I heard LeBron James was having an hour special on ESPN to make his decision. That's when I finally knew that it was all coming down for him. That's when I knew that he was leaving Cleveland. It was done, and it was over with.
The next day, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh both told NBA analyst Michael Wilbon on ESPN that they would both plan to sign with the Miami Heat. As soon as that hit me, I knew LeBron was in for a world of hurt.
A man without a team will have to fight off two top 10 players on the same team now, let alone Boston and Orlando. I immediately thought to myself, "His best decision would be the Bulls. He'll go to the Bulls. Derrick Rose, LeBron, and Carlos Boozer ready to take the Eastern Conference by storm. He'll still be 'the man' and he'll keep his legacy and stature as an MVP."
But then I had to think of the way LeBron thinks. LeBron James, after seven years in Cleveland, has been blinded. He doesn't want to be the MVP or have global fame. He just wants the rings. He'd kill to get rings.
But he's not "killing" to get the rings now. He's giving up his legacy as the best to get the rings. "I'm taking my talents down to South Beach, and I'm going to play for the Miami Heat," LeBron said, with an almost apathetic look on his face, as if he wanted to just call it quits and spend the rest of his life playing golf with Charles Barkley.
And so it is, LeBron. You are now a member of the Miami Heat. Your legacy is tarnished, and you will no longer be considered the best of the best.
Two types of people were happy about LeBron's decision: "LeBron Lovers" (you know, those people who either a) know nothing about basketball and couldn't tell you two other members of Cleveland's 2009-2010 roster and b) those people that just want SOMEONE to be better than Kobe Bryant) and Miami Heat fans.
The rest of the fans in the NBA are disgusted and shocked. I am one of those. I am disgusted, but in no way am I shocked.
As Bill Simmons said in his column after the Cavaliers' loss to Boston in the Conference Semifinals, the thing that sets LeBron apart from the rest is he has no killer instinct. He would rather join with the best, before he ever attempted to beat the best. He has now pretty much sold his legacy to Pat Riley in return for a better opportunity for rings.
Congratulations, LeBron. You'll never be a top five all-time player now.
I don't say these things about him because he left Cleveland. Obviously he was going to leave, considering they only had money to re-sign him and no one else. It would've been six more years of misery.
But if you're the defending MVP, you have yet to win a ring, and you want to be known as the best player of all time in the NBA, don't you want to fight off the two-headed monster in Miami, the tradition-rich Celtics in Boston, Dwight Howard and Orlando, and then finally knock off the most decorated franchise in this decade and the best player in the NBA?
I don't know about you, but he could have done that in Chicago. Heck, he may have even been able to do it in New York. But instead, you join arguably the second best shooting guard in the league and Toronto's all-time leading scorer just to try to get rings? Come on, man.
Once again, I'm not upset he left Cleveland. I saw that coming after Wade and Bosh signed in Miami. I'm a Laker fan anyways. I could care less. But you have an HOUR show on ESPN about your decision (which should take about two minutes), and you can't even stop to thank your HOMETOWN for all the years you had there and how much fun it was taking them to places in which they've never been before?
LeBron, that's your HOMETOWN? And you can't even call Danny Gilbert or the Cavaliers' new GM and tell them your decision and why you made it? No, you had your "advisors" call them and tell them what was up. You'll never be as good as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, or Bill Russell. They had something called kahonas.
Cleveland fans? Burn his jerseys. Burn his shirts and merchandise. You don't deserve that treatment. Especially from someone that's no different from you are and where you grew up. He is hated now, and not just by the Cleveland faithful. Everyone in the NBA. Fans across the league. He went from being "The Chosen One" of the NBA, to, now, being just like Kobe. Except two inches taller, playing small forward, rebounding a little bit better, and no killer instinct on the court.
Now it's on to the next one. LeBron is playing alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. You know what that means? You won't be seeing the high flying, electrifying, triple doubles every night like you're used to seeing. Wade and James will both have their styles of play to get used to playing with each other.
But regardless, in my book, this is Dwyane Wade's team and this is Dwyane Wade's franchise. LeBron's advisors and Danny Ferry spent years trying to find him a "Scottie Pippen." Who would've known after seven years in Cleveland, that LeBron would TURN OUT to be a Pippen.
The Heat are a changed team, and the NBA is a changed league. But the most important change of all was LeBron James. He's a changed man. Who would've known that he would have an hour long special on where he was going to sign? And he referred to himself in third person at least three or four times that I noticed. And he just used a Boys & Girls Club to cover it up.
Did you watch him at the "Miami Heat Signing Celebration" on Friday Night in Miami? I didn't. I did see the highlights of it on SportsCenter , however. He promised "Not two, not three, not four, not five, not six,....not seven titles," so I'm pretty sure he's promising eight? Or one? I'm going with the first one.
Eight titles? Big talk for a guy who has yet to win ONE title. He also went on to say that Pat Riley could play for the Heat like he did for the Kentucky Wildcats, as long as he and Wade were in the lineup. So tell me, is LeBron the good guy that you "LeBron Lovers" think he is?
But I'm not going to go on any further. LeBron can have his hour specials, his Heat Celebrations, and refer to himself in third person. It won't matter. LeBron will never win another MVP in Miami, and his brand and legacy will drop because of the people around him.
That's the difference between LeBron and the best. While he's going off on publicity stunts and soaking up the sun in Miami, the best is in the gym right now in L.A., working towards a three-peat.
But thanks LeBron, you'll no longer be the next best thing to MJ or The Black Mamba. Kevin Durant on deck, and Dwayne Wade in the hole....
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