Why? I’m glad you asked.
Firstly, in the wake of a phenomenal year of sports, where we saw the Winter Olympics raised to a new level of appreciation, the emotional story of triumph over adversity behind Super Bowl Champs New Orleans Saints, Tiger Woods returning to the golf course, a surprising surge in viewership for the NHL Stanly Cup, and the obvious international attention generated from the FIFA World Cup. The list goes on. How long did the fanfare last when Kobe hoisted the NBA trophy for the 5th time? Was the world more excited when Michael Jordan won his 5th? I thought so…
But the decline of the NBA’s share of the sports entertainment market started much further back. One would argue since the final curtain call of the original #23. But I’m not going to delve much further into other causations. What’s important now is that at approximatly 6:30pm PST on July 8, 2010, the NBA received a much needed injection of hoopla and buzz by none other than the current #23.
In case you missed the live broadcast:
No sooner than LeBron uttered the words “South Beach” during his interview, social media networks everywhere scrambled to let the rest of the world know of his decision. Very shortly after that, the following message appeared on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ official website:
Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;
As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.
This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.
Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.
The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.
There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.
You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.
You have given so much and deserve so much more.
In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:
“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”
You can take it to the bank.
If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.
Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.
Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.
This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.
The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.
Sleep well, Cleveland.
Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day….
I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:
DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue….
Wow, what with the trade rumours already swirling in 2009 because 2010 marked the year that LBJ was going to be an UFA, Cavaliers’ defeat in the playoffs, the public lashing of LBJ’s alleged “collapse” in Game 3 vs. the Celtics, and the subsequent whirlwind of wining/dining with a number of franchises who would do anything to bring him to their city – all that culminating in a 1-hour primetime broadcast and stoked further by a simple 1-page letter on a website. It’s without question, the NBA will be experiencing free viral publicity throughout the summer during what’s traditionally a graveyard period for the Association and basketball in general.
Sports radio hosts are having a ball with this – you can’t ask for a better storyline to spin, propagate, twist, manipulate to your hearts’ content. On ESPN radio, they kept hammering to people about LeBron doing all this for publicity sake and how he’s permanently screwed himself over. He’s turned Hero to Heel.
To be perfectly honest, in checking out many of the tweets regarding #lebron in the last 48hrs, there was a pretty equal amount of likes/dislikes for LBJ, with a far larger majority just RT’ing or posting links for further discussion. Yet the talk shows were making it out like LeBron has shaken the sporting world to its very foundation. To me, they are really reaching – trying to get a rise out of people and ultimately, to give the NBA more exposure than they are due, even if his decision technically shouldn’t warrant the need to have his jersey burnt as though he was some religious figure.
But despite all this media circus, you can’t deny that all fans of basketball were tuned in to hear of his announcement. I was giddy as heck in anticipation. As superficial as it was, I can’t wait to tune into to the 2010-2011 NBA season to see how the new look Miami Heat will do. Them winning would be quite the fairytale ending.
As a fan of the new Big 3, I hereby declare myself a JaBoWa-kee. It’s gonna be crazy.