Friday, July 9, 2010

The End Has Come (Finally)

The Lebroncalypse has finally happened. The Cavs are sunk, while their owner popped a gasket. The Knicks are still blindly optimistic. The Bulls are, one Carlos Boozer better. And the Nets still have an owner whose pockets are lined with gold. While the Heat, have overnight become a title favorite for the foreseeable future.

This decision for Lebron was very tough. To stay at home, or to move onto greener, or sandier pastures. He chose the sand. I think the 2008 Olympic experience had done wonders for him with Dwanye Wade and Chris Bosh. When those 2 had signed with the Heat, it looked almost certain Lebron was destined for South Beach. And, he was, making ESPN 1 for 4 this free agency period in guessing where players will go (for the record, Chris Broussard thought D-Wade was going to the Bulls). But, now that the apocalypse in NBA terms has happened, what impact has it left on the NBA?

In Miami, boy has it made things different. They are now, without a shadow of a doubt the best team in the Eastern Conference. They are very much in line for a chance at the Lakers in the Finals next year. Oddly enough, Erik Spoelstra, the current coach, may be on his way out for no good reason, other than to have Pat Riley coach once again. Isn´t this the 3rd time he´s done this? Anyway, he´s built a dynasty in the matter of 2 nights, and is well on his way to bringing the Larry O´Brien trophy to the hungry sports audience of Miami.

In Cleveland, he himself has thrown the franchise into disarray. He´s sent the owner down a bad road to calling him out for numerous things, saying "He quit. Not just in game 5, but in games 2,4 and 6. Watch the tape." Whoa buddy. Dan Gilbert, you just called out one of the best players in the NBA for quitting. How noble of you. He went onto say "LeBron James needs to go to another team with two superstars already so he can win a championship..." That´s true, but he needs to win championships to expand his brand across the world. Sure, it will tarnish his legacy a bit, but that hasn´t stopped Brett Favre from the shtick he´s been pulling for the past 3 summers, right? Sure, these are 2 different cases, but Lebron did what he wanted to do, go to a place where he can win right away. I thought he should have stayed with the Cavs, but if they couldn´t provide what he wanted, then he had the right to leave, even if it was "betrayal". Mr. Gilbert finished his unrecognized by the NBA statement by saying (Caps not added in by me), "I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER 'KING' WINS ONE." Yeah, and Cleveland hasn´t been suffering for the past 62 years, so keep your guarantees to yourself.

For the Knicks, Bulls, and Nets, they probably feel sad that they couldn´t get one of the big 3 in the free agent crop, but have each done great jobs trying to get better without them. The Knicks have Amare, Bulls have Boozer, and the Nets got a great player in Derrick Favors. Yeah, you may not win a title for 6 years, but at least, for the Knicks and Nets, you´re not a laughing stock anymore. And don´t forget Chris Berman´s classic phrase "That´s why the play the games."

To conclude, the NBA landscape has changed dramatically in the past 2 nights, with ESPN and the Miami Heat reaping the benefits. Lebron has done what he had to do to expand his brand, and get closer to winning championships. And, that´s it. Cleveland may feel betrayed, but that is what sports are about with free agency. The Cavs did all they could, but the hometown boy has left for the sands of South Beach. While Cleveland´s sports misery continues, Miami´s may be wiped out in a matter of the tip of the new season, with the new, bigger, and possible better, Big 3.

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