Oh How The Blinders Go On When We Speak of LeBron James
OK, LeBron James is now a member of the Miami Heat. A team that now looks destined to not only win now, but for the duration of the newest Big Three's contracts.
This was the right move for LeBron. It was, plain and simple: win or get paid and have the possibility of winning thrown in.
He would have had a chance to win in Chicago. He may have been able to pull it off in New York. He may have been able to even turn the sinking Nets ship around with the help of their spend-happy new owner.
But the chance to win is not the same as 8-5 Vegas odds to win. And LeBron was willing to put a little less in the bank to put a bit of jewelry on his hand, and rightly so.
So now come the "he can't do it on his own" chants and the claims that he'll never be a player like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, or Michael Jordan, and that he cannot be the one to carry his own team to a championship.
My response to that: Have you forgotten the other players on those teams?
Sure, Bird was the unquestioned leader on that string of championship Celtics teams throughout the 80s, but there was no way he was beating those Lakers teams, and a Houston Rockets team led by a young Hakeem Olajuwon by himself.
Bird had a total of five Hall of Famers playing with him during his championship years of 1981, 1984, and 1986, including Robert Parrish, Kevin McHale, and Dennis Johnson.
OK, so maybe not Bird, but definitely Jordan and Magic right?
Jordan had Scottie Pippen, probably one of the most underrated players of all-time, undoubtedly due to the fact that he played under Jordan's shadow for 90 percent of his career. And while Pippen is the only other Hall of Famer to play with Jordan during his two three-peats, the Bulls surrounded him with some of the top role players to ever play including Tony Kukoc, Horace Grant, and Dennis Rodman.
Magic had James Worthy, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Bob McAdoo.
They all won with a team. Not as individuals. As a team.
LeBron is going to a team. If he can reignite the chemistry that was evident in Beijing in 2008 with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, the three-peats of the 90s Bulls and early 2000s Lakers will be a distinct possibility.
Don't get me wrong. I empathize with you Cleveland. As a Buffalo sports fan I know how the sting of a sporting event can resonate through a city. Losing four Super Bowls in a row and losing the Stanley Cup Finals on a blown call all hit close to home for me. But you cannot blame LeBron.
Dan Gilbert is attempting to make LeBron the scapegoat for his and his front office's failures over the past five years.
You cannot tell me that he was blind to this had Cleveland not won, or at least made it to, the NBA Finals in the three years since they were swept by San Antonio in the in 2007 NBA Finals.
Yes, they made an effort, but almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
Mo Williams had an All-Star caliber first half of the season in 2008-09. Then he retreated back to his streaky ways that he brought with him from Milwaukee.
Shaquille O'Neal was supposed to help against the likes of Dwight Howard and Kendrick Perkins, but the reality was that he was not the Shaq of old.
So with the trade deadline looming this season, and the very real possibility of this being the Cavs' last chance to convince LeBron to stay, they went out and got Antawn Jamison.
Not Amar'e Stoudemire. Not Kevin Martin. Not Marcus Camby.
A decent scorer on a team that had no other options. A player that, when not having isolations run for him, shot a scorching 0-for-15 from the field in one of his first games as a Cavalier.
Well done Cleveland. Top notch decision-making there.
And that does not even consider the lack of coaching Cleveland has struggled through for the past five years.
I have a hard time believing Mike Brown could have coached his way out of a cardboard box if LeBron wasn't standing outside with a box cutter.
So say what you will, but saying that LeBron should not be considered one of the best ever because he decided that he needed help to win a championship is absurd. Teams win championships. Not individuals.
And do not tell me that Dan Gilbert and Cleveland should be complaining about James' "betrayal" and "selfishness."
Instead Cleveland, blame your owner for his inability to find anyone halfway decent to play with, or coach, LeBron the past few seasons.
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