LeBron James' televised announcement that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to play for the Miami Heat—for the express purposes of winning multiple championships alongside Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh—broke the hearts of New Yorkers, who were hoping James would use his talents to elevate the Knicks once again or even, if they ever move to Brooklyn, create a dynasty with the Nets. The Daily News is calling him "LeCon" and there's an amazing open letter from Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert posted on the team's website. It reads, in Comic Sans font, "I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE."
The full text of the letter is after the jump; Gilbert also calls James' announcement loaded with "a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up" and says to fans, "You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal." The Cleveland Plain Dealer's front page elegantly calls out how much James was paid and how he has no NBA championship rings; the city was full of fans who were burning James' 23 jerseys. One fan said, "This is the worst day of my life. But I'm not surprised at all. It'll be like Art Modell." Modell, who took the Browns football team out of Cleveland, though, says he expects to keep the "most hated man in Cleveland" title.
In NYC, fans were full of opinions (NATCH!). One Upper East Sider told the Post, "New York City is the center of the universe, the media world, the financial world. Everything centers in New York City. Miami? You gotta be kidding me! The worst city he could be going to." One person Twittered, "There was a news crew outside penn station getting reactions to #LeBron #James's decision & someone was sitting on the sidewalk crying."
"In making 'The Decision,' James basically threw up his hands and said, 'I give up. I can't lead a team to the title by myself.'
And this guy thinks he can be another Michael Jordan?
He's not even in the same league as Kobe Bryant.And Lawrence now thinks Knicks owner James Dolan was right was he said, "It takes courage to play where the lights shine the brightest."
There's no guarantee James will get his ring in Miami, but he certainly has seemed to take the easy way out. He lands in a media-friendly town, where the pressure to win will be a thousand times less than it is here and will be playing on a team that runs miles behind the Dolphins in terms of importance to the area.
The Post's Steve Serby agrees, in a long rant, "This is a town without pity, and you have to want to play here. You have to have the stomach for the fight, for the microscope, for the unrelenting, suffocating pressure, for the great expectations.... LeBron James didn’t want to play here, and hid behind the convenient explanation that he went to play with Pat Riley’s Heat with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to win his elusive first championship after seven years of trying in hometown Akron/Cleveland. He didn’t want to be the basketball Broadway Joe. Didn’t want the best and brightest lights shining on his basketball genius. New York turned its lonely eyes to you, LeBron James, and you turned away... Wade and Bosh give The Chicken King cover in Miami. He didn’t want to be The Man here. Just one of The Men on South Beach."
So basically, if you turn New York down, you're just a huge baby. Wait, we've seen that before.
Here's the letter from Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert:
Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;
As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.
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.
Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.
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.
There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.
You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.
You have given so much and deserve so much more.
In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:
"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.
If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.
Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.
Sorry, but that's simply not how it works.
This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become.
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.
The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.
Sleep well, Cleveland.
Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day....
I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:
DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue....