I do want the best for athletes. This decision made by LeBron was NOT a decision of LBJ hating on Cleveland. He did this because

Was That Really Necessary?
The biggest thing I take away from all of this is how LeBron wanted to make his decision on ESPN for all to hear. He basically treated this whole thing like National Signing Day for high school football players. I don't think this was necessary in the least bit to try to draw a TV audience to learn of whatever decision LeBron James wanted to make. Even I tuned in away from watching TNA Wrestling to hear LeBron's decision on ESPN.

Miami was loving life while Cleveland (to quote Dr. Dre from "F*** wit Dre Day") slap the taste out his mouth. This was a tough sports decision that Cavs fans simply was going to dislike. He couldn't win a title despite giving well north of 100% in all the games he's played. Maybe instead of hating on LeBron for not delivering a title, get on the team for not doing enough to win a title. LeBron was not the only Cavalier trying to win a title. He was their best player, but it doesn't mean that the efforts of Jamario Moon, Shaq, and everybody else didn't mean a damn thing. LeBron is not the Cavaliers; LeBron plus his supporting cast are the Cavaliers. You can't put your blame on just one player for a team's misfortune unless that one player is equal to poison as Terrell Owens in the NFL. Win as a team, lose as a team. One player doesn't perform well, it just means everybody else has to pick up the slack. It's not all on LeBron. If this is how people want to treat LBJ, then I'm pretty sure LeBron would love to hammer it into the fans who turned on him.

LeBron James = Antichrist?
Dan Gilbert, majority owner of the Cleveland Cavalier, issued an open letter to Cavaliers' fans about LeBron's decision to go from Cleveland to Miami. Because LeBron chose Miami over his native Cleveland, Dan Gilbert thought it was okay to rip LeBron James like a hero that defected to the bad side. Let's look at the logistics of this.

Somehow, we're comparing going from a sports franchise to another sports franchise with the same weight of going from one religion to another, or even one political party to another. People expressed LeBron James going to the Heat as if a Democratic President of the United States turns Republican. It doesn't freaking work that way! LeBron made this decision because he wants to be an NBA Champion, and it wasn't working out. Sometimes, you have to try new things to win a sports title. You may need to put yourself around new teams. What is the primary goal of every sports franchise? Right- win the championship. You have to do great in the regular season, play harder than hard in the postseason, and do everything in your power to win a championship. It sometimes just doesn't work out all the time for each time. It doesn't mean, however, that a team will never win a championship.

For Cleveland fans to talk down on LeBron like he turned on his hometown is just foul. It's not like LeBron hated on the city of Cleveland. It's not like he found every reason to hate on Cleveland and the Cavaliers organization. And what about Mr. Gilbert's comments? He was incredibly harsh. The sense he made was... none. LeBron James didn't turn his back on Cleveland. He didn't rip management or make fun of his native people. He might have acted among himself to choose one team over the Cavaliers, but he is an athlete first and foremost. Athletes make decisions to help themselves to become a winner. If it wasn't working with the Cavaliers, you try something different. If that means going to a new team and being around new players to accomplish what you couldn't for your former team, so be it. But you have no God-forsaken power (even as a majority owner of a sports team) to trash LeBron for a sports decision. He wants to become a champion, and it wasn't working for him playing for his native Cleveland-Akron area NBA team.

Either one of two things will need to happen for Mr. Gilbert. Either (1) Dan Gilbert must deliver a formal apology for being incredulously delusional, or (2) he should be fired (or at least demoted) for talking down on LeBron like this like LeBron was the destined hero to give the Cavaliers NBA Championship gold. Like he was supposed to help deliver the Cavaliers a championship, but failed to do so. And LeBron doesn't owe Cleveland a damned thing. You want to win a championship? Get better players or play harder instead of dumping horse dookie all over LeBron. One player doesn't make a team. Michael Jordan had Scottie Pippen. Kobe Bryant had Shaq (in Shaq's Laker days). LeBron did everything he could, but it didn't work out. That's sports, and that's life. It doesn't always work out. It doesn't mean, however, that you should make LeBron to be like Benedict Arnold just because he couldn't deliver a title to the Cavaliers along with the rest of his team.

Shame on you, Mr. Gilbert. Sit in the corner.

Long story short, best of luck to LeBron James with his new team. And depending upon how LeBron takes the foolish words of Dan Gilbert, LeBron and his Heat teammates will feel like wanting to beat the Cavaliers by 50 each time, just to stick it to Dan Gilbert and the fans who think LBJ is a traitor. Just get off it and go easy on him.

At least, these are MY thoughts. Feel free to (without personal attacks, spam, racism, etc.) offer your reactions to this blog post. I leave you with this resource... click here to see Dan Gilbert's open letter to Cavaliers' fans.

Thank you for reading and responding!
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John B. Marine said...

I'm really am missing the old days of Barkley, Johnson, Bird and Jordan. These guys new the real meaning of team work. Even with their star status, they did their all for the team.

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