Maybe the most anticipated summer offseason in NBA history was in 2010. Lebron James was coming off another disappointing playoff elimination to the Boston Celtics. The hometown phenom had failed to lead his Cleveland Cavaliers to the promised land. The organization also failed to put real talent around him to put the team over the top.
That summer Lebron made the worse decision of his career. He held a 75 minute TV special live on ESPN in a sit down with Jim Grey to announce his decision to “take his talents to South Beach” and join the Miami Heat with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade.
Call the move what you want. It was clear he needed help to get past The Big 3 in Boston and compete in the NBA Finals. You can blame him for starting the “Superteam” culture we see now in the NBA. You can blame him for needing to organize a route through free agency with other superstars to get his ring.
The thing that really sticks in my craw with the move was how and where he carried it out. The TV special was ridiculous and egotistical (although it did raise $2.5 million for the Boys and Girls club and an additional $3.5 million for other charities). In what is now known as a common “look at me” move from James, he teased the basketball world for a half hour before announcing he was signing with the Heat.
Which brings us to the “where” issue. I’ll never understand why Lebron chose to ditch Cleveland for Miami. Sure, we’d all choose Miami over Cleveland in terms of places to live. But he’s been self-branded as “The Kid from Actron” and “The King” of Cleveland. He’s Lebron James. Try telling me Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade wouldn’t relocate and bring the Cavs 6, 7, 8, 9 championships with their buddy Lebron.
If Lebron stays in Cleveland and brings them 2 superstars with multiple championships I think the public scrutiny he still receives today is nowhere near the heights it’s at. He would’ve ended one of the saddest championship droughts in the history of any US city. He wouldn’t have this label as a guy who nails when things get tough. And he wouldn’t have spit in the face of every Cleveland fan that was watching him since he was an 8th grader.
You can tell me he had to do it all you want and that he’s the GOAT regardless (he’s not) but you’ll never change my mind. The Decision was the worst possible route Lebron could have taken and I’ll never let that go.
PS: That’s the most scripted “man this is tough” I’ve ever heard in my life. Be more disingenuous Lebron, you can’t. Follow me on Twitter @T_Ry25_