FanDuel - WFBC

July 08, 2010

LeBron Chooses Miami: In a live national broadcast unlike any other in free agent history, LeBron James announced that he's chosen to join Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade and play for the Miami Heat. "As of now, the Heat must fill the roster with seven minimum-salary contracts," reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

posted by lampshade to basketball at 09:33 PM - 162 comments

(fixed the title)

posted by lampshade at 02:38 PM on July 07

Yeah, well it appears that Bosh has decided to go to Miami to join forces with D-Wade. So one storyline to this FA saga is now over.

posted by Spitztengle at 02:41 PM on July 07

I think ESPN said it was going to be a one-hour special.

posted by bperk at 03:00 PM on July 07

a one-hour special

Show maybe, but not that special.

posted by graymatters at 03:03 PM on July 07

Its going to take LeBron 60 minutes to make this announcement?

posted by yzelda4045 at 03:09 PM on July 07

Without Bosh as a potential to Chicago, I can't really see Lebron making a go at anywhere but Cleveland now. Le sigh.

posted by charlatan at 03:12 PM on July 07

Don't forget the very important 3 hour Sportscenter preceding the show.

posted by yerfatma at 03:21 PM on July 07

This is going to be great. 60 minutes of television means that he can eliminate a team every 2 minutes on average. ESPN should bring in all 30 GMs to be voted off in person, and come with an elimination catchphrase for LeBron to say.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:22 PM on July 07

Looks like I'll be checking SpoFi at 10:00PM to find out his decision.

The Pistons are still in the running right?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:23 PM on July 07

Ok so no news and yet a front page post? Just like ESPN around here. Wake me when the clown show is over

posted by scully at 03:25 PM on July 07

They're going to have a clown show too? I'm so there. Will it be the Knicks or the Clippers sponsoring?

posted by yerfatma at 03:33 PM on July 07

And here I am looking for the back page postings...

posted by yzelda4045 at 03:41 PM on July 07

The whole thing reeks of arrogance, fed by the media for sure but I'm losing interest in the man-child with each passing day. And I'm thrilled that D Wade and Bosh made their decision independent of James and stole some of his thunder by going public today (or is that just wishful thinking?).

So what will Lebron do to justify the wait? If he stays in Cleveland, or makes a predictable move to somewhere like Chicago, will anyone be surprised? If he goes to Miami, won't he be perceived as following his friends rather than leading the way?

Will it be the Knicks or the Clippers sponsoring (the clown show)?

At this point I certainly hope it's one of these two. Anything else would be disappointing.

posted by MW12 at 04:01 PM on July 07

Hour long show for a 5 minute announcement. What a tool.

I don't think the question is so much where he goes but who he joins up with. If he stays in Cleveland the story really is who is going to Cleveland to join him. If he leaves to what roster will he be added. In the end he still needs to have a team around him with a potential to be a contender. If he does not go to Miami (which I doubt) who gets added to the Cavs roster to help him or who does he hook up with in New York or NJ that would be better than the Cavs with a new coach.

I really have a hard time understanding why he believes he cannot win in Cleveland when they had the best record in the league last year and with a little help have as good a chance as most of the other teams he is considering. I am beginning to think he is just not a winner and is now looking to ride the coat tails of a couple of other top players just for a ring. If he is half the player he thinks he is, then with a little help in the way of one more top player he should be good enough to bring a title to Cleveland.

Making it happen with his team the Cavs is the only way to prove his greatness, not chasing top teams with the hopes of winding up on a champion. I mean the Lakers can do it without him twice, Kobe and Shaq did it, Duane Wade and Shaq did it. When he had his chance with Shaq not even close. Maybe he can just get one more top player to come to Cleveland but it seems he is using Cleveland as the excuse when maybe Cleveland should be using Lebron as the excuse why they just can't get over the top when they had clearly one of the best regular season teams.

Lebron is a great player but maybe not a champion. Kobe is clearly a great player and also a champion. When the Lakers were dismantled he was part of rebuilding a championship team. He hung in there and deserves the credit for a couple of championships. Lebron just won't be in the same league as Jordan, Kobe, Magic, Bird etc. if he has to chase teams to find his title.

posted by Atheist at 04:11 PM on July 07

Hour long show for a 5 minute announcement. What a tool.

Tough to say who's behind it though, Lebron or ESPN.

Lebron is a great player but maybe not a champion. Kobe is clearly a great player and also a champion.

This is a essentially a tautology. Which of those Laker championships do you think would not have happened if you replaced Kobe with Lebron?

When the Lakers were dismantled he was part of rebuilding a championship team. He hung in there

Well, except for being a big baby and demanding a trade. And that was after he decided LA wasn't big enough for him and Shaq and forced LA to decide between the two. But other than that, your version of events sounds right.

posted by yerfatma at 04:28 PM on July 07

I remember when Michael Jordan came out of retirement and simply faxed over a statement to all media outlets with 2 words: I'm Back! The good ol' days.

Then again, maybe it was because texting, Twitter, Facebook or MySpace wasn't around as of yet.

I'm getting a little tired of all this melodrama concerning free agency but I'll be watching.

Wake me when the clown show is over

They're going to have a clown show too? I'm so there.

I'm with Fatty, count me in as long as there's funnel cake.

posted by BornIcon at 04:51 PM on July 07

I wonder what Curt Flood would say about all of this?

posted by Spitztengle at 05:24 PM on July 07

Compare and contrast with: Kevin Durant.

posted by yerfatma at 05:36 PM on July 07

Oh god - if Bosh signs outright with Miami, the Raptors are wicked fucked. Wicked.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:45 PM on July 07

Compare and contrast with: Kevin Durant

I'd take Durant in a heartbeat. Just seems to be much less of a "me me me" guy both on and off the court, he's the opposite of both Kobe and LJ.

When the Lakers were dismantled he was part of rebuilding a championship team

It was because of Kobe's demands that the Lakers had to be dismantled (he was the key player in Miami Heat's championship as well).

The term "great player" to me means someone who not only has individual talent but helps his teams be better. Kobe has never had any focus on anything but himself, further enforced by a teammate once again in graphic detail this spring with Artest's famous "Kobe passed me the ball !!" amazement.

The jury is still out on LJ. He hasn't cashed in his on-court opportunities yet, but he's never had the supporting cast that Kobe has had.

posted by cixelsyd at 06:05 PM on July 07

And that was after he decided LA wasn't big enough for him and Shaq and forced LA to decide between the two.

That never happened. Shaq's trade was Jerry Buss' decision after Shaq shouted "Pay me or trade me, motherfucker" at Buss at the Lakers training camp in Hawaii.

So Buss traded him. Clearly the right move in the long run.

posted by cjets at 06:06 PM on July 07

I am reminded of Randy Moss and Junior Seau who both were great players that never won Superbowls. So in search of that ever elusive title, they sell their services to the New England Patriots a team that on paper should win them a championship. Their first season with the Pats the team looks awsome and goes undefeated all the way to the Superbowl. Of course while they were sizing up their rings the Giants had other ideas, and in the end they did not get their rings. So much for trying to get traded to a winner.

I hope Lebron goes to another team, the Cavs use the money saved to land two good free agents, and then win a title without Lebron, while Lebron blames his lack of a ring on the fact that his new team did not do enough to win.

I really see the best option for Lebron is to stay where he is get one more really good player to help and win a championship for Cleveland, which will cement his place in history and be so much more rewarding in the end. With any other team should a title come it won't get him nearly as much credit.

He could go to the Lakers sit on the bench and probably wind up with a ring but will he really get the credit? Some players lead teams to championships through adversity, others just get on the right team. That is why Luke Walton, or Derek Fisher may have rings but Kobe is considered to have led those teams to championships. If Lebron wants that kind of credit he has to earn it. If he wants to go to Miami and play with Bosch and Wade well even if they get a ring how can it have the same impact as Lebron doing it in Cleveland.

My whole problem with LJ is that Cleveland has done whatever they can to surround him with a capable cast. They have gotten closer than Miami or New York or Chicago in the last couple of years. The reason they have fallen short may have something to do with Lebron. After this years dismal playoff performance in which Cav coaching was less than desirable, and LJ himself did not play well or inspired how can you try to jump from a team with the best record to something unproven to avoid taking your share of the blame?

Is it possible that Lebron is a just a great player but not a great leader?
Is it possible that the reason Kobe, Jordan, Magic, Bird, Pierce and other got rings is that they were both great players and great inspiration to their teammates causing them to play better when it really counts to get the titles.

posted by Atheist at 06:07 PM on July 07

Kobe has never had any focus on anything but himself, further enforced by a teammate once again in graphic detail this spring with Artest's famous "Kobe passed me the ball !!" amazement.

Have you watched Artest play? His defense intensity is only matched by his poor shot selection.

Kobe is the reason the Lakers are World Champions two years running and are the favorite to win it again. But you Kobe haters just don't get it.

posted by cjets at 06:10 PM on July 07

Oh god - if Bosh signs outright with Miami, the Raptors are wicked fucked. Wicked.

Is it possible for the Raptors to be more wicked fucked than they already are?

The best scenario I heard of was some sign and trade thingy where TO gets Anderson Varejao from Cleveland ... that would be some lineup adding Varejao to the Turkododo, Bargnani, and Calderon triangle of power.

Bosh deserves a chance to play somewhere with a team that actually wants to compete.

posted by cixelsyd at 06:11 PM on July 07

My problem is with this front page post for no fucking news. When something happens post. When it doesn't, don't. Seriously. It is bad enough when ESPN does this shit, let's rise above it.

posted by scully at 06:12 PM on July 07

poor shot selection

I have watched Artest play and know the Lakers don't beat the Celtics this year without him.

It also would seem any Laker shot not taken by Kobe is "poor shot selection", even when Kobe is 2 for 17.

posted by cixelsyd at 06:19 PM on July 07

It's useless to argue with someone so close-minded. If back to back rings and playoff MVP trophies don't convince you, then nothing I say will either.

posted by cjets at 06:22 PM on July 07

......the Lakers are World Champions two years running

The Lakers are N.B.A. champs, not World Champions.

posted by tommytrump at 06:30 PM on July 07

My problem is with this front page post for no fucking news. When something happens post. When it doesn't, don't. Seriously. It is bad enough when ESPN does this shit, let's rise above it.

I think it is a perfectly legitimate post. I'd know nothing of the announcement without this post. Besides, it has certainly fostered more discussion than anything else posted today.

Rcade's tendency to stealth edit has also led me to believe that this will eventually become an announcement about where James signed.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:30 PM on July 07

Since somebody mentioned Jordan- do you think LeBron is going to hold this press conference to announce that he plans on taking a shot at baseball?

posted by tahoemoj at 06:48 PM on July 07

If this doesn't say it all about Lebron...

Norby Williamson, ESPN's vice president of production, said that announcement will come during the first 10 minutes of Thursday night's hourlong broadcast. Sportscaster Jim Gray will handle the introduction, announcement and questions. Williamson said Gray was hand-picked by James' team, who approached the network last week about the special.

Posted here.

posted by MW12 at 07:03 PM on July 07

My problem is with this front page post for no fucking news. When something happens post. When it doesn't, don't. Seriously. It is bad enough when ESPN does this shit, let's rise above it.

So your saying there's no clowns? Thanks, you made my little friend cry.

posted by billsaysthis at 07:26 PM on July 07

There will be clowns, just not the kind you want. Unless you mean the people that will actually watch this cr@p.

posted by graymatters at 07:43 PM on July 07

Paul the clairvoyant German octopus could have the LeBron charade all sorted out in two minutes and save us all a wasted hour of life on earth tomorrow evening and we could put this behind us and get on with our lives.

It would be worth whatever Paul cares to charge for his services. I'd be willing to kick in two thousand (s)quid.

posted by beaverboard at 08:15 PM on July 07

New England Patriots a team that on paper should win them a championship. Their first season with the Pats the team looks awsome and goes undefeated all the way to the Superbowl. Of course while they were sizing up their rings the Giants had other ideas, and in the end they did not get their rings. So much for trying to get traded to a winner.

"The plural of anecdote is not data." Why not use Gary Paton and Karl Malone joining the Lakers as your example? The Patriots' 2007 season, however it may have ended, doesn't seem to argue against good veterans joining already talented teams.

posted by yerfatma at 08:40 PM on July 07

LeBron to Knicks?

posted by yerfatma at 09:10 PM on July 07

Bosh deserves a chance to play somewhere with a team that actually wants to compete.

I think you're confusing ambition with stupidity. They want to compete. They just suck at it. We're back to square zero again. Have to draft another Carter (on second thought - no), McGrady, or Bosh. Who's looking like a potential 2011 No. 1 overall pick these days? The Raptors will undoubtedly be in the hunt for that guy.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:52 PM on July 07

My problem is with this front page post for no fucking news. When something happens post. When it doesn't, don't.

On one hand, there is no news.

On the other, there has never been an athlete with so much ego and/or marketing genius to turn his free agency decision into a primetime TV show. That seems like news to me.

My guess is that LeBron will shock the world and sign with the Maccabi Haifa Heat.

posted by rcade at 11:18 PM on July 07

The beaches in Haifa are pretty sweet...

posted by The_Black_Hand at 12:23 AM on July 08

FiveThirtyEight has an interesting take.

posted by geekyguy at 01:55 AM on July 08

LeBron to Knicks?

Or maybe the Heat?

posted by tron7 at 03:03 AM on July 08

"So LeBron, who are you going to sign with?"

"I'm following my heart and signing with..... The Cleveland Browns!"

posted by apoch at 04:55 AM on July 08

From a Dan Patrick Show tweet:

"Jim Gray told us that he pitched the 1-hour announcement special idea to Maverick Carter and LeBron James during game 2 of the NBA Finals."

posted by NoMich at 10:13 AM on July 08

Just another reason to hate Jim Gray. Now I need a second piece of paper for that list.

posted by yerfatma at 10:40 AM on July 08

yerfatma - I wasn't making an argument for talented players not to sign with talented teams. My argument was - chasing a different team no matter how talented is no more of a guarantee for a ring than say in Lebrons case, just staying where you are and making it happen there. It is not like he is leaving a last place, no talent team. He is leaving the team with the best record in the NBA last year and a play off contender the last two years. Yes they need some coaching help and another top player, but they are as close as any of the other teams he is considering. Since all the teams he is considering need help to get over the hump, why not work with the Cavs to get help, stay home, be a hero and do it in Cleveland.

I am no fan of Cleveland but I just think Lebron James' legacy will wind up so much sweeter if he stays and helps make it happen in a city that is his home and that really needs it. I would have said he was staying but since all the good free agents have already committed to other citites, it does not look at this time that there is any help available to go to Cleveland. Who can balme them, I mean a choice of being rich in Cleveland or being rich in Miami, New York or Chicago, is pretty simple. My current feeling is that D. Wade and others want to play with Lebron but don't want to move to Cleveland and therefore LB is going to South Beach.

posted by Atheist at 10:45 AM on July 08

If LeBron announces signing with any other franchise than Cleveland, this TV show will be about the most amazing dick moves in the history of sport. He may as well just wear a t-shirt that has Mickey Mouse flipping the bird with text that reads, "Hey, Cleveland!"

posted by NoMich at 10:47 AM on July 08

I agree with NoMich - how do you have a one hour show to tell a city that is your home and is desperate for you to stay - F you I am outta here?

Maybe he needs two minutes to announce his decision and 55 minutes to console Cleveland. Maybe the show ends with Gloria Estefan singing "Do The Conga"

posted by Atheist at 10:53 AM on July 08

most amazing dick moves in the history of sport

Especially seeing as how he's gonna make his announcement in the first ten minutes. That being said, I think it's gonna be a three year deal with Cleveland so he can do this all again in 2013.

posted by cjets at 11:40 AM on July 08

I just think Lebron James' legacy will wind up so much sweeter if he stays and helps make it happen in a city that is his home and that really needs it.

Totally agree. Nice to see ESPN turn on him already, saying he might be the most hated man in basketball if the rumor about Miami is true.

posted by yerfatma at 12:17 PM on July 08

Maybe he needs two minutes to announce his decision and 55 minutes to console Cleveland. Maybe the show ends with Gloria Estefan singing "Do The Conga"

Too bad that two mins won't be happening until the very end of the show.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 12:47 PM on July 08

I don't think he's that clueless to think he can sit in the middle of Ohio and take an hour to talk about how he's leaving and not suffer his reputation immeasurably. Even if he is that dumb, the rest of his team shouldn't be.

Money on him staying.

I thought this was kinda indicated when the whole Bosh/Cleveland sign-and-trade got leaked. The Raptors would not have gone public with that deal without some assurance that Lebron was likely staying, otherwise there is no way that Bosh even considers it. As it stands, it looks like Bosh would rather play with Wade in Miami, then Lebron in Cleveland.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:53 PM on July 08

he can sit in the middle of Ohio

I heard the show is gonna be in Greenwich CT, which is a NYC suburb.

posted by cjets at 01:11 PM on July 08

Yep, this is taking place at ESPN.

posted by NoMich at 01:28 PM on July 08

I can only hope the rumors of him going to Miami, to join Wade and Bosh, turns out to be wrong. James doing that would prove, once and for all, that Michael Jordan is the best, and that James will NEVER be Jordan, regardless if he wears 23 or not. Jordan was the best, and everyone knew he was going to dominate, whether it was in the regular season or the playoffs. James has been handled, or hasn't shown up in the playoffs, and last year was a perfect example. Jordan, with the exception of Pippen, took role players and led them to near-complete domination of the NBA, and he stayed in Chicago to do it. Even if James goes on to win multiple championships with Miami, provided he signs there, it'll show he needs the likes of two of the biggest stars in the game to win it all.

James needs to either stay in Cleveland or go to a place where he can still be the man, and prove he can take a team over the top in the dominant role.

posted by dyams at 01:34 PM on July 08

While unusual in the US I recall several instances in recent years in European soccer of non-event events getting huge viewerships--millions of people watched Beckham's three hour medical exam for joining Real Madrid.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:39 PM on July 08

Too bad that two mins won't be happening until the very end of the show.

From my understanding, LeBron will be making his decesion at the top of the show and the rest of the time will be about asking him question.

..James will NEVER be Jordan, regardless if he wears 23 or not

Which helps explain why last year he said that he's changing his number from 23 to 6 this coming season.

posted by BornIcon at 01:52 PM on July 08

As billsays, sometimes non-events bring groups of people virtually to their knees.

Consider this bit of reportage from everyone at SpoFi's favorite guy, The Rickster (as in Reilly). He was on the scene live at the headquarters of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. among a throng of the late Terminator's adoring fans:

If there was one moment that summed up the day, it was this: At about noon there was a sudden hush in the garage showroom, and a crowd gathered respectfully to peer down a hall, cameras to their eyes. "What's going on?" I inquired.

A woman holding a video camera whispered emotionally, "They're unloading some of Dale Jr.'s tools!"

posted by beaverboard at 02:15 PM on July 08

I think it was pretty clear from the day the Cavs were eliminated in the playoffs that if they wanted to keep Lebron, a coaching change and another top talented player would be required for him to feel the Cavs were committed to winning a championship.

I always thought that was exactly what would happen. Well the coaching change happened fast, but with Nowitzky, Boozer, Wade, Bosch, Stoudemire all making commitments elsewhere. It doesn't look good for Cleveland unless some big trade announcement is planned for this evenings entertainment.

posted by Atheist at 02:49 PM on July 08

... James will NEVER be Jordan, regardless if he wears 23 or not.

LeBron James is only 25 years old. When Jordan was 25, he had been to only one NBA Finals and they lost to the Pistons. I think it's too early to say James won't surpass Jordan.

posted by rcade at 04:04 PM on July 08

One year from now, I'll bet we still won't know how much money the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greenwich, CT received for tonight's program. By dollars or percentages. Maybe the show ends with Gloria Estefan singing "Do The Conga" Now that I'd tune in for.

posted by Newbie Walker at 04:13 PM on July 08

The afterparty seems to be in Miami.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:33 PM on July 08

LeBron James is only 25 years old. When Jordan was 25...

Ah yes, but Lebron has 7 seasons to Jordan's 5 at the same age. At 7 seasons, Jordan had a ring.

And I think you meant conference finals, rcade...just playing SpoFi ombudsman...

posted by MeatSaber at 04:55 PM on July 08

The Basketball Jones gets an exclusive interview with Multiple Sources.

posted by tron7 at 05:56 PM on July 08

This is James allowing his entourage to run his career. This is LeBron's homie Maverick Carter and his LRMR marketing trying to legitimatize the expansive but empty office suites, private jets, and countless bills from 5 star hotels. This is LeBron's unbridled ego run amuck.

posted by irunfromclones at 06:33 PM on July 08

It's useless to argue

Ne'er a truer word spoken.

posted by Hugh Janus at 07:00 PM on July 08

Ah yes, but Lebron has 7 seasons to Jordan's 5 at the same age.

I don't think that matters much. James has as much time to cement a legacy at age 25 as Jordan did. Though I don't expect him to get six rings, he's got the time to do it.

Thanks for the correction. I thought it was a Finals he lost.

posted by rcade at 08:04 PM on July 08

This is James allowing his entourage to run his career.

Agreed. A bunch of rings as one of three All-Stars isn't a way to make a legacy, especially after you've pissed off much of the league's fan base. Hope hanging out around a pool in January makes it worth it.

posted by yerfatma at 08:57 PM on July 08

Well LeBron just gave Cleveland a real nice fuck you.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:28 PM on July 08

Wow, did not see that one coming. He picked Detroit. Weird.

posted by NoMich at 09:28 PM on July 08

Wow! Miami Heat.

posted by BornIcon at 09:29 PM on July 08

5 minute announcement, 55 minutes of damage control.

posted by phaedon at 09:40 PM on July 08

Buzz Bissinger on Twitter: "LeBron content to play second fiddle to Dwayne Wade--where is the guts? I am serious. He just is not tough. Doesnt want to lead."

posted by rcade at 09:41 PM on July 08

I am Cleveland's Raging Bile Duct.
I am Cleveland's Cold Sweat.
I Am Cleveland's Complete Lack of Surprise.
I Am Cleveland's Smirking Revenge.
I Am Cleveland's Broken Heart.

posted by cjets at 09:45 PM on July 08

Is it completely illogical to hope that Cleveland beats Miami in the playoffs en route to a NBA title?

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:47 PM on July 08

"LeBron content to play second fiddle to Dwayne Wade--where is the guts? I am serious. He just is not tough. Doesnt want to lead."

Couldn't agree more.

posted by cjets at 09:48 PM on July 08

Judging from the comments Cavs fans are taking it well.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:56 PM on July 08

LeBron is like Arsenio Hall in "Coming to America." That should be his new nickname - Semmi.

posted by phaedon at 09:57 PM on July 08

From YYM's link, an angle I hadn't considered: "Come on guys. He doesn't want to play with his future step-dad." Feels like a mistake, legacy-wise. Like down-shifting from Michael Jordan to Bernard King status.

posted by yerfatma at 10:00 PM on July 08

Thanks for finding and sharing that link, YYM.

Lebron James is dead to me.

Hey, I LOL'd.

posted by NoMich at 10:16 PM on July 08

Stay in Cleveland, possibly never win a championship and people say he has no legacy. Go to Miami and possibly win multiple championships and people say his legacy is tarnished because he played with all stars. Seems to me this guy is in a no win situation.

posted by sgtcookzane at 10:21 PM on July 08

Seems to me this guy is in a no win situation.

There's always Bill Simmons' (extensive) pre-infomercial take, where he argues for Chicago or the Knicks. Meanwhile, in Cleveland, it looks like a lot of tongues have been loosened.

posted by etagloh at 10:47 PM on July 08

Seems to me this guy is in a no win situation.

No, he had to put himself in a "win" situation. He went to Miami so he could lean on two other players. When playoff time comes and the "heat" is too much for LeBron, he now has Dwayne Wade to bail him out.

Stay in Cleveland, possibly never win a championship and people say he has no legacy.

Yeah, at 25 time was really running out on him in Cleveland. The guy is a great athlete who's too simple-minded and gutless to ride it out and finish what he started in Cleveland, and the way he quit and waited for the clock to run down in last year's playoff disgrace shows he's not capable of leading. Wade is capable, and he's showed as much.

posted by dyams at 10:49 PM on July 08

JeBron Lame is a huge talent, maybe he prefers to play somewhere where he can still contribute without having to be "the man" ... DWade loves that role and plays it as well as anyone in the league. Bosh has already proven he can defer when necessary.

Heat is on the Heat though ... this is far bigger than Garnett and Allen going to the Celtics, they had better back it up with multiple NBA titles.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:50 PM on July 08

Now the question is, who do they play with? Does Miami have any money left to put the role players around the big 3 they'll need to win?

posted by MeatSaber at 10:55 PM on July 08

"To my real fans out there, I hope you continue to support me."

Yeah, the ones who rooted for the Cavaliers and not just your ass aren't your "real" fans. Enjoy the idiot support of those who only see James on the back versus the Cavaliers on the front.

posted by tselson at 11:17 PM on July 08

Who is going to post up Gasol and Bynum on this Heat team?

posted by sgtcookzane at 11:23 PM on July 08

James can't switch to #6 when he joins the Heat. Mario Chalmers already has that number.

Mario is a guy who has actually won something. And stepped up and took care of his team big time when a championship was on the line.

You can't take away a number from a guy like that and give it to a guy like James.

posted by beaverboard at 11:28 PM on July 08

Way to go, Lebron. After holding the NBA hostage for months, we were finally allowed to witness your free agency decision in the form of an orgasmic hour-long viewing experience. Would you settle for the money and fame and run to the Knicks? Would you follow in Michael Jordan's footsteps and turn the Chicago Bulls back into a championship-caliber team? Or would you show some appreciation and loyalty for the organization that drafted you and spent the last few years bending over backward to acquire the parts necessary to win you a ring and convince you to remain a Cleveland Cavalier?

Instead, the King chose to sign with the Miami Heat, joining new signee Chris Bosh and veteran Heat leader Dwayne Wade. Wow, Lebron, maybe you really don't care about the money. Maybe you are all about winning. Surely, the next three seasons will see the raising of three new championship banners in the Miama arena, joining the one Wade already earned back in 2006. The All-Star studded lineup will dominate the media, and give David Stern a new team to pit against his pet Laker squad. Since the Chosen One couldn't face Kobe in a final with the Cavs, he'll grab a couple of sidekicks in Wade and Bosh and really raise the NBA's revenue as part of its newest headline machine: Miami's Bigger Three!!!

Let me be the first to congratulate you, Lebron. This wheeze is a genius way to start your ring hunt off. It's guaranteed to win you a championship faster than Gollum can croak "My precious." However, it isn't a long-term option, as I'm sure you understand. It's not possible for two dominant personalities to co-exist happily for long, so when the inevitable Kobe-Shaq mama drama begins the Heat will side with you because, after all, you're the "face of the NBA." Oops, sorry Dwayne. You've gone and destroyed Wade's future in Miami, but what did he ever do for them anyway? Sticking with the organization that drafted you and winning them a championship with a team whose chemistry you helped build is an old-fashioned idea in these modern times. Winning IS everything, as you point out. The only team that still holds team values and leadership is San Antonio, and everyone knows that little backwater hasn't produced a compelling team in its entire history as a franchise. Hopefully, Wade will have the sense to respect your majestic ideals and continue his homage from whatever dark corner of the NBA he inhabits three years from now.

Here, let me dust off this throne for you. Oh, you wanted to write a thank you note to the Cleveland organization? I'd suggest something along these lines: "I'd like to thank the Cleveland fans and management for a great start to my career. I couldn't have become the best player in the NBA without you guys. Thanks to you too, Akron. My feigned loyalty to you helped build my credibility and brand, allowing me to build a reputation as not only the best player in the NBA, but also as a small-town kid who will always return to his roots. I'd like to extend my gratitude to Coach Brown. His firing allowed me to avoid the blame for the lack of championships I've brought the Cavaliers, and instead scapegoated him as the coach who couldn't win the big one, even with the best player in the NBA under his instruction. But the time now is for me to fulfill my destiny, and become the biggest and best thing that's ever happened to basketball. I'm going beyond being the best player in the NBA, as my second MVP trophy proved that topic to be SO last year. In Miami, I'm going to teach Dwayne Wade how to win. I'm going to lead him and Bosh to a few rings. Then I'm going to survey the league, locate the hottest talent, and go win a few more rings. I mean, the best player in the NBA should have at least eight rings. I figure that if I finish my career on an eight straight championship win streak, I'll be the best NBA player OF ALL TIME. Thanks again, bros, and the best of luck to Cleveland in the upcoming NBA season." That way, your heartfelt appreciation is made clear, and your net worth might go up a few million into the bargain.

Lebron James for President!!

Signed,
An NBA fan

posted by Goyoucolts at 12:40 AM on July 09

Well, at least we know how Dan Gilbert feels about this. Wow.

posted by boredom_08 at 01:10 AM on July 09

"I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER KING' WINS ONE" - Dan Gilbert, Owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers

Here's the original. Sorry YYM, but the font used makes it that much more... comical.

posted by tron7 at 01:46 AM on July 09

Miami trades Michael Beasley to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a 2011 2nd round pick, freeing up even more capspace.

posted by Newbie Walker at 01:56 AM on July 09

As an answer to my own question from earlier, it seems the Heat have their bases covered...

posted by MeatSaber at 02:02 AM on July 09

I'm pretty happy Lebron is going to the Heat. With three max-level contracts and a load of filler I have no earthly clue what this team is going to play like. I don't know, it just seems more interesting this way then if he had stayed with the misfit cast that had been assembled in Cleveland.

I have a problem with all the fanfare and theatrics that Lebron surrounded this decision with. I don't have a problem with him leaving Cleveland. I think Lebron wants to win and Miami looked like the best place to make that happen, long term. I also think he wanted to make a big splash and do some fame-whoring. Which, sure, is pretty lame, but I'm not going to get too worked up about that.

posted by tron7 at 02:43 AM on July 09

I think some people have missed the point of winning a championship. It isn't an individual achievement that you are chasing. It is supposed to be something you do with your team and for all your fans. Bailing on Cleveland who put together a very good team to play second fiddle to Wade (and stack the team) isn't really the way to win a championship. Why was it Wade and not Lebron who brought the stars to his team?

posted by bperk at 07:23 AM on July 09

Why was it Wade and not Lebron who brought the stars to his team?

It wasn't Wade that brought stars to his team. Remember, he was a free agent too.

It was the weather and the lack of state income tax that brought all three of them to Miami.

posted by grum@work at 09:13 AM on July 09

I don't believe the state income tax was a major factor. Money doesn't seem to have been a motivating issue. Miami's weather is great part of the year and awful part of the year. It's pretty terrible from May to Oct.

posted by bperk at 09:38 AM on July 09

I'd like to say that I'll be rooting for the Cavs this coming year, but I have to wonder: what moves can Dan Gilbert possibly make to put a championship caliber team on the floor?

posted by MW12 at 09:46 AM on July 09

I don't believe the state income tax was a major factor.

LeBron can't be so tone-deaf that he didn't see the fallout from the move. If money wasn't the motivation, why not convince players to come to Cleveland and take a cut to do it? The weather only applies the 6 months of the year you're playing and half of that is on the road. And the other half is in practice. Ohio's state income tax is almost 6%. That's almost $6 million over the course of the 5 year/ $99 million Miami offered.

posted by yerfatma at 09:55 AM on July 09

Who is going to post up Gasol and Bynum on this Heat team?

Nobody will be able to guard either of them. With Wade, Bosh and James do you really think there's an offensive emphasis on post play in Miami anyways?

Key for the Lakers is to re-sign Derek Fisher and put incentives in Kobe's contract to motivate him to actually pass the ball to Gasol and Bynum.

The Heat will match up real well against the Celtics. Celtics will have to hope that their supporting cast can exploit Miami's.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:01 AM on July 09

It was the weather and the lack of state income tax that brought all three of them to Miami.

Pat Riley had something to do with it too. He freed up the most cap space of anybody in the league.

posted by rcade at 10:21 AM on July 09

If money wasn't the motivation, why not convince players to come to Cleveland and take a cut to do it? The weather only applies the 6 months of the year you're playing and half of that is on the road. And the other half is in practice. Ohio's state income tax is almost 6%. That's almost $6 million over the course of the 5 year/ $99 million Miami offered.

If money was the motivation, he'd have stayed in Cleveland, where they could have offered him a 6 yr / $121 million deal, rather than the 5 yr / $96 million he'll get in Miami. The extra $1 million a year would makes up for the tax hit in Ohio, and he'd get another year on the back end of the deal.

posted by MW12 at 10:26 AM on July 09

If you haven't read Gilbert's letter yet, it's jaw-dropping. He actually puts a curse on James!

Regarding the broadcast of "the decision," did anyone else here gasps from among the assembled boys and girls when James announced the decision?

posted by rcade at 10:27 AM on July 09

More from Gilbert: "Gilbert said James never returned a single phone message or text since the end of the season and that the Cavs were not informed of James' decision until he went on the air."

posted by rcade at 10:41 AM on July 09

Gilbert's frustration is understandable, and his show is no doubt intended to keep the good people of Cleveland supporting the team in what's undoubtedly going to be a time of need. But he needs to be careful not to alienate other superstars from coming to the Cavs by inadvertently planting the seed that he's likely to bash them too on their way out the door if things don't go his way.

posted by MW12 at 10:45 AM on July 09

Some understandable frustration from Gilbert, but I agree with mw12.

rcade, that second Gilbert story is much nastier that the first.

I haven't ever seen a situation where burning a bridge has produced positive results. Fans all watched LeBron in the playoffs during the past few years and can draw their own conclusions. If Gilbert believes (as many do) that LeBron was a bust in the playoffs he should be somewhat happy about moving on - although I assume franchise revenue and playoff success are not always a linear relationship.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:16 AM on July 09

1. I would hate to be the Miami Heat coach that does not win an NBA championship because he clearly will be blamed.

2. Now that the circus is over, can the world get back to sports?

posted by graymatters at 11:24 AM on July 09

If money was the motivation, he'd have stayed in Cleveland, where they could have offered him a 6 yr / $121 million deal, rather than the 5 yr / $96 million he'll get in Miami. The extra $1 million a year would makes up for the tax hit in Ohio, and he'd get another year on the back end of the deal.

If his employment is registered as being in Florida, I have to believe that any other revenue that he earns during his time there (including endorsements, etc) would also be subject to the Florida income tax rules instead of the Ohio ones.

posted by grum@work at 11:34 AM on July 09

Regarding the broadcast of "the decision," did anyone else here gasps from among the assembled boys and girls when James announced the decision?

I heard them as "WTF?" gasps.

posted by NoMich at 11:34 AM on July 09

rcade, that second Gilbert story is much nastier that the first.

Yep. Gilbert should be thinking about the consequences of his comments. Any star player who considers going to Cleveland will know that his owner will stab him in the back if he leaves.

posted by rcade at 11:39 AM on July 09

So your saying there's no clowns?

I did see one narcissistic ass-clown.

posted by cjets at 11:55 AM on July 09

Reggie Miller made an apt comparison. Lebron James is Alex Rodriguez to Dwayne Wade's Derek Jeter.

I don't know that Gilbert should be worried about the consequences. Loyalty is a two-way street, and Lebron James method of parting was particularly vicious.

posted by bperk at 12:09 PM on July 09

Lebron James is Alex Rodriguez to Dwayne Wade's Derek Jeter.

I'm not as well versed in basketball as I am in baseball, but I take it to mean that Lebron James is a vastly superior player than Dwayne Wade (who is also an all-star), and will be hounded by the media for everything he does. Wade, on the other hand, will be showered with praise for all he does (to the point where some things will become mythical in nature), leading to a vicious backlash from statistically aware fans. This backlash will swing way too much in the other direction (bad-mouthing Wade) before correcting itself (somewhat) near the end of Wade's career. In the meantime, James will continue to put up inner-circle hall-of-fame numbers while falling short of winning a title (which Wade won before James got there), and the blame will fall on his shoulders.

Until he wins the title with Wade.
In which case, everyone will find something else to blame James for.

Is that the case?

posted by grum@work at 12:25 PM on July 09

Is that the case?

Something like that, except the statistics parts, which doesn't work so well in basketball (an assist for James can be points for Wade). But, also the biggest player in the game joining an all-star player that is already a star in the city and already has a championship(s), and that biggest player is vilified for joining that team.

posted by bperk at 12:47 PM on July 09

If Gilbert is going to put a curse on James, he hit the jackpot. The Miami area is swarming with various practitioners of the mystic arts. There might even be a separate section for spell doctors in the Yellow Pages.

It may be worth tuning in the late news from the 305 sometime to find out if there's been an increase in serpents heading from Krome Avenue toward South Beach, or headless goats floating down the Miami River.

posted by beaverboard at 12:52 PM on July 09

Yep. Gilbert should be thinking about the consequences of his comments. Any star player who considers going to Cleveland will know that his owner will stab him in the back if he leaves.

I disagree. James is a unique situation. Born and bred in Ohio, Cleveland is the hometown team and he had many times expressed his love for both the team and the state as a whole. To then turn around and give the team, city, and fans the finger with his decision on national television, I think Gilbert is the one who has been stabbed in the back. Other star players won't command the same adoration and certainly won't pull the stunts that James has in leaving.

If James had made his decision minus the incessant, narcissistic marketing culminating with an unprecedented media announcement I doubt Gilbert's reaction would be the same.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:01 PM on July 09

When Alex Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees, Rob Neyer wrote (in an article that, in hindsight, was hilariously titled "Vidro Would be Perfect Fit for the Yankees"):

I still say it's a shame, though. I thought we were watching the greatest shortstop since Honus Wagner, but it might wind up that all we saw was the greatest player since Barry Bonds.

Neyer was focusing on the diminution of Rodriguez's legacy as a result of a switch from a premium defensive position where his offensive output would have been even more historic. Yes, Rodriguez will likely get the home run title and is clearly an inner-circle Hall of Famer, but Neyer seems to be arguing that his legacy could have been greater was he permitted to stay at shortstop. I think the analogy holds to some extent with James -- he will not be put into the same category as Jordan or even Kobe if he wins titles with the Heat as currently constructed (he would have a ways to go to match those others' rings in the first place); in some respect, the conventional wisdom goes, his historical legacy will be tainted. So instead of having the potential of seeing the greatest player/champion since Jordan, we just have a really great player who is basically capped out at something less than the top 5 of all time.

posted by holden at 01:10 PM on July 09

James is a unique situation.

That's possible, but Gilbert's bashing of James is jilted-lover talk that's not very credible. So James quit on his team twice in the playoffs? Then why did you want so fervently for him to re-sign with the team another six years?

One of the prices you pay for burning a bridge -- like, say, going public with a nasty business dispute -- is that you tell the world they should think twice about working with you because you talk too much. Cleveland will be competing with other teams for top free agents. Those teams will be reminding the star about Gilbert's epic LeBron flameout.

After saying all that, though, I think Gilbert just made me a Cavs fan. I am tempted to bandwagon on the Heat since I live in Florida. But how can you not love an owner who posts a curse in Comic Sans against the biggest athlete in the league?

posted by rcade at 01:13 PM on July 09

Seems to me Gilbert's next announcement should be the signing of at least one major free agent acquisition, then never look back. The problem is there's no one left.

posted by MW12 at 01:18 PM on July 09

Why was it Wade and not Lebron who brought the stars to his team?

Hmmmm...lemme guess: Cleveland or Miami? Tough choice.

Also, did anyone else that heard or read the Dan Gilbert letter get the feeling that it sounded more like a pissed ex-girlfriend-type of letter?

By the way, if the Heat still need a PG and C, Allen Iverson and Shaq are availiable.

posted by BornIcon at 01:38 PM on July 09

We've covered many of these points ourselves, but this article here seems to be the most comprehensive one I've seen - and is the most aptly titled.

posted by MW12 at 01:56 PM on July 09

Well I think Lebron did show his true colors while insulting the intelligence of the fans.

First of all he could have been a hero and that would have been to stay with his home town team until he brought them a title and created his own storybook legacy. Instead he exposed himself for the narcissistic jerk he is.

In one breath he talks about winning being his most important motivation. Lets remember he could not do that in Cleveland. Yes they had the best record and yes they were the favorite or team to beat, for the NBA finals. Of course when the money was on the line he could not deliver. The were clearly one of the best teams in the league but he could not deliver in the playoffs. Sure they may not have had the depth to beat the Lakers but Lebron certainly underperformed in the playoffs.

Last night he talked a lot about being part of a team, but then he said he looked forward to leading the Heat to a NBA title. Oh, and not just one but multiple. Gee it appears Wade may lead that team to a title but I do not see Lebron as a leader. Maybe a great talent but not a leader, more of a spoiled quitter. He couldn't even shake hands after last years defeat to Orlando.

Then after acting like he personally, would lead Miami to a title, he talked about not having the pressure of having to score 30 points a game every night. Well all I can say is I never heard Kobe, Jordan, Bird, Magic or any great player that did not want to be THE GUY. That did not relish the pressure of scoring 30 to lead their team to victory. Lebron clearly doesn't want to be the guy even though in his own mind he thinks he is the guy. This dude will never be in the same league as the guys he wants to be compared to because those guys accepted their roles as the leaders and cornerstone's of their teams and all stayed with their teams until their goal was accomplished even if they had to score 40 to do it.

I hope Miami fails to win a title, and based on the contradictory statements I heard from Lebron, ,I am fairly certain it will be his ego that destroys any possibility of chemistry these guys might develop as soon as things don't go according to their plan. Even if they win a couple of titles Lebron will never be the GUY that can now take credit like say Kobe can or Jordan can.

These guys did not go to Cleveland to play with Lebron, they just lured him with the promise of jewelry he thinks they can provide him.

His legacy is now sealed. He would have been a more revered player if he stayed in Cleveland and never won a title or only won one. Even if it took 6 more years to do it. I used to think he was good enough that with the addition of one of these available big time free agents a title would be his. Now I believe he is a looser and may be poison, so that even with two other Superstars (a term he used a lot last night to describe himself while referring to the others as just stars or great players) the self proclaimed king and superstar may finish his career never winning a title. Gilbert's rant may have been ill thought out and childishly emotional but I for one am rooting for the Cavs to do what Gilbert promised and win before LB does.

In fighting losers who fight valiantly and never give up, always earn more respect than quitters. Lebron chose the easy road and as a result lost a lot of respect and showed who he is and just how much heart he really does not have.

posted by Atheist at 02:02 PM on July 09

Reason #4003 on why I love the internet:

Dan Gilbert's ranting email is getting mocked, not for his language or tone, but for his choice of fonts.

posted by grum@work at 02:04 PM on July 09

He actually puts a curse on James!

Well he not so much PUTS a curse on him, he gives him the curse that already existed on Cleveland. James gets to take it with him, in other words. :-)

posted by bdaddy at 02:06 PM on July 09

if the Heat still need a PG and C, Allen Iverson and Shaq are availiable.

Not at the rates Miami can offer. And this isn't 1999. A team that started those two would lead the league in turnovers and fast break points allowed.

posted by yerfatma at 02:12 PM on July 09

Is that the case?

Well this thread is starting to look a lot like an A-rod thread.

Maybe Gilbert's presence had something to do with Lebron leaving. He obviously didn't think much of Lebron, no more than the value he added to his franchise apparently. Who would want to play for that child.

posted by tron7 at 02:12 PM on July 09

Not at the rates Miami can offer.

I wouldn't be surprised if Shaq accepted the minimum. Not that I think that would be a good idea.

posted by tron7 at 02:16 PM on July 09

1. I would hate to be the Miami Heat coach that does not win an NBA championship because he clearly will be blamed.

Anyone who thinks Erik Spoelstra will be the coach when and if the Heat win a NBA title is kidding themselves. Pat Riley will want to get the ultimate face-time in this situation. He's possibly the only person with a ego bigger than LeBron James. He'll find a way to replace his coach regardless if they're doing good or bad.

posted by dyams at 03:29 PM on July 09

Not at the rates Miami can offer.

I wouldn't be surprised if Shaq accepted the minimum.

At this stage in his career and considering what's happened to him the past 2 years, I would say the same thing about A.I. I'm sure that he wouldn't mind taking the veterans minimun with the hope of finally winning an championship.

posted by BornIcon at 04:05 PM on July 09

Adrian Wojnarowski blames LeBron and Gilbert.

I particularly liked this paragraph:

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.

posted by cjets at 04:08 PM on July 09

I wouldn't be surprised if Shaq accepted the minimum.

There is no way Miami can be big enough for all those egos.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:33 PM on July 09

Shaq may want to subjugate his ego if he wants to stick it to Kobe. I recall reading somewhere after the Lakers' championship that a reporter asked Kobe what 5 rings meant to him and he said "One more than Shaq."

Whether Shaq has anything left to give, even in a non-starring role, remains to be seen.

posted by holden at 04:40 PM on July 09

Just from a basketball perspective, I wouldn't think the Heat would want to play as slow as Shaq would need to play.

posted by bperk at 04:43 PM on July 09

If players like Shaq and A.I. went to Miami, they'd get paid a crappy salary but would increase their national profile and marketability. It would be hard to resist being a part of the biggest show in the NBA next season.

posted by rcade at 04:59 PM on July 09

"No, tonight, it felt like everyone involved LeBron, ESPN, Bing, the University of Phoenix, Stuart Scott, the man who once chastised fans for having the audacity to boo, Jim freaking Gray treated the millions of people watching like stupid, mindless consumers, empty lemmings ready to follow Sport into the abyss."

Will Leitch can still bring it.

posted by yerfatma at 05:13 PM on July 09

Will Leitch can still bring it.

Best column yet.

posted by irunfromclones at 05:52 PM on July 09

He's a first class douchebag - what a spectacle. Just stabbed the whole city in the face... On the jumbotron. At best he's just a clueless idiot, but that was an astonishingly tacky and tasteless display.

Would Jordan ever walk up to Isaiah as say, "Hey man, let's stop fighting and do it together It'll be fun!" You know who comes off smelling the sweetest in all this? KOBE. How is that possible? Lebron did more for Kobe's legacy than Kobe ever could. I'm not sure I blame them for taking advantage of this situation, but it totally feels hollow - doesn't it?

I really hope it blows up in their faces. I don't quite know why, but I know I want it. Of course, I will be watching some of those games.

And "Taking my talents to South Beach" is totally the new euphemism for masturbation.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:01 PM on July 09

Beautifully put by Weedy and Will Leitch.

I sincerely hope this guy is booed relentlessly everywhere he plays, I don't expect it in Miami but I can't imagine anybody rooting for him anywhere else. Never before has an athlete gone from hero to zero so quickly. I don't blame him for changing teams I just think the manner in which he did it and the fact that he felt the need to talk so much only served to expose him for exactly what he is. It isn't very likable. I hope any potential customers for his marketing firm take note about how little this as////e knows about marketing. He just blew the greatest marketing opportunity of the century. He did it by assuming that because he can play basketball and is rich, it meant he was smarter than the fans he obviously has no respect for. Treat the customers like they are stupid and you will fail.

Lebron James embarrassed the League, the fans, ESPN and most of all himself, although I suspect he is too stupid to realize it. First Tiger Woods and now Lebron James.

posted by Atheist at 06:26 PM on July 09

It was all a farce, and we were played for fools.

Meanwhile, in Oklahoma City, a young man turns off the TV and heads back to gym...

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:54 PM on July 09

Just from a basketball perspective, I wouldn't think the Heat would want to play as slow as Shaq would need to play.

Check out film of Artis Gilmore with the Celtics in the late 1980's. That's what it would look like.

posted by beaverboard at 07:10 PM on July 09

And "Taking my talents to South Beach" is totally the new euphemism for masturbation.

Classic! Need favorite button!

posted by cjets at 07:20 PM on July 09

Lebron James embarrassed the League

And I would hope David Stern is taking notes.

posted by graymatters at 07:34 PM on July 09

First Tiger Woods and now Lebron James.

LeBron cheated on his wife too? No wonder Dan Gilbert was so pissed that LeBron left Ohio for greener pasture.

Lebron James embarrassed the League, the fans, ESPN and most of all himself..

LeBron didn't embarrass himself at all last night, he handled himself very well considering the circumstances. True, he should've done things a little differently but in all reality, he was in a no win situation anyways. Look at what Dan Gilbert wrote right after LeBron made his choice of what team he was going to play for next season. Now tell me, do you honestly think any player would want to play for that guy? Once you leave, he'll just throw you under the bus, run you over then press reverse to run you over again. If anyone deserves to be villified, it's Dan Gilbert who made business, very personal.

posted by BornIcon at 08:41 PM on July 09

Once you leave, he'll just throw you under the bus, run you over then press reverse to run you over again.

That is of course if the new player in question was a 'hometown' #1 draft pick out of high school that you pay 80 million dollars to. Then at the first whiff of free agency he creates a media circus in order to give you the finger while he walks out the front door.

If all that will be true again, I guess so will Dan Gilbert's reaction.

posted by BoKnows at 09:39 PM on July 09

LeBron didn't embarrass himself at all last night, he handled himself very well considering the circumstances.

I hope you are joking. "I'm going to take my talents to South Beach" when the Heat don't even play in South Beach. Referring to himself in the third person. The foolishness with Gray. It was so embarrassing that it was painful to watch.

posted by bperk at 09:58 PM on July 09

Then at the first whiff of free agency he creates a media circus in order to give you the finger while he walks out the front door.

The first whiff of free agency and he chooses to play elsewhere. The horror!

It was so embarrassing that it was painful to watch.

But you still watched, didn't you?

posted by BornIcon at 10:15 PM on July 09

Heh

posted by NoMich at 10:18 PM on July 09

Now that's funny.

posted by BornIcon at 10:22 PM on July 09

My point was geared more to your observation of Gilbert's reaction and subsequent reputation of 'throwing players under the bus'. Which I don't think he deserves.

The horror!

I also don't have any problem with LBJ signing and playing elsewhere. That's what free agency is all about. But the way he did it was pretty dickish, IMO. LeBron absolutely embarrassed himself short-term and set himself up for the possibility of long-term embarrassment if this move fails to produce a title.

posted by BoKnows at 10:30 PM on July 09

I also don't have any problem with LBJ signing and playing elsewhere. That's what free agency is all about.

Exactly my point. Like I said, he could've handled it differently but no matter what anyone says, he was able to go play somewhere else if that's what he chose to do seeing how he was a free agent.

That still doesn't excuse Gilbert not only being unprofessional about LeBron's decision but acting like some jilted lover. He even dropped the prices of LeBron's FatHead poster to the price of $17.41 which is Benedict Arnold's birthdate. Now that guy's a dick.

posted by BornIcon at 10:39 PM on July 09

Like I said, he could've handled it differently but no matter what anyone says, he was able to go play somewhere else if that's what he chose to do seeing how he was a free agent.

Your point was that he did those things and 'didn't embarrass himself at all last night, he handled himself very well considering the circumstances.' Mine is quite the opposite.

We see the same results BI, just not the road he took to get there.

And in no way am I trying to excuse Gilbert for anything. All I'm saying is that this situation in no way sets a precedent for his NBA dealings in the future.

posted by BoKnows at 10:58 PM on July 09

And "Taking my talents to South Beach" is totally the new euphemism for masturbation.

I didn't watch it live, so I've been catching up. It's hard for me to believe he used such an awkward, arrogant line.

The whole thing reminds me of what would happen if you let a kid run the show. It becomes a vehicle simply to worship the kid, or in this case, Lebron. All it took was an answer. Instead we got a show with employees hired by the star. It was embarrassing for LeBron and everyone involved in staging it.

And as has been written many places, the key line was when LeBron said he wouldn't have to score '30 points' a night. That was the one moment that all the staging couldn't hide. He doesn't want the pressure. If he goes to NY, or stays in Cleveland and wins a championship, he will be worshipped for eternity. But if he fails, he shoulders all the blame.

Miami has won a recent championship, and he's got 2 other stars to help him. He'll have to share the glory if he wins, but he also has 2 other stars to share the blame if they fall short.

At the very least, he's done the unthinkable for me; I'll be rooting for kobe at least several games a year.

I hope you are joking.

I completely disagree with bornicon (I think under embarrassing in the dictionary there should be a picture of LeBron), and I'm guessing his opinion is in the minority on sportsfilter, but I have little doubt there are many that shares his view (mostly younger I'm guessing). They have no problem with attention seeking narcissists, and if have the ability to get the attention, no matter the way, you should do it. Michael Jordan sending a "I'm Back" message is old school. This is the new school.

(the moment LeBron separated himself from Jordan was this ridiculous show, and not in a good way.)

posted by justgary at 12:56 AM on July 10

Re Jim Gray: how different was this from the 90's when NBC's Ahmad Rashad was Michael Jordan's go to boy for interviews? Gray has done an interview in which he denies receiving payment from Lebron. The Lakers Derek Fisher to meet with Pat Riley in Miami Saturday.

posted by Newbie Walker at 03:41 AM on July 10

LeBron didn't embarrass himself at all last night, he handled himself very well considering the circumstances.

You're doing that "Athletes Are Never Wrong" thing again. A lot of other people (some in this thread, some linked to) feel he did himself a grave disservice. Even Wilbon, who was involved with the show, worked to distance himself from it on PTI while talking about the harm it did. As for the circumstances LBJ found himself in, they were all of his own making.

posted by yerfatma at 08:04 AM on July 10

Michael Jordan sending a "I'm Back" message is old school.

Which is what I said earlier. I remember when MJ sent that fax over to all media outlets. Even that though was considered arrogant to some people back then.

This is the new school.

Exactly. Times done changed.

You're doing that "Athletes Are Never Wrong" thing again

No, I never said that LeBron wasn't wrong, you must of skipped that part. What I said was that I don't think that he embarrassed himself the way some people seem to think he did. Do I think he should've done things differently? Absolutely. But after the fact, the one person who I think made a total fool of himself wasn't LeBron but Dan Gilbert. Maybe now we know why LeBron didn't want to return to the Cavs after all.

posted by BornIcon at 08:52 AM on July 10

Maybe now we know why LeBron didn't want to return to the Cavs after all.

LeBron didn't care about Cleveland or its fans. Why would he care about the team's owner? Did he mention his new owner once during the decision broadcast? I think LeBron knows that he's bigger than any owner in the league, and that the Heat are being run by himself, Wade and Bosh.

LeBron didn't embarrass himself at all last night, he handled himself very well considering the circumstances.

As Yerfatma said, he created the circumstances! The way he handled himself and the spectacle of the decision make him a very hard athlete to like, which I don't think was true before. There's going to be a lot of happiness among sports fans every year when the Heat get eliminated.

posted by rcade at 09:28 AM on July 10

I thought Gilbert's reaction was the only honest thing in all of this contrived mess of bullshit.

But he probably in hindsight should have slept on that letter. He could have said it in a fashion that didn't cause him to lose the high ground... Maybe someone should have read it over for him.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:57 AM on July 10

This whole circus has been a big reminder to me of why I really don't like the NBA. For the record, I tried. It just ain't happening though.

posted by dyams at 10:32 AM on July 10

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer's front page for this story is pretty amazing.

posted by rcade at 10:35 AM on July 10

An article from Truehoop showing a number of databases predicting big win totals for The Triumvirate + a bunch of scrubs.

posted by tron7 at 03:04 PM on July 12

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