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LeBron is No Longer Cleveland’s King

July 8, 2010

The biggest story towards the end of the NBA season was not who would win the championship but where LeBron James would play next season.  ESPN ran story upon story of whether King James would stay in Cleveland or move on in search of a title in Chicago or greater fame in New York City.  Plans were then released, then shelved, that he would go on recruiting stops to each of the interested cities. 

All of the talk about a very good player who had only reached the NBA Finals once and had zero rings was starting to get annoying.  Then it was revealed that LeBron would make his selection public on a 1 hour special to be televised on ESPN at 9:00 p.m. on July 8th.  Some people said that Cleveland had the best chance to keep him while others, including Stephen A. Smith said James was packing his bags for sunny Miami. 

I made a valiant effort not to be watching ESPN at 9 o’clock but as the time for the announcement crept nearer I found myself changing the channel and waiting for the big news.  The announcement was to be made at a Boys & Girls Club in Greenwich, CT with Jim Gray hosting the festivities.  The two would sit in front of two stands packed with kids and the plan was for Gray to ask some hard-hitting questions before popping the big one.

As LeBron took his place opposite Gray he looked nervous and uncomfortable.  I felt bad for him for about a second until I remembered him and his posse has set up this entire circus.  Jim Gray began to questions LeBron and it became even more awkward. 

Gray: “What’s new? What’s been going on with you this whole summer?”

James: “Man, this whole free agency process, looking forward to it.”

Really? Looking forward to it? It’s going to be over in about 5 minutes. Gray continues by inquiring if James wanted to sleep on his decision a little longer and if he was still a nail biter. The entire thing felt contrived (because it was) and James looked like he wanted to be anywhere but in a chair opposite Gray.

The moment eventually arrived where he announced he was heading to South Beach to play for the Miami Heat. I think one kid in the crowd clapped while the others remained silent.  I imagine that as soon as he spoke those words the fans in Clevelands reached for their lighters to torch their LeBron gear that they had collected over the prior 7 years.  With the big news public I switched the channel before ESPN”s crack team of NBA analyst could break down James’ decision.  

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