A Billion To One James LeBron
The big news for the day isn’t some global crisis or the fact that it’s the umpteenth day of the oil disaster that continues to pollute the gulf. The big news is that LeBron James made a choice as to who will have the pleasure of helping to make him a billionaire by the end of his basketball playing career. Let’s get the obligatory condemnations out of the way. Nobody should be getting a billion dollars for playing any sport. Communities everywhere should be ashamed of themselves for their ceaseless devotion to the institution of sports while education and healthcare lags far behind. Black billion dollar ball players should be more aware of their responsibilities to the black community. And feel free to insert whatever condemnation you may want to add. But right now, I really need to get on with the rest of my tirade.
Mr. James is going to go to Miami and is going to play ball for the Heat. People all over Florida are celebrating Mr. James’ decision. People in Cleveland, Ohio, where Mr. James had been playing for the championship-less Cavaliers, are cursing him for his lack of commitment and loyalty to the team that gave him his big start into the N, B, and fuckin’ A. Where’s the strength of conviction? Where is the value in the relationship already established? And on…and on…and on.
Is Mr. James the first basketball player to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers? If not, then everybody that’s so hurt and talking about how disappointed they are because Mr. James didn’t have more loyalty to his fans needs to cut the man some serious slack. Where was all that talk about loyalty when Cleveland traded away two of its more average players to pick up Shaquille O’Neal from the Phoenix Suns? It seems nobody wants to talk loyalty unless they’re the ones being dumped. Doing the dumping is so much easier.
Where would these fans be if LaBron James was one of the more average players or even one of the below average players? Is anybody even going to try to convince me that they would be talking the same talk about loyalty? Cavalier’s owner Dan Gilbert referred to Mr. James decision as a cowardly betrayal. Dude has some serious nerve. How many times has the Cavaliers incorporated made a cowardly betrayal and wound up picking someone else instead of that guy looking for a break and pinning all his hopes on becoming one of their players? Dude needs to get serious and quit acting like some jilted bitch.
Was that a little harsh? Good! Somebody to bitch slap his ass back to something that resembles reality.
It looks like the vast majority of the town of Cleveland is acting like a collective of jilted lovers. The man who was their number one favorite beau just a few hours ago is now someone that doesn’t get the ranking of pond scum now. Everybody in Cleveland who gives a damn about this whole ordeal has an opinion on how Mr. James has made his deal with the devil. One NBA executive said that someday LeBron James is going to look back at this chapter of his life. The official went further and said that he could not believe that LaBron would let those kids, referring to LeBron’s business partners, down at LRMR Sports marketing company talk him into this, as if it was something that was so irrational.
Maybe it is irrational. But the whole world of sports is as mad as a hatter in Wonderland. There are people who want to stand in line to make Mr. James a basketball playing billionaire and crank the heat up to maximum level in this frenzy of financial excess. Cleveland bitches about losing the employment of one man while unemployment in the city sits just above nine percent. The whole sport is built on a foundation of cavalier attitudes towards established relationships. How many people have heard something along the lines of, I’m sorry pal but you’re not hitting home runs or sinking baskets or making goals or scoring touch downs or bringing home the championship and we’re going to have to let you go.
Ain’t nobody as fickle as sports fans. They will love you when you’re winning and will spit on you the moment you disappoint. The speed with which these people want flip the script, take LeBron from hero to zero, to condemn Mr. James for his decision is only confirmation that the made the right choice to leave Cleveland. Those people were insincere and never loved the man. All they wanted was another one of those Forty Million Dollar Slaves that William Rhoden wrote about in his book about black people in sports. People might try to say LeBron is out of his mind and has made the wrong decision. A billion to one says they are the ones who are wrong.