King James Back To Cleveland – As It Should Be

LeBron James, arguably the most talented player on the court today, maybe even any day, announced his return July 11 to the Cleveland Cavaliers. This is a good move, for more reasons than one. The way he did it this time is pure class. Let him tell the story (as told to Lee Jenkins at Sports Illustrated). It is well-worth reading.

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LeBron James Returns To Cleveland
LeBron James (Sports Illustrated photo)

Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.

I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life.  I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.

I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Erik Spoelstra didn’t get along. … He and Riles didn’t get along. … The Heat couldn’t put the right team together. That’s absolutely not true.

I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work.

When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.

LeBron James Cleveland Cavalier
Photo: kingjames Instragram

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough. The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?

I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Walters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.

But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.

In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.

I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.

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Best of luck, LeBron. It will definitely be a challenge, but you are the man for the job.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

 

Lakers or Clippers? Promises To Be A Wild NBA Year In Los Angeles

The NBA-owned New Orleans Hornets block of the Chris Paul trade to the Lakers was followed, two days later, with CP3 heading to Los Angeles anyway. To the Clippers.

Those particular moves started a lot of talk, not just the conspiracy theory kind, but because the Purple & Gold got rid of Lamar Odom and the Clippers also added vets Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler and Reggie Evans to play alongside of Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin.

And while the exhibition on Monday night was just that, an exhibition game, it did show that the Clippers, who won 114-95, may have what it takes to be a contending team in the Western Conference.


Considering the depth that the Lakers lost and the depth the Clippers gained the City of Angeles may not be a one-basketball-team town anymore. Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum and company will definitely have to work at staying in the top spot.

The Clippers do have a lot to prove. Since moving to sunny Southern California 17 years ago they have advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs just once while the Lakers own 16 NBA titles, 2 in the last 3 years.

It definitely promises to be fun in Los Angeles basketball land this year.

Over For Now.

Main Street One

Classic TV ad – Larry Bird vs Michael Jordan

One of the greatest ads ever shown on television.

NBA All Stars Larry Bird and Michael Jordan, where Bird challenges Jordan to a game of H-O-R-S-E with the winner eating Jordan’s McDonald’s meal and the loser watching.

Not much else to say, other than it is fun to watch.


Over For Now.

Main Street One

11 Year Old Hoops Phenomenon

You have to see this video to believe it.

It is not something easily described to another.

Here is an 11 year old who is able to do things with a basketball that defies anything.

His dribbling of two basketballs at the same time and between legs is, for lack of a better word, superb.

Or how about tossing tennis balls back and forth with his dad while dribbling.

And then there is his ouside shot.

No telling where in the NBA this hoopster will play. But, play he will.

Sit back for three minutes and enjoy the vigor and talent of youth.


Over For Now.

Main Street One