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Cleveland has an answer for LeBron's question

Posted on: November 5, 2010 12:41 pm
Posted by Matt Moore

"What Should I Do?"

That's the question that's being asked every single night on every single commercial break in the NBA. It's relentless, it's constant, and while the early applause was deafening, the predictable backlash has begun. But nowhere, naturally, is it as fierce as in Cleveland.

Exhibit A.

If zings were weapons, that would be an atomic bomb.

Cleveland's got a great point on all those issues. I think the Game 5 question is one that will demand study for years, in chapters of books on LeBron and the current NBA age, but other than that, they're pretty on point. Well, besides James not having a legacy, because he does, because he's a basketball player on the professional level and very good at it. Thsoe guys tend to transcend, despite screwing over a Midwestern town.

The crux of this article brings up the best philosophical question about James' actions. Everyone, everyone, everyone agrees that the worst part of what James did wrong was "The Decision" and how he did it. ("Thanks.") But the question is if Cleveland really truly is just angry about that aspect and wouldn't have found something else to rage on if he'd notified them in good conscience. Is "The Decision" just the scapegoat for Cleveland's significant anguish over their sports teams and the loss of an icon? Or is it genuinely the beating heart of the rage that continues to spill from the Lake and which is going to make the Heat and Cavs' first meeting an outright riot zone, despite the presence of increased security?

We're never going to get an answer to that question, but the cause is insignificant. The reality is this. Cleveland has every right to hate LeBron James, and they are exercising that right to their fullest ability.

We're officially less than a month away from Heat at Cavaliers on December 2nd.

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: December 1, 2010 3:44 pm

Cleveland has an answer for LeBron's question

Wouldn't argue with your sentiments for your hometown for a minute. (Some of the details, yes. Shaker Heights is no Bloomfield Hills, Boston Edison, nor the Grosse Pointes.) Nor was I arguing that Cleveland has no Black Pride; just that it's not Detroit, Atlanta, New Orleans, Memphis, or Chicago.  
As for major sports teams, we've got four, not a measly three. (If you think that hockey isn't major, then you probably think the Bad Boys outdrew the Red Wings. Never happened; never will.) As for  the Mistake, it's perceived virtues blinded you to its severe deficits as a sports venue in an era when everybody else had access to streams of revenue that were unavailable to Modell, thanks to your understandable reluctance to embrace the reality of his competitive disadvantage in the world as it was. He didn't so much manage it badly, as he tried to keep a decent team on the field while temporizing by getting a few more years out of the old pile with money spent on patchworks--in hopes that your leaders would open the piggy bank. They didn't, for him; they did for the next guy. (What changed? You guys woke up to the new world.)
On to LeBron. I get it; you love your city. And you think that he's blinded by glitz and bling. Yeah, good for you and your civic loyalties, plus your own ideas of what constitutes a copacetic environment are closer to mine than to his. SO WHAT?! HE'S not from your hometown, is he? Nor is it our sensibilities and interests and desires that are at issue. 
As for the money that he left on the table, his equanimity in that regard speaks well for him. How much does a man really need, anyway. The money wasn't what it was all about. Nor do I think that he'll ever much regret his behavior. He's a shallow narcissist, courtesy of all of the yobos (Daytonians and Clevelanders alike) who wiped his backside for him every day of his life, from early on. He's got what he values and you should be glad to be rid of him. This is who he's ALWAYS been; his staying would only have meant that ya'll were as blinded by the shine of his fool's gold as he is. This way, only the slowly awakening horror on Dwayne Wade's face gives evidence of the true victim here. (South Beach will never buy a vowel, either. They're all about the bling. In that world, "girlfriend" is just another word for "hooker.")

Since: Nov 10, 2008
Posted on: November 10, 2010 12:51 am

Cleveland has an answer for LeBron's question

Jack you don't know Jack.  Cleveland packed the old stadium nearly every game.  Revenue was not an issue. The Browns in Cleveland could easily generate more revenue than the Ravens in Baltimore.  Even if Art managed to mangle his finances, There was at least on Cleveland Billionaire pining to to buy the team for years. Unlike other NFL cities (like Baltimore) where franchises left for greener pastures, Art left  lots of green on the table to move out of Cleveland.   Unlike Cleveland, "Little League" cities like Los Angeles and Boston don't have a sports teams branded with the name of their town in the three major sports: Baseball, Basketball and Football.

We loved the old stadium. It had history. Many and NFL championship game was played there. Memories of greatness persisted in the house of thrills. It could seat 80,000 plus fans. For decades it was the largest stadium in the NFL. It was built buy the same architect that built Yankee stadium. It was newer and better built.

Bottom line, Cleveland is known as the "Best Location in the Nation" because it is at the heart of commerce in this country.  It is an extraordinary town that generates truly exceptional people. John D. Rockefeller, the patriarch of the Rockefeller clan, arguably the wealthiest family on the planet. Paul Brown, who revolutionized NFL football and is generally regarded as the father of the modern offense. Jim Brown, the best NFL player to ever play the game.  Cy Young, who has the annual best pitcher, award named after him. LeBron James, who, to date, has surpassed Michael Jordan and every other NBA great, when evaluated at the same stage of their careers.

Shaker Heights is a planned community for the wealthy.  It features seventy-five year stately brick homes, broad avenues lined with majestic old oak trees. It has always been regarded as one of the most wealthy communities in the country.

LeBron is coming to realize, he made a mistake by leaving his hometown. He destroyed his legacy by betraying his most loyal fans. He is now widely hated for his turncoat behavior, not just in Cleveland, but across the country.  While in Cleveland, he was on-track to becoming another Cleveland billionaire because of the enormous quantity of good will he generated. It is gone, disappeared, poof. The $50 million he left on the table when he deserted to Miami pales in comparison to the hundreds of millions he is about to lose because he is now negatively perceived.

Cleveland has its share of Black pride.  Jesse Owens defiance of Hitler in the Olympics,  Larry Doby entrance into baseball as the first Black player in the American League and Halle Berry famous for her beauty, are only a few examples of black greatness in Cleveland.

With all that it has going for it, why do people leave when they achieve greatness?

My opinion is:

The wildly succeessful are almost universally drawn to the glitz and the glamour.  They leave Cleveland for a beautiful fantasy, which was created for them by the American media not realizing it is without substance. Cleveland is real.  What you see is what you get.

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: November 6, 2010 5:41 pm

Cleveland has an answer for LeBron's question

I worked with guys from Cleveland who had just transfered in after Modell had moved the Browns to Baltimore. Man, these guys just could not grasp that they (the city, its leaders, and the fans) had left the owner between a rock and a hard place when they failed for years to replace the 'Mistake on the Lake'. If he hadn't moved, then he and the team would've gone bankrupt. (Art had spent borrowed money to keep things going while everybody else dithered.)
Bottom line, little league cities like Cleveland and Green Bay need big league fans and owners to make it work (against the odds.) It's Cleveland's ill fortune that its money hasn't been very smart. Plus, it ain't Miami Beach. Why ever would a young, rich celebrity want to hang out there? Even its upscale neighborhoods are nothing to write home about. In the Detroit that you maligned, the Lakes area (where most wealthy celebs live) offers truly exceptional homes and landscapes, rather than merely overblown tract housing. Plus, the city is still a genuine center of black culture, which was never, ever true of Cleveland. 

Since: Mar 3, 2008
Posted on: November 6, 2010 4:48 pm

Cleveland has an answer for LeBron's question

Boycotting a game is silly.  It isn't even pheasible. Here's what will happen if you do, boycott, Cleveland:

1.  Heat fans will still attend.  Miami will pretty much be given a bonus home game.
2.  You will take revenue away from Cleveland (lost parking and food money).
and 3. You will be showing disrespect (or lack of support) to the Cavaliers know the so-called victims.

Do as you wish, fans of the Cavaliers, but boycotting the upcoming game between the Heat/Cavs won't prove anything.  In fact, you'd be handing LeBron James more justification for leaving.

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: November 6, 2010 3:29 pm

Cleveland has an answer for LeBron's question

OK Cleveland so 12/2/10 you can put your money where your mouth is, if you hate him so much, leave all teh seats in the arena empty.  Don't go to the game.  Pure and simple.  It won't bring him back, it won't rewind and undo "The Decision" or the way he did it, and it also won't give you a championship team.  But it'll show him and the basketball world what the game would be like without fans.  The superstars won't care, but the owners, sponsors, coaches and the rest of the players just might sit up and take notice.  The FANS pay the bills, without them try having a league.

Since: Jul 30, 2010
Posted on: November 6, 2010 11:59 am

Cleveland has an answer for LeBron's question

My reply was directed at Detroit4life

Since: Dec 6, 2009
Posted on: November 6, 2010 11:45 am

Cleveland has an answer for LeBron's question

This was a good backlash at Lebron leaving. Granted, it's done and all, but what is said in the commercial is all true. I do hope Cleveland can do without Lebron, but the team is in rebuilding mode. They'll find some more players to fit the puzzle and make it to the playoffs again, sooner or later.

Since: Mar 3, 2008
Posted on: November 6, 2010 8:53 am

Cleveland has an answer for LeBron's question

Sorry agrie, you're the one who's clueless...when Lebron only signed a 3 year deal after his rookie contract, he's the one that screwed any chance the Cavs had to sign a great free agent. No other player would come to Cleveland and sign at 5 year contract without a guarantee that Lebron wasn't going to be there after 3 years (like Trevor Ariza).

Trevor Ariza?  And I'm clueless....

Sorry Cavs you missed out on that "world class talent".....

Since: Mar 3, 2008
Posted on: November 6, 2010 8:51 am

Cleveland has an answer for LeBron's question

I assume you live in Detroit, all I can say to that is I'll pray for you. Last time I was in Detroit it kind of reminded me of Fallujah. You rag on Ctown yet you are in a city where the murder rate is 5.16 times the national average. Cleveland is 2.04 times national average. Across the board Detroit is one of the worst cities in America in every category. Please do some research, or look out your window, before you spew your rhetoric

Actually CZ, I currently reside in Florida.  It's refreshing to know that if I ever visited Cleveland, I only have 2 times the average of getting caught up in a 187.  Thanks for that factiod (I guess wikipeida does have its use after all).

My post wasn't ragging on the city of Cleveland itself.  There was no mention of Cleveleand in my post.

My problem is with how the fans of Cleveland have handled the situation with LeBron leaving.

Cleveland fans remind me of a "psycho" girlfriend who got dumped for a hotter chick.  Instead of appreciating all that LeBron did for the Cavaliers (how relavent was Cleveland basketball before they drafted LeBron), they'd rather spew hate and key LeBron's car and sprinkle cayenne pepper on his toilet paper.

It was understandable that Cavs fans were upset at first (burning Jerseys and all), but your act is getting old.  Make love, not war Cleveland.

Since: Jul 30, 2010
Posted on: November 6, 2010 3:40 am

Cleveland has an answer for LeBron's question

I assume you live in Detroit, all I can say to that is I'll pray for you. Last time I was in Detroit it kind of reminded me of Fallujah. You rag on Ctown yet you are in a city where the murder rate is 5.16 times the national average. Cleveland is 2.04 times national average. Across the board Detroit is one of the worst cities in America in every category. Please do some research, or look out your window, before you spew your rhetoric.

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