Latest News, NBA / Jul 9, 2010 / 9:00 am

Hater’s Ball: There’s Nothing Wrong with LeBron going to Miami

I often have to remind myself that the Internet world is, thankfully, not always an accurate reflection of society. Otherwise, I’d think hard about moving to rural Tanzania and living off the land. While I’ve realized the anonymity of being online allows man to channel his inner jackass without inhibition, balancing it with a dose of real life typically restores my faith in people.

But then last night, after watching “The Decision” at the Dime office and getting a taste of the predictable online reaction, I went home and was passing the crowded front stoop of my building when I overheard this:

“Nah man, his legacy is tarnished. I don’t care how many ‘chips he win, if a n**** can’t do it by himself…”

Of course the guy was talking about LeBron James. And this was no Internet phantom; this was a real-life dude, in the flesh, putting this nonsense out on 155th Street just a few blocks from Rucker Park. I wouldn’t have been surprised if the ghost of Earl Manigault descended from the top of a backboard at that moment and slapped homeboy upside his head.

C’mon, people. I already knew LeBron was the most hated man in the NBA, but be serious. LeBron joining the Miami Heat to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh isn’t just a totally defensible move, it’s the same move anybody else in LeBron’s position would have made. In fact, Dime reader Reno put it best last night:

“Correct me if I’m wrong but when you bout to play ball and you picking up squads, aren’t you picking up the best possible team that you can to stay on the court all day? Or you trying to be calling ‘next’ all day? Well that’s what Lebron just did and people killing him for it.”

I’m with Reno. I don’t get it.

In an era where we criticize athletes for choosing money over winning, we have the biggest star in the game choosing winning over money … and he gets criticized for that?

These are the facts: Jordan only won rings with Hall of Fame teammates. Russell only won rings with Hall of Fame teammates. Magic only won rings with Hall of Fame teammates. Kobe. Larry. The Doctor. Isiah. Duncan. All of them had to form Voltron-like squads before they could win championships. Do you think Wilt Chamberlain was complaining when he was traded to the Lakers and joined Jerry West and Elgin Baylor? You think Kareem was complaining when his Bucks traded for Oscar Robertson? Not one of them said, “No, I want to do this alone. I want the challenge!” Great players want to play with other great players because that’s when they make great things happen.

If LeBron had chosen to stay in Cleveland or sign with New York last night, he would have been choosing to be Patrick Ewing. Or Dominique Wilkins. Or Charles Barkley. All three of them were “The Man” on flawed teams for most of their careers, and all three retired without a championship. All three routinely went up against better teams with multiple stars and lost, year after year.

LeBron has already done the ‘Nique thing. He’s seen his team lose to stacked Boston and San Antonio teams despite his own MVP-caliber stats. He’d tried carrying a mediocre roster by himself, and before he would up like Reggie Miller, he used his opening to get with a team that won’t ask him to carry 11 less-than-great teammates on his back.

Are we not the same generation that still bows at the altar of Jordan and Pippen? So when did the prospect of Wade and LeBron become such a source for hating and criticizing?

I don’t get it.

True, you could say Jordan/Pippen formed a more “natural” and organic alliance, since Pippen was acquired in a Draft-day trade before anyone knew he was going to be a superstar. Pippen and Jordan grew together, and after the tough losses and after adding more necessary pieces, they ran off six championships in eight years. And does anybody argue that MJ’s rings somehow mean less because he had Pippen and Dennis Rodman/Horace Grant?

Maybe it would be nice if every team was built through the Draft and a few non-blockbuster trades here and there (e.g., Spurs) but that’s not how the game works. Free agency and lopsided trades are part of the NBA — the same part that allowed Shaq to join Kobe in L.A. then, and the same part that allowed Pau Gasol and Ron Artest to flank Kobe in L.A. now — and the Miami Heat simply took advantage of the rule. In free agency they brought together Wade, James and Bosh not too far from how Boston united Pierce, Garnett and Ray Allen, and yet for some reason a big chunk of basketball nation feels Miami has done something shady and LeBron (in particular) took some kind of “easy” way out.

Another faction hates more that LeBron made his announcement in such a bombastic way, with an hour-long TV special that started to take on the sensationalism of the O.J. Simpson trial coverage and Tiger Woods‘ personal drama.

Could LeBron have just released a statement? Yes, but then his critics would rail on him for not facing any tough questions in-person. Could he have done a traditional press conference? Yes, but then he’d have to answer 100 reporters yelling at him instead of just one reporter asking the same questions those 100 would have asked. Could he have used Twitter or another short-form style of announcing? Yes, but then every reporter who didn’t get a good quote from LeBron would still be in his face about it months into next season. By going with “The Decision” thing, he got most of the relevant questions answered, he got a chance to calmly explain himself, and he raised a couple million dollars for charity. I have no problem with it.

And then there’s Cleveland.

While I understand the natural disappointment and bitterness that comes with losing a franchise player — I’m from Seattle, where we lost our franchise player and our whole franchise, period — some of the more venomous reactions from Cavs fans have been embarrassing for them. None other than Cavs owner Dan Gilbert fired off the most immature response, using an open letter to Cleveland fans to say LeBron “deserted” and betrayed the Cavs, calling the player who made the team millions of dollars “narcissistic,” selfish and a coward, then going all Celie in The Color Purple and trying to put a hex on LeBron. (“Until you do right by me….”)

I would hope the majority of Cleveland fans are smarter than their team’s owner. Yes, LeBron was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, but he does not belong to the state. He only ended up on the hometown NBA squad due to a stroke of Lottery luck and some blatant tanking by the organization. Hundreds of other NBA players become free agents and have the chance to sign with their hometown teams — does anybody call them cowards and accuse them of betrayal if they don’t? Is anybody in L.A. going to torch Matt Barnes‘ jersey if he doesn’t sign with the Clippers? Will the people of Chicago cry “Coward!” if Tony Allen doesn’t ink a deal with the Bulls? So tell me again why LeBron should feel obligated to stay home?

If those Cavs fans (and Gilbert) really do feel good about LeBron leaving, maybe they’ll just as gladly welcome Ricky Davis and Darius Miles back, the “stars” of the team pre-LeBron. Both of them are available.

Gilbert comes across as the spouse who knows they screwed up the relationship, but trashes the other spouse to anyone who will listen as a defense mechanism. Had the Cavaliers truly put a championship-caliber team around LeBron, he would have stayed. But in seven years, the best they could get him was half-a-season of Antawn Jamison, one year of Old Shaq, and a couple years of borderline All-Star Mo Williams.

Now LeBron is joining a legit powerhouse, and some people don’t understand why. It’s not because he’s scared to be The Man. (Matter of fact, when Dime posed our “Who’s Better?” argument between LeBron and D-Wade earlier this season, most readers voted for LeBron. So why wouldn’t he be the Green Hornet to Wade’s Kato?) It’s not because he and David Stern are conspiring to kill competitive balance in the NBA. It’s not because LeBron is shying away from pressure.

It’s because Miami presented the best opportunity to win. And if you were really listening to what LeBron has been saying his entire career — especially since that Finals sweep in ’07 when he learned that being The Man among mice is overrated — that’s all he really wanted the whole time.

-Follow Austin on Twitter at @AustinBurton206
-Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag
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  • Mike Mihalow

    Oh, but there is, Austin.
    BTW, is there anyway you could start a topic about NCAA teams? I need to find a new basketball team to follow. After being an NBA fan practically all my life, I have officially given up on the league.

  • ceb

    Agree. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with going to Miami. But with the Beasley trade, he’s not taking a pay cut anymore. All of them can get the max deals now.

    The thing about “The Decision” that was so wrong – aside from LeBron publicly cutting out the heart of his hometown with a blunt knife – was that it was the culmination of everything that was wrong about the whole process. And it’s not just LeBron. It’s also the media (not just ESPN), it’s also the fans, the organizations, and the other free agents.

    It’s the culmination of something that seems to have been planned for years, from LeBron, Wade and Bosh being FAs all at the same time, to that so-called pact during their Team USA days, to the massive media attention and hype that overshadowed the league for years. It’s the culmination of LeBron wearing all those different caps, of him telling people to mark July 1 on their calendars because it’s gonna be a big day. It’s the culmination of Bosh asking people on Twitter where he should go.

    And honestly, Miami might not even be the best place for him to win. That might be Chicago. I don’t know. I’m not sure.

    So yes, there is absolutely nothing wrong about LeBron ultimately deciding to take his talents to South Beach. What’s wrong is the whole process itself. It threatened to overshadow the game. It took on a life of its own and mutated, like that psychic octopus.

    The best part about it is that it’s all over.

  • orickle

    thx austin, as usual, the voice of reason ! But even u gotta admit LeBron did cleveland cold on that one !!! not even a phone call, NOTHING? dayyyyummmmm!!

  • Blue

    I posted this in one of the other blogs, but I wanted to make sure that Kobe’s ballwashers saw this.

    It doesn’t seem to me that people (Laker fans) remember Kobe bitching in front of the cameras and on the radio that he wanted to be traded or that he wanted Bynum to be traded away. The only thing that saved him from himself is Mitch Crapchek! Once he stole Pau Gasol for a bag of peanuts and an old tampon, suddenly Kobe became a warrior for sticking it out with one team. Please!!!!!


  • Soopa

    Fantastic piece Austin. This expresses exactly how i feel. Well done and a good read.

  • killa cam

    co-sign @1
    European soccer is my new fav sport to follow after this gigantic letdown. At least I got the World Cup final to look forward to. Go Holland!

  • dmitry of jersey

    dude, no matter how you twist it Lebron James comes out of this looking like an ass. he had the right to pick a team, of course, but to leave your hometown on national TV like that is unnecessary. you really think that “The Decision” will now stop reporters from asking 1000000 questions for the rest of the summer and into the season? come one man, be serious.

    i’ve always been a lebron fan and defender, but that’s kinda over now. i’m gonna take my talents and join the support of somebody who doesn’t talk about himself in 3rd person on unnecessary and cruel TV shows.

  • Will

    Damn, Dime…sounding a lot like the puppets on ESPN in these last few posts. Its not the decision itself that was inherently wrong (If you want to win, you have to find a way…), its the way it was approached, by both the Lebron camp and the media outlets, and turned into such a disgusting spectacle. NBA fans, its not about us anymore – as long as we keep buying, buying, buying.

  • Detroit Dave

    Actually Bruh, in a pickup game I want to find out who the best team is and beat them, not join them. With that being said I still believe the Lakers are better and Boston or Orlando will still beat Miami in a series.

  • Chaos

    the only thing is, if they dont win a chip this year or get beat by boston in the conference championship it will be considered a failure

  • fiyaman

    soory Austin but ur wrong.. none of the guys u mentioned above were free agent superstars that collaborated with other players to go to a particular team.. the Key word in this article is ‘TRADE’ almost all of these were trades. meaning the player had little say in it.. Also those guys (James Worthy, Pau Gasol, Pippen, etc) would be nobodys w/o there rings..

    Lebron was already the man n realize that he wasnt a good enough man so he stuck his balls btwn his legs and decide to go find someone to do the work for him.. Basically he has been handed everything in his life.. He had to work for a RIng he realized it was too hard for him so he copped out and decide he will go somewhere where there will GIVE him a ring he doesnt have to do anything..

    Point of the matter is u actually proved the guys point by writing this article. .

    Basically we used to talk about Lebron with Jordan n Kobe now we will talk about him as a next Pippen or Worthy or Gasol.. yea they’re stars n they have multiple rings BUT THEY ARE NOT THE MAN …

    before he was King James now he’s Wade right hand man at most Prince James.

    I gotta say one thing though .. Wade took a big career risk by letting Lebron come here.. If something goes wrong who do u think will get trade 1st ..Wade or Bron…

  • kudos

    Who can talk about Pau Gasol being traded for his bro? Considering that his bro is just as skilled.

    Lebron, Wade, and Bosh. Who the heck is gonna play defense?? They’re the new Phoenix Suns, guaranteed. I doubt they’re even gonna win a championship in the next 5 years. It’s gonna be hilarious.

    Bosh can’t lead Toronto to the playoffs, Lebron decided to go to a place where he can “win”, and D-wade? D-wade only won the championship with Shaq, and at least 20 free throws a game. We’ll see.

  • Mike

    To everyone saying The Decision was “narcissistic” or unnecessary. Of course it’s unnecessary. Basketball is unnecessary. Sports are unnecessary. Only food, water and shelter are necessary. But a deserving charity got a few million bucks out of it.


    A) ESPN hosts The Decision and the boys and girls club gets a few million to help out needy children

    B) LeBron decides not to do The Decision and the boys and girls club gets 0.

    And don’t say “LeBron can donate some of his money.” First, people saying that probably aren’t typing from a computer while volunteering at a local orphanage. Second, LeBron can donate his money in either Scenario A or Scenario B, so it’s irrelevant.

    So basically people are saying their hurt feelings are worth more than a few million to a charity. Okay..

  • kudos

    PS. Whoever wrote this article is seriously an idiot. So he could get asked questions such as, ” how many people know your answer?? “Can you count it on one hand, or two??!”

    This reeks of lebron lover-tis.

  • fiyaman

    @Blue… Kobe bitched and complained but in the end where is he…still in LA .. he didnt follow anyone anywhere.. what did he tell LA … BRING NIGGAS HERE.. WHICH IS WHAT LEBRON SHOULD HAVE DONE..

    I keep hearing people say Cleveland did nothing… People the Cavs have been at the top of the league for the past 3 yrs ..so they had a team, their star player just couldnt take them over the hump..

    I’ve always said this .. If ur the best player a team u have to take some credit for how the team does.. STOP BLAMING CLEVELAND..

    just for the record I hate Cleveland, not a Bron fan ( but I respect his game enough to give him his credit)

    Wade is the man ..n IM not a HEAT fan

  • Soul Brova 1

    I think what many people (outside of Cleveland) are irked about is the way they went about doing it. Getting with better talent is understandable, it’s what all the other teams were tryin gto do get as many talented players as they could, cool. Had the three of them held a press conference and said we are joining forces in whatever city because we’re friends, we enjoyed playing together in the olympics and consider it the best way to achieve a championship nobody would have anything to say. But to put on a charade to film a documentary that you are gonna turn around and sell to the public they come across as straight punk-ass bitches. On one hand Bosh is saying he doesn’t want to be talked about as an addition but as “THE GUY” and then he turns around and teams with Wade AND Lebron? now he’s not even an addition he’s a throw in. it’s not so much what they did but the way they did it.

  • fiyaman

    @ Detroit Dave says:

    I cosign everything u said

  • just a fan

    The Cavs had the best regular season record for the past 2 seasons. There were talent around Lebron, he’s just not clutch and Mike Brown ISO-Lebron play doesn’t win championships.

  • Levon

    It’s like this… You give your girl everything she wanted Ever. All your family treats her and her family like royality. You let her brother use all your fresh clothes and your car. You let her cousins do the same. They party at your house all the time, never clean up. Bring your car back on E all the time and stain your new clothes. You never complain or get mad. Then one day she bounces for the brotha down the road with a nicer car , but she takes you on Maury or Springer to tell you she’s leaving. How would you feel?

  • http://11o'clocknewstypepad.com scott

    When Sir Charles left the Sixers for a team because “he just wanted to win,” the infamous Philly fans accepted it. Sir Charles can’t walk the streets of Philly today without getting mobbed by these fans. I can understand the bitterness of the thrice-spurned Cleveland fans, because it isn’t just Lebron who has left for a chance to win (Cliff Lee, CC and company and don’t get me started on the Browns.) But guys, let it go. Remember the good times, and when Lebron comes back to Ohio after his career is over, give him a pat on the back and say it’s okay. (Note to David Stern: Dan Gilbert? Really?)

  • OneLife

    This is what is wrong with the world…The ‘LeBron’s’ that trade their roots and forget the foundation and life fundamentals. I’m a hater, u can say that, but at least I hate with passion. I’m from Portugal, I’m no Cavs fan or anything, but fuck LeBron.

  • http://www.nba.com DJ

    Ricky Davis was a very good player back in the day not LeBron’s level but he was very exciting and near the end if you notice he has become a great teammate and has matured. Bottom line nobody can be compared to LeBron and I don’t feel sorry for Cleveland fans at all they never supported the team before LeBron even when they had some exciting players there not true fans.

    I do hope that some team picks up Ricky this season before Darius he did one stupid thing that triple double incident but he also played with passion and was a true showman isn’t that what sports is about at the end of the day entertainment. Yes don’t get me wrong winning is important but so is having fun doing so.

    LeBron made a good decision which was tough but he does not deserve all this hate by people around the world and Cleveland fans. He gave so much to that city and the team gave so much back to him, but the decision to play with his pals was not a bad one considering how good both Wade and Bosh are and assuming they can add some nice role players to the puzzle.

    Just remember all them people hating all great players need a good supporting cast Kobe had Shaq and some really good role players, and where do I begin with Bird and Magic? If your an old school NBA fan well then you know both their teams where loaded.

    So bottom line people need to stop hating on this man called LeBron because they are jealous of his physical gifts and his basketball skills. The man is already a great and can truly strive for more there is no telling especially since he has joined Miami with Wade and Bosh who are great players as well.

  • next season

    Austin, just a pleasure to read a piece like that, so well-reasoned and the right touch of humour and attitude. I’d love to see you analyze the ‘beginning of the end’ for the Cavs, which to me was clearly the Boozer debacle. Not only letting the guy out of his contract, but actually the failure to match Utah’s offer was for me the biggest failing. The Cavs ownership were too stunned by Boozer’s ‘betrayal’ to think clearly; they should have taken on his front-loaded deal, keeping a known entity instead of throwing millions at unknowns like Larry Hughes and Donyell Marshall. Essentially, Cavs ownership have always been bumblers, from Stepien, to Gund, to Gilbert (I mean why show Lebron Family Guy cartoons instead of a plan to surround him with all-stars… come on… amatuer stuff… clearly Lebron REALLY is serious about winning championships…. that’s all he’s ever talked about)

    thanks again for your great writing Austin

  • http://www.thefittestvegan.com Alejandro

    If I was a player, I would never go to the cavs, this guy has set a precedence of how he handles things. ridiculous..

  • Yucca Man

    Of course DIME would defend LeBron. They love LeBron. LeBron can do no wrong.

    The truth is that was the single most disgusting displays ever put on by any athlete anywhere. I can’t imagine what it was like to be a Cavs fan and have to watch that.

    And I love how LeBron didn’t even have the balls to talk to his former owner in person. Hell, not even a phone call. No, he made the Cavs, the Clips, the Bulls, the Nets, and the Knicks watch the show to learn of his decision. And then one of his groupies called the Cavs owner.

    Coward. Narcissistic wimp. And now everyone is championing the Heat’s new “big three” without even looking at what the rest of the team will be like. Sure LeBron, Wade, and Bosh are a talented trio with athleticism. But you forget that Bird, McHale, and Parish also had DJ, Ainge, Bill Walton, etc.

    LeBron, Wade, and Bosh have nobody. They either think they’re so awesome that these kind of quality glue guys are going to rush to Miami to play for 1/10th of what they’ll make anywhere else. Either that or the 3 Yahoos think that they’re awesome enough to take on the entire league by themselves.

    Disgusting. Not even Kobe has ever been this big of a putz.

  • Blue

    @ fiyaman…

    This doesn’t sound like a man who wants to “BRING NIGGAS HERE”…

    SAS: Well, if you don’t know how you can move forward that that situation, you’re still under contract with them, are you saying right here on this show that you you want to be traded?

    KB: Yeah, I would like to be traded, yeah.

    SAS: There’s no ifs, ands or buts about it?

    KB: No.

    SAS: It’s not a situation, I know before you reportedly said that you would like them to get Jerry West back. Are you saying now emphatically, regardless of what they done, you want out of Los Angeles?

    KB: Yeah, I would like to be traded. And as tough as it is to say that, as tough as it is to come to that conclusion, there’s no other — there’s no other — there’s no other alternative, you know. They obviously want to move in a different direction in terms of rebuilding. I wish they would have told me that prior to me re-signing with the team. They obviously want to move in a different direction.

    SAS: But they want to keep you though, Kobe. They want to move in a different direction, but they don’t want to do it without you.

    KB: You got to be up front about that, man. Three years ago when I was re-signing, they should have told me that they wanted to rebuild. Would have affected my decision. Don’t tell me one thing and do another.

    SAS: Is there anything that the Los Angeles Lakers could do to make you change your mind and decide that you do not want to be traded?

    KB: No.

    SAS: Nothing?

    KB: No.

  • capostat

    I just read a few sentences, and then tuned this article out.

    In the history of the nba, can you find where a Lebron-talent paired up with a Wade-talent? Forget hall of fame status–there are many HOFers who are not in the same offensive skill as Wade and Lebron. And then for them to be on the same team. Stop kidding yourself that this is the same thing that has happened repeatedly.

    This is cheap on Lebron’s part. stinking cheap.

    Kobe would have went to the Bulls… Would have went to Clippers… Was there anyone there waiting for him? Preparing to win a chip with him as soon as he arrived? No. Gasol was united with kobe via trade. No pre-negotions. No powerhouse-scheming. Kobe is the primary leader of that team, and wouldnt have it any other way. Jordan was the primary leader of his team, and didnt have it any other way. Had Lebron paired with Amare, he would still be able to claim this. Disgusting

  • http://www.twitter.com/dynastybball dynastybball

    The most true thing about “the decision” is that everyone now knows the wolf without his sheep disguise.

    Lebron is a front runner (boyhood fan of Chicago Bulls) and always will be (Cowboys fan, Yankees fan). And that’s “TRUTH”

    I’d be shocked if he doesn’t claim the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Boston Redsox as some of his other favorites… What a fraud!!!

  • Mike Mihalow

    Usually Austin is the less, pro-Dime, pro-Kobe/LeBron member.
    I can’t remember ever playing a pickup game against 29 other teams, and having one of those teams pick 3 times before about 20 other teams get to pick once.

  • Boridge

    Miami is a fine choice. Having a narcisistic, boring, completely uncalled for tv show to announce it is absurd. Should have called Kevin Durant on tips to how to get this done.

  • Paul

    Austin: It’s not about Lebron leaving. Him going to the Heat, he’s got his right to choose. People break up. Big deal. Disloyalty? I’m not even really gonna go into that one, but that’s just along how you’re raised. But how he handled the situation? Completely classless and childish. C’mon.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    I would’ve like to see him stay in Cleveland or join Chicago but he made a good decision. Lebron is just one of those people that going to be hated no matter what. So I have no problem with his choice.

    However I disagree with you Austin in your comparison of the groups of superstars with this Heat trio. The 90’s Bulls empire was built over many years through drafts, trades, and an occasional free agent signing. Not over night. Same thing with the Lakers, Pistons, and Celtics teams of the 80’s and the Lakers and Spurs of the 00’s.

    The empires of the past were built. The future Miami empire was delivered.

  • just a fan


    Lebron made money for the Cavs and gave 2 best regular season records and a Finals appearance; it was mutual, both sides gave.

  • http://www.centercourtbasketball.com CCB

    I took a completely different view of the Bron to Miami situation. I think it’s about the NBA, Nike and branding. I honestly don’t think that Miami will make it work. In my head this experiement is closer to GP, Kobe, Shaq and Karl Malone that didn’t win the chip. The Boston Three Party is the obvious comparison, but I just don’t think Miami will pull together to run through an East with Miami, a stronger Chicago, a tougher Bucks squad, a Hawks squad that will have more consistency, and of course Boston who still brings back the core, albeit and old core.
    LA has to get past the Thunder, an aging Spurs and Memphis? Miami will be beat up if they reach the finals and then they will have to take on a Lakers squad with Phil at the helm. Now if Riles comes out of retirement, different story. Check out my slant on this http://centercourtbasketball.com/?p=214

  • http://www.nba.com DJ

    I understand what your saying and we are just going to have to see what the heat do with the rest of the spots. But I did not forget Walton and theses other guys I know they had them they even had a guy called Cedric Maxwell who was finals MVP once I just can’t be bothered to name them all. The bottom line is both the Celtics and Lakers where deep and both are pretty deep now, I think Boston address the need with help in the front line by signing the experience Brad Miller and Jermaine O’neal they should both help and it was worth the gamble. I think they are still the team to beat in the East and not Orlando like some of the journalist are talking about. But you have a point are the heat going to get quality guys like Mike Miller who are going to have to take a pay cut? Or are other good free agents like Morrows going to pass up on them? You see them may get some quality vets who just want to win like Miller or even Shaq back because they have already made a ton of money but for young guys like Morrows and crew that still have a lot to prove and money to make may not even consider them and that is most likely the scenario hear but we will have to wait and see who else comes in the door for the Heat won’t we.

  • Nyeme

    @Blue – Kobe was like “this is my TEAM…I don’t want to be anywhere else!!!” 2-3 days later, before they made single move. Kobe was thinking about the Bulls or Clippers, neither was a powerhouse..the Clippers? His thing was he was built to win rings, and if you are not trying to do that then he’s willing to restart. And since when has Gasol been HOF player?

    This is how its done, you pick a player to be your franchise and you build around him, win-lose-or-draw. You tweak with what you think you need to get over the hump as time goes on, but what superstar-franchise player in teh middle of prime-superstardom just gets up and leaves to another man team? The Cavs were one player away from getting over the hump…they were just trying to figure out what type of player they needed.

    Even when Shaq bounced on Orlando, he was going to an LA team knowing that they were gonna be his team and were gonna groom Kobe for the future.

  • ProphetGK

    LMFAO at Dexter Pittman having almost as much votes as Wade and James, and Bosh having none hahahahaha

  • Jeremy

    Barkley and Malone and those guys are still considered better players than pippen and gasol even w/o rings.

    so is bron going to keep his “loyalty” tat?

  • JJ

    The guy wants to win championships with his friends and people are hating for that?

  • ballersunite

    very well written piece

  • http://www.twitter.com/dynastybball dynastybball

    So if we guessed the Heat as our answer when re-tweeting that post by @dimemagazine on twitter how do I go about getting my 1 year subscription?

  • fiyaman

    @blue … that was all posturing..Questions.. Was he traded? Did he say send me to SanAn and team me with TIm? I want to go to MIA to play with Wade? his biggest threat was Im going to NY or Chicago basically cause he knew that would scare them into making the team better.. If bron had done that I would be all for it..

  • http://www.twitter.com/dynastybball dynastybball

    When are my comments going to be done awaiting moderation?

  • GayforRudy

    When are my comments going to be done “awaiting moderation”?

  • http://www.twitter.com/dynastybball dynastybball


  • control

    Here are some of the things I’ve observed about this whole LeBron free agency process:

    1) People are tearing LeBron about him leaving Clev, because they “built the best team in the NBA around him”. That is pure bullshit. Is there any doubt that Clev will be the worst team in the NBA unless they do a massive overhaul? Mo Williams and Jaimison as your only two players who are even close to being above average (and not even that much above average)? Clev is going to have a 10 win season next year.

    2) Dan Gilbert tearing LeBron up like that when he’s most responsible for LeBron not being happy (or winning). Signing off on Valgina getting paid 50 million dollars? How can that be considered a good investment? Dan Gilbert is in the mortgage business, and he mortgaged his franchises future on house built of complete shit. Enjoy your shit house Gilbert!

    3) No one is talking about what should have owners and GMs shitting their pants: 3 super star players came together and independently chose their team. Anyone think owners and GMs had any say in this? This could set a precedence in the NBA that could ruin the league for most of the teams. If players can come together and sign as a group package…that might turn into a HUGE power balance between owners and players. If there is some sort of conflict in the future about this (ie, owner doesn’t want to go over luxury tax, etc), this has the potential to shut down the league, or consolidate all the talent into 5-6 teams…

  • Kay9

    Thank You!
    Thank You!
    This whole argument about lebron blowin up his legacy is a bunch of bull. Basketball is still a team sport and you won’t win a championship by being the man. No one ever did that. I think lebron just showed that he UNDERSTANDS what the game is all about: not scoring titels,fame, media, brand or anything like that. Its about winning championships. And I really hope that people will understand that. he just proved everybody wrong that said he had a big ego. he will accept less money, share the ball with 2 greats and might drop a lot of buckets on the cavs next season(only fo dan) and finally end up with his well deserved 1st Chip!

  • LeVon

    @just a fan..Im not saying both sides didnt give…But James cosigned on all those rosters moves. I respect the decision to leave. But when you factor in everything prior to him leaving, you understand why Cavs and Cavs fans feel the way they do. Had they not kissed his ass friends/family and he left, i dont think anyone would be upset.
    This is why you dont let the STAR PLAYER call the shots. When Kobe tried to call the shots, it was close to going down like this.

  • rell

    Why are people who disagree with the way Lebron left Cleveland are considered a hater? Hater is the most overused word in America right now. If I think Lebron is arrogant and disrespected Cleveland fans doesn’t make me a hater because I disagree with you. Austin does it make you a lapdog because you think Lebron did nothing wrong? No so stop with this hater crap whenever someone say something bad about dimemag & ESPN favorite player. If Kobe and Boston can be criticized so can Lebron.

  • Swedish Mooze

    I have 7 tabs of LeBron opinions up on my browser, but I’m shutting them all down… this hits everything related to why everyone should just back the f off.

    LeBron just hurt this franchise, but Dan Gilbert’s rant may have cost Cleveland more. No player in his right mind wants to play for an owner that lambasts a guy who has so obviously lined his pockets and carried his franchise for 7 (5 with Gilbert) years and 71 playoff games… when Gilbert is forced to sell the franchise at loss, he will sell to the highest bidder… and that bidder might also choose a warmer winter climate.

    for more on Gilbert’s hypocrisy check this…

  • LeVon

    Cavs now got bad credit (okay overpaid players) dirty house, dirty clothes. I get how they feel. James got to floss with his friends on there dime, and bounce to something bigger and better, AFTER he talked them into buying stuff that really wasnt that good ( Mo Williams, Jamison, Varejo)

  • oobhz

    this is probably the best article i’ve read all day.. nice one austin

  • Mr. TKO

    Like everybody is saying, I ain’t mad at his decision Im mad at the way it was enacted. An hour long special of Lebron slobbing???? Come on now?

    It’s his right to sign where he wants but as an Ohio native, he could have used that first minute or two to say that he’s not coming back and thank you for all the support over the years and still kept some mystery about where he was going. The whole time he was making this decision I’m like wow, this is a fucked up thing to have to experience as a Cavalier fan.

    That’s damn near like being engaged to a girl for 7 years and then she brings you on Maury to say that she’s leaving you for your better looking cousin, that’s just classless.

    No city has ever been as invested in a superstar as Cleveland was for LBJ, he grew up there, signed there took them to the finals, at the very least he could have tried to let them down easily instead of being like fuck them I wanna party in South Beach

  • freshouttatime

    i think lebron’s true colors showed in signing with a team that includes two of his buddies and apparently cp3 to follow- these four guys seem to be on the same page about winning a championship in the league, and making money while doing so. its just a smart move for them, and not like amare stranded in ny for a 1st round exit or boozer going to a 2nd round series with chi. had these guys gone to a bigger market (say ny) we wouldn’t be dealing with all this hate.
    seeing more than a game didn’t make me like lebron anymore, but it gives more insight as to the type of person he is, and for him to stay consistent with his own goals/ideals and following through on an alleged long term olympic plan, i have to respect.

  • DizzyDutch

    The key difference Lebron and the greats that DIme mentioned is that Jordan was the MAN on the bulls. Even pippen would agree with that. It’s Jordan’s team. It’s Kobe’s lakers. Magic’s lakers. Russell’s Celtics.

    Now who’s the man on the Heat. It’s been Wade’s team, and Lebron is coming to Miami to join Wade not the other way around. Who’s going to take the last shot? is there any doubt that MJ or Kobe would take the potential game winner? it’s the same criticism that has followed lebron his whole career. he can’t win the chip’ on a team where he is the absolute leader.


    Either your really naïve or Lebron James was sitting next to you while this piece was written. You state: “Could Lebron have just released a statement? Yes, but then his critics would rail on him for not facing any tough questions in-person.” That comment is absurd because regardless of which outlet was chosen to make his decision, ultimately Lebron would have faced many tough questions. The toughest question was actually never asked last night. When Lebron talked about how loyal he was. The next question should have been: Where was his loyalty to Cleveland? Now I’m not saying he should have stayed a Cavalier, personally I think the best fit would have been Chicago. However less not be naïve and try to compare the Lebron situation to Tony Allen or Matt Barnes. You can insult your own intelligence but don’t try and insult ours. Anyone with half a brain can see the obvious differences between Lebron making a decision and Tony Allen.
    I don’t fault his decision but let’s not continue to give Lebron the free pass he’s enjoyed throughout his career. The “decision” was all about Lebron. Don’t let the donation to the Boys & Girls club fool you. In my opinion that was another attempt to put the spotlight on his “brand”. A few days ago “Dime” ran a piece “What’s going through Lebron’s mind today? These guys know.” What’s was interesting about their comments, is that each of the stated the hardest part was notifying the schools they wouldn’t be attending before publicly announcing their decision. This is common practice in almost any business; the losing party’s are notified of your decision. This way you’re not burning any bridges. However in the “chosen one’s” world, the organization that drafted you and gave you the opportunity to showcase the “Lebron brand” has to find out you decision with the rest of the world on national TV.
    Lebron definitely isn’t obligated to play for Cleveland because he grew up there but he could have went about it a little better. Makes me wonder about the so called “team” he has around him, ultimately I think he’ll end up regretting in the long run how he went about the ESPN dubbed “The Decision”. No matter how much you sugarcoat it, it wasn’t the right way to go about things. I guess the “Chosen One” realized he needs a “Chosen ‘few’…” to get things done….Iamrich

  • Frank Grimes

    In reality there is nothing wrong with Lebron going to Miami.

    But there is something wrong with parading yourself around on ESPN for an hour to serve your ego and bank balance; then after that 58 minutes give the “finger” to your hometown. Classy.

    Look at it this way Jordan / Kobe/ Shaq/ Duncan /Robertson / Bird / Magic etc – carried their teams and they played against the best players of there generations and beat the best to win titles. Lebron, Bosh and Wade are three of the best players now – and they’ve taken the easy route. It’s the fans who are cheated and not just in Cleveland.

  • Blue

    posturing? really? c’mon! again, the only reason he wasn’t traded is because mitch is a little smarter than that.

    the cavs knew that lebron was about to become a free agent, and what did they do to try and help the situation? they haven’t done anything since free agency began except bitch that lebron is leaving.

    i’m not a lebron fan. i don’t like the guy. i almost don’t like that he’s gonna play on my favorite team, but the truth is he did it all legal. he waited 7 years and tried to win one with the cavs, but they couldn’t do it, so he’s trying to do it in miami. it’s dumb that people say it’s a cop out to play with the best possible players that you can. in every aspect of life you try to surround yourself with the best possible people.

    i don’t understand how people say that it’s a cop out, but at the same time they’re saying that the lakers are better or that orlando is better. then how the fuck is it a cop out if they’re not even the favorites to win the whole thing?

  • Basketball Spew

    Open Letter to Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert & the Salty Fans of Cleveland.

    Dear Cleveland, All of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight…

    YOU GOT F**KED! Get over it and move on.

    Tonight we were all “Witnesses” as we watched your beloved King James rip your hearts out and soul crush the city he’s called home for 25 years for the paradise known as “South Beach”.

    Was ESPN’s hour long love fest a bit over top? Absolutely
    Did you deserve the decency of a phone call before hand? Heck Yeah

    Do you guys have the right to go all scorned “Becky” on Bron- Bron and throw a state-wide BF?

    NO WAY!

    Before we go blaming Lebron James for this mess, let’s blame the real culprits in this matter……Ready for this…..

    IT’S YOU! Dan Gilbert and to a lesser extent Lebron’s Elk Dwarfs of the greater northeast Ohio realm. Mr. Gilbert how ironic is it that the very monster you’ve help create will seemingly be the catalyst to your own undoing? The dancing, the handshakes, and snuggies all happened on your watch with your blessings! And you question his taste for the theatrical?!?!

    Your basketball decisions reek of indecisiveness. The Cav’s most productive offensive front court players are all 2-3 years away from retirement. On the perimeter the team is composed nothing but undersized combo guards and spot-up shooters. This wouldn’t necessarily have been a problem if they could defend but this is not the case. All the while you’re continuously bringing in older players that take away key developmental minutes from draft picks. You undercut Mike Brown and left him ultimately powerless as you submitted to your Jedi Master Lebron’s every demand.

    Oh and by the way! Short of Mr. Jesus de Christo himself stepping on to the court and throwing on a Cavs Uniform (he shouldn’t be allowed to where number 23!) there is no way the Cavaliers are going to win a championship before Lebron in MIA.

    Why am I so sure? Because history tells me so. You’re the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers. The laughing stock of the league. By the late 90’s you’d become a barren hoops wasteland where those on their last legs came to fade into basketball obscurity (Shawn Kemp@300 pounds always gives me a chuckle). Younger fans think of a 90’s version of the late 00’s NY Knicks. But then it happened! Finally the basketball Gods (*cough *D. Stern) smiled upon you after years of torment and ridicule (“The Shot”, easily the most played NBA clip of the 90’s) and gave your franchise claim to its hometown hoops savant LBJ.

    2x MVP
    4X NBA 1ST Team Selection
    2x NBA 2ND Team Selection
    2x NBA 1st Team Defense Selection
    1X Scoring Title
    1 NBA Finals appearance (0-4 Even Shaq got the broom before tasting the greatness)

    All before the age of 27! I won’t waste time going over the numbers because I’m pretty sure yall have gotten his stats tattooed “Memento” style on your most private areas and won’t need me to remind of all the “good” he brought to your/his town.

    And now after seven seasons Elvis has finally left the building. The only difference here seems to be that he is doing it for the right reasons. A chance to win. Not the MAX contract but a chance at greatness; a chance to fulfill the unreal set expectations you’ve set aside for him since the tender age of 13. The only difference is he won’t be doing it in his home town and because of this…. you’ve become bitter.

    Well before we get any further let me let you in on a little secret….
    He is only a man. And basketball is only a game. He doesn’t owe Cleveland anything.

    Will his departure hurt an already bleeding economy? Yes
    But LBJ isn’t an economist or an accountant. These jobs are better left for your government officials with MBA’s and CPA’s.(though weeks prior I’m sure many of you in your naivety would have delegated these responsibilities to him without batting an eyebrow).

    Is he any less of a basketball player for joining Bosh and Wade in MIA?
    Absolutely not, turning down the opportunity the play with 2 of the top 10 players in the NBA in their prime is like turning down a chance to headline a tour with the Jay-Z & Coldplay or have a one night stand w/ Beyonce and A Keys. It’s a once in lifetime opportunity.

    The truth of matter is LBJ was always going to be “Ohio’s Own” whether he was playing in NY, CHI, LA, etc. You just to have adapt and learn to love your favorite son from a distance. But now the relationship is fractured seemingly beyond repair.

    So to you Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Fanatics I say thank you for last night! To think he might’ve wasted his 6 more years “KG “style playing in front some of most ungrateful fans and most definitely the worst owner in sports.

    Stay Classy Cleveland (Ron Burgundy Voice)
    Cleveland’s biggest fan,
    Basketball Spew

    P.S.: Good Luck Gil (I can call you Gil right) attracting any free agents or re-signing any draft picks after last night.

    P.S. again: Lebron is going to give you 60.

  • oobhz

    don’t worry austin, these haters are laker fans whose shitting on their pants now..lol

  • chris

    I want to work in Miami instead of Cleveland.

    I want to work in a place where the talent is good enough to win it all.

    I want to work in a place where they will spend more money on salaries than the lakers, who spent the most and won it all 2 years in a row.

    Makes sense to me.

  • Tbone

    BEST article I’ve read on Dime this year.

  • ianny b

    So much for wanting to be the best player of all time, Lebron has just chickened out and gon to hide behind Wade.
    Just proves that he aint the leader most persons “thought” he was. Very dissapointed in Lebron, last year’s Cavs Vs Heat ( Lebron vs Wade) games were straight fire. i was so looking forward to that friendly rivalry, now he has chickened out.

    Such a shame Lebron

  • http://www.paxtonavenue.com DGtheEnigma

    I have to get this out…

    Okay, before “The Decision”, I was letting LeBron have it. Why would he go on national TV and rip Cleveland? Of course he was going back to Cleveland! And since he was going back to Cleveland, I thought he was being a diva for dragging six teams along publicly. I thought he was trying to get one more big media push — ESPN, twitter, new website — cause he would be in a small market for the next three years. Ego run amok.


    After watching “The Decision”, and his announcement for heading to Miami, I totally have a different outlook on LeBron — in a good way. His reason for this is flat out winning. No pundit spin, former non-champions (I’m looking at you C-Webb, Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley), and pissed off owners can make me view this any differently. LeBron said it best last night, “I never thought it was possible…” This is unprecedented.

    Sure, Jerry West convinced Shaq to join Kobe (and other greats before then too), but never three athletes all in their respective primes joining forces for nothing more than winning. LeBron has put his apirations for becoming a billionaire to shreads with this decision. He will take a big PR hit momentarily, he will take less money, and commit long term all because he believes Miami has the best all around organization — not simply the best three players — to compete at the highest level during his prime.

    How many times have we witnessed great players squander their primes by staying with an organization that they know just doesn’t have the DNA of a championship team?

    There is no way I’m roasting an athlete for wanting to do the one thing the game is all about at this level…WIN.

  • Levon

    For those who think Pau isn’t a HOF don’t watch basketball. The HOF isn’t just NBA accomplishments it’s everything. Pau has a gold medal, multiple all stars, rings, and rings in his homeland. He’s getting into the Hall

  • Official

    Shouts to my dude Reno, he was dead on with that analysis. We broke this down for these none basketball heads out here that don’t what they are talkin about half the time. We the new PTI my dude! Now what happens is as fans we get selfish, we want Lebron to stay in Cleveland cause we wanna see him win in Cleveland… Well I shouldnt say “we” cause I could careless about the Cavs, and they foul owner. They got what they ultimately wanted. If they was on they job up there, Danny Ferry and Mike Brown would still have a job. They didn’t make the right moves, and James can’t sit and wait on them to get it right. Hope they pull off the Dynasty down there on South Beach….

  • kudz

    ok dumbf*&x…kobe wasnt drafted by the la lakers…he was drafted by charlotte! then he forced their hand! then didnt win shit until shaq came and made la SHAQ’s team…ur selective memories are so annoying!
    if lebron had demanded to be moved to a more successful organisation (like rubio is trying to do) he’d have a different story already, but he didnt, he tried, for 7 years…17yr old kobe felt he was too big for charlotte, 17yr old bron was just too humble.
    and i guess shaq is a punk since he couldnt win it all in orlando

  • http://abouthalftime.blogspot.com/ jace

    my thoughts exactly, austin.

    … well not exactly.. u had the same general thinking.. but then u opened it up and only cemented my thoughts about it. great piece.

    heres to good basketball.

  • TJ


    It’s ignorant to say Wade, Bron, and Bosh aren’t gonna play defense. Both Wade and Bron can guard the opposing teams best player. And each averages about 2 steals and a block a game. Plus, you think Pat Riley isn’t going to bring in some body to protect the bucket? C’mon now.

    And Wade did win that title with Shaq, but let’s not pretend it was “LA Shaq.” He was hurt a large part of that year and Wade took over that final series, averaging 35 and 8? Don’t discredit the man’s achievement because you’re a hater and trying to make your argument.

  • John Doe

    This is some grade A Bullshit. Fuck this article.

  • Claw

    @jace – r u f*ing serious??? It would have been better that the Cavs tank the last two years and had more space than try and build a winner AROUND Lebron like Miami did. Playing to half empty arenas with DWade already on the team.

    So even if they do win championships – a big if since injuries and the rest of the team might help. Will he get the same adulation with DWade and Bosh being on the team as if he brought a championship to Ctown as THE man?

    I lost respect for him, was weak, should have let the Cavs know before going on his 1 hour special, just handled classless.

    Red Auerbach built championships, nowadays just cut everybody and add All Stars, that’s tough.

  • Reno

    Thanks for the shout out AB…. I’m a DIME fanatic. I wonder what the backlash would’ve been had he stayed in Cleveland or whent somewhere else. Instead of Cleveland fans being mad at him they should be mad at Mr. Gilbert and staff. He gave his all for 7 years and played hard the whole time (no Vince Carter). Ferry and crew are to blame for not bringing in the help….. Jamison, old Shaq, moon, West, Anthony Parker (who’s not even the best sibling in his family) side show bob (varejao), mo “whodini in the playoffs” williams were not the answer.

  • control

    The biggest disadvantage to NBA fans about Bosh, Wade and LeBron playing together? 60 free throws shot by the Heat per game. Chris Bosh shot the most free throws per game last season (or was leading for most of the year). Refs call fouls when Wade misses layup line shots before the game, and LeBron is LeBron.

    Is there a team that can defend against the refs? They are going to have to schedule an extra 2 hours to play Heat games on tv, due to the excessive free throws that will be shot.

  • TJ

    @Basketball Spew

    Completely agree with everything you said.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Celts Fan

    Damn AB. You really let me down. Thought this was gonna be another version of the Haters Ball column you wrote a few years ago that ended w/ KG barking like a dog at Jose Calderon. That shit was one of the funniest things I ever read…

  • Nancy

    true words man!!!

    the example of picking up squads, the need of Hall of Fame teammates, Retirement without a championship, why he made the tv sesson – I totally agree with you and think you brought it to the point!

    If Lebron retires in Cleveland with no ring on his finger then his ultimate legacy is not happening anyway and even more important: he is going to be annoyed at himself for the rest of his life to not picking great opportunities. And then everybody is going to say: he, what do you want? you got your chance to switch teams. It’s your fault!

    Miami is not an easy way to get a ring. the have to deal with other problems. big stars wanna shine. who is the go-to-guy? gets most shots? ok, they got more opportunities what makes them dangerous but still you need to handle egos and if you make this work thats a pretty good job then.

  • K Dizzle

    @ TJ – you read all that? you a better man than me

    @ post 56 – trust me when I tell you: Laker fans ain’t worried about the young 3 unless they can get a roster to help match up. Kobe vs DWade, Bron vs Ron, Pau vs Bosh, Bynum vs ???, Odom vs ???, and our new pickup Stevie Blake vs Chalmers…U give Kobe motivation like that and you think we worried out west? LMAO!!!
    Just a little reminder from Bill Simmons cuz when it’s crunchtime, we still goin to the Mamba….well, I guess we can go to Pau too cuz he earned that.
    “Even during the final quarter of the 2008 gold-medal game, when everyone on the American team was staring at each other wondering who was going to step up against a red-hot Spain team, there were a few minutes of tentative, “I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes here” basketball before Kobe said, “Screw it, get out of my way” and took over the key portion of the game.”

    @ Blue
    Flyaman is right and you are wrong:
    It is called posturing. Kobe said get me some players or I’m gone. If the Lakers wanna just get to the 2nd round every year, trade me to a squad that wanna win. Do-or-die time and Mitch managed to get Gasol from Memphis and the rest is history.
    Cavs coulda had Stoudamire at the all-star break. Phoenix was ready to let him go for Hickson and pieces. At the last second, Cleveland backed out, the pressure fell off Amare and he caught fire, Delonte hooked up with Bron’s mom and the rest is history…
    You think Wade didn’t threaten Riles with bouncin to Chicago if he didn’t get him some help?
    Some GMs got stones and make shit happen. Ferry didn’t make the move and settled for Jamison and now, Bron is gone, but please don’t compare Bron to Kobe ever again. Kobe asked for the easy way out, but never took it.
    Like CWebb said last night, the comparisons to Jordan are done now for Lebron.

    @ AB
    Cleveland fans hate Bron cuz he gutted their franchise. Raptor fans hate Bosh cuz he kept sayin he wanted to be the man and would make sure the Raps got something if he left, then left to be a 3rd option on a team with no assets for the team to get back. Don’t blame those two teams fans for being angry today…

    As for the rest of the teams: Lakers fans, Celtics fans, Magic fans are all sayin one thing:
    Bring that shit on…but you NEED MORE PEOPLE lol
    I’m out

  • Robmo35

    Some of the things that seemed to be neglected in this argument that there’s nothing wrong with LeBron leaving for Miami.

    1. He anointed himself the “chosen one” and “king” James. No one forced these mantles upon him, in fact Nike didn’t even come up with them. When you give yourself these kinds of titles you better be able to deliver a title single handedly. He set the expectation that he couldn’t possibly meet. Not fans and certainly not fans in Cleveland.

    2. He basically assembled the team that he is now abandoning. He made no secret of his desire to have O’Neal and Jamison in the fold, even though conventional wisdom would have dictated that those guys aren’t going to get you a chip. He held Cleveland hostage for the past two years and forced them to make personnel decisions that were unsound, and now that he feels he can’t win with them he splits? That is seriously fucked up.

    He reminds me of a friend of mine who vomited all over another friends apartment at a party. The vomited announced to the party that he seemed to have made a mess and then he left.

  • fallinup

    You guys should know. I’ve been Lebron hater #1. Before he was even drafted, I scoffed at the ‘King’ James references. Every passing season, as he’d exit the season, I reveled in his defeat. This last time even more so.

    We have open territory to piss on him as much as we can for HOW he went about this. And rightfully so. I can’t even hate on Gilbert for the irate madness coming from his camp… you can’t justify being so classless… but YOU CAN UNDERSTAND IT. And you can understand as well why the whole city of Cleveland is having a Bron memorabilia bonfire. How can you blame an organization that put together two seasons worth of 60 wins each? You just can’t… they tried their damnedest. But it’s beside the point now anyway.

    When history looks back at this. Their not going to go… The Heat have all these championships… BUT look at how Lebron did Cleveland. Hell NO they won’t. Their gonna look at this… and count the RINGS. Nothing less… nothing more.

    Wade knows this. Bosh knows this… and Bron knows this. 3 guys. Easily franchise players in their own right… TIRED OF LOSING.

    They looked at Miami. And the legacy of Pat Riley, and said we can do something here that no one has never ever seen. We come together… maybe a season or two of growing pains… but mark my words. Pat Riley wanted a dynasty. HE’S GOT A DYNASTY. AT A DISCOUNT PRICE.

    How can you possibly hate on a player for being tired of losing. Instead of the old route of sticking with your team… loyalty.. yatta yatta yatta. And said, “Why do we have to wait until the tail end of our careers to use free agency for what it’s worth and win a championship? Let’s do it right now.”

    And you know what. Me, the Lebron hater that I am. Can’t knock anything regarding Miami now that it’s done. Hell, I kinda hope this sets a standard for all players now. Maybe free agency isn’t all about that max contract anymore. Ask KG how that loyalty thing went. This right here… is a milestone. And maybe, just maybe… the casual observer will stop looking at players like spoiled millionaires just looking for the biggest contract. How can you hate on that?

    3 stars. In their prime. Getting together and saying that they can do it together. It’s what we’ve always clamored for, but money always got in the way. It sets the stage. And now, you’ve either got the most intriguing team in NBA history… or the most hated team in NBA history. Pick your poison.

    But it will get viewers watching games. It’ll get more fans to the NBA. And yes… it’s exactly why David Stern let this drama build as it has. Because he’s the one that’ll be laughing all the way to the bank.


    Now that that’s out of the way. The 2010-2011 Miami heat will be beating teams just with free throws at some times. Just wait and see. Stern… it’s time to change those rules again. The fouls alone, will be the only thing turning away fans.

  • http://dimemag.com Bruce Biggs

    You have good articles,Austin and you make some good points.
    But I have to disagree with you. Lebron shouldn’t have gone on
    national TV to break the hearts of Cleveland. He should have had
    the class to tell Cleveland ownership beforehand. So what if the
    proceeds of the interview went to charity. He could have just donated
    a check and save Cleveland the humiliation on national TV.
    Lebron had to feed his ego. I also have to agree with Charles Barkley
    and Reggie Miller who both said this tarnishes his legacy. Charles
    said that if he was 25,he would want to be the MAN on a championship
    team instead of piggy-backing Bosh and Wade for a title.

  • Levon

    Secretly I think all James’ fans wanted him to go on tv say ” I’m staying in Cleveland and anyone who doesn’t come with me, will go without hardware!” I think we wanted him to throw down that kinda challenge. We wanted him to say Either your with me in Cleveland or against me, cause I’m the best. He didn’t do that so we all feel let down a bit

  • JAY

    @fallinup: How’d that doo-doo go?? Lmao!! You left lakeshow and myself hanging man!! How could you do that after we supported you so much! Fukker. Lol.
    On a serious note, I read your post and I actually had the same thought occur to me late last night. I still hate Lebron for being a cockface to Cle fans but they(Big3) set a precedence. History was made last night. Future stars (some, not all) will really start to give more weight to winning a championship instead of earning max dollars. Bcuz really, 120Mill over 6yrs versus 96 over 5yrs… either way you can support your family for the rest of their lives. Joe Johnson signed for max in Atl, but 10-15 yrs ago nobody will be nowhere in the history books. Bosh, Wade and the Delonte’s step-son are currently writing their own chapter in the book… not waiting to see if they will be in it. I don’t hate them for planning this out, because it’s obvious they did. They changed the game as we know it, and for THAT fact alone, whether you hate them or not, they must be commended.

    That being said… as soon as those bitches come to my city… BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bronle Mesja

    What about Chicago? Don’t mention that at all.

  • JAY

    @fallinup: How’d that doo-doo go?? Lmao!! You left lakeshow and myself hanging man!! How could you do that after we supported you so much! Fukker. Lol.
    On a serious note, I read your long-ass post and I actually had the same thought occur to me late last night. I still hate Lebron for being a cockface to Cle fans but they(Big3) set a precedence. History was made last night. Future stars (some, not all) will really start to give more weight to winning a championship instead of earning max dollars. Bcuz really, 120Mill over 6yrs versus 95 over 5yrs… either way you can support your family for the rest of their lives. Joe Johnson signed for max in Atl, but 10-15 yrs from now he will be nowhere in the history books. Bosh, Wade and Delonte’s step-son are currently writing their own chapter in the book… not waiting to see if they will be in it. I don’t hate them for planning this out, because it’s obvious they did. (I hate on them for other reasons… I won’t get into here as it’s not the point of this post.) They changed the game as we know it, and for THAT fact alone, whether you hate them or not, they must be commended.

    That being said… as soon as those bitches come to my city… BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JAY

    Shit… double post…. my bad guys.

  • kingralf

    absolutely agreeing with the article!

  • fallinup

    Should we even start speculating that Chris Paul could sign with the Heat next year? Or is it too soon. Haha.

    This Bron to Miami thing gives credence to the rumors we heard during Beijing. That Bosh, Wade, Bron, and yes, Paul.. agreed that they were gonna try to get on the same team together. Guess what, the rumor is batting 75%. With the other 25% being a free agent next year. UH OH.


  • NC

    Nothing wrong with Lebron picking Miami … truth.

    It’s going to be funny as hell though when Bosh goes down with one of his usual mid-season injuries and Wade finally dives too hard into the bleachers.

  • JAY

    @Austin: Great article bud… one thing i had to question… “He only ended up on the hometown NBA squad due to a stroke of Lottery luck”

    Is it truly a “lottery”… IMO, if it were a lottery it would be televised. I never understood why Stern decided to not televise it after the Ewing draft. I don’t think it was a stroke of luck. It was a stroke of fuck… and that “fuck” was Stern.

  • Ace


    Anyway you look at it, this is a cop out. Jordan killed himself in Chicago year after year before finally getting a good team and winning. Oh was it sweet it then. He did not run off to join forces with Isiah or Barkley, so they could “win now”. Kobe wanted a good team “in LA” and he did it there, after losing in the playoffs multiple years and not even making it that far once.

    On the playground if you and your homies got beat regularly, do you run off to join the other team so you can win ?

    What happened to dignity and pride. “This is what makes Lebron happy and Lebron needs to do this…”.Pleaseeeeee.. You are telling me, in all honesty you think “The Decision” was really only to make it easier on the press and not some megalomaniac self promotion. Comon..what happened to press integrity ?
    To know the misery of an entire city/state and know the effect you can have and to do that, on national TV no less, was COLD.

    I am a die hard Laker fan and I respect the hell out of the Celtics. KG is my hero (I’m lived MN), so is Ray Ray and Paul. So what if they ended up with one ring. I still respect that one more than all the rings Lebron might win with the Heat.

    Bill S of ESPN put it best, of all the choices he had – Loyalty, Winning, Greatness – he chose – “Help”. It’s a cop out no matter how you twist it.

    Nice try though…;)

  • Dennis Castro

    @Austin, I agree, it was his decision, he is a FREE agent, and he should be commended to a degree for taking less money to win.

    BUT, as evidenced by your poll, he’s the man right? And as a man, he should have manned up, held a press conference and answered any question posed by a reporter, whether cupcake or difficult. According to him, this “decision” was of that magnitude, right? But he took the easy way out and answered pre-approved questions by Jim freaking Grey. It was a cowardly way to address the entire “decision”. If you want to be the man, and be a leader, you be a man and a leader in difficult times as well.

  • Marcus

    LBJ did what he had to do. Yes he let all of Cleveland down and ppl will remember him as that kid that turned his back to his home town but he wants the ring badly.
    Props to Miami for executing a USA dream team.

    Once Bosh signed there I think LBJ knew right then and there where he was going to sign. He made the 1 hour special not for publicity but for charity…well thats what he would tell you at least…overall, he probably did it for both.

    After he’s done winning…or losing in Miami. He’ll have no choice but to retire in Cleveland and bring his home team some rings. If I was Cleveland I wouldnt move on, I would start clearing up cap space for when LBJ’s contract expires. you know he’s not going to turn his back twice. right? However, Gilbert may not agree with my philosophy.

  • russ

    I agree that he is free to play where he wishes – and is not obligated to stay with a team just because that is where he is from. Hell half the time where I am from is the LAST place I want to be. Especially when he is going to play with acutal friends of his. It’s the one thing I took from MORE THAN A GAME is how much he values friendships – look how he has provided for all those guys from that team. So I don’t fault him on any of that.

    But I have to disagree with the comparison to MJ. Hall of Famer(S) is a bit of a stretch. Scottie yes, but who else? Rodman? MAYBE. The post above mine summerizes the rest of my thoughts on that topic. The GOAT’s status is safe indeed.

    But where he lost me is this whole media circus he allowed and/or created. He seriosuly thinks he is so special he needs his on one hour TV special just to announce? It just seemed like an adolescent cry for attention at it’s best.

  • WinDelRoj

    Is it fair that Clevelands economy and their basketball team is going to suck now? no its not fair, but asking a man to save a city/franchise is too much. and the only reason this is a devastating loss is because Lebron put them back on the map. He made the company tons of money and world wide exposure. Cleveland should thank him for making them relevant. They didnt make him, he made them. 17 wins the year before to 35 wins the next (unless u want to credit mcinnis for that swing in wins). You better believe Lebrons ass would have been traded had he not had that impact. Hypocrisy from Mr. Gilbert. Things in Cleveland will go back to normal after this reprieve that Lebron James allowed it.

  • russ

    ..I was referring to post #89.

    Also, while Miami looks great on paper – so have a lot of other teams in years past that didn’t win any chips. I won’t be surprised if they don’t win.

  • fiyaman

    the only thing i dont agree with is the oart about Cleveland management not stepping up… they had the chance to get Amare but guess what KING JAMES vetoed and decided he wanted Jamison instead.. he never wanted to play to AMare..

    that being said I think cleveland tried n would have done anything Lebron told them to do in order to keep him (including blackballing Delonte West to the entire league)

    I think it just came done to .. he has had everything handed to him n the 1 thing he actually had to wrk for he was able to get so he said GIVE ME 1 of those too..

    Plain an simply now he doesnt have to work as hard anymore. .

  • Sly

    I left this stinking sea of biased journalism because of crap like this. Good to see Austin still at the top of his fucking game.

    Yall should be fucking disgusted with yourselves.

    Or at least change your website’s name to Bron Droids. Which would be cool.

  • fLaVa

    Welcome Queen Bron to King Wade’s home. Empire built by Riley.

  • Me

    U got it wrong homie.

    All your other examples (celts,bulls,lakers,etc) didn’t have a superstar and his PEERS on the same team.

    Played with other good, even great, players? yes. But no one is gonna say pippen, grant or rodman was on or even near the same level as Jordan.

    One alpha dog.

    By LeBron doing this, he’s admitting he’s NOT one.

    It’s Wade’s team and LeBron is Robin.

    Jordan didn’t joining the Pistons because they were beating his ass, he took his licks and came back harder.

    That’s why LeBron just shitted on his rep.

    At least I can go see an NBA game next season, Cavs tickets are gonna be CHEAP son!!

  • J.C.

    I don’t understand. So I’m just going to post this and never read the comments again. I don’t understand what everybody is so mad or so spiteful about. A player plays for a team 7 years. Can’t get closer than a Finals berth so he leaves to win. Everybody that has comments about how he’s all about himself and not about winning, now has comments that he’s no longer a king, and that he’s a robin to somebody’s batman (while I’ve been telling my people its more like the Justice League…but I digress). I can understand the people of Cleveland being mad..but they act like they made this dude. Like there’s no way he would have had any success if they hadn’t been backing him (not saying the fans aren’t important). Dan Gilbert’s acting like he didn’t make a gang of money off this dude…or like he wouldn’t have traded him if his value dropped. The team and the city are acting like a scorned girlfriend and its ridiculous. The show was ridiculous. But just like LBJ didn’t have to put on the show…ESPN didn’t have to air it. So there’s 2 sides to blame there. LeBron owed his former team more than to break the news on national tv. Dan Gilbert owed him more than to publicly put him out there like that. And he definitely owes him more than to act like the bitter ex-girlfriend he’s acting like

  • fiyaman

    @post 90…. right on da nose

  • laker4life

    this is ridicoulous…lebron goes ona show and has a 3:1 ratio of vitamin water in the background….he went to d-wades team and should never be compared to mj23 or kb24…he had a good team with the cavs …and dont tell me he didnt…explain those most win seasons…and now instead he could not win by someone forming a team around him…when shaq came to la..he didnt take other players with him.!!kb24 enudred bad years..and now what he is in his room laughing at that “queen” woosy…lebron could not do it on his own..he had to get 2 other guys to win…bs….he is no longer the “leader” or king or anything ..his arrogance and him being scared and leaving the cavs for nothing..is shameful..that is d-wades team and d-wade is the leader on that team…it benefited d-wade the most..but lebron just chickened out…and ran to his enemies….bro that not a real dynasty…u dont build real dynasties like that…complete bs..anywyas..lakers will be waiting for you…bring em on…ull need more than 3 stars to beat us… steve blake>heat 2nd round pick, kb24>d-wade,lbj23>ron-ron , cb4=pau, andrew bynum > nobody , LO and the rest > beat that 3 man roster….LOL..well be waiting for u guys…

  • aj

    Mimi does NOT win this year, bottom line

  • Sly

    ‘he is no longer the “leader” or king or anything’.

    He has never been one, cat. Never been one.

  • Tangman

    Team will be LeBron’s after a Wade injury. Wade will wear down in a few seasons…

  • Kevin Durant


  • Levon

    If Wade and Bosh coulda went to Cleveland with James would he still have chosen “help”? Nope! It’s the wa he left. But him getting help isn’t bad. Kobe got Pau then got Artest to come over. It’s no about forming a Superteam. It’s he couldn’t the Superteam to come to him in Cleveland. Cleveland was the issue luring quality teammates

  • Levon

    If I hear one more Kobe sack hugger believes Kobe did it alone or didn’t ask for help is high on that purple kush. Jerry West gifted Pau to his old franchise to help Kobe so he wouldn’t leave. Sameway McHale gifted KG to Boston. Don’t let KB24 balls blur your vision

  • tbone

    the reason it’s wrong in this case (imo) is that he created this team and then bailed. it’s one thing when if you didnt have control.. but he had full control.

    why cant you people get this through your skulls?

    btw, lebron fatheads are on sale for 17.41.. the year benedict arnold was born. lol. very nice.
    (for those of you who dont know shit. gilbert owns fathead)

  • Miami6

    “oh i wanted miami to draft me be these assholes picked me to become their hometown hero. we talking about miami son!”

  • Double X’s

    Well said Austin…well said.

    For the record…Lebron did the Cavs organization dirty. Not by leaving, but by being unprofessional. He left without a word. He should’ve at least had a meeting with management instead of leaving them waiting on pins and needles like everyone else.

    From 15 wins not to long ago, to this. WOW!!!! I am very excited.

  • LakeShow84

    All i have to say to Lebron followers is ur boy WONT deserve his next MVPS, his possible Finals MVP’s, etc, etc..

    Lebron took the individual out of his legacy by joining up with 2 other superstars.. I read an article that pointed it out clearly,

    “Lebron basically admitted he doesnt believe he can be the centerpiece on a championship team, he needed DWade as his closer way more than DWade needed him”

    And its dead on.. 7 years of hype, hope and hypocrisy for what?? Zero rings and an easy way out??

    This isnt about no one else.. No one of Lebron James magnitude and talent has ever taken the easy way out like this..

    Sorry Bron followers but your boy aint doing shit for you but giving you highlights of dunks and chase downs.. You foo’s aint got nothing but yo pahtnas INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENTS to look at.. Whats the best record in the NBA if you cant sniff the Finals??

    Best believe that will remain Dwayne Wades team.. And Dwayne Wade will deliver when they need it most.. Thats what Lebron is going for and he knows it..

    And all this proves Lebron James could never hold Michael Jordan or Kobe Bryants jock.. DEAL WITH IT..

  • Double X’s

    @ Post 59…Basketballspew.
    Nice read…I agree.

  • Double X’s

    Post 57 said this:
    “Look at it this way Jordan / Kobe/ Shaq/ Duncan /Robertson / Bird / Magic etc – carried their teams and they played against the best players of there generations and beat the best to win titles. Lebron, Bosh and Wade are three of the best players now – and they’ve taken the easy route. It’s the fans who are cheated and not just in Cleveland.”

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? Yes those HOFers and future HOFers played against the best players and teams. But Lebron is by no means taking the easy route. He took advantage of a ONCE in a lifetime opportunity. He’s going to play in a beautiful city, with some of his friends, who just happen to be 2 of the best players in the league/world.
    But their road to the title will not be easy. The best teams in the league (with the exception of the Cavs obviously) are still in tact.
    Celtics, Magic, Lakers, Mavericks, Nuggets, Hawks…etc are all still in tact.
    And let’s not forget about those middle of the pack teams like the Bulls, Thunder, Bucks, who have all improved and should really give even the best teams a run for their money this upcoming season (sort of the way OKC did to LA in the playoffs this year)

    C’mon ya’ll let’s be for real. Going to Miami gave James the best opportunity to win, and to win NOW…but not the easiest. Becoming an NBA champion is not easy for anyone.

  • David

    When players get traded, how many owners contact the player to break the news versus the player finding out from the media or some random dude on the street? LeBron owed Cleveland nothing. It is business and it is never personal. Unless your Dan Gilbert…

  • arc

    the cavs’ front office had 7 years to do to lebron what micky arison just did to dwade and all those 7 years were spent on adding mediocre/sort-of-all-stars around him. so dg needs to stfu and look in the mirror. that’s the guy to blame.

    i feel for cavs fans but really, maybe it’s an armani suit you should be burning instead of a #23 jersey.

  • one and done

    No matter what laker fans say, in the back of your minds, you’re a little shook. If Lebron to Miami doesn’t concern you, then why the knee-jerk reactions? It’s fine if you think Miami will suck or whatever, but ultimately this represents a changing of the guard. Any way you slice it, the window for LA is closing (it’s been wide open for 10 years now). Yes, I know they just won 2 championships in the past 3 years but they were taken to the limit by an old, broken down Celtics team. Father time is catching up to someone even as spectacular as Kobe, and how much longer do you think they’ll be able to hold off teams like the Thunder? Every franchise eventually has a period of mediocrity, and since you guys have been so spoiled with winning this past decade, I think that scares you.

    ……By the way, if you think I’m saying LA sucks, you’re missing the point.

    Have you guys ever considered that maybe being “the man” and being compared to MJ and Kobe means more to the media and yourselves then it does to Lebron?

    p.s. don’t think that for one second Kobe wouldn’t have done the same thing if he was in Cleveland.

  • one and done

    ……just to clarify, I mean leave Cleveland, not have a TV special and all that other stuff.

  • alf (from melmak)

    I will maybe have the last post to this topic so let me be quick about it — You blew it on this one Austin. The people have spoken and most of them are correct.

    And by the way, “Jordan only won rings with Hall of Fame teammates”? I could be wrong but name another outside of Scottie Pippen. :)

  • http://soundcloud.com/pacer_x pace

    “But in seven years, the best they could get him was half-a-season of Antawn Jamison, one year of Old Shaq, and a couple years of borderline All-Star Mo Williams. ”


    and I’m out like Kevin Durant’s Celtics jersey

  • D.I. Dollar

    Damn. The Heat haven’t even won one game together yet and MF’ers are already talking championships. Win a game…a series…a ring first and then talk about legacy.

    Boston is still the team to beat in the Least. Followed by Orlando and Chicago.

  • http://www.nba.com smoove chips

    Mmeh..i call bullshyt on this one austin !
    A. Dime is ‘paid’ in the most part by site traffic. This is uncalled for.u mean to tell me everything that went down last night was kosher to you?to know intimately the history of that town and proceed to do it via an hour long session anyway. What would it take for you to tell the emperor that he’s naked..honestly,i wanna know.

    B. Don’t anyone compare kobe’s teams during his rant to the ones lebron fielded. You can’t leave a team with a winning record to another one with winning potential and claim you legit. Cavs were a  back to back 60 win team people! Can you imagine kobe makin’ this declaration after such a season?and please believe this wade was leaving if he had the same cast he had last year.same as kobe was back then.

    C. I don’t fault him leaving. If he didn’t realize how he’d be impacting his team he’s either very dumb or full of himself. I couldn’t do that to my home city. demand a trade or let em know early that you not gon be around.this is like leaving your roommate on the 28th of the month.yeah you not on the lease,and yeah you paid your current months rent..you still come off like a douchebag. Clevelands history is like ny condo rent prices. Muthafucka you gotta say something !!

    D.lakers all day son coz whoever comes out the east gon be one bruised up team lol.threepeat !!

  • AL

    Why are people saying, “took less money to be in Miami”…. there’s no income tax there. For this kind of cake, that’s a FAT DIFFERENCE. No one took less NET money to sign in Miami.

    Also, why are we talking about LeBron’s legacy? Let’s talk about DWade’s legacy. The man is the kingmaker. Assassin. He ran the table on the league, got everyone’s inside information on his FA tour, then pulled the two biggest prizes into HIS house.

    F*@k that egotist Lebron — who cares about Pippen to Wade’s Jordan. Let’s talk about Wade — the guy who made this happen AND the guy who comes off as the classy hometown hero. Guy was a warrior for a few years since he probably KNEW the plan was to tank a year or two of his prime just so he could pull down a dynasty to close it out.

    Bulletproof legacy. On the all-time list, doesn’t he now vault himself into rarefied air?

    Wade’s the biggest story of this whole affair.

  • http://bt.davka.info/ Sparkyj23

    The moral of the story: Stay in school.

    Wade: 3 years at Marquette
    Bosh: 1 year at Georgia Tech
    The kid from Akron: no college

    The most educated guy convinced his dumber friends to come play on his team.

    Quoted from the Sportsguy

  • jnuh

    the ‘charity’ angle was an after the fact add on so they could have something to point to and say “look, we’re not COMPLETE narcissistic assholes”

    even though they are.

  • Myles C

    Perfectly written article. You hit all the right points. Well done, Austin.

  • Conoro

    “C’mon, people. I already knew LeBron was the most hated man in the NBA, but be serious.”

    Really? You would know that? Apparently, you’re limited within your own bubble as there are hundreds of writers like yourself defending James with reckless abandon.

    He’s hated now, but I – as well as 90% of people immune to biased reporting – would have an incredibly difficult time believing you after reading your drivel from time to time throughout the past year.

  • Big Island

    I don’t think anyone is mad at him for going to Miami, it’s totally understandable. He’s 25, he gets to be filthy rich in Miami, and play with his buddies. It’s what we all did when we were that age except for not being filthy rich. He did it in a poorly thought out, egotistical way. He had as good of a chance at winning rings in Chicago as he does in Miami. Cleveland wasn’t going to win, the team is pretty bad.

    Austin: All of the guys you mentioned, Kareem etc… were traded. Bron just up and left. There is a difference. If Cleveland would’ve traded him, people would be mad at Cleveland for trading him. Lebron could say thank you to them, go out ant chase a ring like KG did. It’s totally different in the eyes of a fan. I can’t hate on Lebron for leaving Cleveland, but I can hate him for how he went about it.

  • KnicksFan

    The Cavs suck! Mo williams is overrated. Lebron gave him open shots. Jamison is washed. after them….no Offense. The Cavs gave up on Lebron by putting together that wack team. Lebron wanted to stay to get good players but that could have taken years.Wasted years. Not 1 star won a championship on there own. Its just cause the media Crowned him the King and all that that people are pissy about him joining up with others. When Kobe got Gasol for used toilet paper it wasn’t a problem? Cleveland doesn’t have David Stern on speed dial like LA. can’t just get what they want to make it easy to win so Lebron flipped the script.

  • K Dizzle

    I seen it all now. A Knicksfan defendin lebron….You lost, bruh…
    Let’s review: Lakers got Pau Gasol, Memphis got “toilet paper”
    Let’s expand on this: Marc Gasol, 25 yr old 7’1 265 lbs centre with slick offensive moves and a serious motor. Avg’d 15 pts, 9 rbs, 2.4 as and 1.6 blk while shooting 58% from the field is the furthest thing from toilet paper. Matter fact, if he was a free agent this summer, he easily gets a Rudy Gay deal. Shit, Haywood got 10 per? M Gasol gets 13-15per easy.

    The Cavs gave up on him givin him a roster than won more games in the regular season than any other team? Lebron woulda wasted years to get good players? What do you think Wade did the last 2 seasons?
    LA got David stern on speed dial?
    WTF are you talkin about?
    Next time, do some research before you post…

  • Marparker

    Everyone keeps posting that Cleveland is a 60 win team. Wanna calculate how many wins they gonna have without Lebron. Lebron makes 70% of the league 60 win teams.

  • Dre

    This is the best and most logical article I have read in a very long time. Haters, whinny Cavs fans and Hood Kats that don’t analyze and study the game would have a problem with what he did or ex-NBA players not smart enough to do what he did. It was a smart move and it means he has as much brains and brawn. Great article.

  • Drink the Haterade

    Here the prob with the whole thing:

    If LBJ had said he was going to Chi or NY then he would have still been the “MAN” and still been trying to win as the “MAN” instead he took the bitch way out and and is no longer the Batman. That is DWADE team and no one elses. I hated it, I still hate it today. Not because they @ some point will dominate, but because as fans; we are all no sold short to seeing LBJ and Wade dominate like we are used to. We are being sold short of the product. And I dont like it in the fact that LBJ (as much as I hate him) has now just admitted that he cant be the man and win a title. He just gave up! I wanted to see him try like Kobe,(yes Kobe bitched until they gave hima team/ you would too! Like Mike… He didnt and its sad for the true NBA fans. I wanted to see him and Kobe go at it, Mano a mano… and now we never will. As a kid you’re taught to give it you’re all and at first if you dont succeed then try try again.Stu Scott said he got a text asking if MJ joined the Pistons when he couldnt win. NO! he stayed until he won as the man. IMHO– He should never be listed in the same breath as Kobe, Majic, MJ or Timmy D. He s not going to win as the man. Here my point: Karl Malone might be the leading scorer in NBA history, but he’s the best PF ever, Timmy D is. Cause Timmy D won 4 rings as the man!

    This must be the new way of dealing with pressure. If you dont like it and cant take then just stop trying

  • Balla4Life

    The funniest thing about Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller hatin on Lebron by sayin his championships in Miami are worth “less” then if he had done it in cleveland and the whole “tarnished his legacy forever..”, is the FACT that NEITHER of them won a championship. There’s a fine line between criticism and jealousy and i think they both crossed it. Also, all this crap about betraying cleveland and Lebron embarassing them on National T.V is rubbish. The last time i checked these were professional athletes, not superheroes. Loyalty is overrated.

  • Badger

    Why do we expect loyalty from players when the teams have none? Go ask T-Mac if the Rockets were loyal to him. Ask Fisher how loyal the Lakers are being to him right now, asking him to take a 1/2 pay cut. How loyal was Phoenix to Amare, openly trying to trade him for the last couple years and then trying to put a minutes-played clause on his contract? This shit is a BUSINESS, and there’s no loyalty in business. Teams operate under that credo, but then when players do it we get mad at them.

    @Drink the Haterade — So basically you’re mad because you wanted LeBron to always be the undisputed No. 1 guy on otherwise mediocre teams, but he “took the easy way out” by aligning himself with better teammates. Would you have said the same thing if the Cavs did their jobs and brought in better teammates? Would it be the “bitch way out” if LeBron stayed in Cleveland and they brought in Chris Bosh and Chris Paul to play with him? Or is it only the easy way because he went somewhere else to play with other All-Stars? So even though history has shown us that EVERY superstar with rings also had superstar teammates, you still think LeBron took the easy way out by going where he’d have superstar teammates.

  • SD

    I usually don’t post comments, but finally someone with sense about this whole thing!!! F**k legacy and all that noise, people don’t realize that this is the start of a new legacy!

  • laura

    oh yeah so this is the “king” so sto speak? the man with an ego sooo big he needs to be center of attention in his hometown, but once he goes to miami, its finally about winning? put yourself in a clevelander’s shoes: the man quit on his hometown when he had a legit good chance to make the finals (and maybe even win since the cavs beat the lakers both times in regular season). Its totally okay to go to miami, but the way he left cleveland without telling ANYONE INCLUDING THE MAN WHO SIGNED ALL THOSE DAMN CHECKS JUST TO PUT A GOOD TEAM AROUND HIM is shady as hell.

  • laura

    he traded his individual talent for championships only for his legacy? he needed a championship handed to him like everything else was in his life

  • Kim mathenge


  • JD

    Gilbert and cavs fans better be reading this.

    Great piece of writing Auston – Kudos to you

  • Marparker

    LOL at this being compared to Jordan going to the Pistons circa 1990.

    Lebron didn’t go sign with Boston. He signed with a team that barely made the playoffs last year and had two players on the roster at the start of free agency.

  • K Dizzle

    @ marparker

    If you naive enough to think he “took a chance” and didn’t think DWade and Bosh were gonna be there.
    The point of the comparison is to say if Mike left his squad to jump to a easier situation.

  • DaViking

    The main reason why a lot of the older stars(Jordan, Magic, Isaiah) never left their teams was A) most of those dudes signed 15 year contracts when they first came into the league. Magic was locked into the lakers for 25 years on his contract. Mike wasn’t a free agent until what was it ’96 when he started to make $30M a year. You best believe if Chicago wasn’t winning championships in 96 Mike would’ve been out. Whoever thinks that James is taking the easy road out tell me how? 90% of the posters who say that also say that Chicago would’ve been a better choice, that the pieces there are better for his game. If that was the better choice, isn’t he making it harder for himself to win a championship? I personally feel that a signing like this should have went down long ago. No other stars wanted to take less money to play together. These three did. Also, if LeBron would have told Cleveland that he was leaving as soon as the season was over he would still be getting killed in the media and on these message boards. Using the decision to kill him is just an excuse. I definitely don’t condone what he did with it but being as though boys and girls clubs benefited from it there should be no problem with what he did. The best choice for his future and legacy was made. Period.

  • Robert

    Well put man… all of the HATERS need to leave Lebron alone. The Cavs SUCK and without Lebron won’t even be a playoff team and potentially could be the worst team in the leauge. I mean come on even Ilgauskas followed him to miami because he knows he might win a ring down there finally. Screw all them chumps who were burning his jerseys too. They need to get over it and blame the owner for not bringing in the right players to help Lebron win one. As you said name one team that has ever done it with one superstar. I am not a heat fan so it has nothing to do with him coming to my favorite team but I am a Lebron fan and would have done the same thing in a heartbeat.

  • Robert

    Oh and at Laure you are a MORON making a comment like that. How can you say that everything in his life was handed to him. His Ball skills were not handed to him and neither was his NBA contract. He EARNED all of that on his own you freaking IDIOT.