After it was all said and done, was anyone really surprised that LeBron James went to play for the Miami Heat? After the NBA announced the salary cap lift of $2 million and Chris Bosh announced his signing (and Dwayne Wade his re-signing), didn’t everyone feel that LeBron James would make it a perfect triangle for the Heat? On Thursday evening, in a Boys & Girls Club in Greenwich, Connecticut, LeBron James made the announcement that many have been waiting to hear for over a week. Certainly there was some major disappointment for the New Jersey Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers, but Knicks fans, who were hoping for some major help for Amare Stoudemire, had to have been sorely disappointed due to some rumors that LeBron James might actually end up in New York. But the greatest disappointment had to be in Cleveland, where James has played his first seven seasons in the NBA.
In making The Decision, Lebron James told ESPN that it was “tough” but he was going to take his “talents to South Beach.” The actual announcement seemed anti-climactic in the hour ESPN reserved for the corporate-sponsored “The Decision,” especially after all the rumors and hyped run-up to The Decision itself. In fact, it looked like a visual genuflection to pomposity and self-aggrandizing media manipulation. According to Tara Sullivan at The Record, that was exactly what it was. She described The Decision as a “sordid, drawn out saga.”
Sullivan believes that choosing Miami over New York and Cleveland, especially in the self-important way in which it was presented, would not be seen as one of LeBron’s more shining career moments. She said it would be recalled with “disgust.”
“Voices dripping with disgust will recall,” she predicts, “being held captive by LeBronathon 2010, by LeBronapalooza, by MeBron, by LeGone. King James turned his subjects into fools. The perception James built across his first seven NBA seasons has been altered for good, his likable, smiling hometown hero face greeted forevermore with one single thought.
There is a possibility that she could be correct in that assessment. If the triad of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwayne Wade do not produce the winning combination that James emphasized was his chief motivation for choosing the Miami Heat, then history might not look too kindly on James’ decision. It is certain The Decision will not be looked kindly upon by James fans-turned-haters in Cleveland and New York.
But you can’t blame a guy for wanting to add championship trophies to his legacy, can you? Joining forces with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade and the rest of the Miami Heat certainly seems like an almost certain path to championships for years to come. Some might think he made a bad decision but that could simply be disappointment, envy, or frustration being given voice. And perhaps it wasn’t the decision that LeBron James made concerning what team he would play for in the coming seasons that inspired antagonism so much as the decision to make “The Decision” such a seemingly self-promoting spectacle.
In the interest of fairness, it is doubtful that LeBron James and Miami Heat fans see “The Decision” that way at all…
The following Associated Press video captures Lebron James’ decision as he announced he would play for Miami on ESPN.
ESPN/ Associated Press via YouTube.com
The Record via DeseretSun.com