Well it’s nearly July 1st at the time of this post in Cleveland, Ohio. The sports fans in all the suburbs of the city have been dreading this day for the past three seasons, since LeBron James decided to sign a three year deal, instead of the max five year deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Now instead of speculating what James will do or won’t do, which teams will sign which free agents and pair who with who, because let’s be honest we don’t know anything. There are five or six “confirmed reports” that say he’s going to be a Bulnetclipeatalier. Nobody has a clue where James is going to sign except for James. Perhaps it’s a bit glass half full of me, but he may not even know yet himself. Let’s take a look over some real things of what could become of this decision.
Over the last decade we have seen numerous star players jump ship from Cleveland for greener pastures. Say what you will about endorsements, it’s not like James is going to miss out on any money by staying home in Cleveland, instead of signing in the bright lights of some other city. But this time it really cannot be about money, because of the NBA’s CBA, the Cavalier can offer one more year and $30 million a year than any other teams. But who has had the most influence on those stars to sign for bigger money and other cities: their wives. Namely Mrs. Jim Thome and Mrs. Carlos Boozer. The both had their husbands spurn their former teams, who tried to give them good fair market deals, to get out of Cleveland and more money. But we have not heard anything from Savanah Brinson, James long time girlfriend and mother of his two young boys. Does she want to move to New York, or Los Angeles, or Miami, or Newark? If she moves to New York, she and the kids will be followed by the media when they go get their morning mail, let alone being able to go out and be normal. James and his family get plenty of calm life here, because the Cavalier fans are smart enough to give him that space. For the last few years James has said he has been able to do most of his own Christmas shopping, but if he and the kids are living in New York, there’s zero percent chance of the happening.
In addition to James’ girlfriend, his oldest son LeBron Jr. will be starting school soon, and would his family rather him be in school in another city than the one he has already lived in since he was born? What about Gloria James, who made so many sacrifices to get her son to where he is now? Does she want her son leaving? Sure he could buy her 10 different homes in every state in America, but she seems like the type of women who wants to be here and wouldn’t she want her son here?
If James does decide to leave, he will by default to some very typically bad Cleveland fans, become a villain. He will booed every game he appears here, and anytime people mention him, his name will be forever scorn to them. Now there are those of us who do appreciate what he has done in Cleveland. There hasn’t been any championships, and in fact he never won an NBA Finals game, but he has given the fans plenty of reason to watch and be excited. Aside from the 2007 Indians, has Cleveland had anything real to be excited about. The Browns in 2007 screwed themselves out of a playoff appearance, but were no where near a Super Bowl threat. Every season since 2006 the Cavaliers have been a threat to win a championship. For the past three seasons they inched closer. Has anyone else in Cleveland offered that since the mid 90s Indians?
The Cavaliers became a big market team thanks to James, and were on national TV 20 games a year. Do you think anyone will give a crap about the Cavaliers-Laker game next season if James isn’t playing opposite Kobe Bryant? Not once chance, and they might not even make the playoffs. So those of you who want to crucify James if he decides to leave Cleveland, continue to make yourselves look bad, by being awful fair-weather fans. Yes James never delivered a championship, but he boosted the economy a little bit, and gave us plenty to cheer about. If he leaves I know I’ll remember all the good times I had in Cleveland, and I will continue to be a Cavaliers fan, however I will not root for James. I wish him well if he leaves, but I won’t hope he wins anything no. I root for the players who are here, who is on the front of the jersey not on the back of it.
James should go down as one of the best things to happen to the Cleveland, regardless of the outcome this month. Of course I want him to stay, so we can get the championship this city deserves. For the record I do believe he will stay, because of his wife, kids and mother, and because I truly think he is a good person. Call me optimistic, a homer, whatever you want, but if he does leave, I will still applaud him when he comes home. Whatever the decision, James brought seven years of excitement to this city not seen since the mid 1990s, and even before that the late 80s Browns. It’s going to be an interesting month to say the least.