LeBron James Ignites Heat In Miami As Cleveland Bitterness Rages

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IJuly 9, 2010

As the world waited in a heart-stopping, nerve-wracking moment, the biggest free-agent prize in NBA history hijacked airwaves with his egotistical one-hour soap opera to address the nation of his decision.

He grabbed our attention for his narcissistic personality and his full-blown ego.

But the biggest story is that the nation has never witnessed a peculiar stunt, taking over the NBA spotlight in the summer months.

Here we stared at LeBron James, who is now the equivalent of Brett Favre, for leaving Cleveland, Miami, and New York hostage and creating undying drama, until he finally announced that he will join forces with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in South Beach.

At last, as much as we raved and criticized James of his ridiculous saga and one-hour special called “the Decision," a presentation that ESPN broadcast, he made probably the toughest choice in his lifetime, once known for his loyalty and rejuvenating a lifeless town.

If he would have stayed in Cleveland, his native town, he would persist in a heavy burden and attempt to revive a native franchise.

He was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, and was the symbol of a helpless sporting town bothered with all dismay and indignities that placed a town in gloom.

For the last seven years, he was brought to Cleveland to heighten spirit and thrill a motionless community, as well as renovate a depressing organization.

Within the seven seasons, he became the global superstar and the savior in an entire state as Cleveland hasn’t won a major sporting championship since 1964, but also developed as an egomaniac and megalomaniac.

The masses described James as a diva for focusing strictly on his oversized ego and self-centered personality.

Putting aside the drama and reducing the silence, he decided to declare citizenship nearby the shores of South Beach and join the Miami Heat, following an unproductive chase for the hardware with the Cavaliers.

In the wake of his unhappy ending in Cleveland, he’s emotionally leaving home to contend for a championship.

“I can’t say it was always in my plans, because I never thought it was possible,” James said. “But the things that the Miami Heat franchise have done, to free up cap space and be able to put themselves in a position this summer to have all three of us, it was hard to turn down. Those are two great players, two of the greatest players that we have in this game today.”

All of the sudden he’s willing to sacrifice money and ego, locating to a franchise where he’ll be alongside two prolific superstars after turning down a huge salary, an unprecedented repertoire in the Eastern Conference.

It’s now a supersized core in a town filled with excitement, welcoming King James and suddenly creating the ultimate powerhouse in the Eastern Conference after grabbing the biggest prize this summer.

In the end, the Heat instantly ascends as primary contenders with the unconceivable trio, the unique superteam that wasn’t even expected, and the Batman/Robin/Superman trifecta no one ever imagined.

There were multiple reports Thursday morning that indicated James’ intents were to join Wade and Bosh in Miami.

While there has been much hope that he’d return to Cleveland, he emotionally departed as a villain accommodating in ceding ego and profit. He vindicated the magnitude of winning a title alongside a reliable and coveted force.

“I decided this morning,” he said. “I went day to day, I woke up one morning and it’s one team, I woke up another and it’s that team…This morning, I woke up, had a great conversation with my mom, and once I had that conversation with her, I was set.”

Rarely do three superstars assemble a superteam and sacrifice money and spotlight. By all accounts, it’s the most surreal transition in sports, with an unselfish trio relinquishing much to team up and produce titles and brighten the eminence.

Once known as the beloved sporting figure, he’s now known as a traitor and no longer is pampered or given unconditional love in his home state.

The plotting of his drama extends in an upsetting community, shamefully expressing their unhappiness and bitterness by burning LeBron’s jersey.

But instead, the resentful fans should be applauding, hanging up his jerseys as memorabilia and sending good luck wishes to James for putting the Cavs above the radar, exhilarating an inert franchise with his monumental and captivating accolades, including his traditional baby powder toss during player’s introductions.

As for the biggest loss in Cleveland, of course, the fans express bitterness and feels betrayed, particularly when James always had loyalty and idolatry for his native town.

But even though his astonishing stint comes to an end agonizingly, the Cavs topple for losing a virtuous hero.

In a long-suffering environment, fans poured into the streets in despair, setting No. 23 jerseys on fire and throwing rocks at the 10-story billboard of James.

Then, more shockingly, Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert sent a harsh email berating the superstar for leaving and his self-absorbed plot, forgetting that James revitalized the landscape and modernized the culture.

It’s a shame he singled out and downgraded his former star player in the aftermath of the spontaneous departure, mishandling the situation juvenile and without class.

By example, as an owner, he should have strong character and not release unpalatable drivel. What a shame.

“As you know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier,” Gilbert wrote. “This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his ‘decision’ unlike anything ever ‘witnessed’ in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment. Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.

“The self-declared former ‘King’ will be taking the ‘curse’ with him down south. And until he does ‘right’ by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.

“Just watch.”

Either way, James' sudden transition benefits the Heat, who has sole possession of Wade and Bosh. Now, all of the sudden, they reunite since winning gold medals as Olympic teammates in Beijing.

Considering that James, Wade, and Bosh are all competing to deliver a title in Miami, the expectations are immense with the Heat’s intent of building a dynasty.

He can win a championship with the Heat unlike his misfortune in Cleveland, a town suddenly devastated and that despises James, erasing the gratifying moments and uplifting the bad karma.

Remember, it’s the city of The Drive, The Shot, The Fumble, and now “The Decision.”

I almost feel sorry for the town famously known for disappointment and travails, sabotaged by all the misery of sporting franchises.

But this is an unimaginable story for the Heat; putting together the strongest and mightiest trio in the history of the NBA, all the needed ingredients to win a championship.

Most of all, it will be very enthralling to watch the deepest and talented empire transform the culture and steer the Heat to the grandest platform relatively in the league.

The most merciful forces are together in the locker room, on the charter flights and on the hardwood, all for one objective—a title.

For what was the most overhyped free-agent frenzy in sports history, James emotionally stared at television cameras and informed the entire world of his plans to leave Cleveland for South Beach.  

For a superstar who had much pressure and the hardest decision, he’s relieved joining with the dangerous core in place.

Much credit belongs to Heat president Pat Riley, the mastermind of building the most dynamic dynasties and congregating the missing pieces.

It’s very clear that James doesn’t admire the game for money or recognition, but a gifted player and plays the game to win championships.

The most compelling team resides in South Beach, and as it stands now, teaming up with Wade and Bosh sprouts assurance.

Before the trio came along, Riley wasn’t the smartest or wisest architect, surrounding Wade by the unproven Michael Beasley, who was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the shaky Mario Chalmers.

At his early stint of his coaching lapses, Riley still promised the coaching job to Erik Spoelstra, the uncertain name walking the sidelines entering next season.

But unlike last season, the Heat has a talented nucleus and have flexibility with a masterful scenario that never seemed possible.

For turning down the larger markets of New York and Chicago, he showed that he wasn’t about ego. By lighting up the Heat, he showed that he’s about winning.

At last, the long-lasting circus ends in South Beach.

That’s rational.      


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