Posts tagged "The Decision"
Well that was predictable.
After all the pomp and ceremony, and the months of debate, conjecture, and downright guesswork, in the end it turned out to be as predictable as a poorly scripted Hollywood movie. And like a bad movie, there’s a lot of people that are just glad to see it finally be over, and to never have it grace the back of their retinas again.
For those that don’t follow the sport at all, and with their NHL’esque level of exposure on the Nielsen ratings it wouldn’t be too surprising, here’s the scoop in a nutshell. Lebron James,this years most coveted free agent, has finally decided where he wants to play basketball. And for those that live in the Miami area, or are fans of the Heat, rejoice! Your new King is at hand! Honk those horns in the parking lot and squeal with glee. With the signing of Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade a few days ago, Miami’s chances to see their win total rise will only be surpassed by the odds of ticket prices following suit, and truly represents a shift of power in the SouthEast division to rival Orlando’s current perch at the top. For Southern Florida’s basketball community, this is the return to glory that they previously enjoyed only a few years ago coming back with a vengeance.
For those fans in Cleveland however, this theatrics is on par with trying to save your marriage, then finding that not only has your wife sent you a Dear John letter, but that she’s been sleeping with half the town the whole time with you. The amount of coverage of “will he, won’t he stay” has only helped to exacerbate the whole issue, and added yet another page to the reputation that Cleveland is quite possibly the most cursed sports town in all of the United States. What especially hurts is that the Cavs are finally enjoying success for the first time in franchise history, only to be given a good sucker punch in the middle of having a sip of that elusive success. Now considering the team has been around for four decades come this year, there’s a chance that it could weather the predictable drop in the turnstile, but considering that Cleveland’s bad luck extends to the economical side of things, those odds just got quite a bit longer today. I mean when your teams first star in……ever?….turns down the moola and the work done on the team you support for less coin and be a bit player somewhere else, it really makes you wonder what is the point?
That’s really the question isn’t it? What was the point to this long, drawn-out spectacle? If you asked that to a lot of people right now, especially in Northern Ohio, it was to fuel an ego that has grown faster then a kudzu infestation. And while some folks would nail that as sour grapes, you’d be hard pressed to dismiss it. Most players don’t have the need to have an hour long special on ESPN programming to announce what team their going to sign with without having a bad case of “LOOK AT ME!”-itis. I mean is the sports scene in July that slow that ESPN has nothing better to show then fifty minutes of commercials, five minutes of some talking head filling air, four minutes of follow up interviews, and one minute of actually providing any information that folks would care about? There must be some poker tournament being played somewhere that is pretty mad that their television slot was taken by that paid advertisement of the NBA. Such actions not only helped to cement James as not only another superstar player and ego to match, but has risen the bar of just how much attention someone needs to do something that most players just use an agent and a news service for.
Another factor to consider here is why did it take so long to make a decision? Why was it so drawn out? Well it wasn’t because of the date, as the free agent marketplace has officially been available for only the last week and change. More it was a combo of the hype machine playing up that one of the leagues marquee players was available on the marketplace, and “the King”‘s crew amplifying things to a new level, that obtained levels that were high and drawn out enough that even folks that don’t care about the game took notice, albeit in a way that most non NFL fans felt about the Brett Farve spectacle. In short it wasn’t that long; it just felt like it. Sort of like Chinese water torture, or the last half hour of your workday on Friday afternoon.
And in the end the constant drawing out of the situation worked out beautifully for James. He got to pick a team that would have one of the best odds to get the chances to rival his idol Jordon, and have the least work to do it with having stars Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade by his side. In hindsight the other suitors never had much of a chance, because they didnt’ have what he was truly after. The Knicks and the Heat could offer money and bend over backward to make him THE man, and New York had the whole media appeal, something that you would think would appeal to someone that seems to be all about his “brand”. But he had already been there with Cleveland when he was drafted, as the Kicks and Nets were just as bad if not worse then Cleveland was when he arrived there, and no-one in their right mind wants to play in the post-apocalyptic basketball landscape that those franchises currently are. Cleveland could deliver the same and have actually had winning percentages higher then the average players weight, but they really didn’t have much of a chance either. It was pretty obvious with the game six tunnel strip, all that was missing was a bird flip to the camera man. That a deal that would have sent Chris Bosh to Cleveland was nixed soon before his signing with Miami would even make the tin hat brigade wonder if there wasn’t a fix all along, and the media, GM’s of the Knicks, Nets, Cavs, Bulls and Heat, and the fans were being played all along.
When it’s all said and done, Lebron prove that what he really wanted, was the best and easiest chance to win. He didn’t care about the Benjamin’s, as the Heat didn’t offer the most coin. He didn’t care about it being His team; one that he would rule and pilot to the promised land. He already had that in Cleveland, and would have been given that mantle in Chicago, New York, and New Jersey (although for the latter two by default). He didn’t even care about getting the most bang for his “brand”, because that would have been better served in New York or Chicago. This end to the way too long story proved that he wanted to win, and have the easiest go at it. And he chose well for achieving that goal, all the while ensuring that he’ll never be considered on par with the Kobe’s, Magic’s, Bird’s and Jordan’s of league history. He won’t be the catalyst that will take the team to the winners circle, as he already has two other players beside him that have the talent to do just that. He wont be leading the team, because those beside him can and have done that job. He had a chance to follow in his mentor’s footsteps, to lead his team from the dregs of irrelevance and have the potential to be a powerhouse, like a King leading his army onto the battlefield.
Instead he took the easy way, the quick fix option. He left his Kingdom and his crown to don the robes of talented paupers, to blend into the crowd in Miami. And that, is why his legacy will never eclipse his mentors.
It was destroyed by his own hand.