In one way, Thursday night's infomercial on ESPN concerning where LeBron was going to sign was good for me. Until that night I thought that I had lost the capacity to be amazed.
After all, there's some important stuff going on in the world. We are embroiled in a shooting war in the Middle East. There's a goddamn hole in the Gulf of Mexico that has been spewing oil for two months. The economy is tanking. Again. A search is on for a little boy in Oregon. A big vote is coming up in Congress on bank regulation. Elections in November.
And yet in the midst of all of this important stuff roiling about us, ESPN decided to devote an hour's worth of programming in prime time so an anxious nation could watch LeBron tell his home state of Ohio to go screw itself. Or as he modestly put it " I'm taking my talents to South Beach" and the Miami Heat.
The Accord at Appomattox received far less hype than this exercise in egomania. And of course, I watched.
The Chosen One feigned concern for the loyal fans back in Cleveland. He vowed to always maintain a home there.
Don't cry for me Parma.
Of course, this is all bullshit. Who can blame him for wanting to winter in Miami rather than in the Mistake by the Lake? Besides, only in the NBA could three guys ( Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade were the other two parts of this troika) collude with one another to essentially shift the balance in the Eastern Division. At least on paper. More on that later.
And speaking of bullshit,Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert said LeBron's leaving was "shameless" and a "betrayal." As if the Cavaliers wouldn't have gotten rid of LeBron or anybody else if they had gotten hurt or old and couldn't play anymore. It's a business. Gilbert also vowed that Cleveland would win an NBA title before the new and improved Heat would. That's rich. They couldn't get it done WITH LeBron. I'll turn Baptist if the Cleveland Cavaliers win 35 games next year. Anyway, if you want to read more of this petty bullshit hit the jump:http://www.nba.com/cavaliers/news/gilbert_letter_100708.html . Such petulance is breathtaking. But by the same token, I too would be upset if the value of my franchise took a 250 million dollar hit as of 10 PM Central time.
As for the Miami Heat, I wouldn't break out the "anointing oils" just yet, to paraphrase Bill Parcells in reference to Jessica Simpson's old boyfriend. The Heat will be good. But if history is any guide, it's a lot harder to buy a pennant in basketball than it is in baseball. Unlike baseball, basketball requires teamwork and chemistry.
When I was a little kid the Los Angeles Lakers started Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain. 3 guys who made it into the Hall of Fame. And they didn't win nearly as many titles as people thought they would with that all talent.
It will be real interesting to see if there are enough basketballs to go around with those three. Also, it's not like Bosh and LeBron are the greatest jump shooters who have ever played. The Celtics pretty much let James fire away with impunity during their series. I foresee many zones in their future. If opposing teams can get them into a half court game the Heat may struggle.
Finally, there is the wuss factor to consider. Noted tough guy and former Celtic Paul Silas coached the Cavaliers when LeBron entered the league. He was quoted the other night as saying that LeBron doesn't have a killer instinct. Dwayne Wade on the other hand has won one ring and tried to win another while barely being able to raise his left arm. Neither LeBron or Bosh are known for doing the dirty work champions like Wade aren't afraid to do.
LeBron is going to want to be the man for the Miami Heat. But they already have a man.
Oh and just wait until Pat Riley fires the putative coach of this bunch so he can take over and try to get another ring for himself thereby infusing another massive ego into the mix. It will happen. Trust me.
This will all be real interesting. The only prediction I am willing to make is that the Cleveland Cavaliers will NOT win a title before the Heat.
Everything else is up in the air. More so than Miami fans know.