As the world now knows, thanks to the insane ego boost that ESPN/ABC gave him, LeBron James finally announced that he’s leaving Cleveland to play for the Miami Heat next season along side Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. Tim could not wait to share his thoughts via email and now I share them via blog.
“Couldn’t delay this because it’s all I could think about this morning.
That Dan Gilbert letter was hysterical. A bit too harsh in my opinion, but only because James may still do a lot of good for Akron and Cleveland with his charity work if the area doesn’t disown him completely. However, I think Gilbert may be right that Cleveland will win a championship before LBJ does. Here’s why: D-Wade is broken and can’t really carry a load like he used to. He has only a few seasons left at this level. One of those seasons will be eliminated by a lock out. This is inevitable in my opinion. The big markets are getting better, but the small markets are getting fucked. Joe Johnson got a max deal and Brendan Haywood is getting $55 million, this is not okay. Salaries are out of control and I don’t think the mid-level guys appreciate the fact that one good season in a contract year can net a max deal and leave the little guys with nothing. Lastly, I don’t think Bosh is that good. He is the same size as Rashard Lewis, but can’t play outside. He’s like Dirk only without the ability to shoot. He’s Paul Pierce without anything that resembles ball-handling skills. He’s over-hyped.
The “legacy” of LBJ and D-Wade is done. Over. Any season in which they don’t win a ring it will be seen as a failure, and yet they are only the third or fourth best team in the NBA right now (Laker, Magic, and maybe Celtics are better). It will be impossible for any one of these guys to put up the numbers that rival the great ones. To truly be great you have to win on YOUR team. Wade can do it, but he won’t have the numbers for greatness. LBJ can’t do it because he left HIS team to be second fiddle on Wade’s squad. Bosh…well…see the paragraph above.
Read articles this morning about more deals going down in the NBA. The Heat have traded Beasley (making Chalmers their ONLY player currently under contract) to Minnesota basically just to clear cap space and get a second round pick next year. How do they plan on winning? Even if Wade, James, and Bosh (for future references I’m referring to them as “the D-Bags” in honor of it being Wade’s team) all take salary cuts for the sake of winning they will only have enough money for like 9 players — and half of those will be minimum salary guys. This is great planning.
The Bosh deal may turn into a sign and trade (for future picks because Miami has nothing to give right now) so that he can get a six year deal. If James had any loyalty (he doesn’t) he would get the same thing for Cleveland. Problem is, Miami will have to give up a LOT of draft picks for these things and will never be able to build.
Knicks are going to trade Lee to the Warriors (sorry for Lee) to get Randolph and some other guys. Great move for the Knicks as they will finally get back some semblance of a team. Sadly, all of the talent will be in the front court with no one to get the ball to them.
Anyway, all of this makes me very happy because it should mean several things. 1) LBJ will get his (and not in a good way) 2) A lockout is all but guaranteed (meaning one less year that I have to hear about the D-Bags) 3) the NBA may work out some revenue sharing to make the league more competitive (this is needed as evidenced by the Celtics and Lakers owning more than half of all rings) 4) The Cavs should now be on a war path to win a ring (big spending, big excitement, winning more) and 5) I hope all NBA teams and players refuse to deal with the Heat after what just happened. They can’t sign anyone else who’s good. They can’t really offer a trade. Teams should just ignore everything they are trying to do.
The NBA where treason happens.”
I only could add a little to that.
“You make a ton of good points and I’ll try to answer them all, and likely I’ll post these to the Bang in a little bit.
First of all, I’m with you in that Gilbert’s letter was pretty harsh and probably shouldn’t have been sent out. Someone with some PR experiance probably should have pulled him off the ceiling and done some editing before he sent that out. Then again, maybe they did. From what I understand the anger was mostly from the fact that LeBron didn’t tell Gilbert anything until about 2 minutes before they went live with that interview, meaning that the owner (the guy that signs those enormous checks) found out that he was losing his franchise at about 9:18, a good ten minutes before the rest of the world. That’s prety shady if you ask me. I mean, the majority of us give the courtesy of two weeks notice. He may still do charity work, but it may be awhile before he’s welcomed back. Right about now, it may be like rubbing salt in a wound even if he comes back for his Bike-a-thon in a few weeks.
I’m with you that a lockout is imminent. These ridiculous salaries coming out of this free agency cycle as well as the implied collusion between the game’s biggest stars will no doubt get the owners to make new demands in the next CBA. They may even want something in place like the NCAA’s rules on coaches contactig recruits. I could see them trying it. Not saying it would work, but they may try it.
There is no way that the legacies of LBJ and D-Wade can stand up anymore, although I think Wade comes out on top here. The Heat is, are, and always will be his team. It would have been if it was just him staying or whoever else came to town. LBJ gets (and justifyably should) more heat for heading south. Regardless of whether or not he’s not going to get max money in the deal, he’s damaged his brand. The NBA salary isn’t where he’s getting the majority of his money, it’s always been the endorsements, just like Tiger Woods. But letting his ego lead him down to South Beach may impact that in hurting his ability to sell. Maybe its just me.
Let me get to Miami’s roster, or lack thereof. Right now, as I write this on Friday afternoon, the Heat have Mario Chalmers, Joel Anthony, and Kenny Hasbrouck on contract with Wade, Bosh, and James’s deals to come and Da’Shawn Butler, Dexter Pittman, and Jarvis Vanardo signing (probably at rookie minimum). Miami is dangerously thin, and I’ll say it now, they’re out in either the first round or Eastern Confrerence Semis this coming year.
I kinda feel bad for David Lee, but as you said, the Knicks are looking like they’re trying to build behind Stoudamire and getting Turiaf, Azubuke, and Randolph. Look at the bright side for Lee, he gets to play with Monta Ellis and he’s not playing for the Clippers.”
After living in Northeast Ohio for 2 years, I accepted the NBA into my viewing habits and started rooting for the Cavs. I really couldn’t have cared less about the pro game before LeBron and now that he’s gone, I really couldn’t give a damn about the NBA anymore. Well, perhaps I’ll keep an eye on this Evan Turner kid. I heard someone say on the bus the other day that he’s got a shot at being good.