Cleveland Cavaliers: LeBron James Needs to See Other People

Doug TarnovichContributor IMay 14, 2010

CLEVELAND - MAY 11:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers leaves the floor in the fourth quarter while playing the Boston Celtics in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 11, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. Boston won the game 120-88 to take a 3-2 series lead. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Let's just skip the formality of mentioning how cursed the city of Cleveland is, shall we? We get it by now and nothing else needs to be said about the matter.

But something that does need to be revisited is an analogy that ESPN Radio's Colin Cowherd made regarding the relationship between LeBron James and the city of Cleveland.

On a scale from 1-10, Cleveland is like a man who is a "six" dating a woman, LeBron, who is a "10." People are perplexed as to why a woman of her beauty would be going out with a "Cleveland." Cleveland's biggest nightmare is that one day "she" will realize that she could do better and therefore fights to maintain the relationship, ultimately leading to an unhealthy dynamic and an inevitable, bitter end.

Thus is is the relationship between LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. And while I find Cowherd's analogy profound, I disagree with his analysis explaining why Cleveland is a "six," saying that it isn't a high profile destination that can attract or retain top-tier free agents because it lacks the sexy nature of markets like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.

I find Indianapolis incredibly unattractive, yet it can retain Peyton Manning. St. Louis is no New York, but nonetheless won a Super Bowl and a World Series this past decade. Same could be said for Pittsburgh where Super Bowl victory parades were held in its streets twice in the last five years.

Cleveland is a "six" because of desperation and a lack of self respect. Few things are less attractive.

A native of northeast Ohio myself, I know first-hand that Cleveland is a town desperate for its first championship since 1964. The desperation is palpable.

Now the "six," in a state of constant desperation, will, at his own expense, do what no sane man would to keep the relationship going even if it compromises his integrity. The irony is that it actually pushes the "10" away as no woman who knows her worth could respect a man who worships her. She sees the desperation and realizes that the relationship is unhealthy and leaves the "six" for a confident, self-respecting equal.

As an organization, the Cleveland Cavaliers realize who they had in LeBron James, sold their soul and compromised their integrity by offering James everything he wanted. This gave him almost unlimited power to not only be the star player but to also act as head coach and general manager, all in an effort to keep him from signing with another "10." He picked the players he wanted, guys like Larry Hughes, Mo Williams, and Shaq. He even had a huge say in picking Mike Brown as the head coach.

Though LeBron is an elite talent, he apparently lacks the ability to recognize elite talent. Mo Williams would never start for a team like the Celtics or the Magic. When it was clear that Cleveland lacked a point guard who could consistently nail a jumper, they went and got an aged Shaq so they had an answer for Dwight Howard in the playoffs. Now he won't even be used for the assignment they signed him for. Mike Brown has lost control and respect of his team, including the one who wanted him there.

Folks, the Cleveland Cavaliers are a bad organization and I bet that LeBron knows that he lies at the heart of it.

LeBron is in the process of breaking up with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was evident in the Eastern Conference semifinals, where he gave minimal effort. He may not have left yet, but he's packing his bags. Though I certainly find the manner and the timing to be an unprecedented act of poor sportsmanship, I understand why James checked out emotionally and mentally. After seven years, during the biggest series of his life, he knew that he was in a bad relationship and that it must end for the good of all involved.

Cleveland, LeBron loves you, but he doesn't respect you. You've given him no reason to respect you. He knows his worth and wants to be with an organization that's his equal or at least behaves like it. So get up off your knees. Stop begging.

It's time to see other people.