Circus Ringleader: LeBron Analyses Out of Control

8 06 2010

The Clock of Doom that has been ticking inside Cavaliers fans’ heads for four years now is finally approaching its end—an end that seems terrifyingly closer now that the Cavs have yet again flopped out of the playoffs, Mike Brown has been fired, Danny Ferry has resigned, and Dan Gilbert has officially embarked on his expected warpath to find the next Cavaliers head coach.

All signs point to the Cavs’  front office preparing for a franchise apocalypse.

Add to all that the fact that nearly half the team’s roster (Mo Williams, Delonte West, Daniel Gibson, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Shaquille O’Neal, Jawad Williams, and that LeBron guy) is currently in limbo concerning the future status with the squad and Clevelanders’ patience and sanity are being shaved away bit by bit.

The nonstop barrage of anti-Cleveland sentiment (LeBron Photshopped into Knicks, Nets, Bulls and Heat uniforms, experts’ perceived chances of LBJ staying in Cleveland dwindling daily, etc.) seen, read, and heard in sports media isn’t helping people in Cleveland feel optimistic about the city’s basketball (and economic) future, either.

Yes, the Cavaliers’ season and foreseeable future hit an official tailspin after Game 5 of the Boston series.

And yes, the certifiable nationwide circus that began and snowballed since season’s end was certainly expected.

But this is beginning to get a bit out of hand.

While sideline blurbs and notes are being dedicated to completely unrelated “stories” on the issue like Ron Artest’s opinion on where LeBron will go, mainstream coverage is constantly being devoted to hypothetical dream hirings of Tom Izzo and Phil Jackson, how hard Jay-Z and Mayor Michael Bloomberg are or aren’t selling New York/Jersey to LeBron, and the mysterious mind and money powers of the almighty Mikhail Prokhorov.

Now, these stories don’t bother me at their surface. What makes them more than a tad absurd is how far people read into them. There is a bottom line that runs along every rumor, story, tweet, quote, and mumbling about LeBron James’ future.

Nothing’s happened yet.

The guy has been anything but committal in any direction and has refused to lean one way or another since the beginning of the 2009-10 season.

Of course he “likes” the Bulls’  nucleus of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, who doesn’t?

Just because he “loves” New York City doesn’t mean he wants to dedicate the prime of his career to dragging that town’s awful basketball teams to mediocrity.

And of course the only team he’s played professionally with—the team he carried on his back to the 2007 NBA Finals, the one with which he won two league MVP awards and sowed the seeds of his now-sterling career—has an “edge” in re-signing him. Cleveland has become a home to LeBron and the Cavs would once again be a leader in the East and a contender for an NBA title with LeBron in the fold no matter who else is on Cleveland’s roster.

The truth is that nobody really knows what’s going in LeBron’s head except LeBron. It’s been proven again and again throughout the Doomsday 2010 Epic that began four years ago.

He’s become very, very good at being a guarded public figure and applying blinders toward his lone goal as an NBA player: winning a championship (this focus was, for the first time, interrupted in the Celtics series, which makes me think his elbow injury was much graver than he or anyone in the Q wanted to admit).

Along with playing basketball in his home region, LeBron loves usurping the brightest possible spotlight at all times. You think he’s getting what he wants right now? Thought so.

What all the above random strings of thought have in common is that they all lead to this point: nothing matters until LeBron makes a decision.

Everything the Cavs, coaches looking for work, and free agents looking for a team do this summer hinges on where LBJ signs his name in July. I realize this is hard to do (especially for you, my fellow Clevelanders) since more than one basketball franchise may or may not collapse due to James’ signing, but let’s all try to relax for the time being.

The Cleveland Cavaliers may be on the eve of the destruction of their franchise, but all they—and everyone else—can do for now is wait.

So can we please start talking about basketball again?

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3 responses

19 06 2010
ZENNMASTER

HERES WHY LEBRON WON’T WIN A RING FOR 3 YEARS=
IF HE STAYS IN CLEVELAND , NO CHANCE WITH PRESENT TEAMMATES…
IF HE STAYS AND GETS A FREE AGENT, THEY’LL HAVE TO PLAY TOGETHER 1
YEAR, GET TO THE FINALS AND LOSE BEFORE RETURNING AND WIN…
IF HE GOES TO ANY OTHER TEAM, THEY HAVE TO PLAY AT LEAST 2 YEARS TOGETHER JUST TO GET TO THE FINALS…
THEN THERE IS THE ORLANDO MAGIC, WHO WILL GET BETTER EACH YEAR, NOT TO MENTION THE REST OF THE EASTERN CONFERENCE..
ON TOP OF ALL THAT LAKERS TEAM WILL REMAIN INTACT AND ONLY GET BETTER…
LEBRON CAN WIN THE REGULAR SEASON MVP TROPHY FOR THE NEXT 10 TEARS, BUT IT JUST DON’T MEAN A THING IF YOU AIN’T GOT NO RING…
PEOPLE SAY KOBE WOULDN’T HAVE WON 3 RINGS WITHOUT SHAQ…WELL SHAG WOULDN’T HAVE WON 3 WITHOUT KOBE IN L.A….
SORRY CLEVELAND….3 YEARS MINIMUM

23 06 2010
Dan Delagrange

While I agree that if he stays in Cleveland, something needs to be done around him to get the Cavs over the hump. To say that his present surrounding cast isn’t good enough to get to the Finals is, I think, a little unfounded. Who took the majority of the blame in the media for the Cavs crapping out against Boston? LeBron, that’s who (yes, Mo Williams once again failed to produce in the playoffs). I’d say other than LeBron against Boston and Williams in nearly every game, the rest of the Cavs played pretty well.

Had LeBron not taken a dump more than once against the Celtics and played like the LeBron we’re used to seeing for every game in that series, the Cavs probably would have moved on to the East Finals. The Cavs are definitely a contender in the East with LeBron, not matter who else is around him.

As for the Magic, didn’t we just get a front row seat to how overrated they are? The Celtics handled them almost as easily as they did the Cavs (who, again, are a completely different team than the one we saw against Boston when LBJ is playing like his normal self). The rest of the East isn’t too threatening right now, either.

All in all, I wouldn’t be so bold as to make statements like “if he stays, the Cavs cannot do X or Y” or “if he goes somewhere else, it’ll be X years until they can get to the Finals.” The only absolute certainty about an absolute statement like that (unless it has to do with gravity) is that it is almost never completely true.

29 06 2010
King

Lebron’s supporting cast is not good enough to win a title. Who else played poorly in the Boston series? Delonte west played terrible…I believe an 0-7 performance was his most memorable game of the series. Shaq was useless although Mike Brown may have screwed that up. Andy V was obviously bothered by that back and wasn’t himself(we got murdered on the glass in that series). Jamison, and people in D.C. will tell you this too, couldn’t hit a big shot down the stretch. Overall, this team is not championship material as is. You’re putting too much pressure on Lebron by ultimately laying the blame solely on him. He crapped the bed in game 5, there’s no doubt about that. But Kobe Bryant went 6-24 in game 7 of a finals game and he’s a champion. Why? Because when Kobe can’t buy a bucket they can throw it inside to two inside threats. Gasol and Odom can bail Kobe out if he’s off basically. Lebron doesn’t have that luxury; if he goes 6-24 in any game the Cavs lose 100%. Obviously, Bosh could solve that problem. But why not go to Chicago where you have not one but two good bigs? Big men are the key to every title in the past ten years except maybe Detroit(and even then the two Wallaces were huge for them). San Antonio, Boston, LA all have All-Star/Hall of fame bigs and that is why they have won this past decade. In the end I can’t blame Lebron if he leaves if we can’t produce Chris Bosh. Lebron is a smart basketball player and he knows in the play-offs in a limited possession half-court affair, you need that big guy to throw it down to.

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