Friday, July 9, 2010

Party in the City Where the Heat is On

Why would anyone want to play for a guy that bashes the shit out of you after you take a team from nothing to a contender for seven years. I can't say that I agree with what LeBron James did by joining forces with two superstars, but after what Dan Gilbert did I guess I can cut LBJ some more slack (read Gilbert's message to Cavs fans here). If anyone was trying to build their ego Thursday night it has to be Dan Gilbert.

As LeBron said the words "South Beach" you could see it was hard for him as he did start to get emotional knowing his days in Cleveland were done. I mean, the whole situation could have been worse for the Cavs. LeBron could have got up there, cried, and said I just don't have love for the game anymore, and then come back two months from now only to play with the rival Bulls. Was a one hour special on ESPN a little much, yes, but it seems like everyone tuned in to watch it (Winks note: It actually earned more viewers than LeBron's final game with Cleveland did).

This kind of egocentricity happens in every sport, but people still find a way to bitch about how LeBron acts. I want to see any person out there play high school basketball with pro scouts watching your every move. You'd be in the news every night, and SportsCenter a few nights a week at the age of 17. You're drafted number one in a sport at the age of 18 and already you're the best player on your team. You play for that team for seven years till your contract is up. Of course you'd get your own show called " The Decision." ESPN would do anything for ratings right now on Thursday night, lets get real with ourselves. (Winks note: What about the MLS game on ESPN2?). If Bosh and Wade would have come to Cleveland, would Wade be such a bad person?

I think LeBron said all the right words on his show, and didn't really talk about how this team was going to be unstoppable. He said we still have to fill the rest of the roster. He gave respect to guys like Rondo and Perkins for what they did with the Celtics a few years ago. He talked about Chalmers and Joel Anthony, the only guys the Heat really still have under contract. He gave thanks to all the people in Cleveland for what they did for him. He was shown video footage of his jersey getting burned in the street, and he didn't attack the city of Cleveland for being trash. He could have been a dick about this, and talked about how all he cared about was being with good players so he didn't have to be the lead man every night. People say Kobe would never do this, well that is because Bryant's GM brought all the stars to him. This is how sports work people, get it through your head. (Also there were talks this morning about Cliff Lee going to the Yankees, Like they need more All-Stars, but this is a different story for a different day.) A big city sports team equals a situation where it's much easier to bring superstars to you.

Will the Heat get the top seed in the East, my guess would be yes. Will the Heat win the East? I think you have to put them at the top of the list, but don't write them in the Finals right away. I still think the Lakers would take them down, because they have depth on the bench. Also the West is getting weaker it seems, so the Lakers might have the easiest road to the finals for any team this season. The Thunder, Nuggets, and Mavs might give the Lakers some problems this year but the East has eight good teams that should make the playoffs, and any seed could move on to the second round.

The really good news out of all this for Wisconsin sports fans is the Bucks are now a leading team to win the Central. I would have to say that the Bucks and Bulls will be fighting for the Central division title, which makes this LeBron decision all the more favorable for me.

Ultimately this means that any city the Heat go to that team will sell a lot of tickets. Some people will pay just to boo James, some to cheer for him. The Heat at Cavs game will be on ESPN without a doubt, and might be the Christmas Day game. When James goes back to Cleveland he will need extra security, because those people are crazy. And last but not least if you are a gamer playing X-Box or PS3 NBA 2k11, and you pick the Heat, you are not really a true gamer because that just wouldn't be fair.

(Winks note: Gweeds loves LeBron more than anyone I know, the shirt he constantly wears around that says "WITNESS" is proof of that. He's got some solid points, but the fact that LeBron had this one-hour special that was more the making of his reps than it was ESPN, it's just a really shitty way to say goodbye to Cleveland. There have been a lot of overreactions in this saga, from LeBron, to ESPN, to Dan Gilbert, but I think we can agree that this was all handled in a pretty unprofessional manner, by all the parties involved. To hold a one hour interview show where you're basically saying "Fuck you, Cleveland" just by showing up is something that LeBron will never be able to shake from his image.

Then again, Kobe raped a girl and everyone loves him now, so who knows.)


Gweedo said...

Okay so maybe I was wrong about the Cliff Lee thing. Still the Rangers are a big market.

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