Top Twelve Reasons LeBron James deserves an apology from all of us...
1. He took less money to go play for Miami.
Yes, I know, he’s still fabulously wealthy—I could probably find my annual salary in the creases of his couch—but, where I come from, more money is better than less money. He could have made more money in NY with the endorsements. He could have made more money in salary in Cleveland. He took less and, alas, less is not more.
2. He sacrificed his reputation.
Oh, you don’t think he knew that people would be upset? You think he wanted to watch his jersey being used as kindle on live TV? You think he enjoyed his decision being termed a ‘punk move’ by Charles Barkley?
3. He sacrificed his MVP award.
Oh, you think it’s easy to win those? It’s a little known secret that MVP awards usually go to the best player, with the best statistics, with the least help on one of the top four teams in the league. You think the voters now believe LeBron has help? You think that won’t affect the choices they make?
4. Cleveland’s current record without LeBron? ‘Nuff said
5. He sacrificed shots.
In order to be considered the best in the game, you have to be among the league leaders in scoring. Now he’s got Wade, who hasn’t seen too many shots he doesn’t like, and he’s got Bosh, who would also enjoy hoisting a few.
Oh, what difference does that make? After all, coaches have always preached that defense wins games. Sorry, they lied. Most champions have players like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Larry Bird, etc.
Yes they all try hard to play defense but, guess what? I have an idea: YOU try to use YOUR defense to stop them. You won’t, trust me.
6. You made LeBron wear a black hat.
LeBron has always been one of the most likeable players in the NBA. Would Saddam Hussein be caught red doing a ‘Kid –n-Play’ dance in a TV commercial? No, he wouldn’t.
Being likeable is one of the ways the players get to make lots of endorsement money, kiss lots of babies, kiss lots of not so young hotties, etc. Now that he has been portrayed as the evil spawn of Darth Vader and Osama Bin Laden, you, the fans, have forced him to adopt a psychological defense mechanism: He is trying his hardest to embrace the ‘villain’ tag.
He manages to glare at crowds in his opponents’ arenas and he puts his guns on display when he poses after a particularly special play. LeBron, the WWE just called. They want their faux evil character gesticulations back.
I’m not buying it and neither should you. We know that ain’t you, LBJ. We know that, down inside, it hurts. We know that it drove you to make absurd commercials dramatizing the after shock of “The Decision”.
In the possible words of Renee Zellweger in the movie, “Jerry MaGuire”: "Shut up, just shut up, LeBron, you had us at 'I’ve decided to take my talents to South Beach'".
7. NBA Star Hypocrisy, thy names are Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley.
MJ claims he would never have joined with the likes of Bird and Magic. Well, MJ, you didn’t have to. First of all, you didn’t win a bingo game until Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant finally came of age and, once you added in a heaping helping of Phil Jackson, you managed to get your first ring after seven years in the league.
Had those players not improved enough to support your ultimate dreams, you would have let us all know about it on an annual basis. Do you think you would have won three additional rings without Dennis Rodman? Doubtful.
Um, Mr. Charles Barkley, didn’t you jump onto the Houston Rocket bandwagon at the end of your career in a last ditch attempt to secure a ring? Shouldn’t you, as much as anyone, understand that one man can’t do it all? Don’t you wish you could have ‘Robert Horry’d’ (definition: marginal helped) your way to just one ring in your career, if for no other reason than to wipe that smug, gigantic toothed smile off of Kenny Smith’s (I’ve got two rings) face.
8. Team Hypocrisy, thy names are the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Oh, it’s perfectly okay to line up four Hall-of-Fame players on one team if you already happen to belong to an organization with the most NBA championships in history.
Oh, it’s okay to add Pau Gasol, a first team All NBA player to the Lakers, who already had the one player who many considered to be the best in the business. Yeah, there aren’t enough banners already hanging up in the Staples Center.
How dare LeBron decide that teams need more than one talented player in order to win an NBA championship? Oh wait, that’s right, he didn’t. The Celtics, Lakers, Spurs, etc. all did.
9. NBA Moral Majority Fans Hypocrisy, thy names are again, the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers and let’s toss in the Orlando Magic.
You can’t lambaste LeBron James for jumping ship and joining a more talented team that is potentially more likely to win an NBA championship, then claim, before the season even started, that his team STILL doesn’t have enough talent to win the championship! If that is true then, really, what did he do wrong?
10. The owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert.
Not only is he the greatest prognosticator of all time, he is all class. Yeah, Cleveland ought to go ahead and clear space on the mantle for the Larry O’Brien Trophy. How dare LeBron exercise his free agent rights to play for whatever team wants him there?
Oh wait, LeBron should have called Dan Gilbert before he went on TV to tell the NBA world that he was leaving Cleveland! WHY? It was a TV program where the advertising proceeds went to the Boys & Girls Club of America. What good would revealing that information to Cleveland before the show aired have done? NONE at all.
The only thing that would have occurred is that the word would have spread like wildfire throughout the Internet and that would have completely stolen the thunder from “The Decision” on ESPN.
Alright, I’ll cease with the sarcasm and suggest that perhaps he should have called Dan Gilbert first. At least that might have given him ten extra minutes to think before he wrote the most ridiculous, self-serving, vilifying and ultimately, self-destructive "letter to the fans" we’ve seen in a lifetime. Oops, I guess you see through me.
11. Drew Carey: I loved your show and you are a great comedic actor, but you’re a liar. Cleveland doesn’t ‘rock’.
I’m confidant it’s an honest town filled with hard working people but, come on, compare it to Miami. Have you felt the warm weather there? Do you know that those beautiful Latina women don’t usually wear parkas 10 months out of the year?
Show me any man, young or old, who wouldn’t appreciate the sight of scantily clad women year round and I’ll show you George Michael, Neil Patrick Harris, Ricky Martin, and, oh, you get the picture.
12. The Decision.
It was the right one and it was a good one, plain and simple. LeBron made a bunch of sacrifices to give himself a better chance to win championship rings. In the final analysis, those rings, whether he wins them or not, will be part of his legacy.
So should he have dared to air it on national TV? Well, it was a decision that was expected to change the landscape of the NBA, and it did. It warranted it’s own showcase.
a. Cleveland – they were once good, now, not so much.
b. Miami – they were once mediocre, now they are contenders.
c. Lakers – they acted like it wouldn’t change anything, yet they took great strides to improve a team that just won two championships in a row!
d. Celtics – same deal, great team that decided it needed to get significantly better after two finals appearances and one championship over the last three seasons. Stevie Wonder can see that you all got just a wee bit scared.
The Decision, yeah, I would have made it.