Friday, May 14, 2010

IF THEY DIDN'T GIVE UP THEY CERTAINLY GAVE OUT: Michael Wilbon on LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers:
It's possible no athlete has ever come into the professional ranks with so much expected of him. In this case, the assignment was essentially to save his home town, to win with a team that had never won, in a city whose teams haven't won in decades. Elway, as smothered as he was in Denver in the early years, didn't grow up in the Rockies feeling obliged. Chicagoans paid attention to Michael Jordan only after he started winning.
At least Wayne Gretzky won four Stanley Cups in Edmonton before leaving.

added: Bill Simmons. "I always thought his ceiling looked like this: Jordan's DNA crossed with Magic's DNA crossed with Bo Jackson. Nope. Take the Jordan DNA out. Have to. Jordan was a ruthless mother******. Jordan was a killer. Jordan didn't care if his teammates despised him. Jordan never, ever, not in a million years, would have allowed his team to quit in the final two minutes of last night's game like LeBron did. His teammates feared him, loathed him, revered him and played accordingly.... [L]ast night, LeBron's DNA finally made sense to me. Throw Jordan out. Throw Magic out, too, except for the 'controls sections of a game with passing/rebounding' part. Keep Bo. Now, add this guy ... Julius Erving. I will explain."


  1. Anonymous11:20 AM

    I'm not convinced James is going anywhere. Knicks are still dysfunctional, I don't see him as a crony of Kobe and the Bulls are in a head coach search.

  2. I love the Nets for this. They've got a really, really good center with Brook Lopez (19 and 9, 81% FT this season). They've got Courtney Lee, a great shooter who started on a Finals team (09 Magic). They've got Devin Harris, a point guard who was a big-time part of a Finals team (06 Mavs). If they get the number one pick, draft Wall and trade Harris for another body (Troy Murphy, maybe). If they don't get the number one pick, then take Favors or Johnson and you have another forward to finish the easy dunks LeBron gets you. And the Nets have so much cap space, they can easily add LBJ and another big-time free agent. Plus you've got Jay-Z, the Russian billionaire owner and his choice of coach. All in all, not a bad deal.

    In regards to Chicago, I think the coaching search is less of a big deal than walking past the Jordan statue everyday on the way to work. But hey, maybe that's motivation for him, who really knows.

  3. Anonymous11:51 AM

    Interesting. I hadn't considered the Nets, but you make a convincing case (I admit complete failure on not thinking of them, kind of like only remembering the Sox and Yankees and not remembering the Cubs and Mets).

  4. Fred App2:51 PM

    Not sure why LeBron would go to the Knicks. In what universe do they have a better chance to win a title than Cleveland? Which new teammate on the Knicks would be an improvement over LeBron's current teammates?

    As a lifelong Knick fan, I'm not even sure I want LeBron to come to New York. Oh, hell yeah, he's a great player. And would make our team an instant contender. But it seems so much like a gun for hire that it almost take the fun out of rooting. And we'll be expected to win. If we do, it will be, "OK, good, check that one off the list." And if we don't, it'll be even worse than it is now.

  5. Emily3:47 PM

    I think the Knicks rumors started along with those that said LBJ would get a huge bonus from his sponsors if he went to a large market. The Knicks might suck (& I say this as a fan), but market/ad sales/poterntial fan base-wise, they still make money.
    The Nets would be interesting. They finally started work on the new stadium, but no idea how long until the Nets make the move to Brooklyn.

  6. piledhighanddeep4:30 PM

    Please, people. Lebron is all we've got in Cleveland right now. Leave Lebron Alone!

    Geez. We just lost the damn series last night. Go ahead, keep kicking us while we're down.

  7. Andrew4:37 PM

    The Nets will move to the Prudential Center in Newark for the next two seasons and then expect to move to Brooklyn.

    Was it the Nets who left themselves with a lot of cap space to make a play for LeBron this year?

  8. Adam C.4:49 PM

    So, we should probably not mention Earnest Byner or Edgar Renteria right now?

  9. calliekl5:04 PM

    I actually saw people on ESPN this morning saying that it wasn't LeBron who quit, it was his lack of supporting cast that let him down. Please. He quit, so everyone else quit, and they could've put the local middle school girls team out there in the last 4 minutes, and the girls would've played a better game than the Cav's did. And what does LBJ do? Marches off the court, pulls off his jersey, and promptly forgets Cleveland ever existed. The Celtics might have quit many times over the season, but even they woke up for the playoffs.

    And know what? None of this matters. GO BRUINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Leslie C.11:46 PM

    Earnest Byner? BRUTAL!

  11. Wilbon made a lot of sense until he compared LeBron to Cal Ripken, as if to demonstrate how overrated the latter is.

    I think Simmons is correct that Chicago makes the most sense for LeBron, who hinted as much when he said he wouldn't wear 23 next season. The LeBron Bulls, assuming a not-stupid coach and no major injuries, win the next three titles.

  12. calliekl7:57 AM


  13. Except that Ripken grew up in Aberdeen, Md. It was the same dynamic in terms of local boy as savior, even if Ripken didn't quite have the same career potential as James.

  14. Adam C.2:01 PM

    Sorry, Boston fans -- the Sports Gods giveth...and the Bruins choketh. LET'S GO FLYERS! (clap clap clapclapclap!)

  15. "The LeBron Bulls, assuming a not-stupid coach and no major injuries, win the next three titles."

    But what if they hire John Calipari instead?

  16. But the Orioles were already good before Ripken got there (they were the most consistently successful team of the 1970s), and actually fell off the table after Ripken's first MVP season.