Tag Archives: miami heat

Witness… Part 2. The LeBron James Legacy continues

Witness… Part 2. The LeBron James Legacy continues

LeBron James i s coming home.

LeBron James i s coming home.

Below find LeBron James’ letter to Sports Illustrated followed by Bill Simmons from ESPN’s Grantland take on James’ return home to West Akron and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

On a quick side note, I lived in Fairlawn, Ohio & Bath, Ohio where LeBron lives now and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting LeBron in our earlier days. He is a class act, has always been a class act and now that he has settled into the role of being a father, man, provider, champion… The return home is a glorious and welcome one. I have of course moved down south to my original hometown of Sarasota, FL and if LeBron makes it down this way, he is more then welcome to stop by for a home cooked meal.

BY LEBRON JAMES (AS TOLD TO LEE JENKINS)

Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.

I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life. I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.

I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Erik Spoelstra didn’t get along. … He and Riles didn’t get along. … The Heat couldn’t put the right team together. That’s absolutely not true.

I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work.

When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough. The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?

I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.

But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.

In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.

I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.

Lion Heart

Lion Heart

As Promised, below find a couple parts of Bill Simmons most recent article;

GOD LOVES CLEVELAND

Why LeBron James — unparalleled NBA genius, heir to Michael (and Larry and Magic) — went home

BY BILL SIMMONS ON JULY 11, 2014

Yeah, I read LeBron James’s classy letter in Sports Illustrated. I believe him. I think he wanted to come home. I think he always wanted to come home.

In the summer of 2010, LeBron handled everything wrong. He knows that now. His hometown turned on him. His former owner excoriated him. Everyone else hated what he did. We turned him into a wrestling heel, pushed him to a dark place, affected his personality, planted seeds of doubt that blossomed like a black rose during the 2011 Finals. It took LeBron nearly 15 months to recover from the damage, both mentally and physically, and when he did, he captured two straight MVPs and his first two NBA titles.

But he never forgot what happened, and deep down, he probably always wanted to atone. When the time arrived this summer, he flipped the script on us. This wasn’t a 24-7, overplanned reality show like the one in 2010. He said nothing. He hinted at nothing. During the first week of July, his agent took every meeting. During the second week, LeBron stayed in Las Vegas and made everyone come to him. He announced his decision in an online piece titled “I’m Coming Home,” then he flew to Brazil for the World Cup. So much for the Boys & Girls Club and Jim Gray.

Those four Miami seasons made me sure of one thing: He’s one of the greatest NBA players ever. Now he’s pursuing a greater challenge: bringing Cleveland its first title in 50 years in any sport. Add everything up and it’s the best possible story. He’s the conquering hero who came home, and, hopefully, will conquer again.

It’s also not entirely accurate. I think LeBron would have stayed in Miami — for at least one or two more years — if he truly believed he had a chance to keep winning there.

If you think of him like a genius, it makes more sense. He’s smarter about basketball than you and me, and, really, anyone else. He sees things that we can’t see. During that last Miami season, I don’t think he liked what he saw from his teammates. LeBron James wanted to come back to Cleveland, but he also wanted to flee Miami. His heart told him to leave, but so did his brain. And his brain works like very few brains — not just now, but ever.

Who could have guessed that LeBron had only seven Miami games left? At the time, I thought their gamble to keep resting Wade at the expense of LeBron — which I never agreed with — was improbably paying off. I thought they were headed for a three-peat. I thought LeBron was never leaving Miami. I couldn’t see the things that he saw.

I watched Game 4 from our NBA Countdown set, sitting on the metal steps, and at one point, I emailed an NBA Entertainment friend asking if their photographer could snap a picture. I thought it could be a cool photo — me wearing a blue suit, surrounded by happy Heat fans dressed in white, the Celtics fan trapped in enemy territory, all of us watching someone at the peak of their powers. I just wanted to have it for 30 years from now. I know that sounds sappy, but that’s how I felt.

The truth is, I didn’t know when this would be happening again. And I still don’t.

Magic and Bird were done before I graduated college. Jordan came and went before I turned 30. Duncan, Kobe, Hakeem and Shaq never quite got there — all of them were great, but they were never GREAT. Durant might be a magnificent scorer and an even better teammate, but it’s hard to imagine him getting to that last level. After him, you’re looking at Anthony Davis — someone with an infinitely better chance of becoming the next Duncan than a basketball genius — and there’s nobody on the immediate horizon. This might be it for a while.

So yeah, I wanted a picture. Shoot me. I was there for Larry. I was there for Magic. I was there for Michael. And I was there for LeBron James. Now he’s bringing his genius back to Cleveland. It’s the right move at the right time for the right guy. This will be fun.

LeBron James To Opt Out Of Deal and become free agent.

LeBron James To Opt Out Of Deal and become free agent.

LeBron James

LeBron James

by Chris Broussard

LeBron James’ agent, Rich Paul, has informed the Miami Heat that James will exercise his early termination option and become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Opting out does not mean that James has decided to leave the Heat, sources said.

James, a four-time NBA MVP, had until June 30 to decide whether to opt out of the final two years of his contract with the Heat. He was scheduled to make $20 million next season and had two years and about $42.7 million remaining on his deal.

For full story and millions of other LeBron story’s, CLICK HERE <—–======

Week 12 Recap & Week 13 Predictions — Fantasy Football — The Perspective

Week 12 Recap & Week 13 Predictions — Fantasy Football — The Perspective

My Week 12 purrr—dictions are Here. <———

20-11-1 on the season. Not too shabby!

The recaps are going to sting a little bit this week. Its time for a reality check. Some of you are welcomed with open arms to the Champagne Room. Others are still squabbling over that last golden ticket and still others should proceed down the hall to the coat room to leave the building ASAP. It’s cold and lonely out there in Fantasy Offseason Land. No Worries, you’ll get em’ next year tiger!

ZB-166 BGTD – 122 In what can only be described as the King Lion embarrassing the up and coming Lion when they tried to claim supremacy, this was a virtual bloodbath. It lies heavily on the 2 QB spots. Although, BGTD got a solid performance from Mark ‘I will never win a super bowl’ Sanchez with 31 FF pts, and Jimmy Graham (22) & Brandon Marshall (20), the rest of the team didn’t offer much point support and with Tom Brady being who we thought he was with (44 FF Pts) & Matty “Ice” Ryan bringing (35) to the table, Roddy White (24) and Cedric Benson’s (20) were “Icing” on the beatdown cake! Mmmmmmm, Cake!!!

TPS – 158 LIM – 130 WTF? In what can be best described by this video clip – The Peacock Slayers, even with Alex Smith getting them (-1 FF PTS), Eli Manning (43) & His Boy Victor Cruz (37) worked together with CJ1k (19) & SEABASS Janikowski with (23 = AKA 6 FG’s) to overcome another Ho-Hum 5 TD’s from Drew Brees (53) & Matthew Stafford (21). Nice Upset Peacock Slayers, even with your season over, you still bring the Pain!!

BLC – 117 D&H – 99 Finally! A team that didn’t score 100 Pts or more against me this season! OK. Ok. Focus Dreznin!
Kind of a Bottle Rocket contest. All kinds of high scoring anticipation and then… a couple of sparks, a loud “POP” and mostly fizzle. Top 3 scorers from BLC – Aaron Rodgers (DUH!) (36), Tony Romo (20) & Ravens Defense (18) just out-dueled Vince Young (31), Cam Newton (21) & Texans D (15). Look anytime, the defenses make up the 3rd highest scorers on BOTH teams, you know the rest of the rosters sucked with enough force to get a golfball through a garden hose. Doback & Huff… We hardly knew you. You can still play spoiler though in Week 13!

T1IAR – 117 BCLJ – 85 Wow. With a chance to control his playoff destiny, Battle Cry Leeroy Jenkins drops his 3rd game in a row and finds himself on the outside looking in for the final playoff spot. A playoff spot that seemed a lock 3 weeks ago is now out of his control and he needs help. I’ll visit the tiebreaker scenarios in the Week 13 section, but first let’s see who dropped the ball for LEEROY. again. for. the. 3rd. week. in. a. row. Ben Roethlesbergerstein (14 FF PTs) against Kansas City (ewwww) & Jaaaaaash Freeman (12) (Stick a fork in him) & in order of Suckitude… Calvin Johnson (10) (his production is 40-67% less then the beginning of the season), Matt Forte (9) (same for M4tay – 35-50% less = He got Hanie’d) & finally Mike Wallace (1). One in a Row on the other hand had nice showings from Ryan PicksPatrick (34) & Arian Foster (16) (even with 1/2 a game of Matt Leinart & 1/2 a game with T.J. Yates and a total of 65 rush yds and 2 fumbles) & Greg Jennings (15) (Suck on that Jordy Nelson!) Next week is the last gasp for these two, so time to DO WORK, fellas.

Week 13 predictions!

With 3 of the 4 playoff slots filled, (Ha! I said ‘Slots Filled’) this has become an interesting lurch to the finish line. The 4th and final spot is up for grabs between BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE (6-6), THATS ONE IN A ROW (5-6-1) & still Ccccchanging around BATTLE CRY LEROY JENKINS (5-7).

And don’t forget, the top spot, the king of the hill, the big banana, the godfather, numero uno is still up for grabs with a 3-way tie! Is there a $$$ prize for finishing first in the league? Get back to us Paulie! I think I found a trophy for the league winner as well, but we’ll save that for the playoffs!

The Playoff Seeding tiebreakers are (according to our leagues settings) going to be based on Head to Head matchups… Not total points scored, etc…

So on that note.

The battle for the 4th and final playoff spot tiebreaker reads a little something like this.
Jared vs. Paul (2-0)
Jared vs. Steve(1-1)
Paul vs. Steve (1-1)

Since Jared has a tie, that will effectively dictate the 4th spot if they win and are tied. If Paul & Steve are tied at the end, then based on total points scored. (Before week 13 — Steve has 1501 & Paul has 1464. A 37 point swing to overcome.)

As for the top seed…
Erin vs. Sean (2-0)
Sean vs. Dan (1-1)
Dan vs. Erin (N/A) They play each other in week 13.

So to recap, Erin owns Sean, just like last years final/Super Bowl. Points for Sean (1702) vs. Dan (1679) equals a 23 point gap to fill (Ha! I said Gap to fill!) Since Erin & Dan play each other for week 13, the head to head stuff doesn’t really matter since the loser falls to 8-5 and most likely the #3 seed.

I hope that helps to build a little more anticipation like this

Now onto the unfinished business! Week 13 Prognostications!

Trust me... It hurt me worse then the turkey!

DOBACK & HUFF (4-8) VS. THATS 1 IN A ROW (5-6-1)
Doback can play spoiler here, or 1 in a row puts in a last ditch effort to claim the final playoff spot! Looking at the top 5 matchups of the QB’s, RB’s & WR’s I cannot help but love, love, love… Doback.

I mean, Cam Newton against the Yuccaneers, Frank Gore against St. Louis porous run defense after last weeks beatdown against the Ravens. I expect Gore to run roughshod. I can totally get on board with starting 2 WR’s against Cleveland, usually. Not sure about both of them going off, but 1 for sure.

1 in a row has some tougher conflicts, such as… the underwhelming, league leading turnover machine Philip Rivers facing a staunch Jags defense. Arian Foster with T.J. Yates at QB playing a solid Falcons defense that will most certainly put 8 guys in the box to stop Foster. Finally, Ryan Pickspatrick against Tennessee. Last weeks TD showing is a mirage. He’ll revert back to Pickspatrick this week.

D&H – 134 T1IAR – 122

Awesome!

THE PEACOCK SLAYER (3-8-1) VS. BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE (6-6)
Another battle where a participant needs to win to secure the 4th playoff spot. Will The Peacock Slayers take down another team and crush some more dreams or will BOOM win again as in their previous matchup (101-64).
Even though, the prognosticator in me, thinks BOOM takes this matchup and the 4th playoff spot, I do see a crack in the foundation. His roster features 6 players playing against 2 teams. 3 NY Giants facing Green Bay and 3 SF 49ers facing St. Louis. Both seem like smart plays, but if things go awry in one of these games, this matchup could also change dramatically. For that reason alone, I am picking another upset.

TPS – 129 BGTD – 121

Oh how the mighty (hyped) have fallen!

BRANDON LLOYD CHRISTMAS (8-4) VS. BATTLE CRY LEEROY JENKINS (5-7)
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Battle cry cannot seem to stop the bleeding and need a win here to have a chance at the 4th and final playoff spot. Christmas is on cruise control and looking to lockup the top seed with a win and a little help.
So onto the potential outcome! 3 word for X-mas – Rodgers, Romo & Murray! You can’t spell Battle CRY without CRY and this is what Leeroy will be doing once his Roethlisberger’s, Freeman’s & Forte’s sputter out again. Just looking at the matchups.
A brutal end to a brutal end of a season for Leeroy.

BLC – 148 BCLJ – 108

Champion BATTLE ROYALE

Champion BATTLE ROYALE

ZALLA’S BALLER’S (8-4) VS. LESS IS MOORE (8-4)
Defending Super Bowl champion ZB’s are continuing their dominance of this league and look to put their stamp on it again with a win and clinching of the #1 seed. MOORE is hoping to lick his wounds and change his momentum with a win and a shot at the top seed. Its the BATTLE ROYALE on CENTER STAGE! This matchup includes, the #2, #3 & #4 FF ranked QB’s. The #1 Tight End, Defense & Kicker and the #2 Wide Receiver, so you know these teams are legit and stuff.

I think there will be some tweaks to the rosters before the games begin, so I am guessing this outcome off the cuff.

LIM – 159 ZB’s – 149

With all the scores, my prediction is BOOM takes the 4th playoff spot with a losing record of 6-7 and CHRISTMAS takes the overall top seed by beating MOORE on overall points scored.

Have a great week and remember to do something nice for someone else with nothing in return!

WITNESS Protection

Like a gladiator who just slayed the mythical 3 headed beast, Dirk Nowitzki stalked off the court in a focused frenzy. His emotions welling up so forceful that only his immense amount of jersey fabric shielding his face covered the tears that started to flow.

Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks had just won the NBA Championship, and all was right in the world again.

Akin to Luke Skywalker or Dark Knight type of story, the villainous trio of LeBron James, Chris Bosh and likable Dwayne Wade were struck down by the force. The force of camaraderie, the force of teamwork, the force of knowing one’s role in a setting. While the Miami Heat put on this show of best buddies goofing around and the tired press conferences with LeBron flanked by Dwayne as if he was there for moral support or to finish each others’ sentences. The rest of this team was discovered to be exactly what most thought they were. Soulless mercenaries. Mike Bibby gave up $6 million plus to bring his defense? 3-point shooting? dribbling skills! Zydrunas brought a cool nickname in Big Z. Mario Chalmers showed some passion and by the time Udonis Haslem showed up, you could see some fight in the dog. Chris Bosh has an extensive bowtie collection (pure speculation). Dwayne Wade appeared to be the only one with an actual pulse and passion for winning. Maybe it’s because he is the only one who has won a title, save for Eddie House, who got to play in the 4th quarter. The 4th quarter where over-hyped, over-marketed, under-fundamentally sound LeBron James started on the bench.

The largest free agent in the recent history of the NBA started the 4th quarter of the NBA final game in which his team had to win or go home, on the bench. Not even mentioning that he had 72 year (age approximate) old Jason Kidd guarding him when Dallas’ wasn’t playing zone, 2 time MVP Bron Bron, was a deer in headlights on the interstate with cars whizzing by and instead of grabbing his teammates by the scruff of their necks and rallying them up for a defensive lockdown, he pissed himself and sat down. LeBron filled his stat sheet in the first 3 quarters of each game, even logging his trademark triple double in Game 5. Ultimately, the 4th quarter is where the will to win disappeared in the Chosen one. The King had no Castle, only jesters. The Empire crumbled and as valiant as D-Wade and Chalmers tried, the might of J.J. Barea, Jason Terry, Yoda (J-Kidd), Tyson Chandler and Dirk were simply too much for the hired guns to handle.

Miami Heat - WITNESS PROTECTION

On the other side of the coin, the Dallas Mavericks. Cleveland’s team! Dan Gilbert, (CEO of the Cleveland Cavaliers and former LeBron James employer) immediately sent a supportive, yet vindictive tweet that couldn’t have been said better, by 100 thousand former LeBron fans. Jason Terry, a lovable loser who had tattooed the Larry O’Brien trophy on his right bicep, finally was vindicated and we can all appreciate his energy as he ran LeBron James ragged. Jason Kidd, who in his 17 year career, has dealt with coming close to an NBA championship twice, a rough divorce, years of playing on thin teams and critics saying he had nothing left in the tank. Truth is, he was just on cruise control and he hit the nitrous in the playoffs! JJ Barea was the sparkplug to the engine. Like an informercial, I just kept hearing the announcer yell, “It slices, it dices, it shreds your defense!” Tyson Chandler was all-world. He incarnated Rodman with the tip rebounds and battled Haslem, Joel Anthony & Chris Bosh each game. Finally, Dirk. Class Act. Champion. Good stuff.

The main thing that perplexed me, was watching the last 5 minutes of the game, realizing the Miami Heat, playing in front of their white T-shirt clad fans down by 8 points had every chance in the world to take control of the game and force a Game 7. Instead of full pressure defense or running set plays or at least getting to the rim. A lackadaisical half court defense ensued with a 3 point shot being taken by LeBron and Chalmers. Brick and Brick. Dallas comes down the court with Nowitzki draining jumpers that look like they’ve been dropped from the rafters by angels. Even with the stink of desperation sinking in and the emotion in the arena being sucked out, Miami still had a chance. But alas, no passion, no heart, no desire to win. Walking around, half hearted efforts finally vanquished by another Dallas drive or Nowitzki jumper!

When the merciful ending arrived and the victors received their spoils, there was an earnest sincerity in the way they celebrated as they deserved the title.

To the Miami Heat,
The Boston Celtics send their Thanks, the Cleveland Cavaliers send Pity and Closure and the Dallas Mavericks could care less. They got the hardware!

My picks for the Semi-Finals of the NBA Playoffs

Mavs in 6 games over the Thunder. Next year is Thunder’s year!

Bulls in 7 games over the Heat. LeBron & Wade practically will the Heat to the finals, but yet again are beaten by a TEAM.

Finale

Dallas Mavericks versus the Chicago Bulls.

Shooting Stones in a Glass Stadium.

lebron-james

lebron-james photo borrowed from "by Esther Steinfeld"

Shooting Stones in a Glass Stadium.

LeBron James decides to take another shot at the already belittled Cleveland Cavaliers who are fighting but more realistically slogging their way through a dismal season trying to avoid being the lowliest team in all of the NBA.

The other night, the Cavs were almost doubled up by the 2-time defending champion Los Angeles Lakers 112 -57. In the waning moments of one of, if not, the most forgettable game of the season so far, LeBron James decided to take to Twitter and drop his petty tweet.

“Crazy. Karma is a b****.. Gets you every time. Its not good to wish bad on anybody. God sees everything!” … Ouch. This felt similar to the moment a fight starts and one fighter gets that jelly-legged punch to the gut, and when the rise back up from the shock, there is left cross and uppercut waiting. Boom! Pow! Whaaaam!

Fast forward 24 hours to LeBron injuring his ankle in a loss to the Los Angeles Clippers 111-105. AWESOME!

Now, LeBron has been trying to run from his tweet, ever since it made headlines. His excuses are straight out of Jim Caldwells book of rambling fallacies. Spare us LeBron. You tweeted a low down & dirty message and in hindsight you realize it wouldn’t be received well… Sounds familiar… How did you make this “Decision”?

Bottom line is your “friends” at your Management company, especially Maverick are just plain sloppy when it comes to Public Relations and although you are at your core a good person with strong roots in Akron, your guidance and “shoot from the hip” actions of recent have dinged your reputation and potential legacy deeply.

As a former fan of the Cavaliers and yourself, I freed myself from the burdens of perennial losing as you did, I just did it quietly and respectfully.

Go Magic & Celtics! and why not. Go Clippers!

LeBron James makes Dan Gilbert a Martyr!

LeBron James makes Dan Gilbert a Martyr - Sean Dreznin's Blog

LeBron James makes Dan Gilbert a Martyr - Sean Dreznin's Blog

LeBron James makes Dan Gilbert and the citizens of Cleveland Martyrs!

Cavalier fans want to pay Dan Gilbert’s $100,000 fine

By Trey Kerby

While Dan Gilbert’s rage in Comic Sans didn’t do him any favors with David Stern, Jesse Jackson or Miami Heat superstars, it did win over some pretty important people — Cleveland Cavaliers fans. Distraught by the loss of their marquee player, Cavs fans embraced Gilbert’s guarantees and disgust with LeBron James(notes). Now they’re taking things a step further than just agreeing with him — they’re helping him.

After being hit with a $100,000 fine for his ode to anger, Gilbert received an offer of his own from some Clevelanders who totally agree with everything he said, if not his font choice. From the Associated Press:

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert has more fans and friends than he ever knew.

His emotional, controversial letter criticizing LeBron James for leaving to join Miami spawned an outpouring of fan support for Gilbert. A team spokesman said the team has received thousands of e-mails and phone calls, including some from fans offering to help Gilbert pay a $100,000 NBA-imposed fine.

Well, that’s nice. Very nice. Probably not allowed by the NBA in any way, shape or form, but it’s the thought that counts.

And while Gilbert is more than happy to take people’s money in the form of high-interest loans, he has opted not to accept these fans’ offers to pay his fine.

“The humbling offer by so many is another reflection of the strength of Cavs fans and the people who live and work in this region and are always the first to step up and have each other’s back,” Gilbert said. “I will pay this fine myself, but would be grateful and highly appreciative for any fan who redirects the dollars they kindly offered to contribute towards this fine to the Cavaliers Youth Fund, which will positively impact our region’s kids through the numerous local charitable groups the Cavaliers Youth Fund supports.”

Even though it’s gotten him in some trouble with the league, Gilbert’s pretty much nailed the PR part of losing LeBron James, at least in Cleveland. He showed the fans he was upset just like them, and that’s sure to help them want to stay attached to the team. Now, he’s trying to turn his fine into something good for the area. Good thinking, really.

Maybe all it will take for Dan Gilbert to become a beloved figure in Ohio is the loss of the best player in Cavaliers history. Every owner should try it.

Good versus Evil … NBA Style

summer-of-lebron

summer-of-lebron

An article by Mitch Lawrence on Fox Sports that sums up an emotional response that I have had. The battle of Good vs. Evil in the NBA… In reality, guys like Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard and Tim Duncan going against the martyrs such as Kobe Bryant, the new pariah LeBron James and other rancid personalities including Ron Artest, Gilbert Arenas, Joahkim Noah, etc is good for the NBA, but I couldn’t agree more with Mitch Lawrence about this miscarriage of justice in putting this team together.

For me, its not about the, “What’s best for _______________ (Insert full NBA name here) _____________ (“And my family”) but more about young superstars in their respective prime, bolting the city’s that loved, worshipped and basically let them call the shots about teammates, plays, staff, etc. LeBron is 25, and he was in Cleveland for 7 years. He seemed to not put a full effort into the playoffs this year, as he had done in the past, which makes me think this collusion agreement had already been discussed and agreed upon with the 3 guys far in advance. (See Bill Simmons article, which eludes to this through a past reader comment and observations)

NBA needs a little more hater-ade
Fox Sports — Mitch Lawrence

Look who’s back in the NBA. Our dear, old friend, hate.

If you heard Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert wig out over LeBron James’ defection to the Miami Heat, you know that hate is alive and well.

To be honest, it’s good to see. It’s good to see Cavs fans burning James’ jersey after he stuck it to his hometown team and quit on the Cavaliers one more time, just for good measure. It’s good to see Gilbert post a 400-word diatribe on his team’s Web site, where he laid out James as if he were Kevin McHale putting the clothesline to Kurt Rambis.

Gilbert called it an act of “cowardly betrayal.’’

We agree, because after all the Cavs did for James in his seven-plus seasons, King Bailout didn’t even have the decency to tell Gilbert face-to-face that he was leaving town. After he kept Gilbert in the dark during free agency, he owed him that much. But LeBron wimped out, just as he did against Boston. He had one of his cronies call Gilbert with the worst news to hit Cleveland since Art Modell took the Browns to Baltimore.

It was also good to see Gilbert then take his bitterness up a few more notches, accusing James of tanking in several playoff games, including his epically feeble performance in Game 5 against Boston, which turned out to be his last home game as a Cavalier.

“He quit,” Gilbert said. “Not just in Game 5, but in games 2, 4 and 6. Watch the tape. The Boston series was unlike anything in the history of sports for a superstar.”

Hate rules!

The NBA will have no comment on Gilbert’s assault-and-battery of one of the game’s top stars, because the league doesn’t know what to make of it. The league was unprepared to deal with all the craziness brought on by the great gold rush of 2010, let alone the unprecedented public vitriol an owner had for his franchise player.

“He has gotten a free pass,” Gilbert told the Associated Press the night of “The Decision,’’ knowing his comments would be transmitted to the farthest points on the globe. “People have covered up for [James] for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is. It’s not about him leaving. It’s the disrespect. It’s time for people to hold these athletes accountable for their actions. Is this the way you raise your children? I’ve been holding this all in for a long time.’’

FOX SPORTS POLL
Dan Gilbert’s reaction to LeBron has been … 37%—-Ridiculous ******* 63%—-Righteous!

Can you feel the hate? The world is a much more interesting place when people are at each other’s throats and don’t hide their true emotions. Sort of like the NBA back in the ’80s, when Boston and L.A. used to meet in the Finals. Or when the Knicks and Heat or Knicks and Bulls played in the ’90s.

But lately, the NBA has the scene of one, big sickening love-fest, starting with the players. Everybody’s buddies. The top guys even get to play together on Team USA, fostering the dangerous alliances we see today.

So who can be the least bit surprised when two megastars, James and Dwyane Wade, trash the time-honored tradition of leading their own separate teams. Joining forces normally doesn’t happen until players are well past their primes. When Karl Malone jumped to the Lakers in 2004, he was a week short of his 40th birthday, and he had been busting his butt, trying to win a ring, in Utah for 18 years. By that late date, nobody was offended by the move.

But here, James quit on the Cavs when he’s still only 25. And Wade threw his buddy a life preserver when he’s still only 28.
If this is a new model for building teams, somebody needs to take a hammer to it.

Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert Scolds LeBron in Open Letter to Fans

we-are-all-witnesses-lebron-james-546522_1024_768

we-are-all-witnesses-lebron-james-546522_1024_768

Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert Scolds LeBron in Open Letter to Fans

In the wake of LeBron James’s decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert posted an open letter to fans on the team’s website. Mr. Gilbert, the 48-year-old chairman and founder of Quicken Loans Inc. and Rock Financial, became the majority owner of the Cavs in March 2005. (Read related article: LeBron James to Sign With Miami Heat.)

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.

Just watch.

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….

Dan Gilbert
Majority Owner

For now, LeBron, the Prince of South Beach, is still the King of Nothing.

we-are-all-witnesses-lebron-james-546522_1024_768

we-are-all-witnesses-lebron-james-546522_1024_768

He may wear the annointed crown, but he sits, in his checkered purple and white shirt, ringless.

That situation may change in less then a year as the Miami Heat looked poised to challenge the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers for the title.

The other contenders are either a year older or a player removed from seriously challenging, at this point, on paper.

Boston Celtics… The same argument of age and being too old applies this upcoming season as well.

Orlando Magic.. After losing Hedo Turtle-glue, they just seem to be missing something… Maybe its Rashard Lewis sucking more then a black hole… actually, I think I just gave Rashard his new nickname! Kobe is the “Black Mamba” and Rashard is the “Black Hole”.

Phoenix… No Amare = No Chance

Dallas… Hey look its Dirk Nowitzki and a first round playoff loss!

Denver… Carmelo has NY on the brain… Denver goes, at best, 2nd round

Utah… Blah

San Antonio… Age and injuries are getting the best of this TEAM.

Atlanta… Haha… Joe Johnson robbed this team for all they are worth… $120 million for Joe Johnson… and for David Blaine’s next act he will put Atlanta in a block of ice and they will remain there until Mike Bibby and ZaZa move on or shoot better then 30%.

Chicago… Derrick Rose & Carlos Boozer will put them into the playoffs and they will put up a good fight, but we don’t see them going to the finals.

Milwaukee… A strong TEAM, but not finals worthy.

Charlotte… Snoozefest, unless Jordan laces em up… nevermind.

Portland… We actually like Portland this season…maybe the dark horse that loses to the lakers.

Finally, the Los Angeles Lakers… Kobe, Gasol, Bynum, Artest, fisher/Blake, etc… If Bynum is healthy, then Lakers are just too big inside for the Heat, but If the load falls on Gasol and Odom, then certainly there is a chance that the Heat can score enough to win the series. Ultimately, the strength of having 3 great scorers like LBJ, Wade and Bosh is the speed and agility with which they attack, score, counterattack on fast breaks. The con is, the speed of play on the playoffs sloooooows down tremendously and the game becomes a defensive battle to the fullest! This is where we see a roster of 3 stars and some random characters falling short. Defensively.

We see the Lakers 3-peating.

But maybe the Heat will sign Carmelo as well.