So it looks like LeBron James will be donning a Cavs jersey after all. At first, I lost all respect for him. Then I read his letter and I can see where he’s coming from. He wanted to go home, and give hope to those in Ohio who have none. He’s also forgiven those who have hurt him in the past, which include Cavs’ owner Dan Gilbert, and the fans of Ohio. If you recall, Gilbert wrote a scathing letter disrespecting James for a decision that James made. A decision that was rightfully James’s. And the Cavs just took that letter off their website a couple of days ago. Then, the fans burned James’s jersey in the streets and took down all the billboards that had him on it. Gilbert also vowed to win a championship before James. We all know how that went.
Then came this year’s free agency. James was expected to resign with the Heat right away, but instead, he dragged the process out for 11 days, stranding the Heat in what they could do. Then he left. I read his letter to Sports Illustrated, and I have to admit, I respect him. At first, when I heard the news, I didn’t know how he could make this decision. I would have rather had him go anywhere else except Cleveland. But I’ve accepted it, turns out that James is a bigger man (literally and figuratively) than me. I don’t think I would have been able to go back after what happened. I give him tons of credit.
But this one decision creates a domino affect for the rest of free agency. You’ve already seen it, where Jeremy Lin was shipped off to LA, and then Carmelo Anthony is now only interested in Chicago or New York (ironic). Houston is making room for Chris Bosh (one of my favorite players), and Dallas now might not get Chandler Parsons. Also, Andrew Wiggins might get traded for Kevin Love, and there will be a new big 3 that the NBA has to deal with. It’s just a chain reaction that all starts with James.
The person I should feel bad for is Dwyane Wade. I don’t really like him, but he gets the short end of the stick. What happens to him now? I guess he gets his max money, but will be stuck in the middle of the pack in the Eastern Conference, and that’s thinking positively. I just hope Miami doesn’t do him dirty and still ask him to take a pay cut.
Again, I respect James’s decision. Am I going to root for him? Probably not. I’ve been a James supporter since the beginning. So many countless hours defending him against everyone that I know. But I don’t think I will follow him to Cleveland. This is where I stop. And so I must choose a team to root for again. The Knicks, since I’m from New York? I can’t put my belief in Carmelo Anthony, no matter how hard I try. Portland behind Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge, along with with GM Neil Oshley? The Boston Celtics, behind Danny Ainge, coach Brad Stevens, and whoever is on the roster? The Clippers, who will hopefully get free from Donald Sterling’s grip? The Spurs, who play the purest form of basketball, but also just beat the Heat? The Warriors, who as fun as they are to watch, I just can’t get into anyone else besides Stephen Curry? The Suns?
I think I”ll start a new leaf but also with that “outcast” pick and start supporting the Toronto Raptors, who have a great fan base, a bright future with Kyle Lowry and Demar Derozan, a good GM in Masai Ujiri, and most importantly, the most recognizable ambassador in Drake. That’s the LeBron effect on me. I will start rooting for the Toronto Raptors.