It’s not the humidity, it’s the Heat

So LeBron James is joining the Miami Heat next year with his buddies Dwayne Dewayne Dywane Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. A lot of people have gone completely apeshit over his decision to leave Cleveland for South Beach, which I don’t quite get. The Cavaliers negotiated a contract with James which allowed him to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2009-2010 season. Having fulfilled his contract he earned the right to become an UFA, and by playing as well as he did he earned the privilege of choosing where he wanted to play next year. I can’t blame James for making the decision he did, especially after Wade re-signed and Bosh announced he was heading to Miami as well. It’s not like he asked for a trade or asked the Cavs to let him out of his contract or something. Do Cavs fans have a right to be disappointed about LeBron’s decision? Absolutely, just as Raptors fans are disappointed about Bosh leaving. But I don’t get the hatred and talk of “disloyalty”. Players just don’t play their entire careers with one team anymore, so expecting LeBron to is just not realistic.

What I can blame him for is the ridiculous way he announced his decision. Seriously LeBron, you needed a one hour special on prime time TV to say “Miami”? Chris Bosh announced his decision with a two-word tweet. I do have to say that I did watch part of the special – up until LeBron announced where he was going. I did feel almost guilty about watching it though
like watching a train wreck.

Adding to the whole circus, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wrote an open letter to Cavaliers fans lambasting James, calling his decision to leave Cleveland “cowardly betrayal” and a “shocking act of disloyalty”. This letter might be the most childish and least professional thing I’ve ever seen in pro sports. However narcissistic and self-promotional the TV special was, Gilbert added a level of immaturity to this whole episode that wasn’t there before. Don’t forget, Shaquille O’Neal plays for the Cavaliers now (or did last year, anyway). Shaq was drafted by Orlando, won Rookie of the Year with them, and led them to the finals (though they didn’t win), and then left as a free agent. Sound familiar? Cavs management didn’t seem too concerned with his lack of loyalty when they traded for him.

I don’t watch a lot of basketball on TV (the occasional Raptors game and the Finals are about it), but if the Heat play in Cleveland next season, I might check that one out.


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