Same Bron Time, Same Bron Channel
Location: Somewhere in Greenwich, Connecticut
Occasion: LeBron James announcing his decision to play ??? for the 2010-2011 season and beyond.
I'm done with the letters and honestly, I think I'm just about done with all of this. Because apparently now, what LeBron said post Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals is set to come to fruition. Oh and I've got news for ya Cleveland, I don't think this story ends well for you at all. I've quietly held the notion that in horror flicks, if you show tits and you're a female, you're pretty much a done deal. For the last three weeks or so, New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Miami, Cleveland and the Clips have shown their "tits" to LeBron and his corporate crew. Tomorrow night, a little after 9 PM EST, we're going to witness five teams get gutted in unceremonious fashion. Oh, did I forget to mention the guarantee that LeBron's going to win at least three titles within the next five years or so? No?
Well, that's what he's saying in no uncertain terms. Because now, the stakes are even higher than before. I'm having a very difficult time believing all this is to announce he's going to Miami. I really am. I can't see how he stages this one hour presser to announce he's staying. If so, why not have it from the James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron where his camp was held, or his alma mater where he accepted his first MVP trophy two years ago? Right now, there are just three distinct possibilities for where LeBron goes and essentially, become the focal point of angst in Ohio that hasn't been seen in the history of EVER. Let me be clear here, if he goes to the Bulls, he's Public Enemy #1 for LIFE. You think Clevelanders have a hard on for Art Modell? That'll be NOTHING compared to the heat LeBron feels when he steps foot in Cleveland for the first time. It may mark the first time cops in riot gear are present to keep the peace. I'm uncertain what most would say if he travels to the Nets, going to the Knicks would hurt but I don't think it'd shock many given his propensity for being a Yankee fan.
When Michael Jordan was a free agent after the 1996 season, there was no one hour special to announce where he was going. He listened to offers, contemplated and then decided to stay in Chicago. Short and sweet. (Unless you were a Knicks fan, then it wasn't as sweet.) When Kobe became a free agent, there were flirtings by the Bulls, Knicks and Clips before he chose to stay put. No one hour special required, even if the proceeds of this glorified informercial went to the Boys & Girls Clubs. Apparently, a guy who has won a grand total of ZERO Finals games in his career deserves more than that. More than Wade, who was Finals MVP and much more than Kobe, who was an NBA Champion three times over when he was a free agent.
I've maintained that simply put, the Cavs have blown this about 8 ways from Sunday. If LeBron steps before a bank of microphones tomorrow and announces he's leaving, Dan Gilbert may want to think about relocating. Because as much as Cavalier fans want to hate LeBron for tearing their hearts out, perhaps some of that angst needs to be directed toward Gilbert for enabling Ferry to disassemble the team that made an unlikely and improbable run to the Finals in 2007. Actually, Gilbert does deserve a bulk of the blame, since he has gotten rid of everyone else who could fall on the grenade for him. Ferry quit, Brown was terminated just weeks after Cleveland's implosion was finalized in Boston.
Still, what LeBron needs to realize is that now moreso than any other point in his career, the stakes are higher than ever. He's basically telling the world, the Association and all folk in between that he is "The Man" or he will be once he gets a supporting cast around him. He's serving notice to the 29 other teams in the Association that next year, it's on like a pot of neckbones. If you're not running with him, then you're being run over by him and there are no two ways about it. Period, point blank. Because now, even with a number change, it's All Eyez On U, Bron. For your sake, regardless of destination, I hope you can get it done whereever you go and get it done WELL. Because anything short of that, whether it's a crushing 6 or 7 game defeat in the Finals, will not cut it. People will think back on tomorrow night, all the hooblah you brought that didn't need to be brought and use it against you.
So that said, never mind the cartoons from Cleveland and all that other crap. Because as Rasheed Wallace once said, "Ball Don't Lie". Your game from here on in needs to be talking LOUDER than anything you say tomorrow night after 9 PM. But not for nothing, let me cover the other signings here too albeit briefly at best.
Amare to the Knicks
- Well, he gets reunited with D'Antoni and not much more. That roster is barely bigger than Miami's, but one could argue the combined skill of Bosh and Wade easily trump what the Knicks have right now. Short of acquiring a point guard and someone seriously emerging as a major force, this gets the Knicks out of the cellar in the Atlantic and not much more.
Bosh and Wade in Miami
- Wade finally gets a suitable #2, Bosh will finally win a playoff series after years of mediocrity in Toronto. As great as this is, there's a problem. Who are the 8 to 9 others Wade and Bosh will call teammates next season?
Dirk and Pierce Stay Put
- Dirk, short of something miraculous, will end his career with just one Finals appearance on his resume. Pierce, with help, can retire with at least TWO titles on his to offset last season's crushing Game 7 meltdown. Dallas has talent, but they reside in the same neighborhood as the Lake Show, which is problematic and then some. Pierce and the Celts, with a returning Ray Allen (feasibly) and some help off the bench, should have ONE last run in them. Even with the Superpowers in Miami, Amare in NY and LeBron in ??? should be in great shape to have a good run back to the Finals in the East.
Duhon to Orlando
- Interesting, considering he wasn't bad for the Knicks a year ago. He gives them flexibility they didn't have at the PG spot behind Jameer, so that's always a great thing. Now they need to resign Redick and keep that team intact.
Durant Stays Put For 5 More Years
- Only increases the probability that Kenny Smith's proclamation comes true. Presti keeps his franchise piece in place for half a decade, can continue building around him. These are the heirs to the Lakers' throne out West. Watch em'.
But to close, it's ironic to a tee that LeBron will televise his decision from the very network that has enabled him from the word "go". They televised his high school games, they've all but coddled him throughout his career even when the Cavs weren't so hot. Now, they'll give him an hour to play to the masses and elate one fanbase while devastating five more including possibly his homestate team to boot. Lights, camera, action.
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