In defense of Public Enemy LeBron

Whoa.  Seems like King James pissed some people off with his little “The Decision” stunt.  But from my point of view, although the presentation was certainly tacky, I think the underlying decision was a smart one.

Moreover, I don’t think it was a conscious “dissing” of Cleveland in any way.  Had the Cleveland/Miami cap situation been reversed, I’m almost certain the trio would be in Wine and Gold.

So Daniel Gilbert needs to shut up.  First of all, that “Open Letter” he posted was childish and uncalled for.  He claims LeBron “betrayed” the Cavaliers.  You know, its funny how teams (and employers generally) are so nonchalant about dismissing an employee when it suits their needs, but then they get massively offended if an employee leaves to suit his/her own needs.  LeBron has a time limited basketball life, and the clock is ticking on it.  No one should begrudge him making a decision that promotes his interests while he has the leverage to do so. 

Moreover, Gilbert lacks any standing to make any complaints about anyone else’s character or methodology.  According to Wikipedia, Gilbert made his fortune exploiting people of low means.   His QuickenLoans empire is based upon usurious “payday” loans, loans that in this writer’s opinion do their best to take advantage of those that cannot afford to be taken advantage of.  So he needs to stop talking about the character of others.

But back to the subject at hand.  Many are ripping James’ decision to play in Miami because, they purport, it shows that “he’s not good enough to win a championship on his own”. 

As I outlined yesterday, that criticism is based upon a fundamental misconception.  No player in NBA history has ever been good enough to deliver an NBA championship by himself.  No one.  Not Jordan.  Not Bird.  Not Magic.  Not Russell (well, almost… but that was the 60s).  Oscar Robertson never even got a sniff, and he was coupled with Jerry Lucas.  You cannot do it alone.

Perhaps LeBron James was intelligent enough to understand this, and understand it at an advantageous age.  Think about it from his point of view.  It must have been humbling to admit this publically, and somewhat disconcerting to enrage so many folks back in the hometown. 

But he did.  And I think it was a smart decision.  More later.  Gotta go.

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8 Responses to “In defense of Public Enemy LeBron”

  1. brgulker Says:

    Perhaps LeBron James was intelligent enough to understand this, and understand it at an advantageous age. Think about it from his point of view. It must have been humbling to admit this publically, and somewhat disconcerting to enrage so many folks back in the hometown.

    Throughout this whole process, LBJ has struck me as incredibly arrogant or naive of how he was coming across. The way in which it was handled made me sick, although I agree with you that he has every right to choose what’s best for him and not Cleveland. Gilbert is so far out of line, it’s literally unbelievable.

    However, I’d have to agree with you here. LBJ knows basketball history, and I think he actually meant what he said last night about the game being a team game not an individual game. If the three of them can commit to that ideal and bury their egos, they could win multiple titles and go down as one of the greatest teams ever.

    It will be fun to watch either way: potential for almost unprecedented success or an unprecedented flame out.

  2. BadgerBucco Says:

    LeBron’s decision makes sense on many levels. I don’t think that the decision itself is the problem; it’s the theatrics that accompanied it. Cleveland fans feel as though he just rubbed their noses in his decision to move on.

    From his perspective, he made the “LeBron” brand more valuable while he had the leverage to do so. From the fans perspective, he turned his back on people who loved him, and they did love him.

    I have no problem with his actions, but I certainly chose not to watch his ESPN special or any of its accompanying fluff. At the same time, I have no problem with Cleveland fans’ reaction. It is the appropriate emotion given the circumstances, but they just have to move on. This analogy may be a bit much but it reminds me of my 2 year old balking at having to come in for dinner. Sure, it sucks at the time, but there’s nothing she can do about it and eventually she accepts the situation and moves on.

  3. coachbean Says:

    Just wondering if you thought Dan Gilbert’s “childish” reaction was a calculated effort to motivate Cavs fans to buy tickets to spite LeBron. If this crossed his mind at all then it was a shrewd business decision because wishing LeBron the best of luck definitely would not have increased ticket sales.

    • tywill33 Says:

      Yes, but he went overboard and made himself look unneccessarily petty.

      He basically did something I worry about doing myself… pushing “Reply to All” and then “Send” when I just wrote something based on emotion and did so in an irrational state. You can’t call those missles back, President Reagan.

  4. Alvy Says:

    Did Bill Walton do it alone in 1977? Good move by LeBron, just not a wise PR move, I guess.

  5. palamida Says:

    Off-topic entirely, but had nowhere else to post this:
    Here are two stat lines, of two diff. PG from tonight’s summer league action.
    Player A game stats – 32 min \ 10-16 fg \ 0-1 3fg\ 7-9 Ft\ 3 reb\ 7 ast \ 5 stl \ 4 to \ 3 PF.
    Player B, only played one half (it’s halftime right now)
    17 min \ 3-8 fg \ 0-1 3fg \ 3-4 ft\ 1 reb \ 3 ast \ 0 stl \ 5 to \1 pf.
    Without looking it up, who is player A and who is player B? :p

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