LeBron James: The "Decision" 1-Year Later, the Lockout and Kyrie Irving

Luke JohnsonContributor IIIJuly 8, 2011

The man who started all of this.
The man who started all of this.Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

As much as the self-feigned American public revels in a comeback story, we solicit higher ratings for the downfall of one even more.

Watching hopes crumble in a Hollywood (Hollyweird if you're from Cali) fashion is best suited for an American TV landscape where reality is as popular as a colonoscopy.

Enter the surreal. 

Worlds where Jersey Shore and steroids are the barometers by which we judge the nature of reality. A place of boob jobs, fake tans and miniature dogs.

The one year anniversary marking the Cavaliers messy fall from grace to that of NBA serfdom is not only a sour topic for its last remnants of fandom, but a juicy one as well.

LeBron James—the God turned dark satanic villain—is the caricature that never sleeps. In fact he is the group of spring breakers who party next door for entire night, bumping Biggy and using choice slang. 

His desolation of a city is still inconceivable and for that unforgivable, not to mention, his new Ménage à trois in South Beach is a fornication of talent that is ripping the league apart at the seams.

This fuel for the fire, is a hot topic for sport pundits all across America and alone James has altered the NBA world forever like a fault line moves the earth's ecology.

Things be a shakin'.

Unfortunately, the organic evolution of an NBA champion is now a distant memory for the multi-generational sports fan. For my father, it is every reason why he is now more in tuned with a dog and pony show than that of the NBA Finals.

Last he checked the mid-thigh short was far too long, the mullet haircut and the Burt Reynolds mustache trend setting masterpieces and Slice the leader in soda pop.

Today, good luck finding an athlete whose shorts aren't slung at the ankles or making a fortune on a series of linked sex tapes.

For this reason alone, I am a self confessed cynical contrarian turned hopeful optimist, who believes that an NBA lockout can help redirect a league that has been stuck for years in a series of Ricky Lake.

Every which way I turn there is a Tim Donoughy scandal or a new issue defacing the Lakers franchise with a picture of Lamar Odom and Chloe Kardashian.

The guaranteed contract and the easy movements of the free agent, have defiled the puritanical originations of this great game. Making players work for their money not only holds them accountable, but quite honestly, weeds out the nay- sayers.

If Deron Williams cannot come to the table and arrange his life to help the greater good than I say go, go as far away as possible and never leave Turkey.

Sorry Nets fans.

For Cavaliers fans I am eagerly hopeful. The Heatles were ousted by a Mavericks team of role guys whose leader Dirk Nowitizki, is a hardworking floor general with the genuine heart of a champion.

This is sweet revenge for fans that for seven years fell under the spell of LeBron James. Happily, for an entire off-season they get to watch the star wallow in his defunct narcissism and mock his tainted legacy. 

And if they are to redirect their own franchise it IS now or never.

Sending away a player like J. J Hickson to the Kings for Omri Cassapi was a move in the right direction. Hickson is up for a max contract come next June, and to be honest, he reminded too many fans anyways of LeFraud.

His 13.8 points per game were a freckle on the vast expanse of what Gilbert and many upper management leads thought he was capable of. This helped them decide to draft Tristan Thompson and was the perfect ridding to head in a new direction.


Ridding the bloated contract of the equally Hollywood adoring Baron Davis will be difficult but also extremely necessary. A player who hobbles on 1/4 knee, is without question unworthy of the 13 million dollars owed him next season.

His days of leading a team with an insatiable will to get to the hoop are long, long gone, and his oft-uncoachable attitude is grossly distasteful.

Watching him come to camp over weight and sit with injuries in Los Angeles was bad enough. But what was worse, was his childish work ethic.

While "rehabbing" his knee, Davis was also guest starring in multiple TV series. Hiring an agent in the process, Davis continued to work on his entertainment direction while collecting a mega sized paycheck from the Clippers.

Sending him to a playoff franchise in need of a new general or a back up point guard not only frees up cap space to sign free agents in the future but does away with an unneeded headache. It also allows for their young core to take precedence.

Number one pick Kyrie Irving, an unproven Coach K disciple, gives the team at the least a new face to adore. Though I am admittedly skeptical of the kid’s hype, I am enriched by his humility to the situation.


Not once has he self-aggrandized or touted his worthiness, but instead, smiled and acted happy at his fortune to play in one of the league's greatest cities.



This interview on draft night proves the kid's willingness to play as a part of a team. Hi desire to "fit in" with the organization is hard to find in today's athlete.

Most importantly he is gifted. With a wonderful step back jump shot, skilled three point shooting and ability to get in the key for drop off passes to bigs, Irving is the right direction for a team looking to renew itself.

For the City of Cleveland and Dan Gilbert, a new sense of self could be emerging. On the horizon, just one year later, there are glimmering showers of hope.

Fresh off of one of the worst splits in NBA history, LeFraud will forever be in moral limbo rethinking his divorce from the city that loved him first. 

But for the rest of us, and most importantly Cavs fans, clarity and vision are the very things to populate a 2nd anniversary, a revival with far more glory than the one that was here before.