This is ridiculous. The world has lost its damn mind.
I was all ready to write a calm, reasoned column explaining how I respected the opinion of the people, especially those from Cleveland, who were mad at LeBron for going to Miami, and for doing it the way he did. (There has been so much animosity, the conference should have been sponsored by Haterade, not Vitamin Water. Am I right! I’ll be here all week.) I can’t do that anymore. I have been pushed over the top.
For what it’s worth, I have been baffled by all the hate slung at James for the way he has left the Cavs. He had every right to go, and the way that he did it is justified if you take a look at it, but I’ll get into that later. Right now you are probably either looking for the URL that you wanted to go to because you are sick of having LeBron James’s free agency in front of you 24/7, or else you are wondering what pushed me over the top.
I could take the hype, and even the anger, which I disagreed with, but Dan Gilbert’s open letter to the fans of the Cavilers was too much for me. I would link it for you so that you could make your own judgments, but I don’t want something that insanely juvenile, petty, bitter, and just plain stupid (written by one of the guys who made this happen, no less) to be linked to my website. Google it if you want to read the whole thing. Instead, here are some excerpts, which I will waste 2 minutes of my life cutting and pasting that into this word document, changing the font that Gilbert stole from the Sunday comics, and telling Word to ignore the run on sentences written by this imbecile who somehow got enough money to own an NBA team, and then break down for you.
“This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.”
HOLY CRAP! SOMEONE CALL THE NEW YORK TIMES! NO! CNN! NO! TMZ! NO, 911! DEAR LORD, JUST CALL SOMEONE! A professional athlete who makes most of his money off of his name was being self promotional! A guy who has been told that he was the best in the world since he was 18, and rightly so, was a little bit full of himself! Kudos to Gilbert, though, for (mis)using quotation marks around ‘witnessed’ and ‘decision,’ because…actually I can’t think of a single reason why he did that. To mock LeBron I guess. You can take the only appeal that Gilbert’s franchise will ever have, but you can’t take his punctuation. Take that, “King!”
“The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.”
Instead, we will put out a terrible team around the best player in the NBA who fell into our lap, fire our coach and GM heading into the biggest offseason in the history of basketball, completely botching it and running said player out of town. You’re welcome.
(This is me ignoring ‘nor NEVER will betray you’ – his sic, by the way. There is so much here to make fun of that I’m not even going to waste words on that particular irony.)
“There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.”
They will be communicating much of that to you. But not all of it. They are going to leave out the “we effed up massively, and now have no idea where we are going. Let’s hope the 2011, 2012 and 2013 drafts have someone who can be the best player in the league for 5 years on our team. I bet we could build a championship around that…wait, never mind” part.
“You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.”
He has a point here, moving the Browns to Baltimore was pretty messed up. What’s that? He is talking about LeBron going to Miami where he has an actual chance to win? Yeah, never mind.
““I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”
You can take it to the bank.”
Come on, Dan. The rust belt is depressed enough as it is. Now you are going to tell us that the juggernaut you are building around Anderson Varejao is going to win a title before LeBron and Dwyane Wade? Fine, take it to the bank. Or the casino, because banks don’t actually take bets. Or take it to me. Hear that Cleveland. Take this bet to me. I will give you great odds.
“If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland…
Ok, but what if I thought you were a terrible ownership group who wouldn’t fire a bad GM, and was basically winning and selling out because they happened to get the number one pick in the best draft of the last 20 years? What then?
…I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.”
True. You could tell me that. And I could tell you that getting a C in physics has motivated me to become an engineer. The fact that I can tell you it doesn’t make it any less of an irrelevant non-sequitur.
As for LeBron’s shameful display of selfishness and betrayal, I really don’t think we can blame him. This free agency summer has been hyped since like 2006, and not because of David Lee’s potential walking situation. What a jackass LeBron is for using that hype to raise millions for the Boys and Girls club. Why couldn’t he just have signed the contract and moved on? It would have saved the University of Phoenix so much!
(One more aside…everything is relative, so I’m assuming he means levels never before seen in Cleveland when he says this has ‘shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.’ Unfortunately, even if he isn’t lying, and he is, that still probably means that likely means that he will give a little bit of a crap, instead of not giving a crap at all and letting LeBron carry the team to 50 wins a year.)
“Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there…”
That quote probably looks confusing out of context. You probably know what it means, but think that it looks weird when standing alone, leading you to wonder how he set it up. Unfortunately, it looks just as weird in context, since it is sitting alone, seemingly at random, right below the last quote. Something that does NOT make sense.
“Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.”
Wait, that is how it works? I can’t tell with the modifier in lower case like that. Let me read it again….
Oh, okay, that is NOT how it works. Glad we cleared that up.
“This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.”
Yeah. Never leave for an opportunity where you can actually accomplish your goals.
Since I don’t have anything to add to that sentence, and the ‘think of the children’ BS basically makes fun of itself, allow me to digress. I thought that LeBron wasn’t good enough to win with two all-stars. You even guaranteed that your crappy franchise was going to win one first. So why are you so pissed? Are you going to be this pissed when Jamario Moon leaves? Or is this just how you react when guys sign with other teams? Maybe he did the same thing when Devin Brown signed with the Hornets, only no one cared.
“But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.”
Yeah, that is good news…wait, what? Forget ‘Open Letter to Fans,’ this should just have been called ‘Rich guy goes crazy with constant stream of non-sequiturs.’
(Just for fun though, if it is only a so called curse, why does it need an antidote, and even if so called things need solutions, wouldn’t an antidote be better for a so called poison? Wouldn’t he want a so called counter curse or a so called witch doctor or something? Forget CNN, TMZ, 911 and the New York Times, someone call JK Rowling. And by the way, is that really all that it can serve to do? If there is a curse, wouldn’t it serve to be an example of said curse, or to further it?)
“The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.”
James needs to ‘do right’ by Cleveland and Ohio. He should say he feels terrible, making himself available for a 45 minute interview explaining his decision to the world. And the USA. And Ohio. And Cleveland.
Also, I watched the entire interview, and I missed the point when LeBron decided that he was giving up the nickname that SLAM Magazine gave him, and declared himself the ‘former king.’ Anyways, it is a good gesture of humility by him to take away that title and leave it in Cleveland, all though it is probably overly gracious of him to take the curse, which doesn’t actually exist if I understand the meaning of the phrase ‘so called.’
God, my head is spinning. I can’t take that much stupidity.
Anyways, Gilbert is just one example. Everyone from my friends to my favorite writers seems to be freaking out at this kick in the teeth that LeBron supposedly delivered to our nation. Maybe I am just over caring about selfish athletes (I am wearing a Dany Heatley t-shirt right now), but what LeBron did doesn’t seem that bad. He had every right to leave. We want him to care about winning, and right or not he went where he thinks he can. He took the time to explain himself, thanked the fans, and expressed how hard it was to leave. Isn’t that all we can ask for from a leaving player? And he did all of it raising money for a worthy cause. So what if he stroked his ego a little bit in doing so.
I’m willing to hear reasons if you want to tell me I’m wrong, just try to do a better job explaining it than Dan Gilbert did.