2010 NBA Free Agency: LeBron Chooses Miami
You know what? GOOD FOR HIM. You play ball in the NBA to WIN more than any other reason. And “legacy” and perception be damned, LeBron James went to the situation he thought was the best opportunity for him to do so. If it were only that simple, I wouldn’t have a single thing to say about it.
Oh, and for the people who claim I hate LeBron — I am not Skip Bayless, who I am CONVINCED hates him, but you got me misunderstood. No one is solely pointing the finger at James. Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert, former Cavs’ GM Danny Ferry, etc. were to blame (although they have been limited in what they could do the past 3 years being pressed against the cap due to the bad decisions after they made the Finals), but I’m not letting LeBron off the hook ESPECIALLY with the way he handled this and what it says about him that he chose to go to Miami and not New York, when, if his crew of yes-men faggots had any wisdom and long-term foresight, they would’ve known that the Knicks offered the better long-term situation than Miami. Miami is championship or bust in the next 3 years (he’s most likely going to have an out-clause after the 3rd year once they don’t win anything and he’s frustrated again). They’re cap pressed already and will be for the duration of those guys’ contracts.
See, given that they signed simultaneously and not staggered year after the next, the Heat’s cap situation isn’t going to get any better. They’ll only have a mid-level exception and have to hit 100% on their drafts in 2011 and 2012 for it to work (and hope that these supposedly NBA-ready 2010 picks pan out immediately).
Yes, there were IFs involved in coming to New York, but there are FAR more in Miami. The prospect of winning now is alluring and I can’t and won’t knock him for that. At the end of the day who really cares why he chose and where he went? It’s his decision and his future. But this whole thing was a PR nightmare, especially for the unbiased eye who will be objective enough to see through what was said and WASN’T said to see how full of shit everyone around LeBron and LeBron himself were about this. You have every right to leave Cleveland. But tell them that. Gilbert is an arrogant prick and I’m halfway glad this happened, because he was grand-standing like he just KNEW LeBron was staying no matter what. I loved seeing those press conferences last year and this year with him and his smug face making proclamations.
But LeBron shouldn’t have done it this way. You run the league. Do it the way you want to. Not the way your hack ass “marketing team” and “managers” tell you to.
There was NO NEED to go to Greenwich and have it at the B&G. Why? Stans speculated it was because of Carmelo’s wedding today — July 10 — here in New York. But LeBron has been in Miami ever since the announcement on Thursday night. Why use the charity angle to assuage the guilt and lessening the blow so people would say “well, he IS doing it for charity, after all, so lay off” (which is what they undoubtedly hoped people thought). CUT THEM A CHECK AND KEEP IT MOVING.
If it were me, I would’ve just said “too bad, I’m outta here” and not gave a fuck what people thought. The whole farce was constructed BECAUSE LeBron cares about how he’s perceived and it BACKFIRED, because now he has a whole state hating him for leaving and HOW he left, and the entire tri-state here (save for a few die-hard fans of his) who either were ambivalent and now hate him or were like me, liked watching him play, cynical and saw through the bullshit and am calling bullshit again with this — who are turning against him after being supportive for 7 years. Contrary to what people like you claim, I don’t hate him. Not even. I don’t WORSHIP him like the stans do, but I hate overhype for someone who hasn’t achieved anything, stars aligned or not. And before I even hear Kobe being brought up, that discussion can FOREVER be put to rest, now. No one is allowed to compare LeBron with him anymore. It wasn’t a viable argument before, anyway. LeBron is huge no homo. He’s 6’8″ 265 and faster than almost everyone in the league. Stature-wise, Kobe is built like 100 other guys in the NBA at 6’6″ 210. Kobe’s footwork is impeccable. Hell, Hakeem personally taught him some of the moves he uses and Jordan nods in approval at his pivot moves. LeBron does none of that. As a student of the game and a miniature version of the thinking-man’s player (I love using pivot moves, step-backs, Reggie Miller catch-and-shoots, triple threat, etc.) I give more credence to someone who does that better than anyone over someone who bulls over players and gets the benefit of the whistle 90% of the time. Across the board in terms of a polished game, Kobe is better. Notice I said POLISHED. People are in awe of LeBron’s athleticism, thundering dunks and mesmerizing antics on the court. Hell, I love ’em myself. But POLISHED is what Jordan was and POLISHED is what Kobe is. I watch LeBron to be entertained, I watch Kobe to see perfection on the court.
BUT ENOUGH OF THAT, this article has nothing to do with Bryant.
I woulda been fine with him going to CHI or even NJ (and would’ve understood the latter much more with his supposed ties to Jay). But to do this in my backyard, under a farcical façade and then not choose New York, well, you can’t expect me to jump on my arch-rival team’s bandwagon, can you?
It’s never been personal with me and that dude. If I saw him on the street, I’d give him pounds and I’m sure he’s cool (minus the yes men handlers of his). Just like Jay. I hate how Jay rigged the game and got tight that Harlem dudes was getting more shine on his label, so he undercut them and did spiteful shit in order to sabotage their success. But if I met Jay in person and even did business with him, all that would be put aside. Haters aren’t able to do that. So let’s get that straight once and for all.
I have to re-emphasize this several times in a column, why? Because even after reading it (if the people who comment first EVEN DO SO), people will still claim it. If you haven’t played, coached, refereed the game, and don’t know the history of the game down through the years and a purist, then why try to tell me what to think here?
At any rate, I’m not like some of the people who I’ve heard talk lately. Everywhere I’ve gone the past three days in the city, I hear people talking about it. This one guy was homicidal today when I was down by Wall Street. He was furious that LeBron didn’t come. Cavs fans and Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert have shown their asses ever since Thursday night. I’m embarrassed to be part of the same human race with such people. It wasn’t that serious. I didn’t hold candlelight vigil outside of Madison Square Garden hoping he would come and then flip out when he didn’t choose us. The Knicks have been at the bottom of the totem pole for New York fans for a decade. It was funny to see “taunts” on my Facebook and Twitter pages from fans of teams that have won exactly nothing — I might add — as if I was someplace whimpering in a corner or ready to jump off the ledge like Cleveland fans. I wasn’t. Far from it (in fact, I was tight about the MTA and its antics — which I will write about later tonight — more than LeBron could have EVER made me) You wanna know why I am ambivalent (now that the initial disappointment is over?)
I HAVE THE YANKEES AND GIANTS TO SUPPORT.
God bless and Good Night.