Lay Off LeBron
And so, the ravenous sports media culture finds itself T +24 hours past their biggest scoop of the summer.
The anointed one, the most finely tuned athlete/behemoth ever to come out of Ohio has left his hometown team. Instead of staying put and playing basketball martyr, LeBron James has decided to join two of his closest athlete/behemoth friends to form a mini-Harlem Globetrotter team in South Beach.
So, for fear of having to return to baseball, the World Cup, and other summer sports fare, the sports media has turned its attention to the jilted Cleveland fanbase.
And surely, there is suffering in Cleveland. This is a city whose last championship of any kind came via the NFL's Browns 46 years ago. The Cavs, themselves, have never gone further than LeBron has taken them, as they have never won a title of their own.
If we're to believe the media reports, every Cavs fan is now throwing an extended tantrum. They're burning LeBron jerseys, screaming obscenities at the basketball Gods, and planning LeBron heckling parties at basketball arenas all over the country.
Now, what I'm about to say may hurt a little, Cleveland, but it's for your own good. Acting like a scorned teenage girl who just found out that her Twilight Team Jacob friends have switched over to Team Edward doesn't cast you in a very good light. It's not likely to make you a preferred destination for future superstar players. And frankly, it's not fair, given the circumstances.
You had seven years of one of the most prodigious talents in professional sports history. He took a team of stiffs, of cast-offs, and made them into a first-class basketball team. He played injured. He didn't rest.
Do you realize that the man has averaged over 40 minutes a game played over his entire career? Only three players in history have averaged more: Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson. Jordan averaged 38 minutes played a game. Kobe averages about 37. LeBron killed himself to put your team on his shoulders. He knew that leaving the floor would mean leaving a team unfit to compete out there, so on the floor he stayed.Continued on the next page