LeLoyalty

by July 10, 2006
10

By Sam Rubenstein

Cavs fans were calm, cool, and collected during all the specualtion about LeBron skipping town to play in front of sophistimicated big city types. Wait a minute… no they weren’t. They were paranoid, defensive, personally offended, you name it. Can you blame them?

LeBron's townThey call LeBron The Chosen One, and even if people go too far with the religious symbolism of a guy who puts a ball in a hoop for a living, there are lots of biblical parallels. For the young king – who is the greatest draft prospect ever when you consider his draft day age and potential – to be available in the year when his home state team is picking first, you have to feel that some greater destiny was involved. If he were to go against that and run to some big market, it would be like going door to door and punching every person in the state of Ohio in the face.

Cleveland in particular, is the most tortured sports city in the USA. The Big Red Machine had their baseball dynasty, and the Chris Sabo team pulled off one of the biggest upsets ever by beating the Bash Brothers. Cleveland’s history has been one disaster after another. This story gets told every few years, and ABC went out of their way to show it as the Cavs were getting eliminated from the playoffs, but let’s go through it again.

The Cavs had all that talent with players like Daugherty, Price, and Nance, but all we remember is Jordan’s shot and Craig Ehlo. The Browns suffered two of the worst losses ever in the AFC championship game, and finally won a championship after the team was relocated in Baltimore. The Indians… yikes. Major League was a movie, the ultmate happy ending sports fairy tale and they didn’t even win the World Series there. They got to the ALCS and lost to the White Sox. If you go back and watch Major League 2 you’ll see this is true. Anyways, the Indians got to two World Series in the 90’s, and had a ridiculous core of home grown young talent. Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, Jim Thome, Kenny Lofton. Basically each one of those guys took turns leaving for the money, stopping that budding dynasty cold.

What separates LeBron from most of the other once-in-a-lifetime young phenoms that left an organization behind with their best years ahead of them is that LeBron is from the state where his home team plays. If he were to stab his homestate in the back, he would go from being the savior to the worst kind of villain. Some other guys in that young phenom category that stabbed their fans in the back include Shaq, Barry Bonds, A-Rod, and Griffey, but none of them had ties to the teams they played for other than being drafted by them.

This entire post is just a warm-up to the main feature blog. Check out Cavalier Attitude for some fan perspective. And when I say fan perspective, I mean the diary of a madman that’s calling out anyone and everyone that even hinted at LeBron leaving. You can feel the venom flowing and it tastes delicious.

I’m happy that LeBron is staying put. Sure, he made the locals sweat things out a bit, and he’s still got this renegotiating and shorter deal thing happening, but that’s just good drama baby.