We Are All Losers

by Cleveland Frowns on July 12, 2010

It’s some coincidence that The Decision fell on the same weekend as the World Cup final, the most widely-celebrated world championship in sport. To see the Spanish players prostrate in celebration of not just a victory at the highest level but one for their country was the first starkest reminder of what’s sure to be many as to what was lost when LeBron James turned his back on Cleveland last Thursday.

More than affirming just players, teams, coaches, systems or schemes, a World Cup victory affirms a place like no other sporting event can. A World Cup victory sets off a celebration that places are different, that places are important, that it’s important that places be different and that this time, at least in this very real very measurable way, my place was the best. Of course it’s not just that the team is based in the place, but that the players themselves were from and of the place that makes it so.

When LeBron James turned his back on Northeast Ohio, he turned his back on the rarest of opportunities to set off that kind of celebration with a mere NBA title, and in and for the place where such a celebration would have meant more in a real way than it could have meant anywhere else.

For that, we’ve all lost.  Not just Clevelanders, Ohioans, or the NBA, but anyone who wants sport to mean more than just athletics, individuals, and schemes. Or at least any of those who think it’s important that places remain places and develop diversely (even Cleveland).

In that sense alone, it can be said that LeBron owed it to everybody to stay home, where it could have never meant more in this way. In that sense alone, we can see at least  a grain of truth in the claims that “Cleveland was totally dependent on LeBron.” In a real way, it totally was. When had there ever been a chance for one athlete to affirm an American city, a region, so powerfully? It was all teed up so perfectly. So many years of Cleveland being the butt of so many bad jokes, all to be made right thanks to LeBron, who’d restore balance by lifting Cleveland just as the twenty-first century took off. Cleveland: As good as anywhere else, and now, for a time, at least in this real way, thanks to an individual who was born and raised here, Cleveland would be the best.

These feelings would have been legitimate whether or not the balls had bounced just so to land LeBron with the Cavaliers as a rookie by way of the 2003 NBA Draft. No doubt these feelings would have come to the surface had LeBron wound up anywhere else to start his NBA career in pleas for him to exercise whatever control he had to wind up back home as soon as he could. No doubt these feelings are shared not just by Ohioans, but to some degree by sports fans across the globe, as evidenced in part by the visceral global reaction to LeBron’s decision.

And these feelings are only so much stronger thanks to LeBron’s own embrace of his messianic image in Cleveland. King James. The Chosen One. We Are All Witnesses. He’ll take us to the Promised Land. He’ll light Cleveland up like Vegas. It’s a deal that LeBron wasn’t shy about accepting. It’s more than an implied contract that’s been breached here.

If it’s not a betrayal, it’s certainly at least a breach. To say that “LeBron had every right to leave” isn’t to say much, because anyone who makes an agreement “has every right” to go back on the agreement and pay the damages to make it up. However much he might have underestimated it, LeBron knew he’d take on some damage from this breach.

Yet he decided that the damage would be worth the chance to relieve himself of a burden — not just Cleveland’s, but his own — for something that looked like a better deal. Here it’s at least hard to hate if it isn’t hard to judge. We’re talking about a twenty-five year old who’s spent his whole life in Northeast Ohio (as Henry Abbott put it, he’s been “paying the bills for the Cavaliers, in no small way, for years”) going to South Beach to play with not one but two perrenial All-Stars, at least one if not two top-ten talents with whom he’s long been good friends. If LeBron’s primary concern really was that he’d end up “31 years old, with bad knees and no title,” one can at least understand why he’d think that playing with Bosh and Wade for six years would at least keep him from ending up in that place, even if his legacy would end up meaning something less as a result.

Which gets to the saddest part about all of this. Not that LeBron made such an apparently shortsighted decision, but that he might have made that decision out of fear. Not just the decision itself, but the incredibly ugly way it all went down makes that conclusion hard to escape. Throughout the entire process, including his last three seasons in Cleveland, LeBron looked like nothing if not a man without guidance. “A sad, lost robot” until the end.

Besides triple-doubles, MVP awards, and second-round playoff appearances, it’s been the only other reported constant during LeBron’s time in Cleveland; nobody could seem to look LeBron in the eye and get through to him with meaningful criticism. The kid went almost immediately from homeless to a nine-figure multi-millionaire with unprecedented power, apparently on nothing but his own talent, practically raised by the game of basketball itself. If nobody close to LeBron could act toward him with more regard for anything bigger than how LeBron himself might react, how could anyone have expected LeBron himself to act in any other way?

Now consider that the one man who might have been in the best position to do that failed; that Dan Gilbert’s now-infamous (disastrous?) reaction to LeBron’s decision reveals more than anything Gilbert’s own failure to deliver the leadership that LeBron seems to have so desperately needed.  ESPN’s Chris Broussard has laid out the case:

[Gilbert said he plans] to communicate “events of the recent past” to the public over “the next several days and weeks.

[Gilbert says LeBron] quit in five playoff games over the past two years, yet he was willing to pay him $125 million to stay on his team. . . .

[Gilbert] called James a “self-declared King,” yet failed to mention that it was he himself who promoted the “King James” brand throughout his arena. . . .

[Gilbert] said James has “gotten a free pass” and that “people have covered up for him for way too long,” yet it was Gilbert who overruled the objections of former GM Danny Ferry and gave James and his friends carte blanche throughout the organization. . . .

Then Gilbert said James’ actions Thursday night revealed “who he really is.” . . .

Maybe that’s why James didn’t return Gilbert’s phone calls and e-mails over the past two months — because he knew the owner looked at him as a moneymaker and nothing more. Maybe James no longer wanted to play for someone like that.

Maybe it was an impossible situation for Gilbert with so many hundreds of millions at stake in such an unprecedented way, and maybe no owner would have done any better. But especially in view of Gilbert’s reaction, we have to ask where we might be today if Gilbert had been more forthcoming to LeBron about LeBron’s own alleged faults; about all that LeBron “quit” on, and everything else for which LeBron received a “free pass” or was “covered up” over the years.  If Gilbert couldn’t speak the truth to LeBron about these things until now out of fear that he might upset LeBron, and his own short-term interests in the process, it’s easier to understand how a pitch to LeBron from Gilbert about the bigger picture would fall on deaf ears.  It’s easier to understand why LeBron, maybe especially LeBron, wouldn’t want to spend six more years under that kind of leadership, and easier to understand why Pat Riley or the Arisons (who own the Heat) would come off as more compelling figureheads here, especially with teammates like Wade and Bosh around to help share the burden.

To the extent that the organizational leadership in Miami can succeed where that in Cleveland appears by its own recent admissions to have failed, LeBron will find at least some fulfillment in his decision to leave home. If it’s not the Heat leadership, maybe a title will do it; a title that LeBron, Wade and Bosh are good enough to win by themselves. Or even the failure to win a title might bring LeBron the stability necessary for him to see just what it was that he passed up on at home.

For now, there’s still every reason to expect that LeBron will one day realize this, and that when he does, he’ll want to come home. Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment. If there was ever a reason to take less money to help a team come under the cap, LeBron making good on his promise to Cleveland would be it.

Count me as one Clevelander who’d receive the prodigal son with open arms. Here’s hoping Gilbert comes around soon, too.

  • Carl

    I checked in to see what comments there would be.

    I have a long piece about the situation that I'll post tomorrow or the next day.

    But it's time to turn the page.

    James was never what he appeared. And THAT'S what really hurts all NE Ohio Cavs fans.

    All around America people now know that "Because the NBA Cares" is pure nonsense.

    When you turn the page the next one has a giant picture of Joshua Cribbs on it.

  • Teddy G’s

    where are you going to post your piece tomorrow carl? on here?

    The saddest part about this whole situation is that as you may open your arms to Mebron in the future, thousands will not. He will never be able to come back to his home after what HE has done. Its sad really, he did a lot of good things in Cleveland/Akron area too.

  • Ammo

    I'm not gloating here, because Lord knows I'm as angry as anyone out there and I did not want to see this happen at all. I would much rather take a nice big bite of crow.

    But this is exactly why I didn't like the LeBron Appreciation Day. I know it was a good community event, but I don't care, it should have been for Akron civic pride more than worshipping a player who, turns out, really couldn't give a crap about us. Everyone worshipped at his feet when he knew he was gonna bolt, he knew it for years. It makes me sick thinking about it.

    Before anyone says Cleveland is not Akron and Akron is not Cleveland…it's all Northeast Ohio and we're all in the same boat here. Besides, LeBron's pathetic attempt to separate the two has failed miserably because Akron embraces Cleveland pro sports as their hometown team.

  • Carl

    Teddy,

    I will post it in the comment section if it's OK with Frowns. I think it's the most comprehensive and honest appraisal of the situation. Am cleaning it up.
    ______

    As far as this story goes, I agree with many of the points and Frowns has a unique view which I respect.

    However, James will not be welcomed back in the Akron area again. He has burned his bridge here just as he has with the Cavs.

    Let me explain…..

    Akron is not a suburb of Cleveland. People here often root for teams other then the Cavs, Indians and Browns. But Akron IS a community. Witness 8,500 people at the Appreciation Day.

    Lebron James got a lot of well deserved pub for his fund-raising efforts in Akron. But what wasn't publicized was that there were hundreds of volunteers that made it happen. I know many of them. Much of the money he raised was given by people in the area supporting the community effort with him on top as the catalyst that got them involved. And of course the kids made him their hero — boys, girls, black, white, brown, green, yellow and any other nationality that moved here.

    But what he did on ESPN was inexcusable to those people. He did not thank them for their support. He did not acknowledge their efforts and say he would always remember what was accomplished together. Rather, he pretty much said that people in NE Ohio were lucky to have him for 7 years as he and his teammates provided excitement for them. By his words and actions he let them know that they didn't count in his decision to leave, and they never counted.

    The guy is pathetic.

    So it was all "business", huh? Excuse me…..NO!

    Business means having the courtesy to place a call to the gentleman that spent hundreds of millions of dollars on you and what you wanted. Let him you'd be leaving and why, and thank him for his efforts and say you'll never forget the time you spent with the Cavs….rather then having a lackey place a call after a TV show started. You think potential business partners want get together with a guy that does that (and truth be told, Gilbert spent so much that he hasn't really made a profit in 3 years even with the seats and merchandise sold out). And business does not mean you tell your consumers they were lucky to have you for 7 years.

    No Frowns, we are not "All Losers".

    This guy never made us winners, how can he make us losers?

  • Bryan

    "I think it's the most comprehensive and honest appraisal of the situation."

    More than Frownie's?

    Excellent job, Mr. P.

  • Carl

    From Yahoo Sports this weekend:

    “Despite a stated desire to keep James’ selection secret, those around him had been free and easy with telling associates throughout the league late Wednesday and into Thursday that James planned to accept Heat president Pat Riley’s offer to play alongside Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

    A source with knowledge of the conversation, said James recently told a friend he would sign with the Heat because he didn’t see enough effort from his Cavaliers teammates in the playoffs and that he wanted to win a championship as soon as possible – rather than risk having to wait toward the end of his career like Boston Celtics stars Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.”
    _________

    Sure the way it appeared to me, and I said it. Same as the Magic series last year.

    But it doesn’t excuse James quitting.

    He could have played out the Celtic series as a professional. He could have notified Gilbert immediately after that he had a problem with his teammates desire, that he would take the best offer elsewhere, and that the Cavs should feel free to make plans to go on without him. There was nothing to gain stringing people in Cleveland along (the fans and organization), He still could have had his ‘Debacle’ program on ESPN choosing between the other teams.

    Have never remotely seen anything like this in pro sports. James has made the NBA a cross between the WWF and rap concerts. It is not a sports league unless the owners take it back.

    What we’ve been put through is kind of like turning on the TV to get the news, and finding out all channels are showing Jerry Springer.

  • Chuck

    Excellent theory on Gilbert. Everyone is taking black and white stances on Gilbert. You do a great job of nuance and the best effort to convince me he is a major problem.

    That said, in my opinion I don't think ownership mattered. He knew he was leaving Cleveland. Arguably, he knew it when he signed his last extension several years ago.

    And while there is plenty of hypocrisy in Gilbert's letter, I still love it. PASSION. He already spent like Mark Cuban, but now he has vaulted his passion to Cuban levels. Sure, I guess he should have spoke up about LeBum in hidesight and not let him run the show. but really, can anyone say that would matter???? what evidence is there that would respond to that type of ownership/leadership????

    He did quit against Boston. And he quit in Game 6 against Orlando last year. But how was Gilbert or anyone supposed to address that in a way that makes the accuser more likeable to James??????

    Gilbert was in an impossible position with a total mental patient like Lebum.

  • Chuck

    Check that, it was not a totally impossible situation.

    The only way he could have made it work was to pull of better trades and get the title this year (because he probably still walks after winning the title). Instead, they f–ked w/ the Hughes/Marshall signings, screwed up with the non-trade of Wally, and screwed up by not going for Amare this season. Then the Cavs get their title and nobody cares about anything right now.

    (actually, that theory about nobody caring if he left after winning a title is probably inaccurate….i remain shocked at the # of people that hated Maurice Clarett just a year after delivering the miracle 13-0 season…..some fans are just miserable fanatics.)

  • Michael Ball

    What's basketball? The Cavs have always been the stepchild in Cleveland behind the Browns and Indians so why is this such a big deal?

    Why is it that so many people are crying about this when it only impacts the third sport in town. Basketball is not even a major sport in Cleveland. To me, basketball won't be a sport again until they raise the hoop to 12' and make the players show some real skill again.

  • Isaac Huffman

    We are all losers… but it does make for a good T… http://www.cafepress.com/+quitness_organic_mens_fitted_tshirt_dark,458925581

  • Chuck

    I will agree with Mr. Ball to an extent:

    This city was a basketball joke before LeBron. I lived downtown and went to about 20 games the year they were worst in NBA. I was mocked for explaining there were young pieces and a great draft coming up next year. Nobody knew anything about the team. Nobody cared. Then LeBron came and people sort of cared. But ONLY about LeBron. Nobody knew any other player, except Z.

    And the fans those first years of LeBron were INTOLERABLE. You know how when Iverson was in town the arena would sell out with little girls and boys cheering irrationally at Iversons mere ability to dribble? It was like the Beatles were in town.
    Well, that is what the fans did to LeBron. People cheered his evey move like a little girl, not a basketball fan. Until 2006, about 80% of the fans were morons (the other 20% being those that followed them before). These people are what turned me away from the Cavs.

    BUT it is undeniable, that a large percentage of these people, after years of making the playoffs, rediscovered a true passion for the Cavs and the NBA as a whole. And while most still remained blinded to accepting the choking against Orlando, the fans were pretty good.

    And it didnt hurt that the Indians went mostly off radar. So the void was filled by Cavs fans. Accordingly, this is a legit NBA city again.

    Here's to hoping it stays that way and fans support the rebuilding project that will take at least a few seasons.

  • Josh

    Here's some of my thoughts.

    Maybe we owe Lebron some special thanks for the events of the last few weeks. I think I have a much better and more informed idea of what the NBA is and is all about. I want to thank the King for changing hats to play the court jester. Yes, all kings in the past had the court jester to play the fool,.. be the clown,.. incarnate the harlquin so that the subjects (and King) could see the issues of the day in a better or certainly brighter light. We should thank "King James" for helping to WITNESS the truth or THE DECESION. Now we can see clearly that just like our society "winning means everything" even if you do stack the deck or run material or emotional ponzi schemes with your investors money or hopes.

    Come on now! Shouldn't Championships be competed for instead of negotiated. Shouldn't true champions want to compete against the best instead of just joining with the best. In fact, shouldn't dedicated athletes want to "get better" by having to go against the very best? Shouldn't great players want to bring honor and glory to their home school, team, town, city et. al? The "court jester" shows us the other side of that. Now I know it was all even truer than I knew before thanks to Jester James.

    We too can thank our Court Jester for showing us a truer picture of The NBA. We have all these talking sports heads telling us 24-7 about what great athletes these guys are (to be sure), about how they love to compete (really???) and about how they give back to the community (the Jester strikes again). From what I have seen these past few days NBA stands for the No Balls Association and the jester is juggling nothing.

    I could go on but I just wanted to offer some reason for thanks. I now know in advance to not tune in to the new season of "Miami Vice." (I thought they canceled that long ago) Thanks, Lebron. Just jesting!

    OK,.. just some personal therapy,.. in jest…

    The Revinator,.. (Rick)

  • rgrunds

    FrOrange,

    it's a nice sentiment, but misplaced.

    LeBron is indifferent to Cleveland.

    It's over and he has no second thoughts.

    His internal life is not what makes him go. He has no Dostoyevsky moments….

    He is the life that basketball provides him. He's quite vacuous and not that interesting. Conventional and without depth. He's not going to make anyone forget Proust.

    Say bye.

  • Coachie

    Frownie, you may have nailed it with this little nugg you dropped that LeBron was "practically raised by the game of basketball itself."
    We know he is a serious student of the game and its history. His decision seems almost entirely basketball-based. He left money on the table and he left home for one reason, to ball.

  • Carl

    About James being right in leaving because his teammates didn't "show effort" in the playoffs…..

    The guy on the radio reminded us of what happened after the MVP ceremony at the U of Akron. That was held the day before Game 2 against the Celtics. We know from multiple posters on cleveland.com that were at the game that even the ushers noted to early arriving season ticket holders that the team was hung over. Later it came out from people that the Cavs had closed an Akron nightclub till 2:30, then had a restaurant feed the boys steaks on James tab till daybreak.

    I don't know of many NBA MVP's that would do this sort of thing the day before a playoff game.

    Anyone that doubts this to be true needs to look at how the entire Cavs team played in Game 2.

    This situation stinks.

  • El Capitan

    Compare and contrast.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4nE58aXXjU&feature=player_embedded

    "I am taking my talents to south beach…"

  • jimkanicki

    This 'it's a business' line is being milked to excuse any number of sins. It's as though ethics in business are that much different from ethics in.. life. Let's look at this.

    Sports is indeed a business. But what is the product this particular business is selling? Sports?… meh. My son's youth hockey is a sport I can watch for free. Remarkable athletics? The Will Mastic Trio was amazing athletically.. but wasn't in the sports business. Competition? I can get that watching Adobe and Apple swing at each other.

    Why do we care about our sports teams? Why root for Cleveland and not Kansas City? It's because this BUSINESS is built on primitive, human, tribal loyalty. As Frowns touched on, it's being able to say 'my place was the best.' it a subconsciously emotional feeling (ie, primitive). it's strong enough to make people buy the colors of their tribe/community. and then WEAR THOSE COLORS ON THEIR BODIES AS CLOTHING.

    (think about that.)

    so it's this emotion that creates the demand for the product of this BUSINESS.

    yeah it's a business, michael wilbon. but let's not be naive about what the business sells.

    and so one an athlete builds his 'brand' playing to sense of community and loyalty… and then leaves for less money and jetskis… that community will feel not just hurt. that community will feel exploited. after all this BUSINESSMAN sold his BRAND to us under false pretenses.

    (pete, you must get exhausted building your syllogisms knowing that 90% of your intended audience responds positively to stuart scott.)

    later, mike

    ps — moment of silence for MY favorite all-time cleveland brown: milt morin died today.

  • Carl

    Blaming Dan Gilbert for James actions is like blaming a prison warden for the attitudes of an inmate that had been incarcerated for two years before the warden took over.

    James was a max salary player with a $100M Nike contract when Gilbert bought the team. The fans were nuts about James. You think Gilbert was going to be able to come in and change something? A guy from Detroit? What would the fans have said if James uttered a "things are changing around here and we're not comfortable about it" to the press?

    James knows damn well where his leverage is, and he always uses it.

    You think Riley is that father figure? Yeah, Riley really reined him in with that welcome to the Heat party. Real classy stuff. Wait till you see what he thinks of Riley if they don't win the next 2 championships.

    Do what the Celtics did — put a physical guy on Bosh and pack the middle to stop Wade and James from driving. They're below average perimeter shooters. Only room for one outside shooter to join them.

    They want Miller and he was supposed to sign 4-5 days ago. Why is he dragging his feet? Maybe because he has at least a half-dozen other offers and can get both more money and shots. How does a perimeter shooter get shots with those 3 guys? You really think that guys are lining up to play with the Heat for minimum salary? All they'll get is blame if the team doesn't go 82-0 followed by 16-0 in the playoffs.

    Z is a good possibility for them. An aging player that hasn't won a championship and has banked enough money that he doesn't care what he's paid, he wants a ring. But with Bosh playing soft at PF, James a known quitter in the playoffs, where does Z get help against a physical guy like Dwight? Dwight threw him around like a rag doll 2 years ago in the playoffs. Z is weaker and slower, and Dwight is faster and bigger. And the Magic were looking for a physical big for PF before the Big 3 announced. Go back to the Magic series two years ago — James couldn't stop Rashad Lewis (who's moving to SF this year), Turkoglu or Pietrus. Brown finally put him on PG's Alston and Nelson and he didn't do much there. Fact is that James and Wade are both poor on-ball defenders. Blocking shots and gambling in the passing lanes usually can be worked with if the team is backing up one guy that's doing it, but not two.

    As one guy said today, when the Magic got Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill in 2000, it was supposed to by dynasty time in the NBA.

    We'll see how this thing plays out. And we'll see how things go when the good buddies don't roll the rest of the NBA. First they (and the fans and media) will blame the role players, then the friendships start to tare.

    No sure thing in this life.

  • Carl

    Here's a good one…..

    Guess who sponsored the Heat over-the-top party yo welcome the Big 3?

    The Florida branch of the Cleveland Clinic.

    I kid you not.

  • jimkanicki

    carl…….. you cannot be serious.

    you know they're coming close to curing breast cancer. think they'll move to ft lauderdale when they do?

  • smittypop2

    I think this whole ordeal has made me supremely disenfranchised with pro sports in general. I have been living, breathing and even earning money from sports since I was a wee lad. I think this is my ultimate breaking point because I can't really see the good in sports anymore…the big market teams buy the titles, the players dont care about hometowns and allegiances or competition, and the teams with the nicest weather are the destinations. It just seems like the good guys finish last/hard workers are not rewarded for effort is really taking over the sportsworld too. I just feel so jaded right now that it is hard for me to pull for anything. The Tampa Bay Rays are my favorite team in pro sports right now (they built things the right way, have my favorite player in Carl Crawford, and play in a very hard division with a bunch of big market, rich teams) and if they fail this year and Crawford leaves I won't really have answer for my sports sadness. I think I will have to give in. The Tribe has failed me for years and had terrible luck, I hate the current Browns under Mangini and Lebron speaks for himself. I just feel like I am going to have to do something better with my time than root against a bunch of guys that I hate—it just feels like I have ran out of guys to root for. My list is really whittle down to Carl Crawford, Kevin Durant and a few other guys….it really is sad. Where are Barry Sanders and Mark Price when you really need them?

    WV=sigh

  • Bob Blick

    Nope. Never want him back. He burned his bridges behind him. Now he can live with it forever.

  • jack

    Quitness graphic. We should see thousands of these when LBJ comes back to town.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/112796514031123420004/Miami_Collusion?feat=directlink

  • Robinisms

    Great article. You express a lot of how I feel about what happened.

    LeBron as prodigal son is very apt. I don't really have hope that he'll realize his mistake and come back. But if he does that would probably be a sweeter ending than if he had just stayed.

  • Ryan Carey

    Good piece – and I agree if LeBron decided to come back fans would welcome him back with open arms. But that is fantasyland at this juncture. Right now the only thing the "King" left the fans of Cleveland is HATE. It is all we have left and we should enjoy "hating" Lebron and the Heat until we die. If he comes back someday to finish what he started – maybe we forgive – but we don't forget.

    Me I'm a Cleveland fan. I live and die with my Indians, Browns and Cavs. I will even add my Buckeyes to the mix. Players come and go – but in baseball we Cleveland fans were raised to hate the Yankees (now the White Sox) and Browns fans are required to despise the Steelers forever. Actually – you can't even like the colors Black and Gold. Cavs fans have waited for a rival to hate as much as the Steelers (MJ's Bulls came close – but they had bigger rivals than us) and NOW we finally have it – The MIAMI HEAT!

    I don't look a gift horse in the mouth – I will take what the King has left behind – a new team for me to HATE. And fans that's something that will last us long after Lebron has retired. No matter how bad the Browns are – Steelers games still get me excited. Heat games will be the same. Don't let any lameass writers tell you you are being low class to hate Miami and Lebron – we've earned it and I for one am not giving it up.

    LeBron is not welcome in Ohio until he does right by the promise he made to bring a championship to NE Ohio. He can go get his rings elsewhere – but he doesn't get the love of his home for free. Sorry – that's the price he has to pay.

  • Kevin Gillman

    what about putting a little blame on Sports Illustrated in this too? I mean, who puts a 16 year ols on the cover of the magazine and dub him "The Chosen One". I am still shocked about this, I blame all parties in this, but the whole ESPN debacle, I blame it on Lebron's lackeys and Lebron himself. Why couldn't Savanna talk some sense to him? She, from what I understand is a private person. How is moving to South Beach turning into a private life? And if Lebron was frustarated over his teammates desire, I agree talk to Dan Gilbert, don't quit on the team. Maybe he also didn't like the fact that the team didn't win any games in the final 7 games of the season? He's going to regret this decision, especially if he doesn't win any titles. Which still can happen, there is no guarentee he will win any. And if he wins say 3, his "buddy" Dwayne Wade will have 4 rings, and that will not be a good thing for his ego either.

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