LeBron Leaving Cleveland Again
Have we ever, in the history of the NBA, ever seen one player try to control their own team the way that LeBron is trying to right now with the Cavs? And the way it is being done is even more insulting to anyone with an ounce of respect for the game. Let’s have a closer look at the latest example from his puppet, Stephen A. Smith:
One of the things LeBron’s inner circle religiously says is that, “Yeah, he’s back, but don’t you think for one second that he’s going to sit idly by and watch the franchise take him for granted and put too much excess weight on his shoulders the way that they used to when he was in Cleveland the first go-round. Think that he’s permanently going to stay in Cleveland if you want to. Do not try him.”
Yes, he is committed to trying to bring a championship back to Cleveland. And it does seem to be something that he would never do again. But don’t rule anything out when it comes to LeBron James. I’m not saying this. I’m telling you specifically what I was told by people close to him, and I’ve been told that for months.
What everybody close to him continuously reminds me of is, “Don’t you dare take this guy for granted or think for one second he’s trapped into staying in Cleveland just because he came back. Don’t put it past him to get so annoyed that he’ll leave again if he feels like he’s being taken for granted, ran into the ground and essentially misused.” That’s what they say.
There’s one of two ways this can be interpreted. One is that LeBron is using leaving as leverage to have even more say on internal matters (as if orchestrating trading of a number 1 pick [Andrew Wiggins] simply because he didn’t sign with the same agent as LeBron, or getting your boy Tristan Thompson [who, coincidentally did sign with LeBron’s agent] a max contract despite the fact that he isn’t even a consistent starter, or getting head coach David Blatt fired mid-season, wasn’t enough), or he is actually planning on leaving Cleveland again.
At this point, I’m not sure which is more reprehensible. He (or his representatives) talk about “being misused” or placing “too much pressure on his shoulders”. What in God’s name is he talking about? I’ve been to Cleveland twice in the past 12 months, and he is absolutely adored by Cavs fans and the city. They welcomed him back with open arms despite him effectively ripping their hearts out with “The Decision”. After which, we have seen move after move to make him happy only to be a great detriment to the team. It’s pathetic, as he is the one calling the shots with this organisation (and if you don’t believe this at this point, you are in great denial). At what point does he realise that maybe he should back off and reduce his influence on management and coaching decisions? It appears the exact opposite is actually happening, and he wants more.
And they want to complain about pressure with “too much pressure on his shoulders”? Are you fucking kidding me. This is the guy that says that he was returning to Cleveland to win a championship (not the first time he’s made such a promise, by the way), claims that he will be on the Mt. Rushmore of NBA players by the time his career is over, guaranteed not 5, 6, or 7 titles in Miami before bolting from there too, and now has the nerve to complain about pressure? Unbelievable. When have we ever heard a player, let alone a great player, complain about pressure? Jesus Christ. Hey, LeBron, maybe you should talk to your mother. Seriously. She was a single parent with the responsibility of raising you. Have a chat to her about the pressures she faced in bringing you into the world and looking after you. Get some perspective about what pressure really is.
When LeBron left Miami, it was spun in a way that made him look like a hero, returning to his home state to take care of some unfinished business. If he leaves Cleveland for a second time, there is no way they can justify it, and the deserved backlash will come for all the contradictions in his actions.
Legacies are a funny thing. Is James a great player? Yes. That cannot be disputed. But he also creates drama and chaos wherever he goes, and as his production starts to reduce, so will the amount of teams (and fans) willing to put with this B.S. LeBron has to be careful here. If he leaves again, his reputation as a player who always sort the easy way out will be cemented, and for a player with all the physical gifts that he has, that’s unacceptable.
When you read this, you might sense some frustration, and you’re absolutely right. He’s too good for all this. So, FFS LeBron, please focus on your one job; playing basketball and not being a politician.