Retiring LeBron James' No. 23 in Cleveland has been a hot topic recently.
Normally when you are a franchise's leader in minutes played, points, steals, field goals made, and many other things it is almost guaranteed that your jersey will one day hang in the rafters of their arena.
Add in the fact that this player won two MVPs in seven years and lead the team to their only NBA Finals appearance in their 40 years in the league, and it should be a lock to have that No. 23 with James on the back in the rafters.
I mean, the jerseys of Larry Nance, Brad Daugherty, Mark Price, Nate Thurmond, Bingo Smith, and Austin Carr can be found hanging from the rafters at Quicken Loans arena, and these guys accomplished less in their careers then LeBron James has in the first seven years of his.
The difference is, these guys didn't walk out on the city in their prime, on National television.
And that difference is the main reason why LeBron will probably never see his jersey hoisted in the air in front of a sell-out crowd in Cleveland, thanking him for his accomplishments.
In fact, I think it is safe to say that his new Miami Heat teammate Zydrunas Ilgauskas's No. 11 will grace those rafters way before LeBron's ever will.
LeBron joins a long list of people to leave or rub the city of Cleveland the wrong way because of professional sports.
And because there are so many people who have done bad things to the city before him, I can honestly think of 10 things that would happen way before LeBron's number gets retired in this city.
So as usual...sit back, relax, and don't forget to comment!
Oh Ricky Davis.
You were supposed to be LeBron's running mate, the Robin to Batman in Cleveland.
The Cleveland Cavaliers gave you a six year contract in 2002 before they went and won the lottery for some guy named LeBron James.
In the 2002-2003 season Davis averaged 20.5 points and 5.5 assists per game and was looking like the leading scorer that the Cavaliers had been searching for.
And then March 16, 2003 happened.
Davis was putting up a stellar game against the Utah Jazz, in fact he was on his way to a triple-double: a feat that is not easily accomplished in the NBA.
Needing only one rebound to accomplish this feat, Davis did something that has earned him the nickname "Wrong Rim Ricky" in Cleveland since then.
He took a shot at his OWN basket, missed it, and grabbed the rebound.
This act was so selfish, and unthinkable that Utah's DeShawn Stevenson fouled Davis hard for his efforts.
Less than a year later, Davis was traded to the Boston Celtics.
I guess former coach Paul Silas was right, Davis was one of the most selfish show-boaters he had ever seen.
Growing up coaches pounded a single idea in my head.
"One game doth not a career make."
Well in the case of Earnest Byner, and in the eyes of Cleveland Browns fans every where...my coaches were wrong.
Byner put together a solid career for the Cleveland Browns from 1984-1988, and even came back from 1994-1995.
But he will never be remembered for the good he did in Cleveland, he will be remembered for one play, and one play only.
It was the 1987 AFC Championship game facing that dreaded John Elway and the Denver Broncos.
Cleveland fans may remember Elway.
Orchestrator of such events as "The Drive" and "Breaking Cleveland Browns' fan's hearts."
But more on Elway later, this slide is dedicated to the man who literally "dropped the ball."
The clock read 1:12 left in the fourth quarter, and the Browns were on the Denver three yard line looking to tie the game.
Coach Marty Schottenheimer drew up the play: an inside hand-off to his dependable No. 44.
Then the unthinkable happened.
Byner took the ball and got stripped by a Denver defender.
Cleveland's dreams, as well as the game, were stopped short right there when Byner fumbled on the goal-line.
If you take away that fumble, Byner would have probably been the MVP of the game with 67 yards rushing, 120 yards receiving, and two touchdowns.
But because of that fumble Byner will go down as one of the biggest goats in Cleveland history.
If Joakim Noah had any career aspirations for joining the Cleveland Cavaliers, he ruined them with his comments in the playoffs last season.
See Joakim, people here in Cleveland don't forget.
And they will certainly not forget that he said the city sucks.
Noah also decided to say that Cleveland has nothing going on and that the city is just plain bad.
In Noah's defense, his Chicago Bulls were getting beaten up by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the playoffs.
And the team probably needed some "poster board" material for the locker room, but these are the type of comments that make you a public enemy in the city.
I hope Noah brings his own personal chef, assistant, etc. next time the Bulls come to Cleveland, because I can almost guarantee that those workers in his hotel and at the restaurants he attempts to dine in won't have such a short memory.
Franchise record holder.
Cleveland fans certainly have different views of Braylon Edwards rocky tenure in Cleveland.
Viewed as the "next big thing" at wide receiver in the NFL, Edwards never really lived up to his No. 3 overall pick status out of the University of Michigan.
Edwards had plenty of stupid actions in Cleveland, including a night club incident in which he punched one of LeBron's boys.
But I think it is his mouth that is getting him in the most trouble since the Browns traded him off to New York.
Recently he took a page out of Joakim Noah's book and decided to bash the city of Cleveland.
He said, "There's nothing going on in Cleveland. There's no real estate, no social life, no social networking."
He went on to say that "all the people who have something going on leave Cleveland. So Cleveland has nothing."
If it wasn't enough that he tortured Cleveland fans with his dropping of easy passes, he decided to go and bash the city.
But regardless of what he says, I think it is still safe to say that Browns fans would let him jump into the Dawg Pound before they would ever retire LeBron's number.
Albert Belle was one of the most feared sluggers in the game, and led the monstrous Indians' line-up in the 90s that accomplished every thing except a World Series victory.
However, when you leave the city of Cleveland, you join a nice list of people who would probably NOT be welcomed back here.
Add that to the list of idiotic moves that Belle had while in Cleveland, and you could imagine why the Indians are calling him up to be their hitting coach any time soon.
I mean, Belle threw a baseball into the stands and struck a fan who called him Joey in 1991.
He corked his bat and then sent a teammate to break into the umpire's locker room to steal the bat back and replace it with a different one.
He chased down trick-or-treaters on Halloween in his car because they threw eggs at his house, and even struck one with his car!
He destroyed locker rooms, ruined meals, and many other things in Cleveland.
And still, he was tolerated and celebrated because of his success on the field.
But then Belle when and did what so many have done since him, which was leave Cleveland for more money and to become the highest paid player in baseball history.
Even though Belle was basically a crazy person, I think we can say he has a better chance of returning to the organization than LeBron does of getting his jersey retired.
Here in Cleveland we are used to our teams NOT paying players more money.
So when a team agrees to release a guy out of his low salaried contract in order to give him MORE money, that player has to be special to the organization.
But when that player decides to spurn the organization and head for a different team, even though they had a "wink-wink" deal: that's the type of action that can make your life a living hell in Cleveland.
And this is just what Carlos Boozer, now of the Chicago Bulls, did to Cleveland.
The Cavaliers allowed him to get out of his $695,000 contract and offered him a deal worth $39 million over six years.
This wasn't bad for a second year player who had averaged 10 and 15 points per game in his first two seasons.
The deal was thought to have been all but done, but then Boozer did the unimaginable for the organization, and signed a six year $70 million offer sheet with the Utah Jazz.
The Cavaliers could have matched it since he was a restricted free agent, but they did not want to give a player as young and unproven as Boozer that much money.
Boozer could have been LeBron's running mate, and probably the sidekick that the Cavaliers needed to keep LeBron in Cleveland.
But instead Boozer took the money and ran, and LeBron took his talents to South Beach.
Funny how things work out?
I'm sure if John Elway wanted to coach at the NFL level, teams would give him the opportunity.
He would probably have to start as quarterbacks coach, but I'm sure he would have no problem succeeding.
In fact, he would probably move rather quickly up the chains and be an NFL coach within five years.
But I can guarantee you that there's probably one team that won't come calling for his services, well unless they hear the Cavaliers are thinking about retiring LeBron's number, and hell has frozen over.
And that team is the Cleveland Browns, the team that Elway demoralized in the 80's.
Not only did Earnest Byner fumble versus Elway and the Broncos, but John Elway led the Broncos a little thing known as "The Drive."
Only a team from Cleveland could allow someone to lead their team 98 yards down the field to tie the game in five minutes to blow an opportunity at the Super Bowl, and this is just what the Browns did.
I mean, it's not Elway's fault that Cleveland hates him, it's just that he beat the wrong team at the wrong time.
I'm sure that if the Browns weren't on the cusp of the Super Bowl and an attempt at bringing a championship to the city of Cleveland for the first time since 1964, Elway might be considered for the coaching position.
But when you take away the dreams and hopes of the city because of a brilliant performance, let's just say that you won't be winning any elections soon.
Reliving all of these moments in Cleveland history isn't easy for me.
It is extra hard remembering a moment that brought me to tears at the age of four.
I can remember getting my sweet, old-school Mark Price jersey on and getting ready to watch game five of the 1989 playoffs in which the Cavaliers were looking to oust the Michael Jordan led Bulls.
The game was intense, and I knew it would come down to the last shot.
See, at this age I couldn't really remember how bad Elway beat up on the Browns because I was just coming into my excitement for sports at the age of four.
So this was really my first heart-breaking experience (the first of many) as a Cleveland fan.
The Cavaliers were winning 100-99 with just three seconds left in the game, and I was going nuts after Craig Ehlo just gave the Cavaliers the lead.
Then the unthinkable for a four year old happened.
Jordan hit the shot at the buzzer over the out-stretched arm of the hero of three seconds ago.
It was only the first round of the playoffs, but devastation set in over Cleveland.
Jordan ruined what could have been a special season for the Cavaliers, and went on to become the greatest player of all time.
With all of that said, Jordan has a better chance of being honored in Cleveland than LeBron getting his number retired.
Seven years of LeBron in Cleveland is higher up than 60 years of a rivalry?
Yeah, that will tell you how much LeBron meant to the city of Cleveland.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been hated in Cleveland since October 7, 1950: the first time the two teams met on the football field.
These two cities despise each other, they torture each others' fans when they come to town, and they bad-mouth each other on messages boards across the internet.
It's hard to imagine that Cleveland would EVER hold a celebration for the Steelers winning a championship.
In fact I can say with great certainty that this event would probably never happen, which tells you how I feel about LeBron's jersey ever getting retired in Cleveland.
On a non-related note, I would like to point out to Steelers fans across the nation that the rivalry will be BACK this year, and that they are only up in the series 60-56 all-time.
And now that the 2000s are over with, it is the Browns turn to dominate, haha.
November 6, 1995.
A day that will remain in infamy for Cleveland Browns fans all over the world.
This was the day, of course, that former owner Art Modell decided he would tare the heart and soul from Cleveland, and move the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore at the end of the season.
Modell tore tradition and one of the NFL's more storied franchises from the league that day, and that is something that has not allowed him to show his face in Cleveland since.
To be honest, I think that LeBron and Modell are tied for public enemy No. 1 at this moment, just because of how long it's been since Modell moved the team, and the fact that Cleveland got the Browns back.
LeBron abandoning Cleveland happened a month ago, so the hatred is still hot in the hearts of Clevelanders.
Over time, I think that LeBron's number being retired will fall somewhere around No. 3 on this list of things that would happen in Cleveland.
The strength of a continued rivalry and the man who moved the team from the city will eventually regain the fans' attention in the next couple of years as we get used to not having LeBron in Cleveland.
Unless LeBron goes on to win three or four championships with Miami, and then Cleveland fans will hate him more than ever.