I believe as a kid LeBron was encouraged to be the world's greatest basketball player... not greatest Cavalier

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Thu, 07/08/2010 - 22:14.

LeBron James leaving Get Out The Vote Rally with Russell Simmons in Cleveland Ohio 2008

I've always liked LeBron James, the human being I've seen grow up in the spotlight in Northeast Ohio and then the world.

I liked him best of all on Saturday Night Live, showing how much I'm not a professional sports fan.

I also certainly appreciated his efforts to get out the vote in Cleveland in 2008, as shown in these photos from a Russell Simmons Rally then.

While I know the unreal NEO media and many citizens will attack LeBron for his decision to continue his professional basketball career with the Miami Heat, next year, I'm thrilled to see an exceptional young man from my region succeed at such a huge level, and with so much of his life ahead. Regarding LeBron changing teams now or ever, that is how the game is played - and often it is teams sending players packing - so it is not like the sports playing field is local, fair or level. LeBron seems to have made a smart, tough career and life decision - one described by an ESPN commentator as the greatest experiment in basketball history.

It seems from an unbiased, sports-loving, global perspective, fans around the world should be very excited by the prospects ahead for LeBron and the sport they love - LeBron is changing how basketball is played to the core.

I believe as a kid LeBron was encouraged to be the world's greatest basketball player... not greatest Cavalier... not greatest Akronite. That he was all those things for seven years here is truly a miracle - I know fans have really enjoyed King James' rule, so far.

Wherever LeBron plays basketball he will be amazing, and elevate the sport of basketball - and professional sports - and he's "still my dude", as an Akron fan described him in sad but still-loving reaction to his moving to the Heat.

Having lived in Miami Beach, and seeing how Madonna was able to play Queen status there, I know King James will have a great town at his feet and love it. So long as he stays out of trouble - doesn't crash a $50 million yacht - he should be in heaven, and well positioned to live the life of a King.

I'm sure his fans, new and old, will not let him sit on a throne long if he does not take to the heat well... perhaps even share his court.

And, as the latest Madonna of the crazy Miami celebrity court, LeBron must juggle a whole new level of community dysfunction ahead... and I wish him well with that.

After a few years surrounded by Miami vice, we may see LeBron hanging around his Akron haunts frequently in the future... I don't think a guy like that can ever really leave his home, and Miami is not a place for an Akronite to retire.

Best wishes with the Heat, LeBron, and many happy returns!

We'll leave a light on for you.

LeBron James promoting voting at a Russell Simmons Get Out The Vote Rally in Cleveland Ohio

thank you, norm

I'm listening to WCPN this morning and I am horrified at what i am hearing. I have to say, I am embarrassed listening to Cleveland and Cleveland sports fans respond to this situation.
LeBron is an ambitious, highly talented young man. Why can't we just wish him well? Why can't we appreciate and support our players? This reminds me of the unfortunate manner in which we dealt with the Brown's player who contracted staph - a very potentially dangerous disease. Our behavior is typical of the Cleveland sports scene - negative, vicious and non-supportive. Bad sportmenship. 
A speaker made a comment about LeBron's not having an active father participating in his life and paralled that to his decision - saying LeBron didn't have proper fatherly influence. That is is indicative of this lowbrow mentality. How dare he?

No wonder he left. No wonder I've remained a Steeler fan.

This is the owners against the players

It is clear this is a case of a bunch of rich white assholes who own sports teams trying to maintain slavery rights over mostly black uppity players. For Gilbert to talk of our son in this way - coming from where he comes from, being the lowlife he is - he needs to be punished!

I say boycott all professional sports in Cleveland until Gilbert is no longer owner of the Cavs - he can keep his shitty little granny raping casino.

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" he can keep his shitty little granny raping casino"


I think you are hitting the nail on the head - but what is it about the fans - why are they so fucking nasty all the time? No wonder no one stays here.

I just heard "National Public Radio" is changing its name to "NPR", effectively shedding the "National" and the "Public". hmmmmmmm.....

LeBron didn't leave NEO - he left Gilbert

LeBron didn't leave NEO - he left Gilbert... Gilbertopia... the immoral direction this community has taken.

Smart man (LeBron, I mean... not Gilbert).

Sometimes, slaves run free, and places like Miami take in runaway slaves...

Ya winn some and ya lose more, Gilbert. That's the gambling business... that's sports, sport.

You are the one we hate.

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may be true

but the fans' attitudes suck.

and we let Gilbert etal get away with what they do....

Mouthpiece of the Foundation

Public radio and TV (and all things public) turned to crap under Reagan and local public radio and TV sold out completely when they became tenants of the Cleveland Foundation at the "Ideacenter" - I learned their priorities trying to get them to cover lead poisoning... and learned they don't really care about the "public". No more donations to them...

Sounds like now they are becoming just another drive-time freakshow, produced by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

They gotta love Gilbert.... they work for him now!

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unreal non-NEO Bad Karma 1: Dan Gilbert's open letter to fans

Dan Gilbert's open letter to fans: James' decision a 'cowardly betrayal' and owner promises a title before Heat

Published: Thursday, July 08, 2010, 11:34 PM     Updated: Friday, July 09, 2010, 8:15 AM
Plain Dealer staff and wire reports Plain Dealer staff and wire reports

Late Thursday night, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert issued the following statement on LeBron James' departure from the franchise.

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 homegrown "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.

Just watch.

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...

Dan Gilbert

Majority Owner

Cleveland Cavaliers

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unreal non-NEO Bad Karma 2: Dan Gilbert says LeBron James 'quit'

Dan Gilbert says LeBron James 'quit' during the playoffs

Published: Friday, July 09, 2010, 6:18 AM     Updated: Friday, July 09, 2010, 8:57 AM
Associated Press sports staff Associated Press sports staff

CLEVELAND - Angered and betrayed by LeBron James' decision to leave for Miami, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert accused the NBA's MVP of quitting during the playoffs.

Gilbert, who posted a letter to Cavs fans on the team's website shortly after James announced his plans to sign with the Heat, told The Associated Press late Thursday night that it's "accountability time" for James.

"He has gotten a free pass," Gilbert said in a phone interview with The AP. "People have covered up for (James) for way too long. Tonight we saw who he really is."

Gilbert feels James quit on the Cavs during their second-round series against the Boston Celtics, who rallied from a 2-1 deficit to eliminate Cleveland.

"He quit," Gilbert said. "Not just in Game 5, but in Games 2, 4 and 6. Watch the tape. The Boston series was unlike anything in the history of sports for a superstar."

The Cavaliers were beaten by 32 points in Game 5. During the game, James appeared distracted and uninterested, often glaring at Cleveland's coaches as the Cavs tried to foul to get back into the game in the second half. James also made some puzzling postgame comments, saying he had "spoiled" people with his play over seven seasons.

Gilbert also said he believes James quit on the Cavs in Game 6 of their series in 2009 against Orlando.

"Go back and look at the tape," he said. "How many shots did he take?"

Gilbert, who has owned the Cavs for five years, said he was most disappointed by James' behavior in the months leading up to the superstar's announcement that he is going to Miami to play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Gilbert said James never returned a single phone message or text since the end of the season and that the Cavs were not informed of James' decision until he went on the air.

Gilbert said Rich Paul, one of James' business partners, called the Cavs moments before the announcement.

"LeBron James needs to go to another team with two superstars already so he can win a championship," Gilbert said. "We will win a championship before (the Heat) do."

Gilbert said he now wishes he had done some things differently with James, who spent seven seasons with the Cavs.

"It's not about him leaving," Gilbert said. "It's the disrespect. It's time for people to hold these athletes accountable for their actions. Is this the way you raise your children? I've been holding this all in for a long time."

In Miami, Wade said he was stunned by Gilbert's comments.

"I think I'm happy that I have the owner that I have here in Miami," Wade told The Associated Press late Thursday night. "I'm happy Micky Arison is my owner. I couldn't believe it. I'm speechless. It's very unfortunate and I think it makes LeBron that much better about his decision.

"We knew 'Bron would take some backlash," Wade added in his interview with AP. "I told him he's a strong man for it."

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