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B-BALL*LI
07-10-2010, 10:46 PM
They ended up with that split-screen of the King’s jersey burned live on his infomercial, as this sad, lost robot sat in a leafy suburban gymnasium with children as props and the world watching, those empty eyes masking a lost, dazed LeBron James(notes). This was the champagne shower for the Championship of Me, an exercise in self-aggrandizement and self-loathing that will have far-reaching implications for the NBA and James. What a spectacle, what a train wreck.



Cleveland fans were left feeling jilted after LeBron James abandoned them via national TV.

(AP Photo)
As the worst idea in the history of marketing unfolded, James looked trapped somewhere between despondence and defiance. His bumbling buddy Maverick Carter had walked him into the public execution of his legacy, his image, and there was a part of James that clearly wished he could turn back through the doors and hide. Only, it was too late. No going back now. James goes to the Miami Heat, Cleveland goes into a basketball Hades and LeBron’s legacy becomes that of a callous carpetbagger.

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More NBA Videos More on LeBron JamesCavs owner's explosive letter to fans Warren Buffett to LeBron James: 'Call me' More From Adrian WojnarowskiState of LeBron: Live at 9, from his ego Jul 7, 2010 NBA stars know they better bank money now Jul 6, 2010 “His brand is [bleep] now,” one high-level NBA official said late Thursday. “He’s destroyed everything.”

The Championship of Me became the Championship of Flee, because LeBron James doesn’t believe he can be the centerpiece of a title team. He needed Dwyane Wade, a closer, far more than Wade needed him.

Yes, he’s ruined everything. What a wonderful idea: Divorce your childhood sweetheart on national television and tell her, hey, I’ll let you keep the “We are all Witnesses” billboards lording over downtown Cleveland.

“I’m taking my talents to South Beach,” James said, and it was like time stopped because – even for him – this was a moment so devoid of reality and free of concern of consequences. South Beach? He wasn’t picking a basketball team as much as a party. He’s 25 years old, and yet somehow this felt like a cloistered teenager picking a party school for college.

Yes, James will take his talent to South Beach and leave his soul in Cleveland. His hometown won’t hate him as much for leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers as for the way he left them. Leaving never would’ve been easy, but he went out of his way to humiliate them. LeBron James can never go home now. He’s the Browns leaving town, The Fumble, The Shot, all rolled into one colossal disappointment.

Now, Clevelanders truly see it for themselves: He was a fan of the Cowboys, the Yankees – never the Browns and Indians. He was a frontrunner, and he just made the most frontrunner move in the history of the NBA. Off to Miami with Riles, D-Wade and Chris Bosh(notes).

New York would’ve been hard, and maybe Cleveland would’ve been the hardest. With those state tax laws in Florida, he isn’t taking less money with the Heat. He’s just taking less risk and less burden in his championship chase.

“This whole idea that he makes his own decisions, that [bleep] went out the window with this,” one NBA executive said. “Someday, he’s going to look back at this and not believe that he let those kids at LRMR talk him into doing this. This idea that he’s his own man … Come on, he’s a follower. And he’s following all the way to Miami now.”

This was the train rolling down the tracks from miles and miles away, and James never saw it coming. He should lose his obsession to become the richest athlete ever, because the people surrounding LeBron James are much more likely to leave him broke than a billionaire. Someday, he will fire his business manager Maverick Carter for turning the two-time MVP’s free-agent moment into Geraldo and Al Capone’s vault. Carter used the cover of charity for a historically horrible event and completely destroyed the credibility of his client.

So now people are cheering Dan Gilbert’s manifesto tearing apart James, but no one contributed more to what the world witnessed on Thursday night than the owner’s enabling of James and his inner circle for seven years. Gilbert is the biggest con going, a man who makes his fortune peddling mortgages, and he’ll make his next on casinos in downtown Cleveland. He sells illusions for a living, and now he’s selling the biggest of all: that he’s a victim here, that James betrayed everyone. That’s a lie, and no one ought to dare buy it.

Everyone searching for a scapegoat here – Mike Brown, Danny Ferry, Delonte West(notes) – well, just understand that it was the man screaming loudest with LeBron out the door, the man most determined to deflect blame onto him now.


Cavs owner Dan Gilbert called LeBron James' decision to leave a "cowardly betrayal."

(AP Photo)
Now, Gilbert is the tough guy with James leaving the Cavs behind? Listen, Ferry and Brown always warned Gilbert that giving James everything he wanted – giving it when and where and how – wouldn’t be the way they would keep him. LeBron didn’t respect them because they never demanded it.

Gilbert always believed he should do everything James wanted – hire his buddies into jobs, throw them on summer-league rosters, allow him to do those stupid pregame choreographed dances – that James would love him, that he would never leave. Only, James is a taker, and he took and took until he had bled Gilbert and that franchise to the bone.

So now, Gilbert unleashes the most revisionist and self-serving screed that a scorned owner’s ever done. Gilbert is a bully and a baby. As much as James, Gilbert revealed himself, too. He asked for this humiliation and deserves it. Only those fans in Cleveland don’t deserve this. They were loyal, true, and ultimately they must know Gilbert lashed out to make James the villain for a most self-serving reason: to avoid the blame himself. Damn right James quit on the Cavaliers in that playoff series, but that was because Gilbert was always there to make it easy for him. All those times Ferry and Brown warned the owner they had to make stands with James, that they had to force him to have some level of respect within that organization or there would be an ultimate price to pay.

And here it came on Thursday night, in this bizarre, sad set-up that turned LeBron James into a caricature. His puppet seems more human than him. Listen, James’ people tried to leak this story to soften the blow on Cleveland, but here was the problem: He’s so insincere, and they’re so over their heads, that most of us were uneasy with believing what they were selling in the hours leading up to Jim Gray holding everyone hostage. There had to be an agenda, a bait-and-switch, and yet source after source within LeBron’s world insisted: He’s leaving. He wants out. They had been doing this for weeks, even months. So, armed with that knowledge, why would they ever stage this event to rub it in the face of James’ hometown? Lots of stars have moved on, but never one that had such a unique history with a town, a city, a franchise.

We kept writing it with qualifiers because deep down a lot of us doubted his courage to leave that cocoon. He would make Cleveland feel like it had lost him, and then swoop back into town and be celebrated all over again. Only, LeBron’s people were telling the truth. He was gone. He was always gone. He never considered staying, and that’s the most frightening part of all.

For the hand-wringing out of Gilbert and James’ apologists who protected him – and who would still be protecting him had he simply said, “Cleveland,” on Thursday night – they need to stop with this nonsense that somehow LeBron James has transformed into someone else. This is him, and it’s always been him. He’s a creation of our times, of an industry and system that wants to manufacture the next M.J. at the expense of a young man having a sense of himself.

So there was LeBron James, the MVP, the man of the hour, sitting in the middle of his own “Truman Show” on Thursday night. His personal network ran his commercials and celebrated his greatness and let him hijack a platform to build his brand and break hearts. He can never go home again now, and he can never completely rebuild what he let his cast of buddies talk him into losing that night. He’s taking his talents to South Beach, and the kid going away for the first time will have some party down there. After all these years, it was clear he had been coddled and protected and ultimately prepared to do one thing: Take the easy way out. Wherever he was going, he looked conflicted, lost and completely confused.

What a spectacle, what a train wreck.

What a shame.





--he is right on with the whole peice

Swashcuff
07-10-2010, 10:47 PM
thread fail

only LeBron haters give a **** what this guy has to say

Cromedome
07-10-2010, 10:49 PM
thread fail

only LeBron haters give a **** what this guy has to say

That's pretty ignorant, "bruh".

B-BALL*LI
07-10-2010, 10:50 PM
thread fail

only LeBron haters give a **** what this guy has to say

I'm not hating , it just it was it is

Swashcuff
07-10-2010, 10:50 PM
That's pretty ignorant, "bruh".

its the truth "bruh"

hugepatsfan
07-10-2010, 10:52 PM
Good piece. I think it totally sums up the situation between him and CLE. Especially the part about enabling LBJ. The Celtics radio announce did a show and said that whenever he asked a CLE employee what the backup plan was if LBJ left, they looked at him like he had 10 heads. They were so wrapped up in the hometown stuff that they refued to plan for it, because thye refused to believe he would desert them.

still1ballin
07-10-2010, 10:54 PM
bruh

Sofnr
07-10-2010, 10:58 PM
Great Article

Swashcuff
07-10-2010, 10:59 PM
bruh

69centers
07-10-2010, 11:01 PM
thread fail

only LeBron haters give a **** what this guy has to say

Is it your point in life to defend Lebron in every PSD thread? For a Sixers fan, you sure do love the Heat's new acquisition.

Swashcuff
07-10-2010, 11:03 PM
Is it your point in life to defend Lebron in every PSD thread? For a Sixers fan, you sure do love the Heat's new acquisition.

i don't love the acquisition by any means I wanted him to stay in cle or go to chi but i am hating the hate... the guy made a decision live with it and move on. Next season we'll see if it was the right one.

This hate is beyond ridiculous.

69centers
07-10-2010, 11:06 PM
i don't love the acquisition by any means I wanted him to stay in cle or go to chi but i am hating the hate... the guy made a decision live with it and move on. Next season we'll see if it was the right one.

This hate is beyond ridiculous.

Well, I don't hate him. I just think he made a poor choice. My one main gripe was I don't know if he really thought about how injury prone Wade is, and how he and Bosh can make it with the rest of the team for any time Wade is out in the future. Also, what I do hate is (see my other thread) how he went about his decision (Bosh and Wade were fine with just letting the news leak out as normal) and how the media (especially ESPN) is handling it.

B-BALL*LI
07-10-2010, 11:06 PM
The thing is i still love to watch him play, he will go down as one of the greatest, just not in the same class as kobe, jordan, duncan, olajuwan, shaq, thomas. These are the greats of my time that ive seen play. true champions. No they didnt do it by themselves but they made gasol, pippen, parker, horry what they were.

it's not that im a disgruntaled knick fan either, i though he was going to the bulls

Swashcuff
07-10-2010, 11:17 PM
Well, I don't hate him. I just think he made a poor choice. My one main gripe was I don't know if he really thought about how injury prone Wade is, and how he and Bosh can make it with the rest of the team for any time Wade is out in the future. Also, what I do hate is (see my other thread) how he went about his decision (Bosh and Wade were fine with just letting the news leak out as normal) and how the media (especially ESPN) is handling it.

agreed.

Bryrob58
07-10-2010, 11:25 PM
Swashcuff, why?

People would hate LeBron any way he left, but making a televised program to stroke his ego is what makes this the most arrogant spectacle in recent history, possibly all time. If LeBron would have just signed his contract, had reporters at a press conference, just like all other free agents sign with teams, nobody would hate this much.

I can't stand LeBron and his whole "decision", he is an attention whore. He can "continue to be great in Miami" all he wants, but don't stick a knife in your hometowns back while you leave.

Wojo is 100% right in all of his statements, and I personally feel sorry for all Cavs fans.

But nothing I've said here is anything new so I'm sure this thread will just go like all the others... Whatever I'm done with all this LeBron *****.

Shark
07-10-2010, 11:29 PM
Well, I don't hate him. I just think he made a poor choice. My one main gripe was I don't know if he really thought about how injury prone Wade is, and how he and Bosh can make it with the rest of the team for any time Wade is out in the future. Also, what I do hate is (see my other thread) how he went about his decision (Bosh and Wade were fine with just letting the news leak out as normal) and how the media (especially ESPN) is handling it.

Lol Wade isnt the only injury prone player, Bosh is just as bad. His knees are weak. Now he's going to be on his knees giving it to LeBron and Wade every night since he could never live up to his hype of being a "superstar"

thescore53
07-10-2010, 11:34 PM
bruh

RaiderLakersA's
07-10-2010, 11:42 PM
"This is him, and it’s always been him. He’s a creation of our times, of an industry and system that wants to manufacture the next M.J. at the expense of a young man having a sense of himself."

Without getting into the "LeBron Hater or Rationalist/Apologist" deal, I will say that was some excellent writing.

tribalpinoy
07-10-2010, 11:43 PM
He was always an overhyped spoiled little BETCH even when he was in Cleveland and I'm glad that most everyone now sees it................................Bruh

Bryrob58
07-10-2010, 11:47 PM
He was a overhyped BEEETCH in Cleveland and I'm glad that most everyone now sees it.

Overhyped? I've hated on Bron pretty hard but he exceeded all expectations, and that's amazing considering he was expected to be the face of the NBA when he was in HS. He has been, and will be. the best SF in the league, regardless of how many points KD throws up per night. BTW I love the Durantula.

Hiphopopotamus
07-10-2010, 11:53 PM
The sad/funny thing is that he wanted to be the best, the G.O.A.T, now even if they win a bunch and pass Kobe's championship total, he will always have one less than Wade. Congrats Lebron

G-Menfan4lyfe
07-11-2010, 12:15 AM
I don't care what anyone has to say really.... Haters gonna hate, lovers gonna love...I don't even want, none of the above, I want to piss on you....... Yes I do.....Yes I do

EaglesJackson10
07-11-2010, 12:15 AM
i don't love the acquisition by any means I wanted him to stay in cle or go to chi but i am hating the hate... the guy made a decision live with it and move on. Next season we'll see if it was the right one.

This hate is beyond ridiculous.

The hate is not ridiculous people are allowed to hate who they want. People hate him for having that press conference and the fashion in which he left Cleveland. He **** on those people with that special or whatever hell that ******** was. Dan Gilbert said it best it was Narcissistic and Self Promotional. He didn't even thank Cleveland once. He acted like they owed him something, when he won nothing for them and they made him what he is today. The guy is arrogant, he has a huge sense of entitlement, and the hate is completely justified.

EaglesJackson10
07-11-2010, 12:18 AM
Overhyped? I've hated on Bron pretty hard but he exceeded all expectations, and that's amazing considering he was expected to be the face of the NBA when he was in HS. He has been, and will be. the best SF in the league, regardless of how many points KD throws up per night. BTW I love the Durantula.

So the next Michael Jordan and face of the league has exceeded all expectations by not winning anything and quitting on his teams in the playoffs.

Venomous88
07-11-2010, 01:28 AM
I agree, but not with everything