I Can’t Believe I’m Writing About This

So, I live in Cleveland.  And tonight a certain basketball player had a very public break up with my fair city.  And since it’s been the talk of Cleveland for the past 2 months (seriously, yesterday I had lunch with Mark and EVERY. SINGLE. TABLE. in the cafe was talking LBJ), here are my thoughts on the matter.

1 – He was drafted to the then very crappy Cavs 7 years ago.  He did not choose to stay here near his hometown of Akron.  But he really did make the best of his time here.  He has done a lot to bring attention to both Cleveland and Akron.  He played 7 great years of basketball (hello, 2 MVPs!).  The Cavs did everything they could to help bring Cleveland a championship. LeBron did everything he could to bring a championship home (with possible exception being the final playoff game against the Celtics this year). And we still couldn’t close the deal. He’s allowed to move on without being called disloyal.

2 – When drafted at the age of 18 he said lots of things about bringing Cleveland a ring.  That’s all well and good but my god, I hope no one holds me to things I said as an 18 year old!  Think about it – if someone put your feet to the fire over something you said at that age you are bound to be burned.

3 – This will not destroy our city. Cleveland is way more at heart and financially then a single man.  The last I checked the Cavs are still playing next season, one man does not make a team. I’m still a fan and will go to games, just like thousands of others. Heck, the Browns and Indians have sucked for years and people still pay to see them play.

4 – The man is an entertainer, he’s kept us entertained for the last 2 weeks as he made “The Decision”. He’s done his job well & now everyone is shitting on him for giving us something to talk about. We’ve fed his ego for 7 years & now people burn his jersey over him being the diva we asked him to be?  That’s not fair.

5 – Yeah, doing this on national TV was a bad move.  But see my diva comment above. And, like it or not, I think most Clevelanders wear the “beat down sports town” badge with some level of pride.

6 – We now have 3 huge egos on one team… if you are a NBA fan, it will be entertaining to say the least. (I still think the Lakers will beat them and win next year’s championship, too.)

7 – It’s a GAME people, not a “tragedy”. The oil spill is a tragedy. What’s happening to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is a tragedy. Get some perspective.

8 – All of a sudden, a crybaby who publically begged and pleaded for more money or he was going to leave the Browns (*cough* Josh Cribs *cough*) is being held up as the Cleveland definition of loyalty? Come on, we are better then this.

9 – I’m left wondering where the hate is for Patricia Heaton, Halle Berry, Ben Curtis & Toni Morrison and many more. All stars in their fields. All call Cleveland their hometown. All moved on to where they could make the most of their careers. LBJ is entitled to do the same and still be welcomed home.

10 – We’re still not Detroit!

I have no ill will toward the man.  I wish him well in Miami and hope he continues to do charitable work in NE Ohio.  I hope people still treat him well when he’s home.

Okay, I can go to bed now.

8 thoughts on “I Can’t Believe I’m Writing About This

  1. Yes – all of this is true. And I agree.

    But. And a BIG but… I was a kid in Chicago when Michael Jordan was a legend. Had he left when he had a chance the city would have been equally as crushed. No?

  2. TraciJ says:

    I loved your post – Well done!

    I am a native Clevelander and love C-Town and always will no matter what is happening in sports (HA!). It is where my heart is, not to mention my entire family!

    I believe that Lebron loves Cleveland too, because it is also his hometown. He doesn’t care about the money, he just wants to win and you can’t blame him for that….

    Good Night!

  3. Traci – yep! Most sports stars get called out for chasing the money. He didn’t. And yet, he’s the villain! The guy can’t win, no matter what he does.

  4. You know I was with you on most of this… until he decided to do the 1 hour special and make SUCH A BIG DEAL out of leaving. Up until I heard about the Decision special I had been saying things like “he should do what’s best for his career” or “we can’t be mad if he goes somewhere with a better chance at a ring” But now? I’m mad. It was such a slap in the face to a city that has been ridiculous to him. It didn’t have to be this way. And it makes me reconsider…. I guess he’s not the classy guy I always thought he was.

    But we’re Cleveland. We’ll recover. That’s what we do. It’s kindof our thing.

  5. lindsay says:

    I get that he’s going where he thinks he’ll best win a ring. But I think leaving is admission he doesn’t believe he can get it done here so he’s not a Michael or a Kobe…he’s more like a KG. Still an allstar hall of famer MVP type guy…but not the King.

    As for Dan Gilbert’s letter? Embarrassing…but the guy did lose like $200M tonight.

  6. kakaty/Kate says:

    I do think that this was an asshole move, mostly because it was calculated. He slapped Cleveland across the face in announcing it this way. But I still maintain he’s the product of his environment and not entirely to blame.

    He has ALWAYS gotten everything he wanted… Gilbert made sure of it. We (the fans, the media, the NBA, the Cavs) have made LBJ into some sort of god who could do no wrong. He’s never had to be concerned with consequences. Until now.

    The Cavs still have some really good players. They now have the money to bring in some more. Maybe with LeBron and his entourage gone, the resources they ate up can be redirected towards a championship.

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