DECISION 2010: The winners and losers of the Lebron James shitstorm

I've refrained from blogging about Lebron James for too long. Initially opting to leave the commentary to the peeps that do this sort of thing for a living, shit just got too bizarre last night for me to hold back from airing my grievances any longer. So here's a rundown of the winners and losers in this Lebron James saga that has finally boiled over after stewing for three years:

(Note: For posterity's sake, I'm just going to refer to this newly conceived hydra of Lebron James/Dwyane Wade/Chris Bosh as ‘SuperTeam' because ‘The Big 3' was taken.)

WINNERS (and there ain't too many)

You're the man now dawg!

Dwyane Wade
For the uninitiated, Wade has already won a championship with the Heat in 2006. And while many haters point to the presence of Shaquille O'Neal as a means to detract from the accomplishment, there's really no need to look further than the 28.4 points per game in the playoffs and the Finals MVP he took home, signifying that it was his team and his title. The way the league is currently aligned, you're going to need more than one superstar to carry a team to the promise land. He had one with Shaq in 2006. Didn't have anyone this past year and got bounced in the first round. Now he has two superstars to fucks with and he didn't even have to leave South Beach. Rich getting richer.

"Note to self: Cha-Ching!"

NBA commissioner David Stern
If there's one thing The Commish loves more than anything, it's ratings. There's little doubt in my mind that he's already penciled in Lebron's return to Cleveland for the big Christmas Day showcase and that he's absolutely salivating at the prospect of a Finals match-up featuring the SuperTeam trying to knock off the reigning champ Lakers.

U mad?

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert
In a society where the bigger man is typically seen the one who can walk away from a conflict, Gilbert went the opposite route and absolutely leveled Lebron in a open letter to Cavs fans posted on the team's website minutes after his decision was revealed. Here's a (sour) taste:

"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."

Burn. And the best part about the letter? It was scribed in size 15 Comic Sans, so you know he means business.



Lebron James
Gutless. Regardless of your previous basketball related opinion on the man, it's tough to deny that despite the over-the-top ego stroke of doing something no athlete has done before (a primetime special to announce his free agency decision), it all would've been worthwhile had he opted for the feelgood outcome. The prodigal son returning to deliver his people a title.

But even if you are absolutely sick of Cleveland, go play for the Knicks. Rumblings of the Knicks clearing space to obtain him began in 2006, before anyone even cared what a mid-level exception or a capologist was. That's four seasons of ineptitude in the name of "The King" down the shitter because he opted to shy away from the limelight.

In fact, every city that made him an offer had a built in high pressure scenario that Lebron ducked. In Chicago, he would've been in the shadow of the greatest to ever play the game. If he landed with the Clippers, he's facing exponentially greater comparisons to Kobe, whose already got the lead with a hand's worth of rings. With New York or New Jersey (soon to be Brooklyn), he would've encountered the most venomous variety of all media, NY tabloid reporters, in the Mecca of all things basketball.

Instead he opted for the easy way out. A scenario in Miami where he doesn't even have to be the best player on his team to win. When I used to hear all the rash commentary on how he will go down as an all-time great, I didn't take offense, because MJ didn't even win his first ring until he was 28. But all this shit's got to stop. Jordan, Bird, Magic, Russel, etc. left everything on the court night in and night out to earn their rings with squads they helped to birth. They didn't exploit the salary cap system so they could fuck off with their friends in Miami while rolling over competition.

The only way I see Lebron redeeming himself in this situation? If Wade and Bosh die in a plane crash and he leads a ragtag collection of D-leaguers to ten consecutive titles.

The Citizens of Cleveland, OH
It's certainly already tough enough living in Cleveland. Never mind having to burn the jersey of the man that you've treated like the second coming of Jesus since he first laced a pair of basketball shoes.

Is this the look of a man with job security?

Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra
Lebron says he's staying. Wade says he's staying. Team president Pat Riley says he's staying. But guess what? He ain't staying. If you need evidence, look no further than the 05-06 Heat squad. With championship potential on board, Riles dismissed coach Stan Van Gundy 21 games into the season, taking over the position and the shine for himself. And it's doubtful that he'd have any qualms about doing the same to the mild mannered Spoelstra after pulling the jack move on the loud mouthed Stan Van.

no comment

Anderson Varejão
The only reason that I'm happy to see Lebron jump ship to join Miami? I'll never have to witness this douche hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy.
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