The DEFEND Cleveland Show

The LeBron Dance

LBJ Dance


It is a particular Cleveland sickness that allows Cavs fans to somehow believe that LeBron James will return to this two-bit town instead of staying in Miami or head to another top tier city.  I can’t tell you how many people in the last week are absolutely convinced that LeBron wants “to come home” to play for the Cavs.  Whispered rumors abound that one of James most trusted advisers just bought a dozen courtside seats.  Even members of the internal Cavs staff will let their guard down and suggest that some clandestine organizational coup is already in place that will bring James and all his glory back to Cleveland.  Let’s take a look at this tragically flawed thinking…

The current primary objective of almost every NBA player appears to be to land in a major urban center that offers an excellent climate, nightlife conducent to being an African American millionaire, and maybe even a chance to play competitively.  Miami, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, and New York are always in play.  Milwaukee, Cleveland, Memphis, Toronto, and Utah are not.  If you were the best basketball player on the planet with unlimited wealth, would you want to hang out on South Beach or the Flats?  Would you want to go to movie star functions in LA/NY or the Scene Local Music Awards at the Cleveland House of Blues location?  Let’s be serious about the city for a moment.  Cleveland is a second tier city (at best) with almost none of the upside an NBA star looks for in a place of employment.

The only people that breathlessly champion this city are ones that have never traveled extensively and have no idea what the rest of the planet offers.  NBA free agents aren’t comparing Cleveland to Columbus or Pittsburgh.  They are comparing it to living in Manhattan with no limitations on expenses.  Allow your mind to wrap itself around the idea of rolling around NYC with the ability to do ANYTHING you wanted to do.  How about being the toast of the town in LA and being invited to every high end party the entertainment industry tosses while living in a beach house in Malibu?  The Black Keys, who based their entire marketing position on being from and all about Akron realized that it was insane to do that when you could buy places in NYC and Nashville,.  They bailed and they were still an indie rock band at the time.  LeBron is one of the most famous people in the country.  So you think LeBron James, after living in Miami, is itching to come back?  Does that make any sense?  At all?  Would you?  I sure as hell wouldn’t…

From a basketball standpoint, where would you go if you were LeBron?  You could stay in Miami with steadily successful Pat Riley at the helm and be reasonably assured of winning the East for the next two years minimum.  Yet, people from NE Ohio believe that James would want to play for an organization with an owner that shit talked him for a couple of years, has their third new coach in three years, and has shown little reason to think that the current core of players can win.  LeBron will make any team he decided to play for a legit threat to win it all.  So why would a guy that has consistently shown that he needs to stack the deck to be comfortable go someplace where his team wouldn’t bully the weak amongst the herd?  He wants to play on a team that’s as loaded as possible and has an unfair competitive advantage.  I would also suggest that it is unlikely he would leave the East, because who wants all that competition on the Western side?  That’s too much risk for a guy like LeBron.  So who in the East has the most likely chance to succeed in 2015?  I’d say the Heat, wouldn’t you?

Where he goes doesn’t really even matter.  It isn’t here.  The most interesting thing of this whole stupid fake drama is that Cleveland once again is going to get their hearts ripped out.  The city is like the dumped girlfriend that thinks the old boyfriend is coming back “as soon as he comes to his senses”.  That train has left the station baby.  It’s gone.  “I know LeBron is dating Farrah now, but after he gets tired of her he will want to come back to me, Helen Crump of good old Mayberry.”  Yes.  As we all know, the one thing that people with the stated goal of becoming a “global brand” want, it’s to move into a smaller pond.  In fact, I’m a little surprised that Lady Gaga hasn’t bought a little place in Parma Hts.  I know that the Airport just shuttered Terminal D, but it’s not a big deal for Bill Gates.  He’s going to park his plane at Burke Lakefront anyway.  In fact, Brad Pitt and Angela Jolie are rumored to be considering one of those condos in Gordon Square.  It’s an up and coming area you know…

As this play enters its tired final act, it is important to understand our place on the NBA stage.  The Cavaliers are the Washington Generals, a team for the good teams to play against until the real season starts in April with the playoffs.  No one wants to come here, not even an ex-native son like LeBron James.  It’s bad business.   And this whole thing is business.  Cleveland is being used to keep the conversation about LeBron, his importance, and his potential legacy.  He may swing through here in the twilight of his career, when he needs the storyline to read about what a man of character he is (and why that is good for YOUR BRAND to associate with in future endorsement opportunities).   He’s not coming now though.  He can still win some championships if he can rig the game, and this is his last great chance to do so.

Forget about LeBron.  He never cared about you anyway Helen.

-Greg Miller
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Posted by on Jun 30 2014. Filed under Featured, Greg Miller on Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “The LeBron Dance”

  1. david cardarelli

    Well, gentlemen, you may be addressing this as I type, but Kurt Rambis is headed to the Knicks as an ac. The Lakers’ General Staff/Brain Trust is now ensconsed in MSG. Your thoughts, especially how this DOESN’T pertain to LeBron other than as an opposing pole of power in the new, post-Stern NBA?

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