Mi-Mi-Mi-Miami World Order! 4 Life. (The Decision Wrap Up)
For the first time in the history of my writing on this site, I'm going to write a column and intersplice two things that really are like oil and water. Namely wrestling and basketball. Yes, I'm going to pull it off and here's how. Wrestling fans, remember July 1996? Bash At The Beach? Yeah, y'all know where I'm going with this.
This moment right here, is what we witnessed just 5 days ago. Under the guise of a charity sponsored 1 hour personal shill-a-thon, LeBron James dropped the leg on the throat of all his Witnesses in Cleveland as he joined "The Outsiders" in Miami. The New World Organization of Basketball is here. We wondered if the rumors were true, if LeBron really was the third guy or if it was just overly speculative crapola on the parts of Stephen A. Smith (who apparently reported this two weeks ago) and Chris Broussard, who apparently picked it up in the wee hours of Thursday morning and bolted with it. Then, at 9:28 PM EST when most all in Cleveland held out hope that their hero wasn't joining "The Outsiders" of Wade and Bosh...
BOOM! The Legdrop From South Beach. To paraphrase Schiavone, I guess this was premeditated all the way back to 2008 when they played together on the Redeem Team. Well, it was but as I've stated on this website ad nauseum, as I've tried to tell Ohioans for years...it was inevitable. I mean, of course Ohioans are naive enough to believe that Dan Gilbert's presentation of some Family Guyish thing mocking other teams would be enough to keep him "home". Of course Ohioans are pissed, but well, they're pissed at the wrong person. Instead of burning LeBron jerseys as some poor attempt at burning him an effigy, they need to be spewing venom at the guy who was quick to type up a jilted Bromantic letter cursing LeBron and calling him a quitter. Dan Gilbert's the one to blame for LeBron leaving.
Dan Gilbert's the guy who couldn't get Michael Redd.
He's the guy who couldn't get Amare Stoudemire.
He's the guy who disassembled the core of that 2007 team, rather than letting it grow.
But I guess I can't hold Ferry responsible, since Gilbert ran him a month ago. I guess we can't hold Brown responsible for being a regular season coach unable to handle playoff pressure. Newsflash for Gilbert, unless you can swing a deal to land a Top 20 PG, Byron Scott won't be much better than Mikey was.
Ironic bit for all of you to chew on though...
LeBron's announcement came 14 years to the DAY (yes, the exact DATE) that Hogan joined The Outsiders to form the New World Order. If you take a listen to Hogan's promo after the fact, you could say that it mirrors LeBron's interview in parts. LeBron made Gilbert richer than ever in Cleveland. LeBron eventually, got bigger than the city. But as you can pretty well guess, like Hogan said on July 7th, 1996, LeBron got bored. LeBron got bored with the sheep that were kissing his ass that called themselves "Witnesses" and the organization that catered to his every need. He did everything for the charities, he did everything for his city.
But at the end of the day, you look at how his departure was received. If it weren't for LeBron, Dan Gilbert would be the guy who ran a bunch of check cashing joints in Ohio that's residing over a crap franchise in Cleveland. If it weren't for LeBron, Cleveland would simply be that town where failure resides. Clevelanders were on Cloud 9 when LeBron was around and try as you might, you couldn't talk them down. LeBron was "King" and the Cavs were title contenders year in and year out, no matter what the roster really said. No matter what the playoffs proved year in and year out. Year in and year out, I tried to warn Ohioans what was coming and I was repeatedly laughed off. Called a hater and dismissed.
Now, I'm probably that guy nobody wanted to be right that in the end, was just that. RIGHT.
So now, they will attempt to rally around an angry owner and a new head coach who only does his best work with an exceptional point guard. Mo Williams, unfortunately, is not him. The Cavs had best hope the rest of the East falls into some kind of wormhole and that the Lakers fall like they did in 1986 unexpectedly, because a title's not forthcoming anytime in the near or even distant future. But in the end, the Cavs find themselves back at square one circa 2002 before LeBron came along. Sure, they'll get a few token nationally televised games when LeBron pops in...but beyond that, not much else.
But on Thursday night, I think folks finally understood that for every guy that gets put up on a pedestal without really doing much of anything to earn it...there's a guy who's quietly doing his part to earn it. Kevin Durant, under the guise of something called "quiet", signed a 5 year extension to stay in Oklahoma City. Now, here's one of the few places in America where you would actually find college sports propped up bigger than professional sports. Oklahoma City is probably one of the few places that makes Cleveland look like Shangri La by comparison. Durant's in the West. Where Kobe, Gasol and Artest run...oh my. His contract runs through what figures to be the remainder of Kobe's career and into the prime of Gasol's career. He could've ran to the East, but didn't. Why? Because he wants to topple Kobe. He wants to encourage others to join him in the Oh Kay Cee in the process.
We witnessed LeBron basically announce to the world...
"I am not "King". I'm turning my back on my homestate and I'm taking my talents to South Beach."
Well Prince, I never made that mistake of calling you "King" and I tried to warn others against doing so. I guess they'll listen to me now, won't they?