Tag:The Decision
Posted on: October 22, 2010 11:15 am

Heat Stroke:LeBron empathizes with fans, kind of

LeBron James empathizes with fans' anger, then wipes out any good will acquired by insinuating they should "get over it," then denies on Twitter. Good times.
Posted by Matt Moore

It had to happen sometime. Eventually, LeBron James was going to have to address Cleveland's fans and their visceral reaction to his departure for Southern skies. He was going to have to comment on them and how they feel about him now. Which is to say, he was going to have to comment on the fact that they hate his guts beyond belief. So he did. It did not go well. Here's what James told the ESPN Heat Index's Brian Windhorst about the fans in Cleveland:

"If I was a fan and I was on the outside looking in, I could be upset a little bit if one of my favorite players left," James said. "Or if I felt like he betrayed us or whatever the case may be. But you have to get over it . (Note: Emphasis ours. -Ed.) "
So that definitely comes across as telling Cleveland fans to get over him abandoning them for another team on national television, adding insult to injury, and crushing both their best-contending team and a significant portion of their economy (estimates of up to $250 million per year). Which, you know, probably won't go over well. James, though, was quick to jump on Twitter and backtrack from that sentiment immediately.

So he was just talking about what he would do? I'm confused. Because that quote looks really hard to get around the fact that it sounds like he's talking about Cleveland fans. James went on to explain the gap between the people rooting for laundry, and those that have to wear it.
"Sports are very emotional and fans are very emotional," James said. "At times they really believe you may be related to them you and you sleep in their house. When you do something wrong and you leave their house they can become very emotional. I've understood that over the years. But at the same time, you have to understand you have to do what is best yourself."
James is sounding pretty hurt by all this hatred lately. As I've said before, anger is not really his bag . But for all those that think he didn't care about Cleveland or its fans at all, they should rethink that sentiment. He did make connections there. It was hard for him to leave. He saw an opportunity, and he took it. Maybe it wasn't the "right" thing to do but it was what he felt was right for him, and it's his job, his career, his life. Those of us who are only criticizing him out of our own misguided sense of morality probably should "get over it."

But Cleveland? Nah. They have earned the right to stay mad for as long as they want. That's their right as fans.
Posted on: October 13, 2010 4:03 pm

Who wants a 2011 Cavs LeBron calendar? Anyone?

Posted by Royce Young

You know what I'm in the market for? A 1997 Cleveland Indians World Series champs t-shirt. Oh, what's that? OK, well then how about a commemorative picture of Craig Ehlo stuffing Michael Jordan's game-winner? Wait, what? Fine, I'll just take the game ball from Ernest Byner's touchdown run to beat the Broncos in the 1988 AFC title game. Hold on, come again?

Since those don't exist, how about a new painful collector's item for scorned Cleveland fans that you actually can get your hands on. Like this brand new 2011 Cavs calendar.

As a story from the Plain Dealer illustrates, the printing company Perfect Timing had a pretty big whoopsy with this year's order of Cleveland Cavalier team calendars. The mess-up being that they put recently departed star LeBron James on the cover. Yep, that would be an ouch.

It's not really their fault as they put out the original order before LeBron made his decision to go to Miami on July 8. Just bad timing by Perfect Timing I guess. They were able to get a new order out though that now features an actual Cavs member in Mo Williams on the front. Then again, I don't know what would hurt more. Replacing LeBron with Mo Williams is kind of just a perfect illustration of how the franchise has turned.

The funny thing is, retailers can't even give the calendars away. You'd think they'd be kind of a cool piece of merchandise to have. An unopened calendar with LeBron dunking? It would be a reminder of "What if?" kind of in a Dewey beats Truman sort of way. But nobody in Cleveland is biting. And who could blame them?

It's kind of become an epidemic of sorts for all Cleveland-area sports retailers. They couldn't know LeBron was leaving and as the most popular figure in the area, they've got tons of stuff. Now that he's gone, everything with his picture, number or name on it basically are considered to have the plague on it. The Plain Dealer story mentions one retailer that sells t-shirts. Instead of trying to unload all the extra LeBron stuff, they've just started going with what sells - anti-LeBron stuff.

The best seller? A shirt that says "Lyin' King" across the front with LeBron's now famous line of, "I've got a goal and that's to bring a championship to Cleveland, and I won't stop until I get it."

So I guess you can toss the extra calendars in a box with all the Tim Couch jerseys, 1996 Cleveland Brown schedule magnets and Cliff Lee and C.C. Sabathia autographs. Just another unfortunate piece of memorabilia for a city that has a pretty nice collection of them.

Via Cleveland Scene

Posted on: October 8, 2010 5:09 pm

LeBron gives Cleveland lovely parting gift

"Decision" revenue donated to charity as promised, with proceeds partially going to Cleveland Boys and Girls club, up to $160,000.
Posted by Matt Moore

Say what you want, but LeBron is a man of his word.

Okay, just about one thing, but still. It's something. James pledged to donate all the sponsorship dough pulled in from "The Decision," a little television special you may have heard of, to the Boys and Girls Club of America. The special where he tore the heart out of Cleveland while it was still beating generated $3 million in revenue, all of which is going to various clubs across the country. Including... the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland. DUNH-DUNH-DUNH .

Fox 8 in Cleveland reports that James will donate $160,000 plus computers and Nike gear to the Cleveland chapter of the charity for youngsters. Akron, Miami, Chicago, LA, and New York also received portions. But it's a good will move that will likely, well, probably do nothing. This was something good James did, and he hasn't committed a crime, but for some reason what he did has turned people's stomachs enough to be stuck against him for the forseeable future. The best way to turn the tide in his favor? Bring home a ring with his talents back to South Beach. Not that that will make Cleveland feel any better. They're probably, and rightfully, clamoring for the Club to use the money for new toilets or something. Or maybe to pay for a new landfill for all his Cleveland merchandise.

"The Decison" will go down in infamy as one of the worst PR moves in all of sports. But the fact remains that he took an opportunity to expand his brand, reached across to casual non-sports fans and made an impact, and raised $3 million for charity. Not bad for nine words.
Posted on: September 20, 2010 10:11 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 10:12 pm

Mo Williams nearly retired after LeBron left

Lonely Cav captain left to ponder career by LeBron James nearly calls it quits.
Posted by Matt Moore

When LeBron James took his talents to Miami, he left a trail of disappointed and devastated people in his wake. Dan Gilbert, the Cavs' organization, Cavalier fans, sporting good store owners in Ohio, the city of Cleveland, Knicks fans, Bulls fans, Nets fans, Clipper fa... you get the picture. But in general, you have to believe most of the Cavs players treated it as NBA players treat these kinds of things. Business. Players come, players go. The checks keep coming, so what't the concern?

For one player, apparently it wasn't just business, and life didn't just go on. Mo Williams, James' running mate in Cleveland told Yahoo! Sports Monday that he was so distraught following "The Decision" that he considered retirement. From Mo Gotti's conversation with Marc Spears :

"I contemplated it. I really sat down and envisioned life after basketball. …I really saw myself not playing.

“It just didn’t make sense to me. …It doesn’t make sense to me.”

Williams goes on to say that he lost a lot of his love for the game, and it took him a while to be able to get back into the game. He doesn't sound wholly convinced, either. The whole conversation comes across the way someone sounds after a particularly tough breakup, the kind where you don't know what happened and he/she just moved out one day.

Is Williams a sympathetic figure? He certainly took a huge load of the blame for the playoff failures of the Cavaliers during his time there. Williams always seemed to be trying to prove a point, that he could score too, instead of being the all-around player most wanted him to be in support of James. This is the gap between a point guard and a Scottie Pippen-type forward. That's the problem. James was the all-around type player as well as the massive scoring force. And Williams also wasn't exactly on target with a lot of those shots. It's much easier to feel sorry for him if he wasn't campaigning to be an All-Star and clanging up a house for the third little pig every May.

But that's contextual based on our knowledge of him. At his root, Mo Williams is a player that felt like he was part of something special in Cleveland, who loved the opportunity to compete at the highest level with what he felt was the greatest player in the game, and someone who now faces a reality where the person that he was trying so hard to support is gone. Vanished in the night, on national television. He's got to continue his career, knowing that windows for players like himself are small and delicate, and the odds are not good that he'll hear his name in the Conference Finals again. The whole NBA world's changed since LeBron James left Cleveland.

And we're still trying to figure out all the career implications and casualties of "The Decision."

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com