It’s official. LeBron James is leaving Cleveland for Miami. Many of you have written, and no, I am not actually setting myself on fire right now, as promised on Facebook. I am going to take it out on my P90X workout tonight. (Nice gratuitous reference to my improving physique, by the way.) Honestly, I can’t begrudge LeBron James for leaving Cleveland for Miami. I wanted him to stay, but I left Cleveland, too. (No Jim Gray interview/ESPN circus for me, though.) My only criticism is breaking up with Cleveland on national TV. That was harsh and unnecessary and thoughtless and cruel, charity money be damned. The Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto nails it in this column here, writing, “Never was basketball more fun for Cavaliers fans than during the James Era. But never could anyone have imagined a worse way for it to end than how James delivered his decision Thursday night.”
LeBron, you gave us some great moments, and for that I am thankful.You also added to Cleveland’s tragic history as a sports town. Red Right 88. The Drive. The Fumble. The Shot. The Move. Jose Mesa. And now … The Decision. You did not leave Cleveland with the class you played with on the court. The look on your face during the ESPN special says you knew this. You degraded your legacy and betrayed your usual classiness in order to enhance your brand. That’s the shame of it all.
Speaking of legacy, do you remember when Michael Jordan teamed up with Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon to form a super team that would dominate the NBA for a decade?