Friday, July 9, 2010

James polarizes himself

No one need ever, ever, ever again compare LeBron James to Michael Jordan.

With James' decision to leave Cleveland to join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, basically that was his request.

James may have made the move to put himself in the best position to win, but in the deepest regions of your imagination can you envision Jordan making a move like this?

Hail no!

Forget that King stuff as well. Kings don't follow, they lead.

Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert's comments about James quitting in Games 2, 4, 5 and 6 of the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals against Boston truly don't sum up the abandonment of the 25-year-old.

James quit on Cleveland - on Akron- and on Ohio.

It's not like the Cavaliers were a terrible team and an organization that didn't make moves to try and provide a supporting cast for James.

No doubt Gilbert's open checkbook the past few years was at least part of the genesis of his post-James departure rant.

What we don't know now are the conversations James and Gilbert have had.

We do know if there have been covers for James' actions and behavior over the years, Gilbert has been the man with the huge umbrella.

So for him to go off like a spurned lover is a bit ridiculous.

Gilbert verbally busted out the windows on James' Bentley and his Range Rover. The owner tried to spit in James' face.

And there is more. I say there is no way we've heard the last from Gilbert, either directly out of his mouth or dropped Watergate style.

It also has to be a must that Commissioner David Stern comes down historically hard upon Gilbert.

No owner ever has been more disrespectful and venomous as was Gilbert with comments regarding a player.

Now, Gilbert has heard stances and requests from James of which neither the public nor the media are privy.

However, it's difficult to imagine it won't be long before the curtain is pulled back.

It still seems imaginable Gilbert burned a No. 23 jersey or two himself last night. Gilbert might retire the jersey when the Heat comes to Cleveland for the first time.

Gilbert made a larger fool of himself than any fan could achieve by 'personally guaranteeing the Cavaliers will win an NBA championship before the self-titled former 'King' wins one.'

What, is Gilbert have James assassinated on the NBA Finals court during a game? Is Gilbert going to go Tonya Harding on the 'former King?'

I sure wish I hadn't misplaced former Cleveland coach Mike Brown's number because it would have been great to hear his reaction shortly following the announcement.

Moreover, for James to say, winning a championship in Cleveland wouldn't be sweeter than winning one in Miami, may have been the biggest snub possible.

The kid's ego was so evident when he spoke about how 'He' had brought so much to the franchise and 'He' had taken the organization places it had never before been.

Last I checked, James had a myriad of teammates supporting the efforts. Yet, only once do I recall him referring to teammates while mentioning achievements.

No matter what moves the Heat makes before the 2010-11 season begins, they will have to deal with Boston, Orlando, Atlanta and Chicago just to get out of the Eastern Conference.

And James certified, he'll either be hated or loved. Middle ground has been eradicated.


  1. The Cavs pretty much did everything they could for James and he left them with nothing in return. They don't even get as much as a draft pick for all they invested in a guy who really did only have himself to blame for the way his season ended this year. Now the team has a bunch of supporting players and nothing to support? I guess in a way they are better off than the Kings where when they traded Webber because they don't have to take a bunch of bad contracts in return? The Cavs wake up this morning and know they are in a rebuilding stage?
    As for the owner? Hey if Lebron just left my team and took tens of millions of dollars off the value of my franchise I would be pissed also. I don't understand why anyone would want to own a small market team in the NBA?

  2. Kobe: "Has anyone seen all of my five championship rings?" Lebron, "have you seen all of my five championship rings?"

  3. I grew up in Sacramento reading your columns. Now I am 3000 miles away in Florida and am very pleased to have found your page. Good to read your work. Solid read, as usual.

  4. Hey, Corey, I'm glad you found me too. How did you do so? I'm new to this blogging, so all information is helpful. Thanks for the kudos and where are you in Fla.

  5. Anonymous, You have lost your mind. I love how LBJ speaks of winning multiple titles. I always thought the first number was one.

  6. Kingsrul, The only reason you own any professional sports franchise is if you have mucho excess cash. James played the game by the rules. There is more to the story that meets the eye but I think we all know that.

    The Cavs certainly could have gotten something(s) for James by trading him. They didn't want to because they thought they'd win the championship. And before the playoffs began, I thought they'd at least get out of the East. I was wrong and so were they.

  7. Marty, I disagree with the passive approach the Kings are taking on free agents. One message sent in the James fisaco is that top NBA talent now might accept less cash in exchange for wins/championship hopes. How this applies to Sac is that even if Tyreke and DeMarcus progress as expected, without a quality veteran on-court presence and decent bench, this is still a losing team. Developing a winning culture is important to retain this young talent when they reach free agent status. The long term success of the Kings turns not only on the development of these young players, but on their willingness to stay with the Kings once they have other options. While there are no guarentees I believe signing a quality veteran SG/SF and ensuring a strong bench is critical to develop that winning culture. I am not advocating reckless spending. I am recommending aggressive pursuit of at least one quality role model veteran. By the way, I miss your work with the Bee and I am excited to read your blog.

  8. The Kings better get to winning quickly because the Lakers will be looking for a replacement for Kobe just about the time Evans hits his prime. When it comes to James taking less money? I am not sure how the numbers work out but I bet by not paying any state income taxes on his endorsement investment and NBA salary that "money" he left on the table might not be as much as we think?

  9. Very well written.

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