Miami , Nice! Le Bron Bids for a Slice of Immortality.
About ten years ago Florentino Perez, the President of Spanish footballing behemoth , Real Madrid, embarked on a policy of signing galacticos. Giants of the European game, Zidane, Figo, Carlos, Beckham joined home grown superstar Raul at great expense, with the purpose of dominating Spanish and European football. After five years the experiment was abandoned without a single trophy being won.
It takes a lot to distract my attention during a World Cup but the events unfolding on E.S.P.N. last night were fascinating
Football and basketball are different sports of course, but the suspicion remains that sometimes in a sports team three superstars can be two too many. Will the three stars gel together in Miami or will their individual brilliance be diluted? When the chips are down who will emerge as top dog and rally the rest to his standard.
The Bulls managed to keep the egos of Jordan, Rodman and Pippen in check for a while during their golden era but they had the advantage of a strong supporting cast of Luc Longley, Toni Kukoc and Ron Harper etc. The Heat are lacking in that area at the moment and Pat Riley will have his work cut out finding the foot soldiers to complement the three star generals in time to threaten the Lakers' fledgling N.B.A. hegemony.
But for now Miami fans can dream that it will be like the Olympics every week as a new dream team , whose genesis began in Beijing with Team U.S.A comes together.
Probably not since those Jordan era "three-peats" of the 1990's will a team grab so much attention as Miami next season. Evey move , every emotion, every game will be poured over by the cognoscenti for signs of success or failure. For the N.B.A it will result in boomtime each night the Heat are in town. Basketball as soap opera.
Meanwhile back in Cleveland, the Cavaliers are devastated, like children watching their father leaving home for the last time to shack up with his new floozy. Owner Dan Gilbert spoke for an entire city and his speech would have resonated with spurned lovers down through the ages :anger, disbelief, despair, betrayal were the emotions pouring out of Ohio. They have been left cold by last night's bombshell. It is the chill of the dispossessed.
The franchise that nurtured him , made him famous, enriched him beyond the dreams of avarice and acquiesced to his every whim are bereft as the figurehead exits stage left.
As a British football fan , I remember when English boywonder Wayne Rooney was leaving his beloved hometown club Everton for Manchester United. His supporters, the people he had grown up with, the people who had idolised him, have never forgiven him, but he decided against staying the local hero with a moderately big team and joined a giant team that has elevated him to trophy laden global superstar. That is what Le Bron is aiming for as he leaves his home state and heads south . He believes he must fulfil his destiny by becoming a pariah , on outcast to the people who once adored him.
That takes a single minded determination and guts, but then to fulfil your destiny is priceless, money cannot buy it, which is why the riches offerred to him by Cleveland pale into insignificance. James must truly believe he has a better chance of achieving everything he wants to with the Heat.
For everyone bar the denizens of Cleveland it will make for fascinating viewing over the next few years as Miami's great gamble plays out.
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