LeBron James: "We Are All Witnesses"... For the Prosecution

Ben HaasContributor IJuly 10, 2010

GREENWICH, CT - JULY 08:  LeBron James speaks at the LeBron James announcement of his future NBA plans at the Boys & Girls Club of America on July 8, 2010 in Greenwich, Connecticut. James announced during a live broadcast on ESPN that he will play for the Miami Heat next season.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Estabrook Group)
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

LeBron James made a mistake.  A big mistake.  And no, I am not talking about where LeBron chose to take his talents for the next five years.  

LeBron's mistake was the manner in which he informed his former team, Cleveland fans, and the NBA of his decision to play for the Heat.  And although the decision inevitably was his to produce this one-hour marketing nightmare, if I were him, I would be looking for new advisers.  

His decision to leave for Miami should not be reviled the way it has the past 24 hours. The message he sent with the way in which he let us in on "The Decision" should be.  

LeBron's image as "The King" has been carefully manicured over the course of his seven-year career.  He has generally been well-liked, has not suffered from off-the-court incidents, and has been respected for bringing the Cavs organization a significant amount of success.  

The city of Cleveland has benefited significantly from the rejuvenation of the franchise led by LeBron.  The fans' initial reaction to his "abandonment" of the team is understandable given the emotions involved, but are not warranted given the seven years of service he has given to the team.

The NBA is a business.  James chose to join Wade and Bosh in Miami for the potential to win rings and play with good friends.  Each of us makes employment decisions based on opportunities that we feel will make us successful and happy.  

LeBron James deserves the right to make those same decisions for himself.  With this decision, he proved that it is all about championships and not all about the money. Unfortunately, for his image, he chose the wrong way to go about informing his fans. 

LeBron is just 25-years-old, and I would guess that in five years, if you were to ask him, he would say that he went about it the wrong way.

His analogy of leaving Cleveland to leaving a relationship was spot-on in terms of the intensity of the emotions involved.  His announcement was akin to ending a marriage over Facebook, for friends and family to see.

If you had millions of friends and family.

LeBron could use some good friends now to help him rebuild his image, constructed over seven years, and for many, destroyed in 60 minutes.  


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