So Lebron James has gone back home to Cleveland and as to be expected everyone has an opinion, well i’m here to tell you some of those opinions are just plain wrong, case in point.
- He owed it to Cleveland. Wrong, James owed nothing to Cleveland. Let’s play in the real world for a second and call the NBA for what it is, a multibillion dollar business, that billion with a B. The Cavaliers and the City of Cleveland profited royally off of James during his 7 years there. The Cavs didn’t say hey Lebron you’re making us so much money here’s some stock options. Cleveland didn’t say hey Lebron you’re doing so much for the local economy here’s a tax break. So when Lebron had to make a business decision for his business, which happens to be himself, he owed it no one but himself to make the choice he considered best for himself. The fact that he felt the pull of home and decided to go back is nice and all but it wasn’t because he owed Cleveland and especially the Cavaliers and their owner Dan Gilbert anything.
- Speaking of Gilbert, media people are saying James’ choice to go home rights the original “Decision” debacle. Wrong, sure the “Decision” came off as a bit narcissistic but it wasn’t a bad thing, the program did after all raise more than $2 million for various Boys & Girls Clubs, and nearly half a million dollars was sent to clubs in Northeast Ohio, helping countless number of children and young adults. Gilbert on the other hand issued a public statement, up on the Cavs website till last week by the way, blasting James that was both unprofessional and immature and helped no one but himself and his ego.
- He should have never left in the first place, he should have been loyal to Cavs and their fans. Wrong, there is no such thing as loyalty in sports and an athlete who is a free agent has just much right as the average everyday person to leave his place of employment when a better deal presents itself. It’s ludicrous to think that in a country where half of the marriages end up in divorce and cheating goes on in some percentage of the half that don’t, we expect pro athletes to remain true to a franchise they had no say in going to in the first place, you know that draft thing, and the fans who cheer for them when things are going great but wait on hold two hours to tell the local radio sports talk show host how much they suck when things go bad. Look in New York the Mets traded Tom Seaver, the Knicks traded Walt Frazier and Patrick Ewing, the Giants cut Phil Simms, the Jets traded Joe Namath, hell even the Yankees traded Babe Ruth. For sports owners and some fans loyalty lasts only as long as the athlete is productive and then it’s next man up.
- He was being selfish saying he wants a max contract. Wrong, remember that capital B we talked about before, well then why do we think an athlete with a very limited number of max potential earning years should ever take less money in those years. So the billionaire owners can avoid paying a luxury tax they themselves created? So players of lesser value can be paid to play with them? Now I’m not an economic major but if there is a max salary then that means the market value of a player like James has already been set. The market value of other players is then set by the owners and the contracts they offer them. Don’t blame James and other max players if owners drive up the salaries of non max players with contracts that don’t make any sense and then impose a salary cap and luxury tax because they can’t figure out how to run their business with-in a financially sound budget without it.
In the end I’m happy for James he owed no one anything, he got paid, far less than what his real market value is to the City of Cleveland and the Cavaliers by the way, he went with his heart and went home, but most importantly he made the decision that he felt was best for his business both now and in the future. Time will tell if it was the right one.