Blog Entry

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:09 am
Edited on: July 9, 2010 2:53 am
Posted by Matt Moore

We told you for days that someone was going to lose the NBA free agency arms race. That several teams were going to lose. And tonight, the final blows were struck. With LeBron James announcing his intention to sign with the Miami Heat, every team but the Heat will fall into the losers category. From here on out it's just a matter of degrees. Here are the losers, in order of degree by which this day sucked:

Level 1- LeBrocalypse Devastation: First four Black Sabbath albums

1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Go ahead. Let it out. You too, Dan. Get it out of your system . In Comic Sans, no less. It's bad. It's really bad. It's not just the emotional stuff. The deep connection people had to the kid from Akron, Ohio's native son, the local boy done good. It's the practical stuff. The city of Cleveland just lost out on what some estimates have put at $250 million in revenue to a South Beach heist. That's jobs. That's vacations. That's benefits. They weren't James' responsibility to watch out for, his obligation is to his family and his company. But it still deepens the wound. And that's not all. What about the practical holes in the roster? Who plays the small forward? They sacrificed so much, committed to bad contracts of veteran players in an attempt to build around James. And now?

It's a team poorly constructed. With little hope to remain in contention. Their best players are now Antawn Jamison and Mo Williams. There's no bright side to this. They can't bring in another player to put their hopes in. There's nothing but the sting of watching the media coverage for the Heat ramp up to levels the Cavs never saw. There's just nothing left. In a television interview, Brian Windhorst described the scene in Cleveland as if an atomic bomb went off. Kaboom.

Level 2- "Boom Goes the Dynamite"

2. Chicago Bulls:
Here's a bad sign for when your organization has probably thought too much of itself. New York looked humble and realistic next to the Bulls in this whole thing. When the most self-important set of zip codes in the modern world is showing you how to keep things in perspective, you may have overestimated your position. The Bulls played their cards strong to the point of bullying, challenging and charging at LeBron at every turn. In the end, it was the quiet, subtle Pat Riley who made the most effective pitch and converted the deal, while the Bulls come off as brash and overly confident.

The Bulls honestly expected that the attitude "You should want to sign here" would work. And by all accounts, they were close. But as usual, the Bulls organization fumbled an opportunity and now face a reality where their big "get" was Carlos Boozer. Hey, at least you're not paying him $20 million plus when he's 35. Wait.

Level 3 - "A Series of Unfortunate Events "

3. New Jersey Nets:
The Nets knew they were sunk before ESPN's camera's showed up at the Greenwich depot for coffee (they may not have a depot in Greenwich). They signed Travis Outlaw to a deal which slammed the door shut. The Nets are committed to a long-term approach using youth and growth. That's the new plan. Landing one of the top guys would have helped. But they fell out of favor almost as soon as they made their pitch. It's more that the Nets are looking at a longer rebuilding process than the other teams that lands them here. They have no Derrick Rose to comfort them, nor an Amar'e Stoudemire signing to take the sting off. But really, their fate was sealed when the lottery balls didn't go their way.  That's the way the cookie crumbles. Anybody know the Russian word for "Plan B?"

4. New York Knicks: Well, they did get Amar'e. And now have Anthony Randolph and some solid roleplayers. The Knicks wanted to become a legitimate force in the NBA championship picture. Well, that didn't happen. And so they wind up on this failures list, but in the end, the pain isn't as great as it could be. They did get a top flight free agent. And from there, D'Antoni has started to assemble a roster that may not be a championship contender, but is similar to some sort of mid-70's ABA underground club, playing in the back-arenas of New York. A running, striding, power team with point-forward capabilities and shooters that can get out and run with the best of them.

It's not the worst of fates for the Knicks, and unlike the Bulls they don't look desperate or misguided and unlike the Cavaliers, the franchise still stands with hope for the future. It wasn't a win, but it wasn't the end of the world.

5. Los Angeles Clippers: “Self-pity  is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.” - Helen Keller

Funny story, Helen actually had a better overall vision for a basketball organization than the Clippers do.

Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: July 9, 2010 11:32 pm

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

Plus, a player in his last one to two years has considerable value as an expiring contract.  So that 18m may be moved anyway to a failing franchise in need of cap space.

Since: Jan 19, 2009
Posted on: July 9, 2010 11:24 pm

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

Yeah, as a Bulls fan, I don't see how the Bulls are a big loser in this.  The Bulls with the addition of Boozer and Korver and more to come are better than the team that barely made the playoffs last season.  They also made a potentially strong upgrade at coach.  So, yeah, it would have been nice to get LeBron, but it's not like the new-look Heat are going to be the new incarnation of the Showtime Lakers, either.  Barring injury, the Bulls should be part of a new East elite, competitive with the Celtics, Magic, and even the Heat.  Meanwhile, other teams in the middle of the east, the Hawks, and the Bucks just committed players to the kind of contracts that the owners are going to point to when they go through with ruining the NBA's brand in a lockout.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: July 9, 2010 7:01 pm

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

And if anybody is delusional it's the writer says new york was humble and realistic. They were the ones who weren't in this free agen saga. You have no crediibility writing this garbage.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: July 9, 2010 6:23 pm

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

The writer is an idiot who thinks the Bulls should have bowed down to the Queen and given him what he wanted. They did the right thing in how they handled him. They didn't do anything wrong. James was going to Miami for two years. He wanted to play with his buddies and party on South Beach and not have to be the man and still win a title. All this is going to come back to bite his ass. His Q raiting will diminish and he will get fewer endorsements and not more. Such much for a global brand. Plus this team isn't going to win anything soon with no salary cap space.

Since: Jan 26, 2007
Posted on: July 9, 2010 2:36 pm

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

This FA was a scam

LBJ Wade and Bosh had this planned for 2 years.  Riley was probably let in on it by Wade and then he told the brat pack to keep it quiet and spy on the other teams to gather any info he could use to make it happen in MIA

Congrats Pat the Rat you've pulled off a masterpiece--just hope CHI can't use its cap space to find a SG

The paparrazzi are gonna have a blast n South Beach watching these $100m kids doing every stripper sideways

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: July 9, 2010 12:50 pm

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

Glad the Bulls didnt promise him he could run his posse where ever he wanted....and yeah if The Queen was what he said he was and wanted to be the Greatest of all time and was willing to be the man...then the Bulls pitch probably would have worked...but the only thing that got worked in this process was every NBA fan other than the 250,000 Heat fans....

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: July 9, 2010 11:44 am

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

Seriously.  Given this year's market (see Johnson, Joe or Stoudamire, Amare) Boozer contract is a downright steal.  He's a comparable acquisition to Stoudamire.  Slightly lower upside, slightly lower risk.  He provides the Bulls exactly what they need in terms of a low post presence and a quality pick and roll finisher to pair with Rose.  And they have the cap space to add a couple of shooters from the Redick, Morrow, Korver, Miller crew.  The Bulls could be very good this year, and frankly seem to have been very professional in the wake of Lebron's decision, given that they could feel they were in fact a pawn in the proceedings.  Would Lebron be better from a basketball perspective than Boozer and say Reddick and Korver?  Of course.  But outside of Miami, the Bulls have to be seen as the closest thing to a winner in this summer's free agency fiasco.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: July 9, 2010 11:06 am

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

"Hey, at least you're not paying him $20 million plus when he's 35."

Or, 17.7-18m when he's 33 in the last season of his deal.

But don't let accuracy get in the way of trying to be clever.

Since: Jan 15, 2009
Posted on: July 9, 2010 10:10 am

LeBrocalypse: The losers are not taking it well

Anybody know the Russian word for "Plan B?"

Pronounced "PLAHN-uh Beh"

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