HipHop x Sports
Inspiring video to hype The King’s return:
Sorry Heat fans:
In a heartfelt article on Sports Illustrated that he wrote himself, Lebron James explained to the world why he wanted to return home, what his mindset was four years ago at the time of the now infamous “Decision” and now, and what his thoughts are for the upcoming NBA season with the young Cavs… See what he said & my take after the jump:
“If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do thing differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am.”
“I went to Miami because of (Dwyane Wade) and (Chris Bosh). We made sacrifices to keep (Udonis Haslem). I loved becoming a big bro to (Mario Chalmers). I believe we could do something magical if we can together. And that’s exactly what we did!”
I was always the biggest Lebron hater you could find. Not because I’m a Knicks fan and he didn’t choose New York 4 years ago, but for a number of other reasons, one of the main ones being how he handled his last free agency… It’s hard to completely change your opinion on someone that I used to loathe, but after the way he handled this free agency, from beginning to end, I really believe my opinion on him will drastically improve. I would never root for a team other than my Knicks, but if there’s anything you like to see beyond your team winning a championship, it’s a good story. I respect him for speaking from the heart here, explaining why he left, but still being genuinely honest about it all. Despite coming back to a place where people felt he betrayed them, he still doesn’t deny that he would do the same thing over again, which is admirable. I have to agree that his years in Miami made him the biggest superstar on Earth and was ultimately the best thing for his career, but I think we can all agree that the way he handled it was something he probably wished he had back:
“What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react?”
Even though he wouldn’t take the decision back and has always been the one to keep quiet about controversy, he admitted that he knew he let down the people of his city. That’s admirable. It’s a humble assessment to view something as big as that from the perspective and innocence of a kid that looks up to you. It truly sounds like he wants to be a role model for the city of Cleveland, and there’s not a lot more heartwarming than that coming from any jaded athlete immersed in more money you could wrap your head around … How would Barkley react?
“I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when.”
Not to nitpick, but it’s probably easy to say that now that he has already moved. Not to say that I don’t believe he ever thought about definitely moving back to Cleveland, but given different situations, taking the devil’s advocate point of view, Lebron could have left Miami 5 years from now when his career started to take a turn for the worse and he spent his fading years back home. You’re not exactly repaying the city when you’ve given your best years to a different team. Also, if things were different, the supporting cast of the Miami Heat could have looked a lot better, and the young talent from the Cavaliers may not have been there. Imagine a Cavs team without Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, or Andrew Wiggins? It’s easy to turn away from a team that doesn’t have a great shot of winning. But it’s definitely great for the city of Cleveland that the chips fell where they did.
My point is that it can be argued that it was even a SMARTER decision to move to Cleveland based on the young supporting cast he will receive there. I admit there’s a challenge, but if circumstances were different, perhaps Lebron would never have moved back to Cleveland. Just a thought.
“My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.”
Seems like Lebron knew he was just a slightly more naive guy 4 years ago, and admitting that is something you don’t see every day. Again, I have a lot of respect for that. When we’re young, we all make decisions we wish we could have back. Admitting that is something he needed to do both for the city of Cleveland and himself.
“My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.”
“We’re not ready (to win a title) right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested.”
Good to see he’s slightly more realistic and not as cocky as he was when he joined the Heat. Another CORRECT move from a superstar.
“In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have. I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.”
And to cap off the storybook monologue, Lebron provides the world with a quote that will ring endlessly in the world of basketball. Perfect way to finish
My Overall Thoughts
Lebron’s a polarizing guy for some reason. Even I have to admit that I couldn’t exactly put my finger on why I hated him so much the longer he was on the Heat. Regardless, I can point to a few things that I will always have a problem with. In addition, my thoughts were that if you wanted to be considered the greatest player in the world, you had to be held to a higher standard. So I admit I was definitely unfair to him at times, but I firmly believe he should be held to that standard if he wants to be known as the best.
Anyway, the fact that Lebron moved to Miami the way he did really got to me. I’m not arguing that he had so many other great choices to choose from at the time, and I get the human nature element of wanting to go to a team where you had the best chance of winning immediately, but I’m just simply against taking an easy way out and stacking a team full of big time free agents in a sport that’s so reliant on player skill and talent for team success, especially from a superstar… Granted, Lebron became the clear leader of the Heat as the seasons unfolded – Wade and Bosh both became glorified role players at times, so I respect the fact that Lebron was able to put the team on his shoulders during those times … But I believe it’s the intangibles of a leader and a superstar that make them LEGENDS – The Legends that belong in the same breath as guys like MJ, Bird, Magic, etc. Accepting a challenge like this builds character – you gain the respect of people like me (like THAT really matters) who argued that he took the easy way out 4 years ago … Lebron could have very easily returned to the Heat and remained a contender for the championship for the next 5 years … He chose not to … He chose to accept a challenge that may come back to haunt him by taking on an inexperienced team in a city that is relying on him to be their Superman … Like he said himself, this will not be an easy challenge. But if there are any doubters left that deny Lebron’s greatness, winning with the Cavs will be the last obstacle he needs to finally shut them up.
Returning To A Familiar Place
Upon being drafted in Cleveland, James spent seven seasons with the Cavaliers, averaging 27.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game and leading them in 2007 to the NBA Finals, where they lost to the Spurs in a clean sweep. He always played with an extremely limited supporting cast, marked by players such as Mo Williams, Delonte Went, Anderson Varejao, & the Big Z. What made matters worse was consistently meeting the powerhouse Boston Celtics when the original Celtics Big 3 were at their peak and Doc Rivers was at the helm … Despite coming up short in Cleveland, he had one hell of a career there… Let’s take a look at Lebron’s Top 10 Plays as a Cav:
NBA Season Looks Bright – How Will The Cavaliers Look?
So with all that said, there isn’t a soul who isn’t going to tune in to Lebron’s first game in Cleveland. Furthermore, the Cavs have emerged as a contender for the championship overnight… The buzz immediately following Lebron’s latest decision was everything you’d expect:
As expected, Lebron will be getting a max contract of 4 years, 88 million dollars. He will be joining the rising All-Star PG from Duke, Kyrie Irving, as well as the #1 pick in this year’s draft from Kansas, Andrew Wiggins.
Kevin Love To Cavs?
Still more moves to be made from the Cavs? Perhaps … After Lebron made his move, Kevin Love was reportedly intrigued in joining the Cavs … The word is that the Cavs and Timberwolves would do a straight-up deal for Wiggins & Love, which would create a NEW Big 3 in Cleveland that would include James, Love, & Irving
More to come … But for now, let’s all just enjoy the hype… It’s been a crazy two days – great for the NBA