To the Third World and Beyond with the #OKCLE Movement (NBA Finals Preview)

by Cleveland Frowns on June 12, 2012

When an NGO packs up the “World Champs” t-shirts that were printed for the losing side in a major sporting event like the NBA Finals and ships them off to Sierra Leone or wherever, that’s one thing. But what happens when someone prints up gear to capitalize on the insanely regressive feelings of entitlement and victimhood resulting from a certain segment of a certain fanbase’s warped relationship with a certain basketball team?

How is an original purchaser of one of these “OKCLE” shirts going to feel about his wardrobe if the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder for the next NBA title?

The greatest athlete to have ever come from Northeast Ohio, one of the greatest athletes in world history, rises from poverty to unprecedented superstardom, in large part due to the support he received from the Akron community in which he was raised. This superstar is then cherished for seven years by the Cleveland Cavaliers fanbase before clumsily exercising his rights to leave the employ of a gilded loan shark who, along with everyone else around the superstar, could do nothing but bend over for him at every turn for seven-plus years out of fear of running a gravy train off the tracks, and couldn’t in seven years find the superstar a teammate any better than Mo Williams.

So the superstar from Northeast Ohio then goes on to reach the pinnacle of his sport two seasons later. But you went in, and rallied to bring your whole town in, with the guys from Oklahoma City — the “moneymen whose hobby is funding anti-gay referendums,” who lied through their teeth for the better part of two years to pull an Art Modell on the City of Seattle, who are only in a position to play for the title because they tanked so hard for so many years to be able to pull of the heist from Seattle in the first place. You did that because even though LeBron James has apologized again and again for the way he left the Cleveland Cavaliers as a twenty-five-year-old in what was the most anticipated athlete free agency in world history, you still think he owes you something. Or else you’ve just been swept away in the tidal wave of latent racism and general ignorance and intolerance that was deliberately cultivated by those who perceived an interest in reducing the complex reality behind LeBron’s decision to an absurd dichotomy. And now you have a stupid t-shirt. Someone should make a Fathead of you and sell it for $17.41. No, that would be stupid, too.

So since an NGO isn’t likely to pull together and collect these OKCLE t-shirts if the Heat win, and especially since we shouldn’t be infecting the third world with such awful shirts anyway, nor any part of the world even with ashes from them, we hereby volunteer to build a giant catapult to shoot them all straight into the sun.

Alright, go basketball. Go free agency. Go peace and tolerance in Northeast Ohio and everywhere.

—————

UPDATE: A Ring for the King: The Kid from Akron is a World Champ and Indisputably the Best Basketball Player on the Planet.

  • ClevelandFrowns

    So it looks like the giant catapult thing isn’t even going to be that hard. Boom. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYY1XXQondw

    • Believelander

      Your grasp of science is even more off than your take on astrology if you think we’re getting to space with a catapult, Frowns. You need a m***erf***ing TREBUCHET. Preferably one that comfortably houses the t-shirts on their trip inside flaming pianos.

      Edit: fast forward to 1:05 for piano reference.

  • ClevelandFrowns

    Jason Lloyd in today’s Akron Beacon Journal:

    “James’ path out of town was despicable, but that doesn’t mean he is. … His “Decision” was a public relations disaster because he ignored the advice of the professionals he hired to handle such things, but that doesn’t mean his decision was wrong. He did what he felt was best for his career. As much as we’d like, you and I can’t play judge and jury on something like that.

    “I disagreed with his choice then and now, but right and wrong as it pertains to his life isn’t for us to decide. I understand why he did it. He saw the years rolling over like a taxi meter, only he was caught inside the cab every summer when the championship parades marched by.

    “He has waited not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven, but now nine years and counting for his first championship. Surely by now, the question “Will I ever get one?” has crossed his mind more than once. He panicked.”

    http://www.ohio.com/news/top-stories/jason-lloyd-it-s-time-to-forgive-or-at-least-forget-lebron-james-1.313485

  • Bryan

    “… you’ve just been swept away in the tidal wave of latent racism and general ignorance and intolerance that was deliberately cultivated by those who perceived an interest in reducing the complex reality behind LeBron’s decision to an absurd dichotomy. ”

    OR, ALTERNATIVELY….

    Upon leaving his hometown, it was revealed to you that your former sports hero was just a big f’in douchebag who was so afraid to fail that he picked the one strategy that he believed could microwave “not 1, not 2, not 3, etc.” without even playing a game.

    I live in SF right now and know tons of NBA fans who are not from Cleveland who hate LBJ for the same reasons I do. People have moved beyond the decision, but most people have not moved beyond the pathetic way that Wade, LBJ and Bosh celebrated their fake championships before ever winning a game, the annoying way that they continue to preen any time they get a 10-point lead, and the general lack of respect they show/showed for the whole enterprise of sport by trying to rig a “superteam” that could win championships without investing the hard-work that defines the virtue of a championship in the first place.

    You need to update your narrative Frowns. No one hates LBJ anymore because of the Decision. They hate him and his teammates for representing most of what is wrong with the modern, spoiled, privileged athlete. No doubt LBJ is a good, fun guy off the court. He is not a menace. He is just a f*ckin p*ssy who, despite being the most talented to guy to ever play, spat in the face of competition and is now sowing the seeds that his fear of failure planted.

    For that, I root against him. I root against him because only by continuing to lose will he ever finally seen his actual sins. Once he does and acknowledges he tried to microwave championships, redemption for the man will be possible. In the meantime, as he continues to chase the fleeting glory of acting like a tough-guy every time he makes a big shot, or dunks on someone’s head, or leads his team to anything short of a championship, I stand my ground in opposition to the man’s obvious coupling of deep insecurity and manufactured bravado.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      Mmm-hmm. Some 25-year-olds from the streets got overexcited at their unprecedented exercise of unprecedented power, and you read into it a “general lack of respect for the whole enterprise of sport,” and “just a f*ckin p*ssy who’s sowing the seeds that his fear of failure planted” by way of a second-consecutive appearance in the NBA Finals and one of the most impressive individual playoff runs in NBA history.

      This fits really easily in the “general ignorance” category so I don’t think I really need to update anything. But tell me more about how LeBron and his teammates don’t work hard. That’s really interesting.

      • Believelander

        Despite the, uh, tone, of the post, it doesn’t change the fact that Bryan is right about the pervasiveness of LeBron/Heat disapproval, and sports fans everywhere have good reason to disapprove for the valid points above, which you yourself have so eloquently likened to trying to stack the pick-up game at the local YMCA, not to mention the PR nightmare surrounding the whole thing.

        The, um, extensive ‘Pro-Bron’ arguments expressed on these pages do sometimes possess truth with regards to some of the issues that were had here in Cleveland. However, even your fair assertions about problems with surrounding LeBron with proper talent, the amount of time spent trying to get LeBron a championship team, etc, are heavily biased and laced with inaccuracies, and lack a fair accounting of the difficulties our ownership & management team have faced in attempting to bring an NBA title to Cleveland.

        The remainder of your posts are generally tear-down pieces; attacks against people, presumably in order to somehow make LeBron James seem less despicable? Clearly, it’s not his fault for wanting to leave Cleveland because Dan Gilbert did everything LeBron wanted for 7 years. (By the way, it was 5 years). What LeBron needed was a father figure, and clearly the reason he made his ill-advised decision was because he realized he needed a guy like Pat Riley to spank him when he was bad. He needed to be freed of that nasty entitlement, and he was mature enough to know it, which is why he was completely immature in handling the entire process of his liberation so he could go win titles. (???) Of course, this is in the wake of the Cavs hiring a serious, credible, tough-nose coach, and was followed by the Heat hiring a push-over, lame duck, in-over-his-head coach and a season and a half of bizarre schematic woes that, with an incomparable juggernaut of talent, made at times Mike Brown’s offense look like the Showtime Lakers.

        I also love the recent floating of character attacks on Mo Williams. Not even legitimate discourse over troubles he had on the court, particularly in the playoffs, but using a columnist’s piece as the basis for an entire article here suggesting Mo Williams is a whiny, undesirable teammate. This is the Cavs player who was stauncher in his never-ending admiration and adoration for the Cavs, Cleveland, and Ohio, who was loudly and vocally opposed to the way LeBron treated his fans in Ohio; who publicly pleaded not to be sent away from this place of harsh winters and inadequate social outlets according to men such as Joachim Noah and Braylon Edwards to languish in eternal torment in Los Angeles, California’s endless pleasant weather and endless stuff-to-do; whose teammates have never spoken a bad word of.

        But hey, eff him. The cornucopia of evidence to the contrary notwithstanding, Bron needed to get away from THAT a-hole. And speaking of Dan Gilbert, THAT jerkoff is the BIGGEST phony piece of crap; after all, despite an apparent utter lack of any sort of investigation against him for the improprieties this site has applied to Gilbert and the corporation, Quicken, that he chairs (my mom likes their software), he is the apex of dirt-bag. The impropriety investigations against Micky Arison, owner of the Miami Heat, for:

        The Heat somehow never managing to post Arena profits in excess of $14m, which would require them to pay 40% of each dollar in excess of to the city. This is in spite of the fact that revenues for the arena have increased by over $40 million per year since it opened, while its profits have remained mysteriously static. The arena run by the Heat owner, has, by the by, written rather large mysterious checks to the Miami Heat, which cut into those nonexistent profits, and,

        The Carnival cruise line housing of Katrina victims, and the impropriety involving the lack of competitive bidding in the contract awarded to them, which turned out to be an expensive hot mess. Then-governor Jeb Bush had interesting goings-on with private communications with Arison and awarding the contract.

        As well as others. We won’t even discuss the fact that like all greasy billionaires, this greasy billionaire squeaks out of taxes estimated by economists to be roughly $365 million a year (that’s a million dollars a day, for everyone playing the home game) through loopholes like registering his ships that sail from American ports for an American company in foreign countries, meanwhile lobbying to keep crooked tax loopholes like this alive.

        Good thing this guy doesn’t cheat the American People the way that Dan Gilbert does. By the way, speaking of Jeb Bush, he got an $500000 campaign contribution from Arison’s group the same year he went on the warpath against taxation on cruise lines. Coincidence, to be sure.

        Fortunately, we can all rely on this Clevelander (or is that Akronite? LeBron has me so confused on that) to give us a well-reasoned, fair accounting of the Issue, which is what the Decision has evolved into. And that, my friends, is why I’m glad this article aired today, and the pro-Indians article aired yesterday on my birthday, because this stuff ruins my coffee.

        • Believelander

          You know, the shadiness of the nasty stuff this site writes about people in the convoluted defense of LeBron James’ (lacking) character is far more troublesome than the silliness of suggesting a player had justification to walk on an entire city because the owner of that city’s team was a jerk, when he left into another town owned by another jerk. But knowing the post would catch the zap gun, I saved it in its entirety for posterity and the First Amendment. So w/e’s. The original was too long anyway.

      • Petefranklin

        If a left handed free throw isn’t the definition of a effin p#$$% who quit on his team when the going got tough because he already had decided that his teammates weren’t worthy, than I don’t know what is. Admit it frownie he commited the worst act a professional athelete can besides shaving points, he QUIT on his team.

    • BIKI024

      “modern, spoiled, provileged athlete” Lebron has ALWAYS had a very strong work ethic, same with Wade. just because they did a little dance while caught up in the moment of entertaining their fans at Miami Heat sponsored event for season ticket holders they are spoiled and represent everything wrong in the NBA?? they work as hard as any guy on the court and it shows. and neither are too shabby off the court either, particularly Lebron in his charitable efforts, especially in Akron. i could care less what he says, i just want to watch him play basketball, and he’s the best on the planet, and from Akron, OH, of all places in the world.

    • Bryan

      Love your blog, but have realized the LBJ topic will always leave us talking past each other. I just get too fired up about it….

      I will take solace in the “5 likes” that my rant yielded.

      • ClevelandFrowns

        Like for all but the part about you taking solace in the fact that general ignorance and intolerance runs deeper than it should and that you’re helping make the world a safer place for it with comments like the one above.

        • rgrunds

          YOU are being shrill.

      • Believelander

        I can’t wholeheartedly embrace your post because I’m just past the stage where I have vitriol for LeBron; dude’s a d-bag, it’s satisfying to see them struggle, I root for him to lose, I make fun of them, and I despise his fake glasses, but I’m not going to cry if he wins. But there are very valid points in your post, and you’re up to 7 likes now bud.

    • Bryan

      One other thought: whether you agree with it or not, the “LBJ is a douchebag who tried to rig the system” is very much a national opinion. Its not simply a front for “I am bitter LBJ ditched my hometown team.” A lot of people dislike the way he carries himself.

      • ClevelandFrowns

        Agreed that general ignorance and intolerance are not quarantined in Cleveland.

        • Art_Brosef

          Lebron has done and said plenty to make one form a negative opinion of him, by any objectionable measure and regardless of their geographical location. Because you are more tolerable of those specific comments and actions, and and are more willing to blame them on other circumstances, doesn’t definitively make those who aren’t ignorant or intolerant. Not everyone has to think like you. And and not everyone has to like every sports figure.

          • BIKI024

            SUPERFAN!

          • ClevelandFrowns

            “Because you are more tolerable of those specific comments and actions, and and are more willing to blame them on other circumstances, doesn’t definitively make those who aren’t ignorant or intolerant.”

            Oh, it surely well might.

          • Art_Brosef

            Or, equally as likely, it surely might not.

            A willingness to forgive or excuse objectively ridiculous behavior doesnt make one tolerant.

            Its understood that you constantly have to fight that same battle around here against Gilberts objectively ridiculous behavior, but its no reason to start battles with made up villains for the sake of your narrative.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            “Or, equally as likely, it surely might not.”

            I don’t know. I’m looking at the way folks were so quick to rally behind Gilbert’s demonization campaign against a guy who was born and raised here; all the bile that’s been spewed since the Decision was announced, including the ridiculous OKCLE stuff. “Made up villains”? I wish I was making all of it up.

            Then I look at LeBron’s actual “sins” against Cleveland and evaluate the likelihood that anyone in LeBron’s shoes might have reasonably wanted to leave Gilbert’s employ. “Equally as likely” is really hard for me to believe under the circumstances.

            “A willingness to forgive or excuse objectively ridiculous behavior doesnt make one tolerant.”

            Under very many circumstances, including, I’d submit, the ones here, it absolutely does.

          • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

            Born and raised in Akron*. He made it abundantly clear that he wasn’t from Cleveland and didn’t even like (or even hated) Cleveland.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            Omigod cry!

    • Fcklbj

      No he’s a douchebag off the court as well, I’ve run into him. I also know a girl who bartended one of his parties, not good reviews at all. I mean he’s no ron ron but he is a dick plain and simple. Just a couple weeks after the decision he was preening around Akron like he still owned it….i belong to the gym right by his house and he was in there doing pilates that summer. Every one that works in there said he was doosh. Shaq on the other hand got nothin but rave reviews and apparently let the story go there that he had to cover one of Lebrons “missed” tips when they were up on the hill at one of the restaurants. Like Lebron stiffed a waiter/waitress on a $1000 plus tip and when Shaq learned about that he doubled back to the restaurant and took care of it. So that’s why we don’t like LJ Frowns. Get over it….we’ve gotten over the decision but a prick is a prick. I don’t like Gilbert either but that doesn’t mean Lebron is excused in any way shape or form. Not sure why you’re constantly trying to make that connection.

  • ChuckKoz

    fine, you like lebron and akron so go ahead and root for lebron. BUT PLEASE don’t make this about the owners, because the Heat are sitting on the wrong side of that argument, because Micky Arison is as big of an asshole as anyone.

    Micky Arison is a trust fund baby that inherited his fortune from his dad (founder of Carnival Cruiselines). These type born-rich people are ruining our country by doing nothing positive and simply using their money to corrupt the political system while doing nothing to advance society. So you can bash Dan Gilbert all you want, but at least Gilbert has worked hard and earned his riches, unlike that trust fund baby Arison. And Arison’s dad is tax evader that renounced his citizenship to avoid paying taxes: what a family legacy.

    Oh, and last time I checked, neither Bennett or Gilbert were labeled a “disgrace” for their role in the death of 32 Carnival Cruise members earlier this year.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/concordias-invisible-us-owner-branded-a-disgrace-6294059.html

    Bottom line, almost all owners suck, so lets quit trying to act Gilbert is so unique.

    • ChuckKoz

      and that Zirin thing is weak.

      “If the Thunder win the 2012 title, the Clay Bennett/David Stern approach will be lionized throughout pro sports”

      Umm, yeah, so I am supposed to believe that Sacramento might resolve its current dilemma differently if OKC loses in 6? Get serious.

      Cities continue to be held hostage and fork over whatever ungodly amounts of taxpayer money they can. The NFL holds every city hostage (most recently Minnesota paid a big price) by holding LA over everyone’s head. And Sacramento just offered up huge taxpayer funds for a new arena, only to have the Maloofs say no because they know some other city will do the same.

      But if you read this Zirin article, you’d think that Maloof’s decision would be made on what happens in this series. That is effing dumb.

      • ChuckKoz

        NOTE: Its very sad for Sonics fans, but its not even in the same world as what happened to the Browns fans. Seattle voters rejected new arena funding, unlike Cleveland.

        And then Seattle moved to OKC, which is dissimilar from moving to Baltimore, which is a city knows what its like to have your team ripped away from you, but did it anyway.

        True, it was disgusting what Stern orchestrated, but that is more of a David Stern is the problem argument.

        • Kamov

          I disagree with this part of the above trilogy. Your previous post was about how wrong it is for teams to hold cities hostage! Any Sonics fan in Seattle is now feeling exactly like we (I, at least) felt when the Ravens headed off to the Superbowl, and a world where that is acceptable is in the wrong.

          • ChuckKoz

            okay, its in the same world.

            however, my point is that OKC fans are much easier to still be happy for.

            Baltimore fans should feel disgusted the way they stole a team in the same way their Colts were stolen.

            Meanwhile, OKC fans went crazy post-Katrina for a whiff of pro sports.

            All the while, the Starbucks owner inexplicably sold the team because he could not get a new arena. Then just months after the team was sold to Bennett in 2006, the city of Seattle VOTED for an initiative that barred the city from using taxpayer money on an arena.
            http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Initiative-91-Seattle-rejects-sports-subsidies-1219229.php

            Cleveland residents didn’t get a vote on whether Art could move the team. That’s pretty damn different.

          • ChuckKoz

            NOTE: I went to a Sonics game the last year at Key Arena. They sucked, but the fans were great and I saw an amazing OT game where Ray Allen had a career high 54 points. That shit was fun.

            And the Key Arena was so perfectly located in a great neighborhood of the city. I can only imagine what it was like when the team was good.

            Too bad that Starbucks owner didn’t keep the team and pay for the remodel himself.

          • Kamov

            I guess I don’t have anything in particular against OKC fans, so I take your point, with the caveat that I don’t think it diminishes the pain of any Sonics fans. Surely not all of them voted against a new arena.

          • ChuckKoz

            ADDITIONAL NOTE: I loved the Shawn Kemp Sonics.

            So much so that my team (myself and Will) proudly rocked Kemp jerseys at the famed Bath, Ohio Church Tournament……however, I played more in the mode of “Big Smooth Sam Perkins….and Will played more like Shawn Kemp w/out the ability to jump (like Cavs Kemp)

          • ClevelandFrowns

            Triple Like for Tourney Talk, but it should be noted that the first annual was held at Richfield Woods.

          • ChuckKoz

            That’s right. Will and I made it to the Final 4 due to soft rims at the Woods and I believe pulling off an upset over a that that had possibly Mraz and either you or Gordon.

            but then we had to go to the courts near city hall, which had very tight rims, and we got killed by some team that likely had banas and/or mcpeak on it.

          • Believelander

            The part I find interesting is that the city of Seattle had contractual rights to deny the new owner from being allowed to leave town, but city politicians (who are probably still cleaning the grease off their palms) ended up pulling a Gund-Boozer, and cut Bennett loose to do what he wanted.

            @Kamov: I’m guessing Sonics fans mostly didn’t vote against taxpayer funding. I can think of several reasons why some very, very powerful entities in that city might have worked hard to make sure that taxes didn’t get raised.

          • Beeej

            McPeak kicked that ball so high!

            Edit: That was directed at Chuck and anyone else who was there.

          • Believelander

            I find it interesting that the city of Miami bent over and took it up the keister stash with the deal for American Airlines Arena to keep the Heat in town, and has pretty surely been cheated by the Heat ownership in addition to giving up a 40 million dollar plot of prime city land that was planned to be turned into parkland. All because the Heat ownership was threatening to move the team.

            I don’t know how we should feel about fans in Oklahoma City, a big metropolitan who hasn’t had a pro sports franchise in…I think ever? getting to have a team, or what not, but the whole Sonics thing stinks bad. I have an uncle and cousins from Seattle, which is a fantastic city by the way, and there were a lot of pissed people there when the Sonics left. If there’s a lining for them, it’s that they followed Cleveland’s model and demanded to keep the rights to their franchise’s name, colors, and history for the future when they could re-establish.

      • ClevelandFrowns

        Agreed that that’s far from the strongest or most interesting part of Zirin’s column, but I don’t think it does so much to diminish the whole thing.

        • ChuckKoz

          that was sort of my takeaway as the thesis: rooting for OKC is rooting for the owners holding cities hostage and relocating. and i think that will undoubtedly continue either way, so its not a good basis for rooting.

          note: this is the same Zirin that wrote an article about the last world series in which he said it was cool to root along with GW Bush and the Texas Rangers, because we shouldn’t root on ownership issues, because they are mostly dicks (which is my point….which i got from him after reading his world series preview)

    • ClevelandFrowns

      You make some fine points here, but accepting that all owners are terrible, an exercise of free agency like what the Heat pulled off is a strike against all of them. It’s more about players v. owners than it’s about any one owner v. another owner. I’m not rallying behind Arison, either, but I’ve never heard him let fly with an escaped slave narrative when one of his players left as a free agent.

      Though, as a secondary point, a man who rose to riches on cruise ships seems significantly fundamentally less loathsome than a man who rose to riches on the loans that drove our economy off a cliff. And now by taking money from poor people with casino games. But that’s completely secondary.

      • ChuckKoz

        fair first point. and while i always thought the slave narrative thing was a stretch, i generally cede that point to others that are more passionate about it.

        the only thing i would say about the second point is that Arison didn’t rise to riches.

      • Believelander

        I’d like to see the narrative where Dan Gilbert characterizes LeBron James as an escaped slave, please.

      • p_forever

        ugh. lebron and wade and bosh were trying to work the system, not change it. gross. stop pretending they are union heroes. or any kind of heroes. the word “strike” is 100% inapplicable to this situation.

        they are 3 great players which means they have lots of power. so they exercised it. they did not band together in order to become more powerful vis a vis the owners. they actually gave the owner (of the heat, anyway) a break by saying he didn’t even need to pay them what they are worth. in effect they said – hey grossly bloated and overpowerful owner, be our friend in this ring-winning venture we’ve thought up. and he said yes. and they said yay let’s do it.

        they are allowed to do what they did and no one needs to hate anyone over it. but this has nothing to do with players versus owners.

        (the more i think about it the more mad it makes me to think of it the way you want me to, which is why i keep adding comments. i think i’m done now, frownie. lol. you get my point, i’m sure.)

        • ClevelandFrowns

          If the Decision has nothing to do with players v. owners, water has nothing to do with wet. I don’t have to tell you about the difference between intent and impact, but do you remember the lockout at all?

          • p_forever

            please see my other comment on this post re intent v impact.

            please also see my comments on your lockout pieces, wherein i discussed why the selfish acts of superstars can actually diminish the power of players’ unions (that phenomenon is not limited to the bball arena, of course).

            oh and back to intent v impact: even if, as you argue, the impact of the decision was to embolden and empower players, and to strengthen the union, despite the intent, INTENT is for sure at least relevant, but perhaps what matters most, when you evaluate individuals. therefore, the mere fact that lebron’s actions *arguably* had *one* positive impact, does not make the fact that lebron’s intent was purely selfish, and was motivated entirely by his lust for rings, beside the point when folks are deciding whether lebron is the kind of guy they’d like to root for.

        • Petefranklin

          And the Cavs traded Lebron his extra money by acquiring Miami’s first next year right? Aren’t all three making max money now?

    • Believelander

      Interestingly, Koz, you beat me to the punch because I’m incapable of writing concisely about this stuff, but yes, Micky Arison is a grade A doucherail, and it’s actually surprisingly easy to find numerous different articles directly related to him and sleazy business. Somehow this guy’s company managed to turn an act like housing hurricane victims into a money-grab scandal.

  • Vari

    Eff LeBron James.

  • Shadow_play

    On the one hand I’m rooting against The Heat because I have “latent racism and general ignorance and intolerance” On the other hand The screwing over of the City of Seattle echoes too close to home.

    This is why I wish the NBA lockout was still going on. (which by the way all of us who have “latent racism and general ignorance and intolerance” will use as an asterisk next to a Miami Championship. “Sure they won.” we’ll say “But it wasn’t a real title due to the shortened season, lack of off season, etc. Let’s see him do it with a full season”)

    I guess what I’m saying is eff the whole system.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      Need bigger catapult.

      • Believelander

        SIGH. TREBUCHET.

    • Dinosaurbmw

      So it’s fair to say you won’t be watching the NBA finals this year?

      • Shadow_play

        That is fair to say. I’ll spend the time building a very large catapult.

        EDIT: Or a Trebuchet (I just read the comment above)

  • Art_Brosef

    Is it Cheddar Bay season yet?

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    Somewhere below the equator a little boy is rocking an 07 Cavaliers World Champs shirt.

    When our day finally comes make sure to buy 2 shirts…one for you to wear and the other to send to that little boy because dammit helping people is important.

  • Schmeetz

    Rooting against Lebron and the Heat does not have to be about hate or malice (I feel sorry for him, actually) or about him owing us anything. It’s about justice and accountability; it’s about the natural order of things. I want to believe that good decisions and hard work yield success, while bad decisions bring negative consequences. If Lebron and the Heat are successful, that betrays justice, accountability, and the way I believe the world should work. When we see people succeed who don’t play by the rules and who take shortcuts, it leaves the rest of us wondering why we don’t do the same. I wish LeBron success if he starts making better decisions, but, for now, I want him to live with the negative consequences that should follow his clumsy, misguided Decision to team up with the likes of Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh and slight Northeast Ohio.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      This all presupposes that the alteration of the current NBA structure/balance of power vis a vis players and owners (or even vis a vis LeBron and Dan Gilbert) was necessarily a bad thing. I don’t know how you can possibly make that assumption or say what the “natural order of things” should be here.

      • p_forever

        i wish you’d stop acting as if lebron james should be put in the same category as eugene debs.

        i get your point, but even if he did upset what is for sure an unfair and unequal balance of power in favor of the owners, lebron did so for himself and himself alone.

        i don’t hate lebron james. for sure i don’t. but this is not a “if there is a soul in prison, i am not free” moment, and i’m not going to pretend that it is.

    • mo_by_dick

      What a chaste and assiduous person you must be to be able to dictate an established order!

    • wiseoldredbeard

      The karmic element is critical, and totally excluded from this Frowns analysis.

      Pat Riley breaks rules, gets dream team (funded by awful owner in city where more of the fans at the game are in the club than their seats), and his punishment is being crowned champion? And, that’s after he has a big party where he rubs it in everyone’s noses before he even starts?

      It is the bravado, the Hollywood crap of the Heat that I hate, and why I want them to lose. Just like the Yankees. I like underdogs and quiet killers, not favorites and flare. And I want to believe I live in a world where Durant gets a title because doesn’t make it all about himself (which he easily could), but instead quietly signs an extension to play in OKC forever, without as much as an interview, and is surrounded by a cast of characters that act like a team. Not a bunch of guys that care so much about their image that they wear lense-less glasses to a post-game interview after a game 5 collapse.

      Maybe it’s because I’m from Cleveland, but that’s how I feel. That’s why I love Joe Thomas and Josh Cribbs. And that’s why I don’t like the Heat. Not because I was “swept away in the tidal wave of latent racism and general ignorance and intolerance.” Common Frownie, it’s the ignorant who simplify the truth to make their point.

      • ClevelandFrowns

        The “general ignorance and intolerance (and entitlement)” part comes with your unsupported assumption that your own personal preferences relating to “Hollywood crap,” “underdogs and quiet killers,” and what a truly “awful” owner is, are more important/more valuable/more karmically just (since you brought that into it) than LeBron’s decision to exercise his free agency and leave the employ of Gilbert the way he did.

        Gilbert’s own reaction strongly suggests that LeBron is on the better side here, not you, but either way you don’t begin to make the case.

        • wiseoldredbeard

          I cannot disagree that my understanding of what is good is different than others’ understanding of the same — and as I am not a buddist master (or God), I cannot provide the proof you request as to what is karmically better than something else. All I can do is share my own opinion, and demonstrate why it is not related to “latent racism” or “intolerance” (both of which are very serious allegations that should not be made lightly).

          Also, you have to lay off the Gilbert/LeBron binary as some sort of bulletproof evidence that you are correct and everyone else is wrong. I don’t begrudge LeBron for leaving in free agency. My feelings and thoughts are far more complex than that simple (and two year old) issue.

          • Kamov

            Are you sure it isn’t possible to dislike Lebron without being racist and intolerant? I mean, I feel like if someone repeats it enough times it might has to be true, right?

          • wiseoldredbeard

            “The Browns will win the Superbowl this year. The Browns will win the Superbowl this year. The Browns will win the Superbowl this year.” Here’s hoping you’re right! Let’s check back in six months…

          • ClevelandFrowns

            Oh, WAH, both of you. You keep leaving out the “general ignorance” category, and nowhere do I say that I’m not generally ignorant myself. The difference is, I’m not the one who’s trying to hate on this kid. The burden is on the hater to establish why he’s not ignorant.

          • Kamov

            “The burden is on the hater to establish why he’s not ignorant.”

            Why? Does deeper knowledge equate to greater affection? If so I shall remedy my ignorance and love all. Otherwise I don’t see the connection being drawn between general ignorance and personal dislike.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            If you’re going to hate someone you should have a good reason.

          • Kamov

            You’re talking hate, I’m talking dislike. I’d rather see Lebron lose than win – that doesn’t mean I want him to die while all he loves burns around him or something.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            Yeah, well, they say it’s a fine line, but I’m pretty sure OKCLE shirts are on the wrong side of it.

          • Kamov

            That’s fine – that’s very reasonable. It hardly needs saying that OKC is not even closely comparable with such a resilient and impervious city as CLE. I mean, I can’t figure out why OKC chose Thunder instead of Tornadoes or Twisters, except that it is maybe too close to home for them?

        • wiseoldredbeard

          PS – is this the smoking gun?

          • ClevelandFrowns

            FUCK.

          • wiseoldredbeard

            As an aside — how in God’s name do you get any work done while participating in all of this lively debate? Back to the mines for me, unfortunately…

          • ClevelandFrowns

            Need bigger catapult.

          • Petefranklin

            Guess Im not gonna bet the heat now, thanks for the bread man!

        • p_forever

          btw, this current heroic lebron narrative is altogether different from the tragic narrative you used to tell wrt lebron.

          at the time i pointed out why it didn’t exactly work as a tragedy (even though i sympathized, and still do, with the general point, which used to be that lebron’s destiny was to win championships here in cleveland, and that i’d rather have him come to his senses and come back here to do that rather than hate him forever for leaving).

          but now i’m retracting, or i’m at least saying that the tragic framework both worked better and was more convincing than the lebron is a hero for leaving framework.

          neither one requires hatred of lebron; but your current version seems to require lionizing him, and i don’t think lionization is appropriate or necessary here.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            I’m not painting him as a hero at all, just a plenty reasonable actor who’s not at all worthy of the scorn that’s heaped on him by his hometown.

          • p_forever

            okay, but it really sounds to me like you’re paining him as the little guy hero that was brave enough to stand up to the big bully owners and right all that’s wrong with the nba world by redistributing power to the players.

            but i might not have interpreted your words correctly.

            (also, per my other comments, i grant that yes move was a vivid display of one player’s power, and i grant that the owners have too much power, and they can stand to be reminded that without the players they have nothing. i just don’t think lebron was motivated by anything other than self interest, and i think he was a million times more interested in the power of a supertrio than he was in the potential power of the players’ union.)

    • wiseoldredbeard

      The karmic element is critical, and totally excluded from this Frowns analysis.

      Pat Riley breaks rules, gets dream team (funded by awful owner in city where more of the fans at the game are in the club than their seats), and his punishment is being crowned champion? And, that’s after he has a big party where he rubs it in everyone’s noses before he even starts?

      It is the bravado, the Hollywood crap of the Heat that I hate, and why I want them to lose. Just like the Yankees. I like underdogs and quiet killers, not favorites and flare. And I want to believe I live in a world where Durant gets a title because doesn’t make it all about himself (which he easily could), but instead quietly signs an extension to play in OKC forever, without as much as an interview, and is surrounded by a cast of characters that act like a team. Not a bunch of guys that care so much about their image that they wear lense-less glasses to a post-game interview after a game 5 collapse.

      Maybe it’s because I’m from Cleveland, but that’s how I feel. That’s why I love Joe Thomas and Josh Cribbs. And that’s why I don’t like the Heat. Not because I was “swept away in the tidal wave of latent racism and general ignorance and intolerance.” Common Frownie, it’s the ignorant who simplify the truth to make their point.

    • smittypop2

      Schmeetzen!!!!!!

  • Vari

    I guess this site is alright if you’re of the opinion that LeBron James can do no wrong because he’s from Akron and had a crack addicted mother and blah, blah, blah. Or you can attack the owner for essentially doing the same thing as they athlete, trying to protect his interests and his business.

    Whatever happened to the mindset that if you leave you’re a traitor? None of these athletes in any sports want to do the right thing, the hard thing. They want the easy way out, the quick payday, the hardware without the sweat. The endorsement deal, the bling, the guest spot on the latest record by Rapper “x”. Everything is cool if it’s easy and helps the brand.

    You play for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back.

  • Ron

    Completely off topic, but I’d like to see Frowns comment on this:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1113975-the-worst-head-coach-in-every-nfl-teams-history/page/9

    • ClevelandFrowns

      I don’t see anything worth commenting on there.

      • Ron

        Sorry, that probably came across as troll bait. I was just stunned they picked Mangini with the plethora of bad coaches we had to choose from.

  • mo_by_dick

    I would just like to interrupt the competing narratives here to say that this should be a fantastic series between the lines, and I’m really looking forward to it. Regardless of everything involved in these two teams coming to be, it should be super-duper fun from a basketball standpoint.

  • Kamov

    All I’m gonna say is Lebron’s neckbeard is annoying. If he’s gonna have a neckbeard it had better be as majestic and in-your-face as Baron Davis’ for me to tolerate it.

    • p_forever

      all i’m going to say is a neck tattoo beats a neck beard any day.

      • Kamov

        Delonte is such a baller.

  • rulesboy

    I subscribe to the theory that I cheer for Lebron to not win championships because I feel like it. And Heat fans are annoying.* And Kendrick Perkins, despite the stares, sounds like the one of the coolest guys in the NBA.

    http://deadspin.com/5793919/how-these-two-white-guys-wound-up-in-this-kendrick-perkins-family-photo

    *I live here and am an authority on this issue.

    • Believelander

      I’m going to pretend I didn’t hate Kendrick Perkins’ guts when he wore baby s**t green.

  • Beeej

    What does any of this have to do with Weeden’s big arm, and the fact that Shumur has seen “some things?”

    • Believelander

      You see, Beej, when a city is robbed of a treasure like its greatest athlete ever to come out of it, karma will deliver things in return to maintain karmic balance. Some of these things will have big arms, some of these things will be things a coach can clearly see. These things can likely even be seen to have big arms that metaphysically deliver Browns Super Bowl Championship t-shirts to folks in Sierra Leone who are going to be damn confused that the picture on the t-shirt is an orange helmet and not some cartoon, though they will certainly be smitten by the stoic austerity of such a symbol’s representation of the character of the city and fans that that symbol is a paragon of. They will receive these t-shirts, and probably end up buying some Browns season tickets, because one thing we can all agree on is the fact that we might make it to the big time, but we’re sure not going to hoist the hardware until we can put our city’s oddest piece of beloved racist slander in the past and evolve into an age where Chief Wahoo no longer provides us with a karma deficit that leads to coaches with potential being replaced by coaches who see things; or our best quarterback prospect in 20+ years having a glaring flaw such as being 5-6 years older than we’d like when we drafted him; or our city being saddled with the Miasma of Tony Grossi for 25+ years, as well as the simplest boon: an age where we no longer have to be Waiting Til Next Year.

      And that, my friends, is why you don’t stay up for 24+ hours then respond to comments on your favorite blog.

      • ClevelandFrowns

        It’s about time you started to make a little sense here.

      • Beeej

        There aren’t enough “likes” in all of Facebook to convey how much I enjoyed this response.

        • Believelander

          There were 3 too many periods in the first paragraph of that response, which was intentionally designed at t minus 25+ hours awake to be a simultaneously horrendous and coherent run-on, but it was good enough.

      • wiseoldredbeard

        Brilliant.

  • Believelander

    It may be hard to see it from the dazzling blindyness of LeBron James’ radiating superawesomeness, but people (everywhere) aren’t rooting against LeBron because he owes Cleveland something (edit: I’m sure a small contingent of delusional fans are, but there’s also one independent Cleveland sports writer and some dude named Biki who are equally wild with apparently thinking Bron farts rainbows and poops butterflies). They’re rooting against him because these guys have acted like assholes. Because their little plan was a blatant flag-waving insult in the face of sportsmanship. Because LeBron went so far as to talk about how after he lost the Finals, that all of us who had to root for him to lose have to “go back to our lives” like it’s a bad thing, while he’s going to go back to being ultra rich and ultra awesome.

    It’s because them winning would suck. Because the men who play for OKC, who surely are flawed and complex human beings just like the men who play for the Heat, have availed themselves well to their fans, and sports fans and people who pay attention to celebrities. And LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have done the opposite. People lashed out at LeBron and the Heat in the wake of the Decision, and the Cheerleadery-thing-where-they-came-out-of-the-floor-then-counted-to-8-..ision, but they have since put more nails in the coffin of their public opinion, not less. LeBron has gotten out his prybar, thank God (he IS an Ohioan, raised in the Land of Resilience, after all) but Dwyane keeps pounding away with his hammer.

    Clevelanders should OKC because the Heat have poured forth excessive jerkiness. They should root for OKC because Kevin Durant quietly signed a 5-year extension in Oklahoma City despite playoff woes at that stage of his career. Moreso, I root for LeBron to lose because of ESPN, and the horrible nature of major sports outlets. LeBron winning a title this year would invite less anti-Cleveland bullsh*t than it would last year, but if they win, we’re all going to have to hear about how he couldn’t have gotten it done in Cleveland and how we push down 8-year old football fans because we’re terrible people, and how the vapid, absent, pathetic Heat fans are better than us. Honestly, I count every day a victory where Cleveland doesn’t make ESPN for anything other than a Cleveland player hitting the highlight reel.

    But mostly, because the Heat are, because of all of this that has transpired, now a rival to Cleveland, and will probably remain so long after LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are gone. The vitriol between the clubs went so far that Heat fans actually got nasty with the Cavaliers when we went there, and usually those people can’t be bothered away from their iPads to actually watch the game, let alone know who the other team is. So I’m for Durant, and I’ll buy myself a Miami Heat Championship t-shirt after the Thunder win before they all get shipped to Sierra Leone.

    • ChuckKoz

      good point, which was similar to what i was thinking about: rooting against MIA is just like rooting against the Ravens, as they are now our rivals.

      its not profound, it just is a rivalry that now exists b/w Cavs and Heat fans.

    • wiseoldredbeard

      You forgot to mention those stupid lense-less glasses. On a side note, can we all pray in unison that we never have to watch another ESPN-up-Cleveland’s-ass-with-misery sports montage? And, let’s say we do win some day. Are those over forever?

  • Believelander

    On an important note, the guy on the left in the picture with the 06 Bears championship t-shirts, is his head photoshopped on or is it just 14 sizes too big?

    • CleveLandThatILove

      On another note, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen LeBron look as happy as those fellows appear to be.

      • Believelander

        He must not be a Republican.

        • CleveLandThatILove

          You’re another year older (Happy BDay, btw) and wiser, that’s all.

          Somebody better have made you a cake.

  • CleveLandThatILove

    Mercifully, the finals will be relatively brief, with the Heat winning exactly once – Game 3.

  • thebearchoo

    My hate for lebron has slowly disappeared, but just off the decision I still hope he loses every time he steps out on the court. Just to be so ignorant to not realize the potential consequences (a large portion of the country hating your ass) of that has to require some level of extreme self-centered arrogance.

    Not that it’s all his fault, but even his last couple years here it pissed me off to no end the way he was coddled by our organization. Yeah, the gravy train was rolling but I think Gilbert is a pea in a pod when it comes to him and some of the other owners in the league, or sports in general as has been mentioned. You can say what you want about the team around him (I was never a fan of Ferry as a GM), but you can’t think that Lebron didn’t have any input in most of those team decisions. It didn’t work out, that sucks.

    That being said, the idea of buying a t-shirt supporting another non-Cleveland team simply out of malice toward the guy is absurd in my mind. What a waste of $$.

    And another factor that’s helped diminish my animosity toward Lebron: Dwyane Wade. Dear God is that guy a douche and a half, and I hope we can all agree on that. Notice how in game 7 almost every time Lebron would start getting into a flow Wade would have to go down to “get his”, miss a terrible shot and disrupt everything. If they would’ve lost that game a lot would’ve been on him, IMO. So overrated.

  • Brian Sipe

    Go Bron……….. Get a ring

  • http://brian23.com Brian

    To me, it seems like there are a lot of layers you’ve laid on this that don’t exist.

    LeBron broke one of the biggest rules of basketball – he stacked the teams so they could run the court. On top of that, he did it in a dickish way to his hometown, and then rubbed it in in front of a national audience.

    At this point, the stacking is 500x worse than anything to do with the Decision, and nobody ever cared that he exercised his free agent rights that I can recall.

    To me, there’s nothing more to it than that, and that’s plenty to make people root against him as an athlete. Fans will root for criminals, but they won’t root for people who cheat the competitive spirit of the sport.

    And that’s not a Cleveland thing – I despise him more as a basketball fan than a Cavs fan. As a Cavs fan, I’m way past it.

    Irony is they’ve actually struggled, so hahaa who knows – it’s in the intent, I suppose.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      “Rooting against” is one thing. “Despising” and getting down for “OKCLE” campaigns and “Whore of Akron” books is something completely different.

      So you’re comfortable despising a despicable whore because he got together with two other guys, his friends, to play on an NBA team, the highest level of basketball there is. There are real questions about whether it’s even possible for three men to stack a basketball team at the world’s highest level (underlined by the reality of the league’s salary cap, the Big Three’s supporting cast, as well as the logical inconsistency of your post here — “they’ve actually struggled, hahaa who knows”). But even if stacking a team was possible (and even if LeBron, Bosh and Wade as they are now even constitutes such), there’s still a question about how truly despicable it is for three men to say, “we’re the best at basketball in this cold-ass world, there are millions and millions of dollars at stake, come and get us.”

      I don’t think I’m the one who’s making up layers here. I’m also not the one doing the despising.

      • http://brian23.com Brian

        Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and many more of their ilk felt they were stacking teams. It’s basic basketball – you don’t do it.

        Personally I don’t think so many people despise him as just root against him with grand amounts of hyperbole. The people who would actualy unleash hate on him in person are minimal. It’s all just sports fandom type vitriol as I see it. It’s seemingly cute when Boston does it with Roger Clemens – I don’t see the problem. Every sport needs a villain.

        I do feel bad for LeBron because he didn’t seem to realize that his actions would make him one. I don’t think he’s a bad person.

        *
        *

        • ClevelandFrowns

          Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird each played with two other Hall of Famers, excepting the Bulls’ pre-Rodman run, but then the Bulls’ head coach is widely regarded as the best or one of the very best of all time. Funny to hear from any of those guys on the subject of stacked teams.

          • http://brian23.com Brian

            Having a great team isn’t the same as intentionally setting up and stacking the teams. It’s especially ill-informed when people bring that up with the Bulls – look at Pippen’s early career numbers. Not only that, but people forget he used to go out with migraines against the Pistons – he wasn’t always HOFer Scottie Pippen.
            *
            *
            *
            *

          • ClevelandFrowns

            So when team management is responsible for the stacking (such as by the lucky deals that landed the Lakers the top overall pick that they used to select Magic when they already had Kareem (who left Milwaukee for LA as a free agent), and then the top overall pick again (by way of a terrible trade that the last place Cavs had made two years before) to land Worthy when they already had Magic and Kareem), that’s OK, but when the players organize to try to make their own luck, it’s despicable.

          • http://brian23.com Brian

            I understand the point you’re making, but the 80s was a different league and it’s not an ideal comparison – that was before the last three expansions and the talent pool wasn’t as spread. Three All-Stars on a team wasn’t uncommon – even the Cavs pulled that off. (Four if you count Harper as All-Star caliber.)

            Even the second Bulls squad with Rodman is s special case – remember, nobody in the NBA wanted him after he disrupted so much in San Antonio. The Bulls got him for next to nothing and he was only corralled by Jackson and Jordan.

            Bosh/Wade/James wanted an easy path to multiple titles – those are their words, “It’ll be easy”. It wasn’t “come and get us”. They stacked it, and yeah I don’t think it was right that they did it. Jordan, Magic, 99.99% of the United States, et al agree.
            *
            *

          • ClevelandFrowns

            Saying “it’ll be easy” is pretty much exactly the same thing as saying “come and get us,” actually.

            Also, I don’t at all buy that the addition of four teams has watered down the NBA. If anything, the relative lack of opportunity of the old NBA made it easier for teams to be stacked, as your examples show. But that’s the kind of stacked you’re OK with.

            Finally, if by 99% you mean the dimmest/wrongest 70-or-so%, I agree. The dimmest/wrongest 70-or-so% has an illustrious history in this way.

          • http://brian23.com Brian

            You must have seen a different free agency festival than I did.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            If that free agency festival wasn’t, “come and get me,” what was it?

          • http://brian23.com Brian

            This is silly – you are literally the only person on earth who is/has interpreted it like that so you shoehorn it into this convoluted theory.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            Convoluted theory? All I’m saying is that the “free agent fest” was a huge middle finger to the rest of the league. Like it or not, it was a “come and get us” moment.

            If you want to get back to convoluted, tell us more about how it’s despicable when players make their teams and not despicable when front offices do it.

          • http://brian23.com Brian

            You’re probably the only person on the planet who considers that a “come and get us” moment.

            Let’s pretend it was though. It only backs up the legitimate reason people don’t like LeBron – he’s been unable to back it up, and there are few things more unlikable in sports than someone who calls their shot and whiffs.

            Pretend LeBron isn’t involved – wouldn’t you agree that’s an unlikable thing to do? It’s why coaches cringe when their players start making guarantees.
            *
            *

          • ClevelandFrowns

            This is so stupid. People “calling shots” is part of sports and part of what makes them interesting.

            Anyway, yes, again, some 25 year olds got overexcited about their exercise of unprecedented power in an unprecedented free agency. Despicable whores. I get it. If only they’d let the Dan Gilberts of the world pull the strings like it used to be in the good old days.

          • http://brian23.com Brian

            What’s stupid? Everyone and their brother is explaining they don’t like LeBron because he does this stuff, but you are trying to make it into something else.

            I’m not even saying he shouldn’t do stuff like the rally – if they’d done it and won 70 games and run the entire league over in a badass wave of destruction for the past two seasons, there would be no choice but to respect these guys, and I include LeBron in that as much as any of the three.

            Instead, they lose, excessively whine to the refs, and make excuses (while being sure to note they’re a “no-excuse team”).

            Even last night – they got beat up, and LeBron says afterward it was “just a feel out game”.

            The guy doesn’t own anything he says or does on the court, and he (and Wade now, too) don’t go 100% all the time. THAT is why people don’t like him, and it’s totally justified, inside Cleveland and out. It’s totally NORMAL.

            *
            *

          • ClevelandFrowns

            The guy doesn’t own ANYTHING he does on the court. I DESPISE him. LOL.

          • http://brian23.com Brian

            k good job lol

      • Believelander

        Pete, you’ve been minimizing all of the bad LeBron has done for 2 years now. Stop acting like Dan Gilbert. LeBron will never learn if you keep excusing his actions.

        • wiseoldredbeard

          Oh, snap.

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

    Links for ” LeBron James has apologized again and again for the way he left the Cleveland Cavaliers” please.

    Thanks.

    • CleveLandThatILove

      Saying “I made a mistake and I’m sorry” – and meaning it – requires a degree of humility and strength that we can only hope LBJ is beginning to develop. I sincerely hope he is involved in individual therapy to sort through everything.

      • Believelander

        Frownie’s dead-beaten-horse narrative about the entitlement James has been receiving since a teenager is entirely legitimate, and does tend to cloud one’s judgement. Maurice Clarett, who a number of guys I know were schoolmates of for years, was by their words one of the coolest dudes they knew before people started to blow smoke up his ass about how he was the next coming of Barry Sanders.

        However, he, like James, are responsible for learning and growing, and that doesn’t excuse them from acting like entitled jackasses. Many young inner city men with few or no rolemodels have had their butts kissed on the way to superstardom and turned out fine, no AK-47s or phony championship celebrations before the season even starts.

  • maxfnmloans

    I pretty much look at it like this: if I “root” for the Thunder, I’m no better than Art Modell or a Ravens fan. I am finally over LeBron James leaving once and for all. Vaya con dios, LeBron.

    (I use the term “root” loosely, because I haven’t watched a single minute of the NBA other than Cavs games since he left. It’s obvious the players don’t care about us, why should I care about them? Other than the ones I care about because they represent my home, that is)

  • bupalos

    I’m torn on this one. One one hand, Frowns on Fire is hard not to want to agree with, just because.

    On the other hand, he’s just basically wrong on his obvious desire to see James rewarded for what, when push comes to shove, is simply cowardly douchiness, whatever moral oven it was cooked up in.

    On the other hand, he’s basically right that anyone who is getting worked up about seeing James get some kind of comeuppance at the hands of a system that is itself fully and equally corrupt is, at the best, barking at the moon.

    On the other hand, KD did what LBJ could have done. We simply will never know what could have been possible for the cavs and the city had our guy not played coy the whole time he was here and punked us in the end. (I mean Cleveland, of course, not Akron, because, you know, those are two TOTALLY different places.)

    So in short, I feel like the moral implications of this series are as precarious as a fiddler on a roof. Go OKC. But honestly. Who cares?

    • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

      this one might tip you over to the thunder side. lots of narrative on the decision fiasco and then ‘not 1, not 2.’ so there’s plenty to dislike in terms of:

      * immature PR choices and/or heeding bad advice
      -corollary: surrounding oneself with bad advisors
      * trying to short-circuit greatness ie, championships
      -corollary: gross misunderstanding that basketball is the ultimate team sport
      * choosing miami glitz over cleveland ne ne sais quoi
      * general disrespecting of cleveland

      but i’d forgotten this one:
      * taking a slap at your comrades-in-arms.

      this, to me, is as big a short-coming as any other. the smokeshow/decision can be written off as bad advice. native son emigrating from NEO is not unprecedented. but lebron seemed to be buds with boobie, av, mo –> throwing your friends under the bus was maybe the worst element in this saga.

      so to see his new teammates ‘die down in the moment’ is mighty tasty.

      • ClevelandFrowns

        When one has to defend himself against an unprecedented backlash of hatred, uttering a plain if painful truth seems perfectly understandable, actually. His Cavalier teammates actually were objectively terrible in the playoffs.

        So we’re going to be in a lather about that, and “immature PR choices,” and “not understanding basketball is a team sport” and “choosing miami over cleveland.”

        Listen to what this sounds like, please.

        • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

          you seemed to staking out a ‘root for the heat’ position and that’s what i’m responding to –> the team angle.

          specifically lebron saying to the world that his old teammates died in the moment on him. and he needed to do what’s best for him professionally and thus -presumably- find guys who wouldn’t die in the moment.

          to that end, dwyane wade has shot 39% in the last five games.

          when you consider that that is a worse shooting pct than EVERY CAVALIER WHO PLAYED IN ALL THE 2010 PLAYOFF GAMES

          ..it starts to transcend sports and begins to affirm karmic life-forces.

          • Vari

            You can argue until you’re blue in the face Jim, but you should know that ultimately it’s all because of Chief Wahoo, tyrant slave driving loan shark casino owners, Mangenius firings and crack addicted mothers.

            It has nothing to do with slighting a hard-working, blue collar city whom cherishes their sports franchises and the players who are dedicated to them.

            If LeBron James would have just signed a contract and not dog and ponied himself to the world to drag this city through the mud, maybe the vitriol wouldn’t have been so bad.

            I want to seem him fail simply because he slighted us. I want to see him fail similarly to the way Schmeetz described. It balances the right and wrong, the justice of it. Do I hate LeBron James? Not personally, I don’t know the dude. I certainly hate him from a Cleveland pride aspect. Your city is your family, you screw my family, we’re not boys any longer, we’re enemies. That’s loyalty. Respect.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            This is a really good example of what I’m talking about when I refer to “insanely regressive feelings of entitlement.”

            My city! Respect! Derp!

          • ClevelandFrowns

            “you seemed to staking out a ‘root for the heat’ position and that’s what i’m responding to.”

            Well that’s a problem because all I’m staking out is a “don’t despise the hometown boy just because he didn’t want to work for Dan Gilbert anymore” position.

          • Vari

            How is it entitlement? It’s loyalty. Respect. Modern sports and free agency have ruined what it meant to be a hometown guy. I’m not mad at LeBron at all for changing teams, it’s his career. I’m mad that he disrespected the hard working and loyal fans of Cleveland.

          • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

            …because he didn’t want to work for Dan Gilbert anymore…

            that’s not what lebron said. what HE said: I understand what this league is all about. I wanted to team up with some guys that would never die down in the moment.

            absent any comment from lebron, the ‘bad-dan-gilbert-angle’ is just a projection of your own.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            Think of how unseemly it would be if Lebron came out and said it. Sometimes you have to read between the lines, Jim.

            Their big move was to make him a Family Guy cartoon. LOLOL.

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            Think of how unseemly it would be for Lebron, et. al. to declare how easy it would be to win 8 rings before even playing a game or practicing together!

            And before you dust off the “oh, those 25 year old ‘boys’ were just blowing off steam,” it was an unprecedented celebration that no other collection of free agents performed in the history of the NBA. Also, why was no one else from the Heat included besides D-Wade? That always bugged me.

            The “not working for Gilbert” theory is interesting, but it is hardly the only explanation and it’s a disservice to the complexity of this narrative to reduce it down to that.

          • Kamov

            Wait, what? It’s more unseemly to say “I didn’t want to work for that jerk anymore” than to throw your teamates under the bus?*

            *(The answer is no, it is not)

  • ChuckKoz

    so here’s the thing, about 90% of the NE Ohio anti-LB crowd have modified their anger and/or “hate” of lebron. for examples, just see the numerous comments of people explaining how they have tempered their views.

    on the other hand, you have the pro-LB which continues a stubborn refusal to acknowledge that this guy just aint all that he is hyped to be. for example, after last year’s tragically embarrassing finals by LB (and possibly/likely another insufficient finals performance), these people (frowns) REFUSES to ever admit flaws in the guys game.

  • rodofdisaster

    It takes so much energy to hate. That doesn’t stop people from doing it.

    Maybe I’m just getting old but I’m tired of the convenient blindess of hate clouding great athletic accomplishments. For example, when a Red Sox fan cannot admit that Derek Jeter’s 3000 hits is an accomplishment.

    • Believelander

      Specifically speaking of JEETAH, I mainly bag on Derek Jeter because New York fans and mainstream sports media act like he’s the illegitimate immaculate triumvirate love child of Ozzie Smith, Babe Ruth, and Jesus. I suppose as their prime rivals Boston fans have to be sick of listening to how amazing Derek Jeter is all the time. Of course, Tom Brady’s lustrous locks and Kevin Garnett’s belligerence get just as much run.

      • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki
        • Believelander

          Pure gold. Once I reconciled my unbalanced dislike of Jeetah, Belichick, and Brady, I came to appreciate all of these guys for the enjoyable parts of their celebrity – Jeter’s unflappable professionalism; Brady’s dichotomy of trying to be the ultimate sportsman and team player, despite the woman on his arm being able to melt icebergs, despite the flowing Biebs haircut, despite the Uggz; and Belichick for being more than a gruff a-hole, for being a hilarious gruff a-hole.

  • rgrunds

    A catapult won’t work. I’m surprised at you. Everyone knows that a catapult can’t generate escape velocity. That’s primitive. What we need to do is build a really high tower and just THROW the shirts into the sun. Jeez. Do I have to explain everything?

    If you are worried about the sun’s brightness, we’ll just use the tower at night.

    Ha. That takes care of that…..you are so stopid….

    • Believelander

      That may have been the best thing I’ve ever read in my entire life.

      • rgrunds

        Just goes to show what you can do with a little common sense.

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    I would just love to know what Frowns thinks of the North Dakota/Sioux vote and what would happen in Ohio if we were to vote on something like that…(knowing full well it will never happen since a baseball team is not a state school)

  • Believelander

    Oklahoma City shows exactly why a plan like the Heat is inherently flawed on so many levels – OKC has balance. Miami doesn’t. I’m not even going to bag on LeBron for their loss. He had an incongruously inefficient 30p/9r/4a/4s. But that’s not the point. The point is, the Big Three thing isn’t jelling for the Heat because their situation is very different from the Celtics situation.

    The Heat burned down their entire franchise roster to ink this triumvirate, leaving them with little to no wiggle room to necessarily flesh out their roster. The Celtics brought in Garnett and Allen, sure, but they had variety, balance, and depth. They had the ability to field size and power in the paint, they had scoring threats in reserve. They acquired Rajon Rondo. They had an athletic slash’n’pass 1, a stone cold sniper at the 2, a traditional jack of all trades 3, a huge floor-stretching 4 with length, strength, a post game and a great jumper, and power defense at the 5.

    The Heat have a point guard I think, and maybe a center who could start for an NBA team riddled with injuries probably? They have a 2 and 3 who do the same stuff (overwhelm defenders via dazzling slash attacks, while having a passable but far from stellar outside jump game, a poor post-up game, and mediocre free throw skills) just the 3 does it better than the 2, and they have a Bosh who has apparently been forgotten despite being the piece these guys need in order to win titles.

    It’s fascinating. The whole thing is moribund. It’s a microcosm of basketball that we saw last year as well – a powerful, deep, balanced team with a clear superstar who is the centerpoint and the key piece of a varied gameplan, come out of the crucible of the West, versus a trio of insane ballers who have to face that deep, balanced team more or less with a crew of warm bodies backing them up.

    Even if the Heat manage to hammer out a plan to climb this mountain before them, it’s going to be fun watching because it’ll be fundamentally poor highlight reel gold. Or the Heat will lose, and LeBron will eventually realize he had a better thing going in Cleveland than he does now. Either way, a Miami championship lends no credence to the b.s. that LeBron had to leave Cleveland to win a title, so while it’s fun to see the Heat fail to reap the rewards they crave, this series is going to be entertainment no matter what.

    Personally, I’m going to root for Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and that Harden bro with the three-toed sloth growing from his face. They’re a great -team- and a dynasty in the making.

    • ClevelandFrowns

      Yes, Oklahoma City has an awesome roster, compiled due to years of deliberate tanking so as to make it easier for the owners to pull the Modell on Seattle. Super awesome go Thunder!

      • ChuckKoz

        that 2 years of tanking to pull a modell is just not right on several levels.

        1) the modell comparison is ridiculous because in 2006 (just months after the supposed Modell became owner) the city of Seattle VOTED to not give the team any money for an arena. that is tremendously different.

        2) look at that timeline again: Bennet buys team in Summer 2006. In November 2006 city VOTES against any funding. So that’s what happened within months of him taken ownership . Sure, he may have had ill intent the whole time, but the city paved the way for him.

        3) the apparently evil “tanking” involved them going 31-51 in 06-07. Far from tanking. And more damaging to your theory: they were a playoff team until Ray Allen got injured and missed all of March & April. So that theory is just dumb.

        Then in 07-08, with Durant, they did what any smart team would do and traded the aging Allen for assets and built around Durant.

        To act like that part is some sinister ownership part is just dumb dumb dumb.

        • ClevelandFrowns

          Here Chuck, read this and this:

          http://www.thenation.com/blog/168311/do-you-know-your-enemy-why-we-should-all-root-miami-heat-beat-oklahoma-city-thunder#

          http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2012/6/10/3076168/nba-finals-2012-thunder-vs-heat-good-evil-hook

          1.) There was nothing wrong with Key Arena. Seattle refused to be held hostage by Bennett. It’s extremely sad that you’re taking the homophobe billionaire’s side here just so you can keep prop up your Lebron murder-boner.

          2.) He still had an interest in smoothing his path out of town by having the team be terrible.

          3.) “The Thunder landed the No. 2, No. 4 and No. 3 picks in successive years. (They’d also traded Allen for a No. 5, and earned a couple of other first-round picks for being a cap mule for competitive teams like the Suns.) This franchise stripped itself bare, tried not to be competitive for three full seasons to pick up the most valuable assets in the game (young stars), and then and only then began filling out the roster with more talent.”

          • ChuckKoz

            i jumped to the above post, to ensure i’d get a response. i will read and respond shortly.

          • Petefranklin

            Devils advocate here…if the plan was in place before Katrina where was he planning on moving? Vegas is 3 years away from an arena although our ex/current mayor Goodfellow said Stern told him Vegas would get a team if we built an arena here. Maybe the owner wanted to rule the roost in OKC after he saw that the Okies could support the NBA.

    • GrandRapidsRustlers

      Agreed. The cliff note version of this is that Shane Battier played 42 minutes in a game. In the finals. In 2012.

    • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

      i actually think the heat’s supporting cast is decent to good.

      my take is that the problem with the heat is that the big two* are not accustomed to playing in a ‘team concept’ and surely dont have a coach in place to help them figure it out. that they have no strong coach and that iso-ball ball is what they do are choices. not seeing any cognizance on their part that this needs to be adjusted.

      and also, the thunder do indeed look dynastic. not for nothing but brooks is a good coach too.

      ______
      *i’m growing to respect bosh’s game more and more in that he seems willing to ‘play a role’ and do whatever the team needs him to do.

      • http://brian23.com Brian

        This is also why I wonder what will happen if they do indeed pick up Nash. LeBron and Wade have shown at this point that they need the ball in their hands. I don’t know that either of them could play with a traditional point guard for an extended time and be successful. If the Heat lose this it’s going to be fascinating to see what they do to try and improve that team. OKC isn’t going anywhere, and they appear to be flat-out better.

        Another thing if they lose is it will be fun and all of North America and much of Europe will rejoice.

        • ClevelandFrowns

          Actually, according to SportsNation, almost 40% of America is rooting for the Heat. But yes, herp-derp, the majority is always right.

          http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/fp/flashPollResultsState?sportIndex=sportsnation&pollId=140866

          • http://brian23.com Brian

            those 40% have clearly tuned in to lebron’s noble, selfless battle against the oppressive owner who was so cruel as to let him do whatever he wanted and to spend anything necessary to support him

            i don’t know what a herp-derp is is that from dr suess
            *
            *
            *
            *

      • ChuckKoz

        the parts obviously don’t fit, but its hard to argue the supporting cast is the problem as Battier, Chalmers and Haslem are all capable players.

        and at some point, I wonder when the pro-LB crowd will start to wonder why nobody “fits”. I mean, just imagine if Derick Fisher and Nick Collison earned big minutes with LB. I can just imagine the complaints.

        (heck, i heard them in LA as Fisher was run out of town….and btw, he should have been run out because he was garbage….but Durant & Co have made him useful)

  • NeedsFoodBadly

    If I can make a request here, can people please stop calling LeBron James a kid? He’s 27 years old, almost a decade removed from high school, the father of two children, responsible for a brand worth more money than most of us will see in our lives, has been captaining teams full of other grown-ass men for quite some time, and is, y’know, fully grown and gone through puberty at this point.

    He is not a kid. He is a man who is responsible for the actions he takes and the words he says. Any suggestion otherwise smacks of a dangerous paternalism that excuses any wrongdoing with a removal of his personal agency.

  • George

    Pete,

    There are never any absolute rights and wrongs. Dan Gilbert is not the best guy, neither is LeBron. Neither Gilbert nor LeBron are absolute good or evil. Lebron does not become a better man because you compare him to people who have faults. We are not at a bar looking a 6 surrounded by a bunch of 3s which make the 6 look like a 10.

    LeBron gets credit for giving back to Akron, but LeBron made a series of poor decisions, such as “the Decision” event and the Miami Heat introduction event, “not 1, not 2, not 3…..” Furthermore, if you watch him play the game he has improved very little and I am not sure anyone objectively reviewing his play would state that he gives maximum effort on the court. The bad decisions and less than 100% effort are why he is hated and he can apologize all he wants , but until he guards the best players on defense for the entire game, moves without the ball, and allows his teammates to play off is drives to the basket he will be a hate player nationally.

    Also, I am glad you brought up Mo Williams and company. I am not saying the supporting cast in Cleveland had hall of fame players but isn’t it curious that the Heat appear to have stolen Mike Brown’s coaching playbook? I think if you watch the way LeBron plays he takes the “role” away from the role player. Bosh’s talents are not used. Last night Wade shot over 50% but only got 17 shots to LBJ’s 30+. LeBron and his talents are staring at 0-3 in the finals appearances running the LeBron type offense. The problem is not the Mo Williams, Shane Battier’s, Chris Boshs’ and Delonte Wests’, the problem is the failure of a selfish player who does not give maxium effort on the court or trust the team he plays with.

    - George

  • Kamov

    bluh

    • ClevelandFrowns

      Nobody’s perfect.

  • Fcklbj

    Oh and the Thunder are a real team….that’s why most people want them to win, they’re funner to watch then the Heat. Durant is the classiest player, and maybe best, player in the NBA….westbrook is a mean ninja turtle lookin mtherfcker that takes no sht from anybody, Ibaka puts balls into the 4th row, Perkins is a giant black garden gnome….and they all play well together. The team just has personality and they were groomed together. They didn’t just all come together in one year through free agency. Might want to contemplate that pete.

  • Peter

    Who would you trust to build a team around you. Pat Riley or the Quick Loan Shark?

    • Steve

      It’s not like Pat Riley built that team. He watched three guys who want to play together do all the work for him. He now has next to no cap space to work with. His job consists of calling over the hill vets going “which do you prefer to do for the veteran minimum, ride the bench or stand in the corner?”

  • Steve

    I know I’m way late on this, but the argument that this team failed Lebron because they couldn’t get anyone better than Mo Williams is woefully inept. This team won 127 games over his final two years here. That’s been bested just 7 times in the history of the NBA. The Lebron-Cavaliers dominated the league as well as any team other than the Bulls in Jordan’s second go-round. That leaves one of two choices. Either Lebron is other-worldly, easily-surpassing-Jordan, good or that the Cavs front office managed to put a good team around him. The former has to be incorrect, or the Heat would have won at least 60 last year or been on pace to win more than 60 this year.

    I know, zero championships, but one of those years is pinned almost completely on Lebron playing poorly. Getting beat because the Magic shot out of their minds for a week and a half is not evidence that the front office screwed up the roster.

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