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Calm, cool, dignified = Comic Sans?
July 9, 2010 12:44 AM   Subscribe

As the City of Cleveland reacts badly to the end result of a long, drawn out process, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert takes matters into his own hands, flipping out on the his team's website, penning his screed in everyone's favorite font.

I'm not a fan of Twitter, but Gilbert has singlehandedly thrust Comic Sans into the spotlight it so richly deserves. As always, Freedarko is on the scene.
posted by Ghidorah (189 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
The "letter" is "also" a "candidate" for unnecessaryquotes.com
posted by lovetragedy at 12:56 AM on July 9, 2010 [17 favorites]


This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

<3 U CARLES
posted by dhammond at 12:58 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


"They can have mixed emotions, of course," said James.
Er, no, doesn't sound mixed to me.

I've never understood why people place so much store by professional athletes or the teams that employ them. These people are by and large in it for the money and the fame. As we should have learned many times over, the individual team members and the entire team franchise itself will desert a city if it's in their interests to do so.
posted by 1adam12 at 1:02 AM on July 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


"I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE"

You can take it to the bank.


Um, yeah. Good luck with that.
posted by davejay at 1:06 AM on July 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


That's an awful lot of vitriol directed at a guy for changing jobs.
posted by Mitheral at 1:09 AM on July 9, 2010 [13 favorites]


Oh my GOSH! I had heard he had made an announcement but no one told me about the Comic Sans. My giggles, they cannot be stifled.

However... it's on a professional white background!
posted by cavalier at 1:12 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.

I see what you did there Danny boy...
posted by garius at 1:40 AM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


That's an awful lot of vitriol directed at a guy for changing jobs.

People are weird when they stop being customers and start being fan[boy]s. Imagine what you'd hear if Steve Jobs took a top spot at Microsoft so he could help Microsoft beat Apple and other competitors. I bet some people would actually kill themselves or try to kill Jobs.
posted by pracowity at 1:47 AM on July 9, 2010 [17 favorites]


As a Knicks fan this whole arc has been grating for a couple of years now. Thankfully I'm EST +5 hours so got to sleep through the culmination and wake up to confirmation of what I'd known was going to happen for the past few days.

Donnie Walsh (Knicks GM) has had a bunch of alternative plans running and although I'll be very sad to see David Lee depart NY, the potential of having Randolph, Turiaf & Azubuike hooking up with Amar'e, Chandler, Gallo, Billy Walker & Toney Douglas looks good to my eyes. Then again, after the last decade, how could it not improve? Still around $10M in cap space left & Eddy Curry's expiring contract to work with.

What's the betting that the first game in October is Miami @ The Garden?
posted by i_cola at 2:04 AM on July 9, 2010


Well that was a measured response.
posted by Life at Boulton Wynfevers at 2:09 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unless this approaches Farve-going-to-the-Vikings proportions I have hard time accepting the majority owner's assessment of James' departure as a "betrayal".
posted by quadog at 2:12 AM on July 9, 2010


I just read the 'reacts' link. Men weeping at the bar like their wives just left them.

But you know what might be weirder? This post is about fucking font selection.
posted by pracowity at 2:20 AM on July 9, 2010 [13 favorites]


That open letter is superexcellent.

I logged into a friend's Facebook account earlier in part just to see Cavs fan reactions. It was a little like stepping in front of an uncontainable firehose of liquid spleen.
posted by hat at 2:32 AM on July 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Where is the floral border? WHY IS THERE NO CLIP ART?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:32 AM on July 9, 2010 [17 favorites]


Liquid Spleen is a product I would buy. "Now with Vitriol!"
posted by pracowity at 2:37 AM on July 9, 2010 [30 favorites]


James to Miami in case anyone just woke up and wants to know w/o clicking.
posted by mlis at 2:40 AM on July 9, 2010


What did he do on his TV special? That part of the thing just seems weird.

Anyway, I find the crazy levels of passion and feelings of betrayal pretty ridiculous. Who cares if the guy gets to make more money somewhere else?
posted by delmoi at 2:49 AM on July 9, 2010


I don't really care much for sports, except boxing (weirdly), so this kind of thing would typically be difficult for me to grasp--the feelings of loyalty and betrayal fans feel toward their sports heroes. But I saw Big Fan recently (written and directed by the same guy who wrote The Wrestler and starring Patton Oswaldt). I loved it, and it helped put this sort of meltdown in perspective for me. I've thought of sports as a substitute for tribal warfare--which I'd assume is just one of those things our species is wired for--so a controlled, sublimated version is progress, I guess.

Big Fan helped make all of this less abstract for me, however, and humanized the kinds of people who take sports so seriously. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the film made the anger of that public statement more relatable to me now than it might have been before. I need only reflect on my (very serious) outrage when Star Trek: TNG was cancelled. Or that two-year period where I listened to nothing but Bob Dylan records.
Bob's a good reference point for other hippie-nerds like me who never got terribly excited about sports. I mean, when Dylan went electric, a folkie fan famously called him "Judas." Similar thing, I think.
posted by apis mellifera at 2:51 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


What did he do on his TV special? That part of the thing just seems weird.

His agent thought it would be exciting and raise his profile. All of the advertisers during the special were companies that LeBron has endorsement deals with. All of the money spent on ads for the show were donated to the Boys' and Girls' Club where they filmed it. It's nice they donated the money ($3 mill?), but way sucky grandstanding.

Still the owner's letter takes the cake. I felt like I was reading a Geocities' page from 1998.
posted by bluefly at 3:01 AM on July 9, 2010


Can someone help me understand why anyone thought he'd be staying in Cleveland? He got a Twitter account, did all kinds of self-promotion and went to a certain amount of trouble to create drama in the announcement -- just in theatrical terms, wouldn't it have been anti-climactic if he did stay in Cleveland? People don't go to that kind of trouble and then announce they're doing the same thing they did last year.

I don't know much about this but it seems like does gazillionaire athlete stay in Cleveland or move to more glamorous place seems like a question with a pretty predictable outcome. Is this just people deluding themselves about their fellow man or something?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:12 AM on July 9, 2010


People in Cleveland thought he'd be staying in Cleveland -- and that it would be a big deal to announce that he is staying in Cleveland -- because that's how fans think: he loves us because we love him, he's loyal to us because we're loyal to him, we're like family, etc. This stuff blinds them to the fact that they had to pay him millions of dollars a year -- and figuratively, if perhaps not literally, suck his dick every day -- to keep him in Cleveland.
posted by pracowity at 3:40 AM on July 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


I have a friend from Shaker Heights, and this is how she explained it to me, basically:

Lebron will stay in Cleveland because he cares about stuff other than fame and money. Other players, primary example being Kobe Bryant, are jerks. And Lebron is not a jerk, so he'll stay. Cleveland loves him. Needs him. And he knows that and he'll stay.

She's somewhere in the Alaskan wilderness right now, and she won't be happy when she gets back to civilization. It seemed to boil down to an intense hatred of Kobe Bryant. I bet Kobe's psyched not to be the bad guy this season.
posted by papayaninja at 3:41 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I bet Kobe's thinking he isn't going to get another ring.
posted by pracowity at 3:45 AM on July 9, 2010


I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK!
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:48 AM on July 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


Dear Sports Fans,

Your favorite "team" is a corporation, and does not care about you. Its employees are not aware that you exist as an individual. Please consider focusing your energies elsewhere.

Sincerely,
Me
posted by Ratio at 4:03 AM on July 9, 2010 [52 favorites]


Might be worth reading this post by Christine Borne (a lifelong Clevelander):
What it boils down to is that the Lebron saga is such a classic manifestation of our regional character, a moment so infused with hope and fear and outrage and the most quintessential of Cleveland emotions — resentment — that I just can’t fault anyone for obsessing over it. We need to occupy ourselves with these trivialities, if only to place ourselves in the vast scheme of things — and keep ourselves out of trouble.
posted by sciurus at 4:12 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This. The very last comment in the interview exemplifies the mystical thinking that sports fans can become wrapped in.

/Jordanist
posted by zerobyproxy at 4:14 AM on July 9, 2010


If fans are customers, they are important customers with strong/weird senses of brand loyalty, and a business would be stupid to "not care" about them.
posted by fleacircus at 4:18 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I grew up in that area, and it suffers from an inferiority complex. The area is hurting in many ways but fans could always brag about a local boy who they thought loved them.
posted by etaoin at 4:22 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Personally, I was pretty thrilled that he wasn't coming to Chicago (as a fan, even though I'm in Japan, I still think of someone coming to the team or going, as if I was there, it's odd, I know) mostly because of this kind of grandstanding. On the other hand, Wade and Bosh essentially teasing Chicago to get more footage for their free-agency documentary (do people actually watch these? Has anyone actually watched Kobe Doin' Work?) pissed me off to no end.

If Bosh and Wade wanted a championship, they'd have signed with Chicago, which has one of (if not the) best point guards in the league, a fantastic young defensive center who's only getting better, and a pretty decent small foward in Luol Deng. The holes? Shooting guard (Wade) and power forward (Bosh). Had they signed with Chicago, I would be willing to guarantee a championship next June. Instead, Bosh, James, and Wade will be on a team with 9 guys from the Y, essentially (though somehow they seem to be suckering in someone to signing and trading for Beasley). Bitter? Hell yeah. On the other hand, I didn't even really think of the Heat before this. Now, I hates them.

/irrational sports fan
posted by Ghidorah at 4:26 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


zerobyproxy, that video you link to, as the shirt is laid on the fire... there was liquid spray on it, and they quickly cut away. The fire, however, didn't flare. Wow. Cavs fans are pissing on Lebron shirts.

As a fan torn between Detroit and Chicago, having suffered at an abnormally resurgent Cavs team these last few years, the tears of Cavs fans are a delicious elixer, and I will savor them for years to come.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:30 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


People are weird when they stop being customers and start being fan[boy]s.

True but I think irrelevant in this case. Local sports teams are SUPPOSED TO BE something you can be a fan about. It's a safe (usually/hopefully) outlet for nationalism. Calling them "customers" turns what's supposed to be sport into Yet Another Inhuman Consumerist Transaction.
posted by DU at 4:39 AM on July 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


LeBron led the Cavs to the best record in basketball last year. All he needed was a real point guard and he would have won championships in Cleveland.

Now he goes to Miami and everyone will be rooting against them. Has LeBron ever been the villain? No, not even close. I wonder if his psyche and ego will be able to handle it. I don't like Kobe but I'll admit that that guy is mentally tough as nails and handled being the NBA villain very well the last few years. Will the mantle now fall to LeBron?

I feel like if the Magic would just get rid of their dead weight (Vince Carter) and pick up a good defender or two and a legitimate scorer, they'd be right in the hunt with the Heat. Who's going to guard Howard?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:39 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Knicks are so screwed. :(
posted by caddis at 4:42 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I, for one, as a native Clevelander who did something unthinkable (move back here after escaping for a while), am fucking SICK TO DEATH of all this "King James" nonsense. The Cleveland city school district graduation rate is what, 34%? Our economy is shot to hell. There are plenty of great things happening here anyway and newsflash NONE OF THEM ARE LEBRON.

They put armed security guards downtown to protect his fucking giant Nike poster last night -- the building-sized "ooh, look at me, I'm hot shit" poster. People were burning jerseys in the street. Can someone PLEASE tell me what it takes to get a city to give a damn about things that are actually important, i.e. NOT THE SPORTSBALL?

Go ahead and make all the "eponymous" username jokes you want, I'm not bitter. I'm ANGRY. "Bitter" would imply I gave a damn about this idiot, which I do not. I give a damn that my city is in serious trouble and all people seem to care about is whether some overentitled idiot they made into an ego-monster wants to stay here or not. How much money did they spend on that stupid "raised here, plays here, stays here" propaganda poster I was forced to stare at when I went downtown for our anniversary dinner this week? Was that really the best possible use of thousands of dollars? The homeless people wandering around Prospect didn't seem too impressed by it.

So yeah, fuck you, LeBron. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. And just so you know, Miami, if you see his entourage heading through your restaurant door, RUN.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 4:43 AM on July 9, 2010 [22 favorites]


Liquid Spleen is a product I would buy. "Now with Vitriol!"

Just don't make the mistake I made and pour it on your pancakes. It was bitter. Very bitter.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:46 AM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


delmoi: "Who cares if the guy gets to make more money somewhere else?"

That's part of what makes this interesting. He's taking a (possibly $30 million) paycut to go to Miami to play for a chance at the title with Bosh and Wade.

I'm seriously not a basketball fan (NBA even less so) but watching this thing play out has been surprisingly fascinating. Lebron had a pretty much sparkling image before this. I know a lot of people who are sick of hearing about him now, and are beginning to dislike this weird media-blitz grandstanding that went along with "The Decision." Going from golden boy to bad guy without even having to cheat on your wife, kill anybody, or run a dogfighting ring is quite a media coup...
posted by This Guy at 4:54 AM on July 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


How much money did they spend on that stupid "raised here, plays here, stays here" propaganda poster I was forced to stare at when I went downtown for our anniversary dinner this week? Was that really the best possible use of thousands of dollars?

And how much money do you think Lebron being on the Cavs brought to the city? Hint -- more than a few thousands of dollars. Shit, the income tax on his salary alone is way more than a few thousands of dollars.
posted by inigo2 at 4:55 AM on July 9, 2010


He's taking a (possibly $30 million) paycut to go to Miami to play for a chance at the title with Bosh and Wade.

$30MM paycut, but less than that b/c he no longer has income tax. That helps (obviously not for the full 30, but it helps). To play with Bosh (overrated) and Wade, and nobody else.
posted by inigo2 at 4:56 AM on July 9, 2010


Guess what, inigo2 -- I don't care! What industry did he spark? I mean, apart from the crazy parking people hawking $2 spaces for $20 on game night and extra hot dog concessions at the arena, that is, which is hardly a way to rebuild a once-thriving economy.

Have you ever been to Cleveland? The suburban assholes driving downtown to go to a game leave and flee to their McMansions the second the game's over. Their ticket prices are going straight into the team's pocket, not the city's. Ditto the basketball jerseys sold, etc.

The tax money he pays on his salary and ridiculously oversized house would be matched (if not exceeded) by attracting a few decent companies to the region...companies that would bring employment to working families, not hangers-on and entourages. LeBron is NOT the economic marvel they make him out to be and we'd be better off spending our time and effort trying to attract companies who won't leave the second they find it convenient. Yet here we are.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:03 AM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Guess what, inigo2 -- I don't care!

Clearly.

I love people who have no interest in sports or sports business pontificating about sports. Metafilter seems to have many.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:12 AM on July 9, 2010 [13 favorites]


"COMIC SANS" 4EVAH rah rah rah
posted by blucevalo at 5:14 AM on July 9, 2010


Dear Sports Fans,

Your favorite "team" is a corporation, and does not care about you. Its employees are not aware that you exist as an individual. Please consider focusing your energies elsewhere.

Sincerely,
Me


Clearly, you didn't see any of the footage from the Blackhawks win. "Corporation" isn't a bad word.
posted by gjc at 5:19 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love people who have no interest in sports or sports business pontificating about sports

I'm not pontificating about sports, I'm pontificating about the collective insanity that seems to have taken hold here in my hometown. You would think, seriously, that it was the year 1100 and the Pope had just excommunicated the State of Ohio. Pinning all of your personal hopes and dreams on a fucking basketball player? SERIOUSLY? It's like a 10-year-old with a pony. "I love my pony I love my pony I love my pony we'll be together FOREVER."

And then you grow the fuck up and go off to college and if you're lucky your pony doesn't get ground up into hamburgers on some Amish farm somewhere.

Stop acting like these overgrown children are saviors already! They're good at putting a medium-sized ball into a fucking NET, they are not Warren Buffett and relying on them to bring money into your city is a fool's errand at best.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:19 AM on July 9, 2010 [16 favorites]


I love people who have no interest in sports or sports business pontificating about sports.
Well, as soon as sports teams and the sports business weans itself from sucking off the public teat (in the form of tax breaks and taxpayer-funded arenas) you will be free of such nuisances.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:22 AM on July 9, 2010 [17 favorites]


bitter-girl.com: "They're good at putting a medium-sized ball into a fucking NET, they are not Warren Buffett and relying on them to bring money into your city is a fool's errand at best."

He's good at predicting the future imaginary value of an arbitrary group of PEOPLE, he is not Mother Theresa and relying on him to bring peace and understanding into your city is a fool's errand at best.

I don't care about the things you guys care about, but you don't see me belittling your passion.

Not a basketball fan in general or a LeBron/Cavs/Heat fan in specific, but I care about sports, and I'd be hurt and angry if Pedroia signed with the Yankees, for instance.
posted by Plutor at 5:25 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This would all go much smoother if the NBA had a sorting hat.
posted by hellojed at 5:26 AM on July 9, 2010 [29 favorites]


My co-worker mentioned there was something like a 3-hour pre-decision show before the hour-long Lebron: Decision 2010 show (or whatever it was called).

I don't normally care much about such things, but, CHRIST, man! Three hours? That's Fucked. Up.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:30 AM on July 9, 2010


I cannot wait for Sarah Palin to tweet on the LeBron.

Somehow, this will be Obama's fault.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:31 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Plutor, I used to live in Boston, I get it with the Pedroia thing -- but Boston wouldn't break out into a riot if he did sign with the Yankees! Ok, some drunken asshat might do something stupid in a bar somewhere, but the entire City of Boston would not start acting as if it's all over, forever and ever, because something happened in the world of sports. My city is acting like a petulant 2-year-old...and for what?

Like basketball -- fine. Like the way LeBron plays it -- fine. But Christ on a stick, Cleveland needs to realize there are other, more important things for it to worry about!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:31 AM on July 9, 2010


Saying that the American obsession over sports is weird and perverted is fine.

Saying that LeBron James does not generate gobs of money for the city of Cleveland is ignorant and sort of clueless.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:35 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I swear to god that every day we get closer to idiocracy, little bourgeois moths flittering around the lights of the rich and famous. Gah. So ugly.

While it makes me sick that a basketball player can declare his own one hour special to announce where he's going to play, it makes me sicker that people actually tuned it.

Yea, right---us soccer fans are the nutters.
posted by TomMelee at 5:36 AM on July 9, 2010


The buzz in the NOLA area is all "thank God we got Drew Brees."
posted by localroger at 5:37 AM on July 9, 2010


I love people who have no interest in sports or sports business pontificating about sports.

How about people who pontificate about pontiffs who pontificate about sports?

If your town builds big fuck off arenas specifically for the local team and gives the corporate team owners big tax incentives, you are going to be interested in sports as a business. This particularly story also happens to be using up the most real estate on, for example, the CNN.com page right now. But we should not say anything about it because we aren't true sports fans?
posted by pracowity at 5:38 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think the Cavs owner, Dan Gilbert, was almost forced to write a letter like that given the disappointment of his customers. If he had written a nice letter to LeBron, it would completely open the door for people to say "You should have done more! Why didn't you convince him to stay?" If he wants to maintain any semblance of confidence in the team, and more, the team's ownership, he has to paint LeBron as a backstabbing villain.

I do think LeBron is a spoiled, narcissistic dork for going through this goofy public buildup to spurn a city and region that he HAS to have known has a lot of bad luck, in both sports and economics and even just plain bad weather and environment at times. But, really, most professional athletes are likely repulsively self-centered compared to the average working- or middle-class stiff. I used to be a super-passionate basketball fan, but over the years reading more about the actual personalities of the players and finding out about the coaches even (Pitino, I'm looking at you) has diminished any adulation I might have had for the personalities of the sport. I am still hoping that Ben Wallace is a pretty cool dude. Actually, I kinda feel that I would like Rasheed Wallace if I knew him, although I think he definitely has a bullying side to him.

My rambling point is that if you knew most any professional athlete personally, they would probably be annoying at the very least for their hyper-competitive personality, not to mention the social cluelessness James displayed.
posted by Slothrop at 5:41 AM on July 9, 2010


There are more important things to worry about and love about Cleveland, but things are going to get significantly tighter for downtown if the bro dawgs from Avon stop coming in.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 5:43 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


But we should not say anything about it because we aren't true sports fans?

No, feel free to talk about anything you want to talk about.

But just because you think sports are "stupid" doesn't mean they're not a huge business, that they influence communities and school districts, and that they influence all manner of corporate business decisions. It's way more complicated than "sports r dumb, build more schools!" but that's usually the response I see in most Metafilter posts about sports.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:47 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Saying that LeBron James does not generate gobs of money for the city of Cleveland is ignorant and sort of clueless.

Whence this money and where does it go? He lives in Bath Twp (which is near Akron), so his huge property tax bill doesn't go to Cleveland. I'm not sure how the Cavs are structured in terms of where players end up paying income tax, but even without him, the employees of the arena and Cavs organization would still be getting paid themselves.

On a game night, most of the money getting spent in the city is short-term (and seasonal, to boot -- these fabled fans, you know, the ones who loooove Cleveland so much -- are not likely to come downtown outside of game days unless they work there, and the second they're done, they're gone -- back to the exurban sprawl, spending their money at Applebee's instead of somewhere in our justifiably-renowned food scene, or whatever).

Again, we'd be better off attracting a good company or two into Cleveland if we wanted to actually benefit the city. Acting as if he's the solution to all our problems is pointless. It's like being in a bad relationship -- you can't see how soul-sucking and horrible it was until you've been out of it for a while. I hope my city -- and I live in the city, not the 'burbs -- can and will wake up.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:48 AM on July 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


bitter-girl.com, the thing is, Boston has won recently. The Red Sox, the Pats, the Celtics have all won within the last, what, five to ten years? People would be upset, but they'd cry themselves to sleep on their championship banners, then realize they've got championship banners, and be pretty happy about it.

In addition to the economy, the schools, industry and everything, Cleveland has just about the worst sports history in modern history. The Christians probably had a better record against the lions. People follow sports for a lot of different reasons. One reason they follow sports is that it can take their minds off just how bad everything else is. And hell, the Cavaliers had the best record in the NBA last year, handily. People in Cleveland had hope for their sports teams, a championship in Cleveland (at long last), and it was even better, that a local product was leading the way. Now the Cavs are going to go back to sucking, just as much as the economy, the schools, and industry. The cold splash of reality hurts, and people are, like your name, incredibly bitter.

I'm fascinated, though, by just how far public opinion has changed about James in the past couple weeks of this crap being dragged out.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:49 AM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Well luckily no one will care about Cleveland sports now so you will be safe.
posted by smackfu at 5:52 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


(Arsenio), for the clueless, would you mind explaining in a bit more detail how James generates gobs of money for the city of Cleveland? It's not clear to me how bitter-girl's not right about almost all of it going to the team owners. I'm not being snarky, just seen a lot of examples of economic impacts of a new stadium/next Olympics/etc being seriously overstated and would love to have someone break it down re: James' personal economic impact on "the city" in plain language.
posted by mediareport at 5:53 AM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


The reason this matters to Clevelanders is because we haven't won a major sports championship since the 60s, and LBJ was our best and basically only shot to do it any time soon. Over the past seven years we've been thinking our day on top was just around the corner, and it never came. Yeah, the obsessing and emotion is a bit much but it is based on years of sports failures in a town where sports are big. We thought he'd stay in Cleveland because of these expectations.

So, if you are so above the fray as to keep saying "why care?", its because we've come so close to being champions and failed spectacularly.
posted by nowoutside at 5:55 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


or what Ghidorah said.
posted by nowoutside at 5:58 AM on July 9, 2010


He lives in Bath Twp (which is near Akron)

So he's like a neighbour of Akron/Family? Do you think they hang out and shoot baskets together?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:00 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


But please tell me, Ghidorah, how retaining James would have, say, kept over 600 teachers from being laid off? Does a championship banner help more than the (it's under 40%) of our kids graduate? Will it feed a kid at Head Start? (Mmm, tasty tasty championship banner).

I'm from here. I've lived all but about 7 years of my life here. I know the mentality. Cleveland loves to be down on itself (hello, did not one Mr. Drew Carey pretty much make a multi-year sitcom based on this fact? and now we've got -- ugh -- a second season of Hot In Cleveland to boot). We love hating sports villainy, too (remember when the Browns moved to Baltimore?). However, spending zillions on sports, tax concessions for sports, and the like isn't going to improve anything. We've spent, within the past 15 years, how much on new stadiums?

Where has that gotten us, other than "in debt up to our eyeballs," debt which we couldn't afford then and definitely cannot afford now? Are those ticket prices and [insert all these fabled economic benefits King James supposedly brings to the city here] paying down that debt? It's like buying a new pair of Christian Louboutin shoes after your boyfriend breaks up with you for being fat. You're still fat, except now you've got a $2000 credit card bill, too.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:03 AM on July 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


Professional sports: presenting prodigiously gifted but egocentric twats as role models since the dawn of time.
posted by unSane at 6:11 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's an awful lot of vitriol directed at a guy for changing jobs.
Yeah, that was Borowitz's take on it too.

I don't really follow basketball. Is LB as big of an egomaniacal ass as he's coming across with this over-the-top announcement?
posted by fuse theorem at 6:11 AM on July 9, 2010


Hearing about "King" LeBron on every newspaper and newscast has been incredibly annoying for the last week or so. At least it promises to be a bit more entertaining now, what with the meltdown of the owner and the fans.
posted by Splunge at 6:12 AM on July 9, 2010


MetaFilter: prodigiously gifted but egocentric twats
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:16 AM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


This puts a lot of twitter traffic in context for me. I was wondering why people interested in Lyndon B. Johnson all of a sudden.
posted by boo_radley at 6:20 AM on July 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Is this the same dude who is getting sued for millions by some man claiming to be his father?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:21 AM on July 9, 2010


bitter-girl, it wouldn't have done a damn thing for any of that. You're absolutely right, Cleveland is fucked. It's a city built around an industry that is, for all intents and purposes, pretty much dead, or nearly there. On the other hand, thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of people in the area just lost one (hopefully of many) thing that gave them hope. Someone stuck in a deadend job could watch the Cavs winning, and just maybe, since their team was doing well, maybe they could take some joy from that, since they knew, per your examples, that their childrens' school was a joke, that their kids would probably be starting at a disadvantage due to the lack of headstart funding, and that due to the failing industrial base, their kid might well have to make do with an even shittier job than the one they're struggling to hold down. While I don't claim that sports should be as important as they are to people, I do understand the necessity of having something positive to focus on when everything else has turned to shit.

And fuse theorem, that's part of the big deal. James has for the most part (unless you're a Bulls fan) been a pretty well-liked guy, mostly by very, very careful image sculpting. He's managed to scrap a lot of that in the last couple weeks, to the point where you, who are not a fan, have an image of him as an egomaniacal ass. I imagine (and am thrilled) that he'll have a hard time living this shit down.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:23 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Goodbye, Cleveland!
posted by The Bellman at 6:23 AM on July 9, 2010


and here I thought y'all were smarter than to give a flying fuck about some overpriced idiot that plays with balls.
posted by HuronBob at 6:24 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


bitter-girl.com you don't care about sports but you do care enough to manage this thread in eponysterical fashion? If you care about the state of the city of Cleveland, post in a thread about that.

Just rough numbers on salaries alone: the Cavaliers 2008 salary total was $82,552,154. Each of those gentlemen was taxed at 5.925% by the state of Ohio. That's just under $5 million dollars in state tax revenue. I'm guessing Cleveland saw some of that. As a good team, they sold out the Quicken Loans Area on a nightly basis. 20,562 seats (including 2,000 club seats) at an average of $130 dollars per seat = $2,673,060 per night. And then there's parking, food and souvenir sales, each of which is also subject to state sales taxes and whatever city taxes might apply. It all adds up to $3.7 million nightly for 41 nights a year (about $150 million total). That pays for an awful lot of teachers. That last link suggests the minimum loss from LeBron's defection is $20 million in city revenue. If attendance drops back into the 11,000 range, you're cutting the nightly take in half and reducing jobs at and around the stadium.

I'd say he paid for a fair number of teachers or whatever other false dichotomies you care to rail against instead of the subject at hand. I'm a sports fan and I'm sick of the LeBron hype this year as well, but that's no reason to let loose a number of screeds just as wound up and illogical as the fans you're complaining about.

Calling them "customers" turns what's supposed to be sport into Yet Another Inhuman Consumerist Transaction.

This. I'm about as anti-corporation as the next guy, providing I'm not in an elevator with Ralph Nader, but trying to apply your Too Cool for Popular indie rock sneer to sports doesn't work quite right. Sports have been a business ever since Bill Veeck, Jr. figured out the tax implications of being able to depreciate labor costs in sport, but they're a funny business because they have a symbiotic relationship with their hometown. Without fan(atic) passion, they cease to exist. So fans aren't simply customers even if teams want to treat them like they are. The rabid fanbase who sticks around through thick and thin are what keeps a team alive as a going concern.

I used to live in Boston, I get it with the Pedroia thing -- but Boston wouldn't break out into a riot if he did sign with the Yankees!

You might have lived around here, but you do not get it. Poor example city to choose. People wouldn't riot about it. Now. Pre-2004, he'd be taking his life in his hands. Johnny Damon barely got away with it and he was instrumental in the 2004 win (the living symbol of that team). Ask Roger Clemens if Boston fans forgive and forget. Ask his family if they feel comfortable attending his games at Fenway. (Hint: they don't)
posted by yerfatma at 6:26 AM on July 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


Professional sports: presenting prodigiously gifted but egocentric twats as role models since the dawn of time.

Metafilter: keeping the closet racism and jealousy of anti-athletic vitriol alive since 2000.
posted by yerfatma at 6:27 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


probably not an argument worth getting into, yerfatma, but I think you're a bit too quick with the racism charge (but we'll allow the anti-athletic bit). Athletes of all colors have, at varying times been outright asses. Just in case you've forgotten, let's just throw out everyone's most loveable athletes: Ryan Leaf and Christian Laettner. Sports dickery truly is colorblind.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:36 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


closet racism

Note that this accusation probably only applies to countries with significant populations of African Americans.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:37 AM on July 9, 2010


and here I thought y'all were smarter than to give a flying fuck about some overpriced idiot that plays with balls.

And moreover (I can't restrain myself), you obviously have no conception of how good these guys are at what they do. Saying an NBA player is "some overpriced idiot that plays with balls" is like saying Mozart was a pretentious fuck who played chopsticks.
posted by MarshallPoe at 6:37 AM on July 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


Bitter-girl is carrying the ball (to mangle metaphors) for a lot of (greater) Clevelanders here.

No city can exist on a "lebron-based economy".

remember when the Browns moved to Baltimore?

Yes: 1996 through 1999 -- when there were no Cleveland Browns -- possibly the best times in Cleveland since the nineteenth century.

On the other hand, thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of people in the area just lost one (hopefully of many) thing that gave them hope

bread + circuses - bread != hope
posted by Herodios at 6:37 AM on July 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm the internet...I bring pornographic pictures and the opinions of angry children.


Also:
Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify. Because the players
are always changing, the team can move to another city, you're actually rooting
for the clothes when you get right down to it.

--Jerry Seinfeld
posted by TedW at 6:40 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why so defensive? Instead of taking bitter-girl's concerns as some kind of affront against the glory of athleticism, maybe you could try to understand her concerns for a city that's in the dumps and will never be saved by high attendance in a sports stadium. That's reality. And if you live in Cleveland, and know people who got riled up last night but couldn't be bothered to, say, vote, or volunteer, or pay some bit of attention to civic issues, this whole resentment-as-unity spectacle is something to be ashamed of. But it's not some attack on sports.
posted by palidor at 6:40 AM on July 9, 2010 [14 favorites]


Comic sans is a terrible way to express anger, man.
posted by Mister_A at 6:41 AM on July 9, 2010


Dear Sports Fans,

Your favorite "team" is a corporation, and source of entertainment does not care about you. Please consider focusing your energies elsewhere.

Sincerely,
Me


Fixed.
posted by graventy at 6:43 AM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


herodios, you're absolutely right. All I'm saying is that when everything sucks, and the suckiness of it is beyond your personal control, it's nice to have something that you can get some kind of personal satisfaction from, even if it has no actual connection with your life. For a lot of people, that happens to be sports, and up until yesterday, the poor suckers of Cleveland had a lot more going for them in that department. Hope stings more when you feel stupid for having hope in the first place. In that case, people jumping on you for caring about something in the first place doesn't help a whole lot more.

As for 96-99 being the golden age of Cleveland? Really? Any examples? I'd seriously never heard of this.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:43 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Comic sans is a terrible way to express anger, man."

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 6:45 AM on July 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


I know we are talking Millions of dollars, but "king james" took a pay cut to go to miami to play with other players that he believes will give him the opportunity to be a champion, meaning that he 1) already understands that he is super rich and 2) it's about the game to him, and more importantly about being a champion. It is a little selfish of him to leave, but at the same time, if cleveland wasn't going to do what was necessary to win a championship, they left him with no other choice. I don't follow basketball, but I always thought Labron was a good guy, given all the hype and the delay in making his decision, I can't help but believe that he put a lot of thought into it. Maybe I'm a sucker, but it's nice to see millionaires make decisions that aren't about getting more millions, by that i mean, acknowledging the fact that they make what i make in a year in about 10 minutes and making a decision based on the game. That's what sport is about. It is a little sad to see him leave his hometown (I'm from spurs country, and it seems to be that once someone puts a spurs jersey on, they die of old age wearing it) but still.

I hope he wins before the cavs.

Also i think i really do love comic sans.
posted by djduckie at 6:46 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


except he really cared about winning the best situation was Chicago (and I say that as Knicks fan who loathes the Bulls)
posted by JPD at 6:47 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


but "king james" took a pay cut to go to miami to play with other players that he believes will give him the opportunity to be a champion

I totally don't buy that. He didn't take a pay cut, he took one less year. If you compare the two deals as five year offers under the assumption he'll still be able to get a max contract at age 31 (which seems pretty fair) and account for the lack of state income tax in Florida, all he did was take a risk he suffers a bad injury between now and 2015. And you can get insurance for that. As for players that give him a chance to win, he definitely has the two best teammates he's ever had around him now, but 3 on 5 is a tough way to win. It will be interesting to see if they can pace themselves to make it deep into the playoffs or if they'll burn out by January.

Note that this accusation probably only applies to countries with significant populations of African Americans.

Not sure if you're aware, but this site is US-only.
posted by yerfatma at 6:50 AM on July 9, 2010


If you care about the state of the city of Cleveland, post in a thread about that.

I'd say a thread about the city of Cleveland's emotional reaction to the loss of LeBron James is as good a place as any to comment about the city of Cleveland. Thanks to the link to the NBA's analysis of his economic impact, though; that was interesting.

But that stiffing-the-waiter story? Ouch.
posted by mediareport at 6:51 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


And Sir Charles pretty much called LeBron a bitch over the move, not on the betrayal angle, but because now he won't be "the man" á la Michael, Kobe, etc.

I don't feel strongly, personally, about the LeBron deal; I can see good arguments for it either way. The magical thing about LeBron's game is that he's so versatile and adaptable. I think he may not lead the league in scoring next season, but will lead in triple-doubles and may end up among the leaders in assists. And that's good for the game IMO.

Still, I am hoping for a return to the dominant centers of yore, that would really throw a wrench into this (admittedly very talented) team's works.
posted by Mister_A at 6:51 AM on July 9, 2010


Mister_A, I'm just hoping the Bulls pick up a lock-down defender at shooting guard. Deng has always had pretty decent games against James, Boozer should cancel out Bosh, and meanwhile, they'll have no answer to Noah and Rose.

Either way, given Wade's injury history, and the fact that the three of them will probably be averaging roughly 40 minutes a night, I'd be shocked if at least one of them (probably Wade) doesn't miss a chunk of time with an injury.

If they somehow end up with Chris Paul, I will very loudly proclaim bullshit.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:58 AM on July 9, 2010


Mister_A: "Comic sans is a terrible way to express anger, man."

"Need to convey your fun-loving, approachable nature on your business' website? SMACK. Like daffodils in motherfucking spring."
posted by sharkfu at 6:58 AM on July 9, 2010


I don't mean I literally want Wilt and Kareem and Hakeem back on the court; just guys like them.
posted by Mister_A at 6:58 AM on July 9, 2010


MeTa por favor
posted by JPD at 7:02 AM on July 9, 2010


I miss Luke and Laura. Those were the days.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:03 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Bulls are going to be competitive, no doubt. LeBron though, you give him a hard time scoring the ball he's going to dish to Wade, and you know how that story goes...

Of course Wade has a history of injuries; take him out and you're in a spot of trouble.
posted by Mister_A at 7:05 AM on July 9, 2010


I was born and raised in Columbus and now live in Boston, but have been loosely following this. Two things.

(1) I love to hate on Columbus as well as Ohio, but damned if I'm not ready to go in my Ohio State jersey and buckeye necklace every Saturday in the fall. When you're raised around a rabid sports culture, you really do absorb it, no matter how much you independently don't particularly care about football or whatever. It's something to root for, something to be proud of, a side to take, a culture to be part of. Those of you who didn't grow up with that, good for you, but for many of us it's entirely natural and a hard thing to break no matter how much, intellectually, the modern sports model of trading and enormous salaries is really incompatible with local pride.

(2) LeBron had a real reputation as a "local boy" -- grew up and continued to live near Akron, which is not exactly a metropolis, and pumped a lot of money into local kids' programs in an area that doesn't receive a lot of attention. He was a real kind of local success story that a lot of people were proud of, and THAT is why him moving to Miami is such a shock and an offense to the people in that area, far moreso than if this were your average player from another city who'd just gotten traded to Cleveland and wanted to leave again. He made a big deal out of being and staying local, which led everyone else to as well, and now with him moving -- well, it kind of sucks.
posted by olinerd at 7:06 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, but olinerd, you can't blame the guy for wanting out of what looked to be a terrible situation—coach and GM canned, team in disarray, all that.
posted by Mister_A at 7:07 AM on July 9, 2010


[Some "shut the fuck up" and "eat a bowl of dick" stuff removed. Drop it or take it to the metatalk thread.]
posted by cortex at 7:08 AM on July 9, 2010


This is the biggest heel turn since Hollywood Hogan. Which further proves that the NBA is the Pro Wrestling of major sports. Basketball fans will root against them all the way to the Dick Bavetta-refereed finals, where they will play against the LA Lakers, who will get there by beating the designated Western Conference opponent du jour.
posted by norm at 7:09 AM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


The fact that a city will never be saved by a sports team doesn't mean that sports teams are a waste of time. Very few entities can single-handedly "save" a city. It's not a zero sum game. You can be a sports fan AND think that Cleveland (or Detroit or wherever) needs to do more to support education and attract new business to the city center. Geeze.

As a Pistons fan, it warms my heart a little to see the sorrow of Cavs fans, but I still think that Lebron conducted himself in a spectacularly unclassy manner during this ridiculous spectacle.
posted by fancypants at 7:10 AM on July 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yeah, but olinerd, you can't blame the guy for wanting out of what looked to be a terrible situation—coach and GM canned, team in disarray, all that.

Of course, he has good reasons. But he spent a lot of time building up an image of loyalty to the Cleveland area, so I don't think it's really unfair of his fans to feel a little hurt. Are they overreacting? Maybe. But I still get the sentiment.
posted by olinerd at 7:12 AM on July 9, 2010


It is a little selfish of him to leave, but at the same time, if cleveland wasn't going to do what was necessary to win a championship, they left him with no other choice

I honestly believe it's less that he's leaving, and more the dramatic, somewhat assholish way he did it.
posted by inigo2 at 7:12 AM on July 9, 2010


I guess, as someone who lives in Cleveland but hasn't bothered to care about the Cavs since they got stomped by Dallas (and even then I had only watched the playoffs), is it predictable that I think the guy should be able to go wherever he wants without being called traitorous filth for it? I'm certainly aware of the city's depressing sports history and that Lebron's taking the last bit of hope away with him, and of course the one-hour special was in bad taste, but if I was a hardcore Cleveland sports fan I'd be embarrassed to project such a childish, entitled attitude. Hopefully someone downtown is holding up a big "THANKS LEBRON" sign, just for the sake of positivity, damn.
posted by palidor at 7:18 AM on July 9, 2010


overpriced idiot

Just for clarification, Lebron is not overpriced. He's undervalued at any contract the league currently allows. A max contract pays him about $16-17 million his first year. That's a steal relative to his production on the court and revenue generation from ticket sales, jersey sales, TV appeal, etc. Paying Lebron about $100 million over 5 years is a bargain for Micky Arison.
posted by shen1138 at 7:19 AM on July 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Whoops, I meant San Antonio, not Dallas. See, I don't care!
posted by palidor at 7:20 AM on July 9, 2010


Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

um... what?
posted by Huck500 at 7:21 AM on July 9, 2010


I'd also love to hear from New Orleans citizens, and have them weigh in on how much the New Orleans Hornets and New Orleans Saints meant to them after Katrina. As a non-resident fan of both teams, the impression I got was that the city got a major lift from both those teams, especially with the teams having excellent options for leaving NOLA but choosing to stay and, in the Saints case, win a championship. One player might not ever "save" a city, but a team can sure help out a city's feeling of self-worth in bad times.
posted by shen1138 at 7:23 AM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Are they overreacting? Maybe. But I still get the sentiment.

It always happens, and it passes. Often the players get even more famous or successful for their second team, and the first team gets virtually forgotten after a while. What team is Nolan Ryan associated with?
posted by smackfu at 7:25 AM on July 9, 2010


Kevin Garnett did the same thing to Minnesota, but the reaction was totally different. Why?

First, he didn't just walk; he knew he wanted out and allowed Minnesota to get value for him by trading him to a contender. LeBron, if he wanted out, could've said so a long time ago. There's nothing different in Cleveland, other than a better coach now, so it's not like the situation in Cleveland has changed.

Second, Garnett gave 12 seasons to his team. He left when he was at his peak and ready to decline, in the hopes of getting a championship. Lebron is 25; he's got a ton of basketball ahead of him. He's got another long-term contract still on the horizon. You can't claim a sense of urgency at 25; Jordan hadn't even won a title at 25 and he's got 7.

Third, outside of the occasional outburst, Garnett did it very quietly. He was respectful, he didn't allow Minnesota to spend months begging him to stay. Yeah, sports fans are irrational, but if the neighbor's daughter has an irrational crush on you, you don't string her along only to reject her; you reject her outright, apologize and try to do right by her reputation.

Chris Bosh did the same thing in Toronto, except Toronto in its heart kind of knew he was gone. Colangelo did an absolutely piss poor job of playing that hand and I wonder if Bosh led him to believe that sign and trade was what was coming and then backed out.

In any event, for the first time in my life, I will side with the lesser of the evils and cheer for the Celtics and the Lakers, in the hopes that two players who left their beleaguered franchises in such degrading fashions don't find the success they are looking for, because they don't deserve it. It's too bad, because I really like Dwayne Wade, but he's part of the enemy now and I wonder if he realizes that.
posted by Hiker at 7:25 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


He made a big deal out of being and staying local, which led everyone else to as well, and now with him moving -- well, it kind of sucks.

Reminds me of when Mo Vaughn became a free agent and left the Sox. His story is similar to LeBron's: big into local charities, seen as crucial to the Sox lineup (he and Nomar were all you ever heard about for a couple of years there), and like LeBron, failed spectacularly at winning the city a Championship.

That was also basically the end of his career (well, not technically, but the end of his "being great" career). And nobody in Boston thought it would ever happen, either.

So, I guess my point is, Cheer up, Cleveland.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:30 AM on July 9, 2010


LeBron . . . pumped a lot of money into local kids' programs in an area that doesn't receive a lot of attention

. . . and as far as we know will continue to do so.

"Local boy makes good, shares some of his good fortune with the needy of his hometown" is a far more compelling headline than "Star athlete continues to play for nearby pro team after being offered even more millions of dollars to stay" . . . and irrespective of his or anyone's public posturing, by far the greater and more lasting act of loyalty.
posted by Herodios at 7:33 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Back to important stuff: The Comic Sans issue

I just imagine him ranting this in an elmer fudd voice now. Somehow a "fuck you" isn't as menacing when it's said with a squeaky voice.
posted by xena at 7:36 AM on July 9, 2010


I this something where I'd need to be a sports fan to understand?

Speaking as a Bulls fan, it had gotten to the point where I didn't want any of these guys except for Wade. Because 1) other than Wade, none of them had shown the appropriate level of past success, and none of them had signaled that they were the psychopathic stone cold assassins that you want in your sports alpha dogs (see: Jordan, Michael). 2) those 3 players + the spare parts that lack the pride to go build their own thing simply aren't going to be enough to beat a league that is now gunning for you.

The truth is probably somewhere in between these players making the best decision for themselves (in a state that lacks personal income tax, btw) and an all out conspiracy where they always intended to play in either Florida or Texas, and cackled whenever other teams would give away useful players for cap space. But the fact remains: all of them made a lot of enemies with this whole thing. This wasn't a decision to win, this was a decision to start a club with your best friends, and there's a huge difference between that and winning an NBA title.

As for Cleveland: I have great affection for the place as I seriously thought my wife was going to move us there for work. In truth, the city and team are better off. They were being held hostage by one very talented, but ultimately flawed basketball player. Now they can move on and build a team like Oklahoma City.

On the position that you don't care about sports: there's a reason there's a stereotype of successful business people either being rabid sports fans or former athletes. Sports are an opportunity to get your brain around what it means to both compete and co-operate with others while either being a complete jerk or the world's best teammate or leader. Same thing with military experience. How you're wired or have been trained to deal with those situations bleeds over into much more of everyday life than you'd think. When I run into people that I know I want on my team - professionally, socially, you name it - I've ceased to be surprised to find out that a) they love sports - either playing or watching and b) they love sports for many of the same reasons I do. I've also ceased to be surprised to find out I don't get along with people who love sports because they love star power or front running or bandwagons, or people who don't grok sports at all. I firmly believe the reason so many tech teams are so dysfunctional is because their members didn't internalize the good parts of group interaction and competition as kids (teamwork, learning to win/lose gracefully, how to lead/follow and knowing when to do which, how to be effective with people you're not best friends forever with, etc., etc., etc. - when people don't have this stuff down, it shows).
posted by NoRelationToLea at 7:40 AM on July 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


The reason this matters to Clevelanders is because we haven't won a major sports championship since the 60s, and LBJ was our best and basically only shot to do it any time soon.

I like Mike Holmgren's chances of bringing a championship to Cleveland. I'm not a big Colt McCoy fan, but if Holmgren likes him I've got to think he might turn out to be his trademark golden boy quarterback. Just pray that Holmgren doesn't eventually end up on the sidelines where he can mismanage the clock at the end of every half.
posted by Balonious Assault at 7:43 AM on July 9, 2010


The letter is in Comic Sans, cuz there's nothing funny about it.

Sorry, has someone already made this joke? I haven't read the thread yet.

#bitterohionative

posted by slogger at 7:44 AM on July 9, 2010


Maybe he had to separate his mom and Delonte, and moving to Miami was the only way to do it.
posted by anniecat at 7:47 AM on July 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


There is nothing wrong with comic sans.

It's all just a club. A Ha ha ha! I know about the comic sans meme. Let's laugh at teh old man using the comic sans font who doesn't know the meme club.

Comic sans is gonna be like the mirror sunglasses of its era.

Cool for a while straight after they came out. Then they became uncool for about a decade or more and only 50 year old pervert white men wore them. Then they became cool again because of all the previous hate, and it was cool to wear something everyone hated 10 or so years ago.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:48 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


One player might not ever "save" a city, but a team can sure help out a city's feeling of self-worth in bad times.

I'd feel a lot better if I could send my [future] children to public school here in Cleveland and not have to drop $10,000+ per year on private or parochial school tuition, personally, but I guess YMMV. And I think that feeling of pride in producing an educated child would last a lot longer than any "go team!" sentiment. It's about priorities.

From this article on the owner of the Cavs:

In the past two years Quicken Arena and Dan Gilbert have evaded $7.5 million in property taxes. I think if Gilbert has any real concern for Cleveland he’d pay those taxes, most of which comes from Cleveland school children.

Every year Gilbert has owned the Cavs and has use of the mostly publicly financed basketball arena he has been the recipient of a no tax deal worked out by former Mayor Mike White and County Commissioner Tim Hagan. (Every January, Cleveland and Cuyahoga County taxpayers pay some $8.5 million for bonds that go just for the extra cost of the arena.)

Add up $7.5 every two years and in a decade that’s $37.5 million. In 20 years it will be $75 million.


and later...

Slightly more than 55 percent of the $7.5 million would go to the Cleveland schools.

So, does that offset the magical money that LeBron and the Cavs supposedly shower on Cleveland? Especially given that the economic development referenced in the one article has as much to do with the fame of a local-boy-made-good as it does LeBron? (Iron Chef Michael Symon moved his restaurant Lola to East Fourth Street from another Cleveland city location in part because the developers and building owners, with whom I've worked on several projects, made an effort to get him down there as an anchor -- and he's open year round, not just for the season).
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:48 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Marshal Poe: And moreover (I can't restrain myself), you obviously have no conception of how good these guys are at what they do. Saying an NBA player is "some overpriced idiot that plays with balls" is like saying Mozart was a pretentious fuck who played chopsticks.

THIS. LeBron James is a once-in-a-generation talent. He's an innate basketball freak. If he had Kobe's (or Jordan's) psyche, one other star, and some role players, he'd be a lock for 5-6 championships.

Basketball is no more frivolous than music. You're all just too wrapped up in the Great Jock-Nerd rivalry to know what you're missing. Get over your prejudice against athletics and stop wasting the opportunity to watch a Great One. In the 90s, there was Jordan. Now there is Kobe and LeBron. They're not always great people (although LeBron is a pretty good one) but they are one-in-a-billion talents. How many people can you say that about?

Cleveland was unable to provide him with the team he needed. He gave them some great years. He brought a lot of excitement and somehow managed to carry the team to the Finals pretty much singlehandedly.

His contract was up. He was a free agent. He had every right to sign with a team that could provide him with the support he needs to win championships.

Here's what Kevin Garnett said about saying in Minnesota long after it was clear they weren't able (or willing, in that case) to give him the support he needed:

Loyalty is something that hurts you at times, because you can't get youth back. I can honestly say that if I could go back and do my situation over, knowing what I know now with this organization, I'd have done it a little sooner.

Garnett was lucky enough to be able to sign with a great team just in time to win a championship before age catches up with him. Most great players who languish on bad teams aren't so lucky.

LeBron made the right choice to leave. I thought Chicago was the best choice, but Miami might be even better. Dwyane Wade is more than good enough to be his Scottie Pippen or Pao Gasol. (I'm not going to say he's as good as Shaq was in his prime.) Bosh is overrated, but they don't even need that many other great players. The Bulls won championships with various casts of big, talentless stiffs playing center. They're instantly championship contenders for the next half-decade or so.

It's not fair to ask a player of his caliber to waste his talent being loyal to his hometown or to the team where he started his career if they're unable to provide him with what he needs to really succeed.
posted by callmejay at 7:56 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


1) I'm not seeing a lot of deep consideration for Lebron James and what factors may have actually affected his decision. This may be the single hardest choice he'll ever make in his life. Sure, he's got money, talent and maybe his ass has been softly wiped from day 1. So what? This was probably a deeply emotional and complicated choice where a number of his values (financial gain, sense of origin, family/friend relationships, sense of community responsibility, competitiveness) were in tension.

2) It's difficult not to see the parallells between religion and sports here. Mostly I'm looking at how both sort of float on top of 'rational' ideas of everything being a business or at least a power relationship.

3) The side discussion about economic benefits/needs and sports franchises is so pertinent right now. As someone who follows sports, real estate and economy and lives in Cambridge, it's interesting to see how resilient Boston's economy has been in the face of this downturn during a period where our sports teams are highly successful. Could Lebron U-turn the rust belt dynamic? No. But there is something to be said for how people identify with sports and a sense of place, and what it means for other (financial and location) decisions that are heavily reliant on as much optimism as analysis.

(This is not to lend ANY support to the idea that franchises and sports stadiums are, in and of themselves, net-positive economic generators)

Also, wtf font?
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 7:57 AM on July 9, 2010


I am going to say something very controversial here:

DON'T DISCOUNT BOSTON. You do so at your own peril. Why? Because they have the best pure point guard in the league. That's right. Rajan Rondo is the best point man in the league. Fills up the stat sheet every night, plays good defense, distributes the ball, sets the tempo, calls the plays. This guy is wonderful to watch and I think they still have one or two more cracks at it before Garnett et al fall off too steeply to compete.
posted by Mister_A at 8:02 AM on July 9, 2010


Also, callmejay—I don't think Wade is really going to be second fiddle to anyone, ever. The guy has a ring and a scoring title under his belt already, y'know?
posted by Mister_A at 8:03 AM on July 9, 2010


Cleveland hand-wringing aside, I'm actually very curious how this Miami thing is going to work out. Will 3 big egos be able to distribute the ball & play roles? I haven't cared much about Miami one way or another, but I'm certainly going to be paying attention this year. I want to see what the strategy is and how they fit together as a team -- if they do, that is.

Mister_A, I totally agree about Rondo. He was amazing to watch all through the playoffs, and don't discount Boston's bench. Nate Robinson about blew my mind a few times during the Finals. It was heartbreaking though to watch Ray Allen go cold after that amazing 3-point performance in game 2.

Plus, I need something to distract me from the fact that the Spurs probably just don't have it this year.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:23 AM on July 9, 2010


Sports in Baltimore have affected me directly. Trust me, Baltimore has many of the same issues as Cleveland does along with our high murder rate and the fact that ten percent of the population are heroin addicts.

I have no idea how much revenue the Orioles or Ravens generate for Baltimore but I work at a bar across from Orioles Stadium. This is how I make my living. Without the Orioles, I would be jobless. So, count one for sports. And, the Orioles are terrible. If the Orioles were good I'd actually be printing money at that job. As it is, with the stadium 1/4 full I do just OK.

Now, don't get me started on the stadium in Brooklyn though...
posted by josher71 at 8:24 AM on July 9, 2010


Mister_A, I believe this means we can no longer be friends. Rajon Rondo is the devil. He might be insanely talented, but again, Bulls fan. How he didn't get tossed in last year's series after swing Hinrich by the arm into the scorers table in one game, then attempting oral surgery on Brad Miller in the next is beyond me. Can't stand him. It's pretty interesting, too, that there were some serious questions about giving him an extension. Evidently he's not exactly a ray of sunshine to deal with, team wise.

Besides, Derrick Rose. He owns Rondo, now, and forever. (Why, yes, I've got Game 6 of the 2009 series saved forever in my mind and on my hard drive. The block, Noah's steal and dunk... good times.)

Worst thing I've seen this week, the fact that the amount of cap space the bulls were holding for whoever, it would have easily payed Ben Gordon *and* Kirk Hinrich.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:39 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I agree about the Celtics. Lost in the shuffle of the LEBRONAGEDDON yesterday was the news that the Celtics had acquired Jermaine O'Neal. Dayum.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:41 AM on July 9, 2010


Isn't O'Neal like 50 though?
posted by Mister_A at 8:43 AM on July 9, 2010


Different O'Neal. Shaq is old; Jermaine is not.
posted by questionsandanchors at 8:47 AM on July 9, 2010


Don't worry, Cleveland. You'll get through this. Take a deep breath, think of Bernie Kosar, and soldier on.
posted by Kirk Grim at 8:50 AM on July 9, 2010


I think he's like 31 or 32.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:50 AM on July 9, 2010


J. O'Neal is essentially at the Artist Formerly Known As stage. He's been injured, and while he's not fifty, he's been playing since he was 18. There's some talk of a certain number of games (1000, I think) that after which, most players suddenly drop off. Kobe is supposed to hit that number this season. A good number of stat people are predicting that this is the year that Kobe slows down, and has to learn to transition to a Ray Allen/Celtics esque roll.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:50 AM on July 9, 2010


Ahh that's why he seems like he's been around forever. So he's probably 13 or 14 seasons in the league now... iirc he played for Bird's Pacers back in the Clinton Administration when we were all young and rich.
posted by Mister_A at 8:53 AM on July 9, 2010


I don't visit the Cav's website but I would suspect that between the NBA.com domain and the local team, that Comic Sans wasn't part of the style guide. I also don't suspect the Cav's owner opened up whatever CMS they use on the site, changed the font to +5 whatever the default size is and Comic Sans and started typing. As a big shot owner, he probably dictated the letter to an admin who sent it over to the site team with some sort of instructions to "look folksy" or something. The person on the site team that actually had to execute the instructions to use Comic Sans probably died a little inside over this. Cleveland may have lost LeBron, but that poor site guy lost his soul. If that poor web guy becomes a free agent and is interviewing for gigs at other sites, he'll have to explain what happened as part of the interview process.

I would support the NBA's decision to fine the Cavaliers for being so cavalier about font choice. You just can't have style guide violations like this. This isn't some blog. This is the NB-fucking-A.com
posted by birdherder at 8:54 AM on July 9, 2010


He'll be a good enough replacement for Sheed. Now if only someone could find a replacement for Ray Allen.

What's that you say? He's still around? Huh now? They just signed him to a new contract?! WHAT THE HELL?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:54 AM on July 9, 2010


Ray Allen's production is fine, his Finals performance notwithstanding. 2 years, $20 million is perfectly acceptable for a shooting guard with his 3 point, free throw, and renewed defensive skills, especially in this ridiculous $20 million for Darko time.
posted by shen1138 at 8:59 AM on July 9, 2010


Also, callmejay—I don't think Wade is really going to be second fiddle to anyone, ever. The guy has a ring and a scoring title under his belt already, y'know?

I think that sort of concern is overblown. There's no reason either has to be "second." Actually, it may be a good thing for their relationship that LeBron isn't a naturally selfish player or a domineering personality the way Kobe and Jordan were (although even they learned to overcome it to varying extents.)
posted by callmejay at 9:03 AM on July 9, 2010


I don't have lot to contribute here, just wanted to note that I find the following billboard, as described in one of the articles linked, disturbing. I enjoy a good Kurt Warner "Hyvee Jesus" joke, but such blatant deification of players is a bit much for me to stomach, and certainly contributes to the betrayal felt by Cleveland fans.

They threw rocks at a 10-story-tall billboard that features James with his head tossed back, arms pointing skyward. The billboard has come to define this city and its all-consuming reverence for the man they called The King: "We Are All Witnesses," it says.

LeBron, once Jesus, is now Judas I guess.
posted by fyrebelley at 9:04 AM on July 9, 2010


The Atlantic's Joshua Green on How LeBron's Move Helps the Tea Party
really?
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:05 AM on July 9, 2010


As someone who hasn't paid a lot of attention to this, but knows the broad strokes:

I heard that James made some attempts to get other players to come to Cleveland before jumping ship, anyone know if that's actually true, or just part of the hype machine?
posted by madajb at 9:19 AM on July 9, 2010


Bitter-girl, I note with interest your link to the story about Dan Gilbert's non-payment of taxes, since he's supposed to be opening a casino here in Cincinnati in the next year or so. Comic sans aside, maybe he's not the great guy people here have been promised.
posted by tizzie at 9:35 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


He supposedly tried to get Bosh to come to Cleveland, and Bosh, surprisingly refused to go to Cleveland. Then again, Stan Van Gundy (the NBA's own Ron Jeremy) just called Bosh Wade's lapdog. It's fun when people stop toeing the line/staying on message.

About O'neal, don't forget, he went to Indiana after four seasons in Portland. Also, his competitive spirit seems to be somewhere in Vince Carter territory these days.

And my Kobe becoming Ray Allen comment wasn't a dig at either player. Ray Allen is doing a fantastic job of transitioning from the player he was to a more than serviceable two guard who gets by on skill rather than athleticism. Another good example is Pippen's resurgence in Portland, where he ended up being the most reliable point guard on the team. I imagine Kobe will figure it out, too, but there will probably be a transition period where he refuses to accept that his body just won't do what he wants it to. If he develop a post game (like Jordan did), he'll last a lot longer as a go-to guy. For an example of a player who refused to alter their game, look no further than Iverson, who still seems to believe he deserves a starting spot, even though he's lost a whole flight of steps, is undersized, and never was a good shooter to start with. (I try very, very hard to maintain my Dumars love, but he Nashed Billups, who's still doing fine, and don't forget, the Pistons could have had Bosh, or Anthony, or Wade. Nevar Forget).
posted by Ghidorah at 9:40 AM on July 9, 2010


Different O'Neal. Shaq is old; Jermaine is not.

Oh no, Jermaine's knees are at least as old as Shaq. The Celtics have to have someone fill in for Perk, and Jermaine O'Neal qualifies as someone. But so do I. A cardboard cutout of Mark Eaton would be about as effective.
posted by yerfatma at 9:49 AM on July 9, 2010


If he develop a post game (like Jordan did), he'll last a lot longer as a go-to guy.

He's way ahead of you.
posted by shen1138 at 9:55 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]



I honestly believe it's less that he's leaving, and more the dramatic, somewhat assholish way he did it.


This times a MILLION. I truly believe (and would like some feedback from Cleveland fans) that regardless of how he handled himself the last couple of weeks, if it were not for "The Decision" last night he wouldn't have triggered nearly as harsh a reaction from Cavs fans. It's still unprecedented how he did this: turned a free agent signing into a televised special event? I really can't believe he did this if he wasn't going to remain with Cleveland. How could he not expect people upset? Gathering around bars, coordinating parties to watch him speak, and getting stabbed in the back...with a couple of drinks in them most likely as well. What a recipe for disaster.

Had the news broken in the more "traditional" format nowadays, ESPN/twitter/news services would have had it out within minutes, and people would have found out relatively quickly, but in a more staggered and decentralized chain of events. I suspect hearts across Northeastern Ohio would still have been broken, but to have been dragged through whatever the hell happened last night just seems painful. The sad thing is I want to believe LBJ is deep down kind of a good guy, and the proceeds from yesterday going to the boys and girls club can partially justify how this all went down....but c'mon LeBron, you expected people in Cleveland to have "mixed reactions" to the way you broadcast your announcement? This is one of the most cold-blooded PR stunts in recent history and I feel for the Cavs fans who actually got their hopes up, thinking he wouldn't build this up to let his home state down.
posted by andruwjones26 at 10:05 AM on July 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm a Cleveland fan -- I feel a little badly for all the shit LeBron is about to get, when he gave 7 years to the city. But I do think it was spectacularly bad decision to build up his decision so much. I'm pretty tolerant of his shenanigans but a) I got tired of it fast, and b) when he announced he'd decide in an hour-long broadcast I thought "wait, so I guess he has to stay in Cleveland - no way he's going to crush his hometown's dreams in an hour-long live special. That's pretty cruel for a town that's gone through as much as Cleveland has."

It's easy to forget that he's only 25 sometimes. I thought he seemed really young in the broadcast last night, like someone maybe who got in a little too deep. Well, we'll see what happens.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:07 AM on July 9, 2010


Correction: free agent decision, free agent signings are often partially televised as special events; not much surprise though since the decision has been previously announced in these situations.
posted by andruwjones26 at 10:07 AM on July 9, 2010


and also what Solon and Thanks said.
posted by andruwjones26 at 10:09 AM on July 9, 2010


Different O'Neal. Shaq is old; Jermaine is not.

Oh no, Jermaine's knees are at least as old as Shaq. The Celtics have to have someone fill in for Perk, and Jermaine O'Neal qualifies as someone. But so do I. A cardboard cutout of Mark Eaton would be about as effective.


My bad entirely. Mr. Q&A, the NBA blogger, is thoroughly embarrassed by me and I've been taken to town and set straight. The real question is, how much do they need O'Neal to fill in for Perkins? AKA: Will they allow him to smile?
posted by questionsandanchors at 10:13 AM on July 9, 2010


Don't be glum, Cleveland. You're still not Detroit!
posted by rusty at 10:17 AM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


As United States collapses, media worship LeBron James.
posted by thescientificmethhead at 10:19 AM on July 9, 2010


George Orwell: The Sporting Spirit.

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence: in other words it is war minus the shooting...
If you wanted to add to the vast fund of ill-will existing in the world at this moment, you could hardly do it better than by a series of football matches between Jews and Arabs, Germans and Czechs, Indians and British, Russians and Poles, and Italians and Jugoslavs, each match to be watched by a mixed audience of 100,000 spectators. I do not, of course, suggest that sport is one of the main causes of international rivalry; big-scale sport is itself, I think, merely another effect of the causes that have produced nationalism. Still, you do make things worse by sending forth a team of eleven men, labelled as national champions, to do battle against some rival team, and allowing it to be felt on all sides that whichever nation is defeated will “lose face”.
I hope, therefore, that we shan't follow up the visit of the Dynamos by sending a British team to the USSR. If we must do so, then let us send a second-rate team which is sure to be beaten and cannot be claimed to represent Britain as a whole. There are quite enough real causes of trouble already, and we need not add to them by encouraging young men to kick each other on the shins amid the roars of infuriated spectators.


He was writing about football, but as apis mellifera mentioned above, sports is tribalism and warfare given modern form. Basketball is no different.
posted by WalterMitty at 10:19 AM on July 9, 2010


The real question is, how much do they need O'Neal to fill in for Perkins? AKA: Will they allow him to smile?

Not a concern: while Perk works hard at his glare, O'Neal has the built-in hangdog look that comes from having been good enough to be great and never seizing the opportunity. And then blowing out your knees. Or vice-versa.
posted by yerfatma at 10:24 AM on July 9, 2010


solon and andruw, one of the more constant themes since the special was announced was the idea that there was no way he'd leave after building it up so much. Most bloggers seemed to think it impossible that he'd drive everyone into a fever pitch, then leave Cleveland. At first, it was supposed to be broadcast from Akron. When it was changed to Greenwich, I think everyone knew he wasn't staying, but then again, why build it up so much when doing so will only make it seem worse? And yeah, he is only 25, and the same for most of his friends, who, at the moment, seem to be his sounding board. It just wasn't the right way to do it. Luckily, he had Gilbert come along and go crazy, so James looks a little less bad as a result.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:28 AM on July 9, 2010


The cluelessness of some people here is incredible. The presence of James brought the city literally millions of dollars in revenue a year. You realize people drive in, park, eat, get hotel rooms, etc right? And that the Cavs employ hundreds if not thousands of people directly when you consider vendors, stadium staff etc? And Lebron leaving devalued the corporation by tens of millions, if not nearly a hundred million dollars? All leisure activities are pretty much pointless in the grand scheme of things. Don't let your irrational hatred of sports blind you to logic. I knew metafilter sucked at sports but logic we're supposed to be decent at. This is significant to an economically depressed area.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:41 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah I guess I missed most of the pre-broadcast hysteria, I didn't even know about it til Thursday morning. Clearly there's a lot of financial benefit in this whole mess for advertisers, owners, and other associated parties but it just seems so wrong for a guy like LeBron to do. If my hometown hero did this I'd be hysterical. Magnify what LeBron meant to everyone and his larger-than-life presence in the area...I know I'm repeating points here and I don't wanna get the anti-sports/build-schools crowd riled up, but this is just insane. Shock value is the only explanation I keep coming up with for why LB's team allowed this to happen. The fact that no one believed he would do it w/o picking cleveland but "omg! MIAMI!" is what we're still talking about today, and probably non-stop for the next week.
posted by andruwjones26 at 10:44 AM on July 9, 2010


I'm still a little surprised that the crazy Gilbert in an NBA story isn't Gilbert Arenas, as I fully anticipated when I first saw the headlines last night.
posted by Copronymus at 10:48 AM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


The thing that no one remembers is that Jordan era Bulls were beaten three times by the Pistons. This is like if Michael had quit after the first loss and signed with Detroit to guarantee he would win a championship. Even if they pull it off, it won't be the same.
posted by puny human at 10:50 AM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


and here I thought y'all were smarter than to give a flying fuck about some overpriced idiot that plays with balls.

This is such garbage. Depending on who you listen to, Lebron James is either the best or second best basketball player in the world. The market pays what the market price is. Overpriced has nothing to do with it. If you were worth $100 million a year to a corporation they'd pay you millions of dollars a year too. I can only assume you have such seething hatred for all entertainers.
posted by nathancaswell at 11:05 AM on July 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


With Joakim Noah talking smack about the Heat, I feel like I finally have a team to root for: THE CHICAGO BULLS. They are the young underdogs who were scorned by James and Wade but who still have enough talent/firepower to beat them. Plus, rumors that the Bulls told LBJ that he couldn't bring his entourage with him have just made me like the organization even more.

The Bulls are the new Pistons. The Heat are the new Lakers. The Lakers are the new Celtics. The Celtics are just old.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:24 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I feel bad for the people of Cleveland but Dan Gilbert voted for the relocation of the Sonics. Fuck him.

Also: Seattle schools did not magically improve when the basketball team left town. I don't think the local economy has improved because of it and I'm pretty sure the homeless aren't getting to stay in Key Arena either.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 11:44 AM on July 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


They are the young underdogs who were scorned by James and Wade but who still have enough talent/firepower to beat them.

They're underdogs, sure.

Derrick Rose/Carlos Boozer (the oft-injured)/Luol Deng is not quite at that level, though.

Noah's a fantastic role player but not an offensive threat.

They have nobody at 2 who's going to contribute much (although they do have salary room.) A lot of the trade pieces they held (Hinrich, Tyrus Thomas, John Salmons) are gone and that leaves them with Taj Gibson to get a proper 2 guard or they sign the best left....uh....J.J. Reddick? Fact is, Gibson's a super bench presence and I think they need him with Boozer's wonky body.

Fact is, the Bulls had a plan and a firepower supporting cast. They needed two stars to fill voids and they got one Boozer. They'll be in the playoffs, but they're nowhere near the upper echelon of the NBA East.
posted by Hiker at 11:53 AM on July 9, 2010



It's your fault, Dan. You had a couple of seasons to clear enough cap space to get Chris Bosh and you failed to do that. That's all James wanted.


You're like the Mets owner: just put the minimal amount of talent on the field to keep the fans' interest. Winning a title is just gravy to you.

(how ironic: the Yankees- and not the Mets- are about to sign Cliff Lee)
posted by L'OM at 11:59 AM on July 9, 2010


Bulls just need to hold on through this season, clear some cap space, wait a year, then grab Melo.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:02 PM on July 9, 2010


Way late to this party, but since my code's compiling..

MetaFilter: a little like stepping in front of an uncontainable firehose of liquid spleen.
posted by Alterscape at 12:08 PM on July 9, 2010


It's your fault, Dan. You had a couple of seasons to clear enough cap space to get Chris Bosh and you failed to do that. That's all James wanted.

Cap space wasn't the problem; Chris Bosh didn't want to play in Cleveland.

James wanted a lot of things; he wanted a supporting cast, so they gave him all-stars like Mo Williams and Antawn Jameson. He wanted a legitimate center, so they gave him Shaq. He was vocal about keeping Varajeo and they did. James couldn't lead those players to victory.

I mean, they built the best team in the East last year; to get there after 82 games, you need a good supporting cast. James had that; not as good as his current cast, but he's going to find touches a lot harder to come by on a team with three stars than when he was the leader.

He'll see his points dip a little, his assists will probably rise, but in the end who gets the ball when it's crunch time? Is it Wade, who's won one before; or is it James? I can't imagine him being happy with the former for long.
posted by Hiker at 12:20 PM on July 9, 2010


in the end who gets the ball when it's crunch time? Is it Wade, who's won one before; or is it James? I can't imagine him being happy with the former for long.

Huh? James is not an end-of-the-game kind of guy. Wade is. I have no doubt that at the end of the game Wade will have the ball in his hands.

Wade is like a mini-Jordan. LeBron is like Magic reincarnate. The two together will actually be a pretty good combo, personality-wise. I still hope they self-destruct under the weight of their own egos, but all in all it's a pretty great pairing.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:26 PM on July 9, 2010


Guys, y'all have to quit calling him LJB. I keep seeing images of President Johnson trying to swish a basket, and I think it's going to break my brain.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 12:33 PM on July 9, 2010


Er...LBJ. Sorry, dyslexic fingers today.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 12:34 PM on July 9, 2010


Is it Wade, who's won one before; or is it James? I can't imagine him being happy with the former for long.

It's come up in the thread at Sportsfilter and I think one of the most damning things about this move is how content LeBron seems to be with not being The Man at the end of the game. He gave a bullshit answer to the question, "Will the three of you be able to share the spotlight", saying he thought there would be "three spotlights", which is nonsense.

He's an incredibly talented player who can effectively play a number of positions on the court. What he is apparently not is a monomaniacal freak who only cares about winning. The move suggests basketball is one piece of the empire LeBron envisions building and he's happy to outsource the winning to whomever he can pal around with. The problem is that's no recipe for becoming a legend which is what all his dreams are based on. Becoming another billionaire athlete like Michael or Tiger requires you to become a legend first. Which requires winning.

It's strange to see someone who "has it all" be just as clueless as any other kid his age and think he's just going to wish himself into becoming Don Corleone. As long as kids think Jay Z or Diddy's "brand" and vodka lines are anything else than an indulgence their music labels provide while they're useful, kids are still going to get fleeced by The Machine and rich old white dudes will keep getting richer. All it would take is for him to spend just a little bit of cash on some smart advisers, but the sycophants around him keep them at bay.
posted by yerfatma at 12:44 PM on July 9, 2010


If the Orioles were good I'd actually be printing money at that job. As it is, with the stadium 1/4 full I do just OK.

Seriously, the only time the stadium is full is when the Red Sox or the Yankees are in town. It's apparently cheaper/easier to fly down to Baltimore, get a hotel room and pay for a ticket than it is to see a game in Boston or NYC.
posted by electroboy at 1:23 PM on July 9, 2010


The move suggests basketball is one piece of the empire LeBron envisions building and he's happy to outsource the winning to whomever he can pal around with

I think he just really wants that ring. In the end of the day it doesn't matter who wins the championship as long as they're on your team.

I'm guessing the idea of not having all the pressure on him at the end of the game really appeals. He does seem to thrive under pressure, but maybe it's getting old and he wants other superstars to shoulder the weight.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 1:38 PM on July 9, 2010


It's apparently cheaper/easier to fly down to Baltimore, get a hotel room and pay for a ticket than it is to see a game in Boston or NYC.

See you in September (9/2 to be exact). Southwest out of Manchester/ Providence makes it a similar commute to getting into Boston by car. Except you're in the air and not that many people are swearing.
posted by yerfatma at 2:08 PM on July 9, 2010


You know, I don't care about sports. At all. But still, being a Clevelander, I felt my heart break a little bit last night. For those of you who don't get where the vitriol is coming from, my sense is, it goes like this: LeBron feels like a family member to Clevelanders. He's local. We watched him grow up. He's been making the front page of our paper since he was in high school. There are very few nice things that people have to say about our city that don't involve the Orchestra or LeBron. I imagine it as being something like having a child who is wildly, wonderfully successful, and then watching him go to live with another family because you're just not doing it for him anymore. For ages, I've heard people talk about him like he's a wonderful, kind person who really cares about Cleveland. I think a lot of people are having to contrast that picture of him with a decision that seems to directly contradict it.
posted by emilyd22222 at 2:15 PM on July 9, 2010


"For those of you who don't get where the vitriol is coming from"
posted by yerfatma at 2:38 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was really hoping that yesterday's big transactions would get mixed up and LeBron would end up in Moscow and the ten Russian spies would in Miami.
posted by Frank Grimes at 3:33 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Truehoop isn't loading right for me at the moment, but I think one of the posts on there a couple days ago pointed out that, if anything, the contracts that Wade, Bosh, and James will sign will have them at way below market value, simply because of the salary cap. They can't get what the market would bear because of that. Signing James to a 5 year, $90mil contract is, technically, a steal, because he's nearly guaranteed to bring back more than that in ticket sales, jersey sales, and every single transaction that happens because of him. Is it absurd that he gets paid that much to play a game? Only if you don't pay attention to how much impact he has for the NBA, the Heat, Nike, and whatever other company willing to pay for his (now slightly tarnished) image.

Jordan's last two years as a Bull, he was paid $30 and $36 million a season, and arguably, he was still underpaid. It's crazy, but I've seen numbers that suggest that Jordan, in addition to his sizable income from basketball and endorsements, actually earned other people over a billion dollars.

As for impact, Bill Simmons has a Lebron mailbag column up. I'm sure some people will just throw up their hands and say it's stupid, but this comment from Dave in Cleveland is a little heartbreaking to me:

How does someone recover from this? My father will be dead before a Cleveland team wins a title.

posted by Ghidorah at 3:50 PM on July 9, 2010



(how ironic: the Yankees- and not the Mets- are about to sign Cliff Lee)

Nope, the Rangers took him. Maybe he's on the A Rod route to the Yankees, though -- via the Rangers.

Dammit. We Mariners fans will miss him a lot. He was the big bright spot in our sad summer.
posted by bearwife at 4:42 PM on July 9, 2010


I knew metafilter sucked at sports

That's demonstrably not true. There have been lots of smart, in-depth discussions of sports here, for many, many years. That MeFi has a diversity of opinions about the place in society of big money pro sports doesn't mean it Sucks At Sports. That snide generalization does a major disservice to the folks here who regularly talk sports in sharp, funny, intelligent ways.
posted by mediareport at 4:42 PM on July 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's demonstrably not true.

Fine, fine, fine. I apologize, Metafilter.
posted by nathancaswell at 4:55 PM on July 9, 2010


Here's something interesting: The Lebron James Fathead has dropped in price to $17.41, the year of Benedict Arnold's birth. The owner of the Cavs also owns Fathead.

(found here)
posted by dirigibleman at 7:02 PM on July 9, 2010


I'm just trying to convince myself that Chicago will be fine. We didn't need Bosh and Wade. After all, we got Boozer and... Kyler Korver?!

if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to go weep in five or seven beers.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:43 PM on July 9, 2010


Jordan's last two years as a Bull, he was paid $30 and $36 million a season

Don't think you can pay someone that much since the 2005 CBA, even with the Larry Bird rule.
posted by yerfatma at 4:58 AM on July 10, 2010


yerfatma: It all adds up to $3.7 million nightly for 41 nights a year (about $150 million total). That pays for an awful lot of teachers.
Does anyone really imagine that, absent the sporting events, sports fans would take that ticket/parking/t-shirt money and stuff it into a mattress somewhere? Is money spent on sporting events and associated activities somehow more efficient at creating jobs and tax revenue than other types of service/entertainment spending is?
posted by Western Infidels at 7:25 AM on July 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyway, I find the crazy levels of passion and feelings of betrayal pretty ridiculous. Who cares if the guy gets to make more money somewhere else?
MetaFilter: A Safe Haven for People Who Have Trouble Comprehending the Feelings of Other People.
posted by waxbanks at 9:14 AM on July 10, 2010


Does anyone really imagine that, absent the sporting events, sports fans would take that ticket/parking/t-shirt money and stuff it into a mattress somewhere?

It's not what they would do with it but where.
posted by yerfatma at 9:47 AM on July 10, 2010


Some wisdom here:
All leisure activities are pretty much pointless in the grand scheme of things. Don't let your irrational hatred of sports blind you to logic. I knew metafilter sucked at sports but logic we're supposed to be decent at.
I think ignorance underlies most of the anti-sports hatred around here, along with - unsurprisingly when you think about the demographics of this place - an impressive lack of empathy. Economic logic is a limited mode of analysis here, though it is important.

Consider for a moment what the city of Cleveland would feel like to nearly every resident this morning if LBJ had chosen to remain in the city. Consider what it'd feel like for a kid to walk down the street knowing her hero decided struggling in his hometown was preferable to cruising on the beach. Consider the feeling of watching a beloved public figure - a young kid himself, not yet fully mature - do a whole city a big favour.

Folks there relate to him not as a portion of the NBA machine, not even as an effective professional athlete, but as a reminder of their own connection to the city. His own story, as each fan understands it, allows them to relate in some new way to their own.

This is not very complicated, of course. I'm guessing that large numbers of MeFites have the same weird symbolic relationship to all kinds of celebrities and public figures - Barack Obama, for instance. But our local demographic comes equipped with, let's say, a higher-than-the-national-average incidence of certain cognitive shortcomings. Sports fandom is like any other mode of (often wonderfully) irrational engagement with public events and figures.
posted by waxbanks at 9:48 AM on July 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Can somebody direct me to the comment in this thread that explains in detail why people are talking about this so goddamn much
posted by tehloki at 5:51 PM on July 10, 2010


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