I'm a little torn about how LeBron made his announcement, but understand it and support it in the context of today's media landscape. Part of being torn was feeling sorry for the folks in Cleveland for the public rejection which had to be felt greater than the pain felt by spurned Knicks fans. But, after I saw this letter below from Dan Gilbert, the Cavs owner, I didn't feel so bad for the saddened midwestern town. Dan's feelings are really hurt and I understand how hard he tried, but for an owner to lodge such personal attacks against the character of a man simply because he wanted a better working environment is excessive, unprofessional and childish. The attack by an owner on a player excercising his rights under the CBA shold not be taken lightly by the players association and I would be surprised if it did not at least result in a reprimand by David Stern, who was probably thrilled by the boost LeBron gave the league and the NBA's constant push of its philanthropic and caring image.
Would Gilbert have said this if the words "Cleveland" instead of "South Beach" came out of LeBron's mouth?
Now, I look forward to the competition in the eastern conference and the promise that Cleveland will remain relevant more than I feel sorry for Cleveland. Before that takes shape though, I waiting to see how the Stern one handles this nastiness.
Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;
As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.
This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.
Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.
The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.
There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.
You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.
You have given so much and deserve so much more.
In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:
"I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE"
You can take it to the bank.
If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.
Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.
Sorry, but that's simply not how it works.
This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become.
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.
The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.
Sleep well, Cleveland.
Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day....
I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:
DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue...