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Edskin
06-14-2011, 09:40 AM
Www.oklahomacitythunderblog.blogspot.com

In 2006, Dirk Nowitzki failed. He endured the pain of losing when everyone thought he was going to win. He bore the brunt of the criticism following the Mavericks loss (after being up 2-0 in the Finals) to the Heat. He was 27 years old at the time, and over the next several years, despite some impressive individual performances, he and his team continued to fail. With each passing season, Dirk quite visibly wore the anguish of not bringing home a ring to his team and city. But he kept swinging.

In 2011, Lebron James failed. After back to back seasons of leading the team with the best record in the NBA, his Cavaliers failed to reach the NBA Finals for the second year in a row. He was 26 years old at the time. Then, he bailed.

Someday soon, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert needs to let go and move on from Lebron James. But his tweet following the Mavericks win tonight was spot-on and quite appropriate. After congratulating the Mavericks organization, he concluded simply: “There are no shortcuts. None.”

Dirk Nowitkzi understands this. Lebron James does not.

After getting bounced by the eight seeded Warriors in 2007, I didn’t think the Mavericks had any prayer of ever winning with Dirk as their leader. I firmly believed their window had closed and that Mark Cuban and their organization were chasing dreams by signing older players, seemingly scrambling to build around Dirk one last time. It appeared to me that their ship had sailed.

But I underestimated their determination, desire, and heart. What we saw celebrating on the court in Miami tonight was a decade of hard work and perseverance come to fruition. We saw a team forged by disappointment and heartbreak, come together and set aside everything for one common goal. The road from Dallas to NBA Champions included no shortcuts.

Dirk also seems to understand that you never win a championship just for yourself. How gratifying must it feel for him to hoist that trophy for the owner who believed in him, the teammates who supported him, and the fans that love him?
Let’s say Lebron wins a title someday (I believe he will). Ask yourself this…who, besides himself, is he winning it for? The city of Miami? Please… they had to send out instructional videos (no exaggeration) on how to be a good fan, which included incentives if you arrived in your seat in time for tip off. In a few days, Dirk is going to sit on a float in a parade and hold that trophy over his head while the city of Dallas chants his name. No matter what happens in the future, it will never be the same for Lebron. His decision to take a shortcut sealed his fate in that department.

Each of the two players mentioned above had a similar crossroads experience at essentially the same point in their career. One chose the easy way out; one dug in his heels and fought. Tonight, as so often winds up happening, the fighter won.

When Lebron made the choice to leave Cleveland for Miami and did it in a way that humiliated his former team and city, he revealed so much. He quit on his team. He quit on his city. He quit on his fans. Most telling though…he quit on himself. Maybe now, we know why.

IslandRed
06-14-2011, 10:46 AM
I'm really glad to see Nowitzki finally get to hoist a trophy.

As for the life lessons -- well, I'll just say it's a lot easier to stay the course when your team is owned by Mark Cuban and you know he'll spare no expense and never give up. Dan Gilbert inspires no such confidence. It's a fine line between persevering and tilting at windmills.

And anyway, since I don't believe everything in the NBA is about LeBron, I'm still not sure why it was horrible for him to leave as a free agent and join another team with good players but it would have been perfectly fine for other good players to leave their teams and come join him.

RBA
06-14-2011, 11:06 AM
I believe the NBA championship will go along way in making Cuban a viable candidate to own a MLB team. Like the Dodgers.

NJReds
06-14-2011, 11:33 AM
And anyway, since I don't believe everything in the NBA is about LeBron, I'm still not sure why it was horrible for him to leave as a free agent and join another team with good players but it would have been perfectly fine for other good players to leave their teams and come join him.

I agree with this statement, although I get why "The Decision" bothered Cleveland fans. It didn't bother me that he left as a free agent to try and win a championship.

I hated the Heat before LeBron, and it was the press conference/rally "Yes We Did" and "Not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6" championships boast that really made me enjoy Dallas' victory.

gonelong
06-14-2011, 12:31 PM
Lot's of people leave there jobs for what they perceive is a better opportunity. It's not "bailing", and it's not a shortcut.

If you had to bet on whether LeBron would win a championship or not, I suspect many would bet against him today. I'd gladly take that action.

GL

/doesn't care one way or another about LeBron, the Cavs, the Heat, the Mavs, or the NBA.

Edskin
06-14-2011, 01:26 PM
Gonelong-- I too, believe he will win a ring, but it won't mean all that much.

Sports isn't like every other job in the world in that the competition itself is what matters most in the game.

And let's say it was the real world... Let's say you had a contract with a company and that contract was up. They wanted you back and were willing to pay you the maximum amount allowed under law. Then they asked, "do you accept?"

Your response would be "maybe, I'll let you know later." And then you refuse to return their calls or calls from your fellow employees (Mo Williams confirme Lebron shunned all teammates).

Then a few weeks later without telling your former employer you decide to tell them...

"Tune in tonight and see what my decision is....."

So, everyone does and for an hour you hem and haw and finally announce you aren not coming back.

How do you think that would go over in the real world?

Going to Miami showed great competitive weakness from Lebron. MJ didn't win in his first six years either, but can you imagine him going to join forces with Isaiah, Barkley, or Olajuwon? Same with Bird, Magic, etc. And it's not just a generational thing-- Kevin Durant could have walked to an easier path but he has chosen to stick it out.

There is nothing illegal about what Lebron did, it's just incredible weak and reveals much about his character and competitive spirit. I think he will eventually win a ring or two-- good Lord how could they NOT? But winning multiple rings in Miami won't mean nearly as much as had he just won one in Cleveland.

Let's say Dirk leaves Dallas after 2006 and joins up with Kobe. He would probably have 4-4 rings right now, but this one in Dallas means so much more.

gonelong
06-14-2011, 04:14 PM
But winning multiple rings in Miami won't mean nearly as much as had he just won one in Cleveland.


To who?

GL

jojo
06-14-2011, 08:54 PM
There are no shortcuts? As Victor Hugo would say, "strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause."

Edskin
06-14-2011, 09:23 PM
To who?

GL

Like I said in the article, if you only do something for yourself, if the goal is only to win a title for yourself, then I guess it won't matter when, where, or under what circumstances. But winning in Cleveland would have meant so much so many. Lebron was under no obligation to stay. But his choice to leave reveals much about who he is IMO

WVRed
06-14-2011, 09:32 PM
I'm opposite. I was pulling for the Heat to win this series.

Obviously I'm not a fan of LeBron and the dog and pony show that went on with the "decision", but my dislike was more with Dan Gilbert.

As bad as Miami is without the Big Three, LeBron had garbage surrounding him in Cleveland. You can use the Jordan excuses, but the MJ led teams had some pretty good players playing for them, namely Scottie Pippen. Even when D-Wade won his first title he had Shaquille O'Neal in probably his last great season.

LeBron lobbied for Gilbert to get Amare Stoudemire, he got Antawn Jamison.

When LeBron became a free agent, Gilbert tried to use the hometown card to resign him. One of the bits I remember reading involved a PowerPoint presentation using Family Guy to appeal to LeBron's lighter side.

So when the decision happened, I felt bad for the Cavs fans. This is a city that has had their heart ripped out a lot. With the Indians losing in the WS to the Marlins, the Browns leaving for Baltimore, and now the native son "taking his talents to Souf Beach".

Of course, then the letter by Gilbert following the announcement, assuring the Cavs fans that they wouldn't turn their back on the fans (despite already selling season tickets before LeBron left to watch the crap that would take place following) and that the Cavs would win a championship before the "self proclaimed King" won one.

Dan Gilbert is a businessman, pure and simple. He didn't surround LeBron with the talent necessary to win in the postseason and expected him to put a horrendous team on his back and carry them. When LeBron upped and left, he issued a childish letter to the Cleveland papers despite fleecing his own fan base before that.

Of course, Cleveland has some consolation in that they hold the first and fourth overall picks in the draft in a couple of weeks. The downside is that this is the weakest NBA draft in some time. If they are still down next year (assuming there isn't a lockout), they could be in a prime position to draft another native Ohioan in Jared Sullinger, who I think would be more loyal to the Buckeye State. Add Sullinger to a likely draft of Kyrie Irving and Enes Kanter and the Cavs could be back in contention shortly.

Regarding LeBron, with his comments the other day following the Heat loss, if I was a player rep I would be chewing him out in the media. The NBA is likely headed toward a lockout and the comments are similar to those made by Adrian Peterson comparing the NFL to modern day slavery. You need the players to avoid making stupid comments that are going to alienate the fans, and this doesn't help.

jojo
06-14-2011, 09:38 PM
Like I said in the article, if you only do something for yourself, if the goal is only to win a title for yourself, then I guess it won't matter when, where, or under what circumstances. But winning in Cleveland would have meant so much so many. Lebron was under no obligation to stay. But his choice to leave reveals much about who he is IMO

Do you really think this is a fair characterization? The only place he could win an unselfish title is Cleveland?

gonelong
06-14-2011, 10:42 PM
Like I said in the article, if you only do something for yourself, if the goal is only to win a title for yourself, then I guess it won't matter when, where, or under what circumstances. But winning in Cleveland would have meant so much so many. Lebron was under no obligation to stay. But his choice to leave reveals much about who he is IMO

This is a sore subject for me because my neighbor just can't let this alone. :D

I suspect it will mean quite a bit to the Heat fans if he wins one in Miami. It will mean a lot to the organization, the city, the fans, his family, his team mates, etc. It just won't mean much to Cleveland.

The last year has revealed much more about NBA fans than it has about LeBron IMO.

GL

/realize I am **way** in the minority on this one.

Edskin
06-14-2011, 11:13 PM
Do you really think this is a fair characterization? The only place he could win an unselfish title is Cleveland?

You are oversimplyfying this too much. It's not just one thing. It's not just that he left. It's not just The Decision. It's not just that it is pretty clear he made up his mind a year or more in advance. It's not that he chose the Heat who already had a star.....

Everything Lebron has done has combined to lead me to my conclusion.

It is different to me if a guy leaves a longtime team when he is in the sunset of his career to chase a ring. If Lebron was 31 and still hadn't broken through in Cleveland, it would make much more sense to me. But to do it at age 26 was very premature.

Lebron himself is on record as saying MJ is idol and that he wants to go down in history with those types of players. I don't understand how you can say that and then decide to "join forces" at age 26?

Lebron is a walking hypocricy.

If Lebron had called a normal press conference and said

"I feel too much pressure in Cleveland, I'm not comfortable here anymore and don't feel we are close to winning a title. I think I need someone to help me carry the load and I'd really like to play with a couple of my buddies. So I'm joining the Heat."

Had he said that, I would have still considered him less than a killer competitor, but I would not have felt any real animoisty towards him, and I doubt most other fans would have either.

You go to play a pick-up game at the Y...there are two guys far superior to everyone else. The natural instict there for most would be that those two guys are the captains....but what if those two guys insist on being on the same team? That's my best analogy. It's not "wrong." It's weak.

Lebron is weak. His excuses are weak. His decisions are weak. And honestly (and this surprised me too) his performance in the Finals was weak.

Edskin
06-14-2011, 11:18 PM
This is a sore subject for me because my neighbor just can't let this alone. :D

I suspect it will mean quite a bit to the Heat fans if he wins one in Miami. It will mean a lot to the organization, the city, the fans, his family, his team mates, etc. It just won't mean much to Cleveland.

The last year has revealed much more about NBA fans than it has about LeBron IMO.

GL

/realize I am **way** in the minority on this one.

Heat fans? Yes, I'm sure both of them will be very happy :)

That was just another kick to the groin...he leaves a town with a sports fever and joins the Heat, which very well may have the worst fans in the league and maybe all of pro sports. This is not just hyperbole either....awful attendence in recent years despite a title in 2006 and Wade.

And even in these playoffs, they were giving away free food to anyone who arrived in their seat for tip off and sent instructional videos to fans on how to cheer properly...you should watch it, it's pretty funny.

No one in Miami cares....all reports were that that arena was more or less dead and compared to the other teams in the playoffs it was a morgue.

But like Lebron said after the series, he gets to wake up tomorrow and go back to his life and all of his critics have to wake up and go back to theirs.

Edskin
06-15-2011, 12:15 AM
WV-- on the flip side, Trevor Ariza was more or less ready to sign and he was the type of player the Cavs really needed. But he backe away when Lebron would not commit. Lebron's decision to not reveal his plans, though his right, did hinder what the Cavs could do.

puca
06-15-2011, 07:45 AM
I'm opposite. I was pulling for the Heat to win this series.

Obviously I'm not a fan of LeBron and the dog and pony show that went on with the "decision", but my dislike was more with Dan Gilbert.

As bad as Miami is without the Big Three, LeBron had garbage surrounding him in Cleveland. You can use the Jordan excuses, but the MJ led teams had some pretty good players playing for them, namely Scottie Pippen. Even when D-Wade won his first title he had Shaquille O'Neal in probably his last great season.

LeBron lobbied for Gilbert to get Amare Stoudemire, he got Antawn Jamison.

When LeBron became a free agent, Gilbert tried to use the hometown card to resign him. One of the bits I remember reading involved a PowerPoint presentation using Family Guy to appeal to LeBron's lighter side.

So when the decision happened, I felt bad for the Cavs fans. This is a city that has had their heart ripped out a lot. With the Indians losing in the WS to the Marlins, the Browns leaving for Baltimore, and now the native son "taking his talents to Souf Beach".

Of course, then the letter by Gilbert following the announcement, assuring the Cavs fans that they wouldn't turn their back on the fans (despite already selling season tickets before LeBron left to watch the crap that would take place following) and that the Cavs would win a championship before the "self proclaimed King" won one.

Dan Gilbert is a businessman, pure and simple. He didn't surround LeBron with the talent necessary to win in the postseason and expected him to put a horrendous team on his back and carry them. When LeBron upped and left, he issued a childish letter to the Cleveland papers despite fleecing his own fan base before that.

Of course, Cleveland has some consolation in that they hold the first and fourth overall picks in the draft in a couple of weeks. The downside is that this is the weakest NBA draft in some time. If they are still down next year (assuming there isn't a lockout), they could be in a prime position to draft another native Ohioan in Jared Sullinger, who I think would be more loyal to the Buckeye State. Add Sullinger to a likely draft of Kyrie Irving and Enes Kanter and the Cavs could be back in contention shortly.

Regarding LeBron, with his comments the other day following the Heat loss, if I was a player rep I would be chewing him out in the media. The NBA is likely headed toward a lockout and the comments are similar to those made by Adrian Peterson comparing the NFL to modern day slavery. You need the players to avoid making stupid comments that are going to alienate the fans, and this doesn't help.


And yet Cleveland had the best record in the NBA in both 2009 and 2010 despite surrounding LeBron 'with garbage'.

I'm not a Cleveland fan. I'm not an NBA fan. Heck I'm not really even a basketball fan anymore - I have gravitated towards sports where scoring is an actual accomplishment.

I defend LeBron's right to leave Cleveland for Miami, regardless of his reasons. What I can't defend is the way he did it. He strung the Cleveland franchise along - handcuffing them until he announced his decision. And then putting a spotlight on 'the decision' was absolute classless. The live TV coverage of the Cleveland fans having the rug pulled out from under them was truly sad. Did he not understand that would happen? Did he not care?

When LeBron realizes the entire world does not revolve around him he might be able to start rebuilding his legacy.

TeamSelig
06-15-2011, 11:05 AM
omg... this whole Lebron is the devil stuff is so annoying. He moved to a better place to live to play with his friends. Miami > Cleveland in all facets of life. Plus, Cleveland failed get him any good players to play with.

Edskin
06-15-2011, 01:50 PM
omg... this whole Lebron is the devil stuff is so annoying. He moved to a better place to live to play with his friends. Miami > Cleveland in all facets of life. Plus, Cleveland failed get him any good players to play with.

Then why even have teams in cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Cincy, OKC, etc? Most places in the US are not as fun or exciting as NYC or South Beach.

Let's also not forget that this was almost undoubtedly in place while he still played for Cleveland.

Indianapolis is not as cool of a city as Miami-- so why didn't Peyton force the issue towards the Dolphins?

The "he wanted to live in south Beach and play with his buddies" stuff is just lame. Defeats the competitive nature that drives sports. It would have really sucked had Larry Bird decided he could win more title as a Laker alongside Magic than doing it with the Celtics.

WMR
06-15-2011, 02:02 PM
I wonder how many years it will take Cavs fans to get over being spurned by LeBron... probably not until their next major championship (i.e. never).

Who was the best player(s) Larry Bird played with on the Celtics? Where do those players rank all-time? What about Magic in LA?
Who was the best player(s) LeBron James played with on the Cavs?
Yeaaa... I'm guessing if Larry or Magic had to play with a 70s/80s equivalent team to those squads LeBron absolutely CARRIED they would have gotten the hell out of Boston/LA too.

Then again, maybe they would have stuck it out like "good soldiers" and never won a damn thing like LeBron apparently should have done.


But oh wait, he left in a way that made our feelings go ouchy, nevermind that it raised millions of dollars for charity. :rolleyes:

Roy Tucker
06-15-2011, 02:09 PM
omg... this whole Lebron is the devil stuff is so annoying. He moved to a better place to live to play with his friends. Miami > Cleveland in all facets of life. Plus, Cleveland failed get him any good players to play with.

Yabbut, perception is reality in this case. Right or wrong doesn't matter. Outside of Miami, I think Lebron's fans are few and far between any more.

When he was with Cleveland, he was a well-liked player. And from a PR stadnpoint, he getting to where he could rival Michael Jordan in marketing punch. And that is some very serious bucks.

And it was "The Decision" that turned the worm. If he would have just had a run-of-the-mill press conference and gone to Miami, Cleveland fans would still hate him but at least the rest of the country wouldn't. But I think he got very bad advice from his handlers and agents. Now his name is mud and the general sporting populace thinks he is a ****** bag and now a choke artist.

And I'd think his endorsements are way down. And a bad PR rap like this is going to be long and hard to repair. He really screwed the pooch.

Edskin
06-15-2011, 02:38 PM
WMR--- the charity thing is possibly the weakest of all defenses for The Decision. They tried to make it sound like that absurd event was the only way they could raise that money. There are about a million other ways they could have done that minus the narcissism and humiliation for his former fans. It was also funny that a group of boys at the home were outside playing and were hurriedly shooed away once the limos and ESPN crews arrived :)

In Cleveland Lebron won an MVP, had the best record in the league twice,made the ECF once and the NBA Finals.

The only thing left to accomplish was a ring. So every year he falls short of that it will be viewed as failure.... Especially considering through his own words he set the bar at seven titles.

I guess the bottom line is that I find Lebron to be 100% disingenuous and a soft competitor. I believe his actions and decisions have cast his lot and he can never really overcome them at this point. As Roy said, he screwed the pooch royally.

jojo
06-15-2011, 03:17 PM
WMR--- the charity thing is possibly the weakest of all defenses for The Decision. They tried to make it sound like that absurd event was the only way they could raise that money. There are about a million other ways they could have done that minus the narcissism and humiliation for his former fans. It was also funny that a group of boys at the home were outside playing and were hurriedly shooed away once the limos and ESPN crews arrived :)

In Cleveland Lebron won an MVP, had the best record in the league twice,made the ECF once and the NBA Finals.

The only thing left to accomplish was a ring. So every year he falls short of that it will be viewed as failure.... Especially considering through his own words he set the bar at seven titles.

I guess the bottom line is that I find Lebron to be 100% disingenuous and a soft competitor. I believe his actions and decisions have cast his lot and he can never really overcome them at this point. As Roy said, he screwed the pooch royally.

But as a Cav he was a warrior poet?

IslandRed
06-15-2011, 04:09 PM
Yabbut, perception is reality in this case. Right or wrong doesn't matter. Outside of Miami, I think Lebron's fans are few and far between any more.

When he was with Cleveland, he was a well-liked player. And from a PR stadnpoint, he getting to where he could rival Michael Jordan in marketing punch. And that is some very serious bucks.

And it was "The Decision" that turned the worm. If he would have just had a run-of-the-mill press conference and gone to Miami, Cleveland fans would still hate him but at least the rest of the country wouldn't. But I think he got very bad advice from his handlers and agents. Now his name is mud and the general sporting populace thinks he is a ****** bag and now a choke artist.

And I'd think his endorsements are way down. And a bad PR rap like this is going to be long and hard to repair. He really screwed the pooch.

Agree. In that respect, James reminds me of Alex Rodriguez -- a player who wants to be liked, who does not relish being a villain in the slightest, yet sometimes just doesn't understand he's shooting himself in the foot until it's too late.

puca
06-15-2011, 04:48 PM
It is not what he did but how he did it.

Whether or not it was his intention the result was that he spurned the fans of Cleveland in the most public way possible, a group of fans that had (over)worshiped him for 8 years. I know some of those fans, and the sadest part is that they were resigned to the fact that LeBron was going to leave UNTIL he announced that his "decision" would be a prime-time event. No way, they reasoned, that he would do that to his fans.

It's one thing for your wife to tell you she wants a divorce, it is quite another for her to throw a party, pick up a microphone and tell you in front of all your friends and family.

CTA513
06-15-2011, 04:50 PM
He gave the Cavs 7 seasons and as a free agent decided that leaving the Cavs and teaming up with Wade and Bosh gave him a better chance to win a championship.
Hate him all you want for that but how many good teams would let a player like James get away?

mlh1981
06-15-2011, 10:34 PM
I'm a Cavs fan, and while I'm pretty pissed about the whole decision and what not, I'm trying to move on. They have 2 out of the top 5 picks. I'm excited about that.

Seriously, enough is enough. While I was happy the Mavs won, I felt like rushing the streets and acting all excited was a bit unnecessary. I'll save that for when one of my teams actually wins something. I don't want to live through the accomplishments of another sports franchise that's not my own(though, very happy for Dirk).

TeamSelig
06-16-2011, 09:58 PM
Then why even have teams in cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Cincy, OKC, etc? Most places in the US are not as fun or exciting as NYC or South Beach.

Let's also not forget that this was almost undoubtedly in place while he still played for Cleveland.

Indianapolis is not as cool of a city as Miami-- so why didn't Peyton force the issue towards the Dolphins?

The "he wanted to live in south Beach and play with his buddies" stuff is just lame. Defeats the competitive nature that drives sports. It would have really sucked had Larry Bird decided he could win more title as a Laker alongside Magic than doing it with the Celtics.


I'm just sayin... how can you blame a guy for wanting to get out of Cleveland? As for their records, most teams are gonna win a lot of games with Lebron on their roster. Miami has had some bad chemistry (bad coaching IMO) otherwise I think they would be nearly unstoppable.

Magic Johnson forced other teams to not draft him... and went to a stacked Lakers team.. but no one ever brings that up. Kobe did the same thing. For some reason, it is a HUGE deal that Lebron wanted to play with Bosh/Wade. Personally, I don't think it's that serious or that big of a deal. Why is it an issue that Lebron won't be as recognized as MJ now that he has two amazing teammates? Idk... I just think most of this is just ESPN wanting good writing material and sports fans hanging on to weird circumstances that consider a player good, great, or GOAT.

There is a good chance that Lebron never would have won a championship in Cleveland due to the Mo Williams' and an old Antawn Jamison. What about Carmelo or any other big name players that have forced trades on their team? It's the same thing as what Lebron did.

Revering4Blue
06-17-2011, 10:42 PM
Magic Johnson forced other teams to not draft him... and went to a stacked Lakers team.. but no one ever brings that up.

That's because it's not true.

Magic went 1st overall to the Lakers, who had obtained the pick in a 1977 deal with the Jazz. Granted, if the Jazz had retained the Pick, Magic may well have objected to playing in Utah.

As for Kobe, IMHO, his refusal to even work out for lottery teams in 1996, including contending teams (Pacers) who had traded up that year has forever soiled Kobe in my eyes. And that was before the *alleged* Colorado incident and throwing Shaq under the bus had occurred.




Spot-on.

TeamSelig
06-19-2011, 01:21 AM
Magic said he wouldn't play for any other team but LA. He was going to stay in college or something to that effect.