LeBron James did us dirty.
He got the whole world's attention, only to tell them he left Cleveland. It was about "joining forces" with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
He gave us a half-ass excuse for leaving -- that the only reason you play basketball is to win championships. I have two big problems with James' reasoning.
First, Miami has no better chance to win in 2011 than Cleveland with LeBron. The Heat have five players under contract, and then they must beg veterans to join up at the minimum salary. Cleveland had a team that won more games than any other in the past two regular seasons. The Heat will be great, for sure. But they are built to wear down in June.
Second, winning a championship regardless of the circumstances is NOT the only reason to play. Taking that argument to the extreme, would you say that Adam Morrison (two titles) is having a better career than Karl Malone (none)? Winning a championship is much more impressive if it doesn't come as a result of salary cap maneuvering.
The real sad thing is, LeBron has suckered us into the position of not being able to pull in two free agents. He put the screws to Danny Ferry to make any trade to sacrifice the future for present gains. Because you had Antawn Jamison in March, you can't have Amar'e Stoudemire in July. It's simple.
I think most people could deal with him leaving, but under different circumstances. He embarrassed this region in front of millions of people. Maybe it's not "cool" for the Hollywood/NYC crew to be in Cleveland, but now LeBron James told the world that Cleveland isn't worth it -- even if you're born here, have friends and family here, and own a home here.
James said he's a loyal person, but he couldn't commit to a team that has done so much to accommodate his every whim. And then there's his treatment of Dan Gilbert, who was forced to watch television to find out his investment just tanked. What a schmuck way to treat a business partner. LeBron deserves every bit of backlash from Gilbert's letter.
And LeBron, you claim to "love" Akron. I call B.S. What is "Akron"? Is it the roads? The parks? NO! It's the people. And those people overwhelmingly loved watching you play on TV every night. A great majority is comprised of Cleveland sports fans.
As far as I'm concerned, LeBron, you're a coward. You're scared to death that you won't win a championship. You took the loser's way out, by going to Dwyane Wade's team -- a place where you won't be the focal point every night, a place where you won't take the blame when Boston kicks you in the teeth at home.
LeBron also has become poisoned by his own fame. He was once fairly humble. Tonight, you heard an egomaniac "taking his talents" to South Beach, speaking in the third-person, and talking about how he graced Cleveland with his presence over seven years.
Please allow "Mike Rasor" to offer some advice for Mr. James. You didn't do us favors. You have been one of the best-compensated athletes in the world, and a lot of that money came from pocketbooks of Cleveland fans in a crummy economy. We enjoyed the ride, but in the end, you refused to deliver on your promise of a championship. Don't play the victim card to us.
And thus, you start to see the whole picture. LeBron's ego has swelled so big, that he is downright petrified of any grand indictment against his legacy (i.e., "you didn't win a championship").
LeBron, I'm grateful for the memories. But you've let people down.
Some advice: 1) Swap out your treasured team of advisers that has led you to these decisions that not even a novice businessperson or PR operative would consider. 2) Find a new perspective on life -- one that recognizes your "friends" will disappear if you're in a bad car accident.
I think my dad said it best: "I hope he wins his championship in Miami and finds the fulfillment he expected is not there."