I, along with the rest of NYC, have been riveted by the LBJ free agent saga. I can’t remember a time the sports world was this captivated by free agency, not even a game or an event. I’m curious to hear what the ratings were for The Decision.
Like the rest of NYC, I was disappointed with the outcome. I should say, I was especially disappointed with the outcome, and I’m not even a Knicks fan.
I highly recommend Bill Simmons’ article written earlier today…. I think he accurately captures the cruelty of Lebron’s choice being announced on TV. Simmons is really good at empathizing with sports fans, and this piece is so on the money when it comes to how Cavs fans must feel.
Anyhow, here’s a rundown of my thoughts (not that anyone cares).
– I’m a huge Lebron fan, but I must say, I’m not so sure I’ll be rooting for him anymore. It would just feel weird rooting for the Heat (like rooting for the Yankees).
– I’m pretty sure most people who were non-Clevelandite Lebron fans will have a harder time rooting for him. There was a certain charm to him being on such a mediocre team and making them great. Now, it just feels sorta like A-Rod going to the Yanks to chase a title. A-Rod will never be Jeter.
– With that said, Cavs fans should probably blame Carlos Boozer for leaving back in 2004. If he had stayed on the Cavs, I’m fairly certain Lebron and co. would have won a title and LBJ would still be a happy Cav.
– To some degree, we’ll see how valuable LBJ really was for the Cavs. I think the Cavs are easily the worst team in the NBA now. This makes LBJ’s decision understandable, but still, it woulda been cool to see LBJ lift a really mediocre bunch to the championship.
– This letter from Dan Gilbert is really unfair and regrettable. Come on, the Cavs have a horrible team – how can you pile on Lebron for leaving?
– A lot of people are knocking Bron for being an egomaniac, but I’m not so sure how accurate that is. He’s clearly not going to a team where he’s THE man. He’s going to D-Wade’s team and hoping to be part of a triumverate. If he was a selfish superstar, he wouldn’t have chosen the Heat – he would have chosen the Bulls or the Knicks.
As for the choice to make his decision a national spectacle, as much as I think it was the wrong move that he’ll later regret (he’s still only 25), he’s the only player in the NBA who could command such a large audience to watch in eager anticipation for its outcome.
People were praising Durant for his extension via a twitter announcement, but one reason KD probably didn’t have a special announcement is because not as many people cared as much as Lebron’s decision.
Even Kobe couldn’t have captivated the nation the way that Lebron did.
Part of the ridiculousness of the past two weeks is because multiple teams cleared cap space angling to get Lebron. People were talking about Lebron’s free agency four years ago. Who else has demanded such attention for so long?
– I’m sad for Cleveland, but man, why didn’t they trade for better players when they had the chance?!?!?
– The Biggest Winner in Free Agency? Joe Johnson who signed early and got $124 million. Joe Johnson is a higher paid player than Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Dwight Howard, and Kevin Durant. Wow.