So it’s the Heat.
Lebron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane “The most powerful player in the NBA” Wade will team up next season to terrorize opponents, if not win it all. I said early on that Chicago is the best fit and I still believe that, but it doesn’t mean Miami can’t work. Of course it can, when you put 3 of the best players in the NBA together and they already show their willingness to make sacrifices by taking less money to play together. Wade will be able to focus more on offense instead of doing everything but fly the team plane. Lebron may become more of a facilitator than he was able to be in Cleveland and Bosh will be able to take everything that’s left. All three guys will enjoy life without constant double teams and the burden of entire cities on their shoulders.
Lebron’s announcement was actually classier and better handled than I thought it would be, and it was clear that while he was excited, he was not happy about leaving the only home he’s ever known in both basketball and life. However, the Cavaliers ownership was happy to cover the classless portion and help ease Lebron’s pain. Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert made it abundantly clear that Lebron James made the right decision to leave Cleveland tonight. He wrote a letter to Cavs fans after James’ press conference stating he felt “personally betrayed” by Lebron and the Lebron “quit” during the playoffs. But the best part was when he said:
"I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE"
Now seriously, if Danny had any idea how to do that, I feel like it would have happened by now. At some point Dan is going to learn that making guarantees with no way of backing them up is almost as poor as surrounding a once in a generation talent with mediocre to no talent and expecting him to stay just because he was born nearby. You really have to wonder if a guy flies off the handle this way if Lebron’s “narcissistic” and “self promoting” conference ended with him returning to Cleveland. By the way the letter in its entirety can be read here:
But seriously, can you blame a guy for leaving an owner who behaves like this? When Gilbert says “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.” Does he mean they are going to spend some actual money on some actual talent? Or by “never betray you” does he mean that the fans can expect a continued diet of Anthony Parker caliber players cycling through Cleveland for chump change? It’s confusing because they never brought in a player better than Antawn Jamison the ENTIRE time James played there. And the odds are they won’t get many better players, since their owner just made it clear that he is a vindictive 14 year old girl in disguise.
If Cavs fans are savvy, Lebron is still more popular than Dan Gilbert in Cleveland. Lebron packed up and left Cleveland fans, Gilbert just promised to continue disappointing you for years to come. Enough of that, Cavs fans are upset enough without Gilbert rubbing failure in the wound.
Now the question is who will play with these guys? The Heat traded Beasley to the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight (Minnesota is trying this new approach to the game, where 9 of your 15 players are either power forwards or centers. GM David Kahn is determined to make Danny Ferry look good) presumable to clear enough space to sign all 3 superstars. But who do the Heat bring in to fill out the roster? I’ve got a couple ideas:
Jordan Farmar PG
Brad Miller C
Raymond Felton PG
Nate Robinson PG
Zydrunas Ilglauskas C
Craig Smith SF
Ronnie Brewer SG
Udonis Haslem PF
All of those guys are unrestricted free agents and that’s not it. At least a few of those guys would take less money to play with “The Heat’s 3 Sons” get a shot at a ring and certainly get more attention than they would get otherwise.
So the sun has set on the Lebron era in Cleveland and it is a bit shocking. I feel for all Cavs fans who genuinely loved Lebron and enjoyed what he did for the team, city and state of Ohio. This Heat team is going to be SO much more fun than watching Amare Stoudamire suffering through $100 million in New York! Well that will be fun too…
Settle down Dan...settle down.
Tags: lebron james dwyane wade cleveland miami dan gilbert heat