I’m supposed to be on hiatus until Monday, but I had a few things to say about last night’s season finale of “Real Chance @ LeBron“…and it was just too much to Tweet.
I’m an avid sports fan, those who know me know that I was once a hooper & a softball player…neither of which I was great at ( full disclosure: at one point I was ‘good’ in basketball, mainly because of my height, and I was always just ‘ok’ at softball due to my performance anxiety lol)…but I love to watch and I still have dreams of being on ESPN…as a reporter or an analyst.
That being said, it was more than interesting for me to watch the “LeBratchelor” saga unfold for the better part of the last few weeks. The excitement that grew around LeBron James’ free agency was definitely bigger than any free agency period before…and it got downright annoying. However, with everything there is a purpose, and anyone who knows anything about PR knows that LeBron’s PR team did an amazing job. His message was well constructed and clear, and he even managed to bring some attention to a cause that he’s passionate about (The Boys & Girls Club, which received all advertising proceeds from his ESPN special, “The Decision”) LeBron, Inc came out on top on all sides.
Unfortunately with success there will always be jealous malicious haters.
The city of Cleveland and the entire state of Ohio in general are facing grim economic times, and have been for years. Granted, the Cavaliers have been the only glimmer of hope that city’s been clinging to. Their other sports teams have been less than stellar, and the dollars generated from having LeBron, Inc. headquartered in their state have been more than helpful… Unfortunately, they set themselves up to fail when they decided to put their faith in a man to be their savior.
From a basketball perspective, LeBron never had the right caliber of players around him to win a championship. At the end of the day, role-players matter. And even to the assertion that some have made about Kobe Bryant & Michael Jordan sticking with their teams through the struggle… you have to remember a couple of things:
1. Kobe Bryant made a HUGE deal about almost leaving the Lakers in 2005. Threatening to leave if Shaq stayed, griping and moaning about coaches etc. No one remembers that?
2. Both Jordan & Kobe had help. Pippen. Shaq. Rodman. Fisher. All of them were just as instrumental in championships. You can not pass the ball to yourself. You can not set your own picks, and you can not guard every man on the court by yourself. Basketball is a team sport, and whether Kobe fans would like to acknowledge it or not…he can’t do it alone. That’s why he can score 50pts in a game, and his team still loses.
At the end of the day, Cleveland clearly did not make a good enough offer to keep LeBron, a man more interested in winning than getting a bigger paycheck. A lot of the sentiments coming out of Cleveland, namely that of Cavs majority owner Dan Gilbert, are a little disturbing. Jerseys burning in the streets, riot squad protection around LeBron James’ home, and a Miss Celie-esque curse from an owner who did not do his job to keep his star player….that’s just too much over one man.
LeBron James was a FREE Agent. The key word in that statement is FREE. He had the right to choose wherever he wanted to play, and gave 6 teams the opportunity to try to persuade him to bring his talents to their court. He did what he felt was best for his brand and his family, and will be on South Beach this weekend popping bottles poolside at the W Hotel, enjoying the good life…while you’re sitting around mad at him for a decision that will not change. Maybe everyone should just get out of their feelings and enjoy their weekend.
I’ll be back Monday.