Thursday, November 20, 2008
This was a headline on cnnsi.com yesterday: "LeBron James says he would leave Cavs if offer was right". When I saw this, I just thought to myself, here we go again. He's in the New York area and he's getting the media going. But then I read the article and it was crystal clear to me...HE DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING REMOTELY CLOSE TO THAT!!!
Whether you believe he stays or he goes is irrelevant to me today (and it is irrelevant to me everyday). I just want to you to read these quotes and tell me where it says anything about LeBron leaving Cleveland if the offer was right.
"I think you do what is best for you and you do what is best for your career. I go out and I play hard and that's loyalty," James added. "It's hard because it's a business. (The) franchise is going to do what is best for the player, it always comes back on us. I am going to look bad. If a franchise decides to give up on a player, it's OK. So we have to do what is best for us."
I have no clue about what he's saying in the second part there, but I get it that LeBron is going to do what is best for LeBron in 2 years. I can live with that.
"I am focused on the team that I am on right now and winning a championship," he said. "So it gets funny at times, but I don't think about making a change at this point. I am focusing on the team I have here and the relationship I have with the Cavs."
OK, still good. He's focused on Cleveland and bringing a championship to his hometown (kind of).
"When I decide to make that decision, you know, it is basically to put me in a position where I feel like I can win multiple championships. If it's staying here, then I will be here. If it's moving elsewhere, then I will have to look at all my options."
You may not think so, but this is great news. In case you hadn't noticed (I'm writing this before the game last night against the PissedOns), the Cavs are 9-2 and on an 8 game winning streak. They are just CRUSHING teams. There is no other franchise in the league (well, at least out of the teams gearing up for the 2010 offseason) that can best what the Cavs have to offer. Can't do it. My guess here is that the AP is miscontruing "look at all my options" with "will leave if offer is right". You know, I'm no fancy big city lawyer, but those two phrases have COMPLETELY different meanings.
"We have gotten better every year and I think this year is probably the best team we've had since I have been here. You got to see how the season plays out. Just because you have a different team, with different players, doesn't automatically guarantee you a championship. I have to be smart about things and be patient."
And this is the best part. He knows it now. He understands it. LeBron realizes that going to a big media market doesn't mean shit if you are stuck in a rebuilding process for 3 years. If I'm the Cavs, I have him look at Detroit's starting lineup and just point at AI all night long. Because if he makes the decision to leave just for the brighter lights, he'll end up just the same as Iverson. A broken-down has-been who killed himself for years on crappy teams only to see it cut his prime by 2-3 years. The Cavs have committed to doing whatever it takes to win a championship. Hell, Dan Gilbert is paying a ton of luxury tax money just to prove that point. And the beauty of it is, LeBron is finally realizing that.
Whether he does leave in 2 years is completely irrelevant though at the moment. I'm worried about 2008-2009, and not the summer of 2010. Because this team has a REAL shot of doing some serious damage in the postseason and I don't want a bunch of hack sportswriters trying to ruin what could be a magical season by writing bogus articles that are based on zero facts. Go Cavaliers.