There so much I want to say right now. (aka... warning... I MIGHT ramble) It can't even be summed up in a few simple words. I haven't posted in almost a year. I was pretty sure I had hung up my "Girl out of Cleveland" shoes. Even after thousands of pleas from my most loyal readers (ok, an email from two random guys that enjoyed my writing, and two of my friends asking, so are you done with that whole blogging thing) I was ready to retire. But I, unlike others icons in the Cleveland sports world, will give the people what they want.
I may or may not return you to your regular schedule sarcastic observations and badly photoshopped (ok MS paint... I"m too cheap for photoshop!) pictures... but if nothing else, here are my reflections on tonight. The end of the circus that has essentially been two years in the making, but gotten wildly out of control within the last couple months, and especially the last few weeks.
So before I continue, I must say, I took tonight surprisingly well. I think that is partially due to the fact I've been mentally preparing myself for this for quite some time. As any good Cleveland fan knows, you hope for the best, but prepare for and expect the worse. Which is what I did.
I didn't cry. I didn't throw things. I didn't burn anything. I didn't drink until I puked. I feel like all of these things are signs of maturity.
I did however drop many an F* bomb. Especially when, before "the announcement" when Lebron was asked how he felt about this whole "recruiting" process after a lack of one upon entering the NBA right out of high school. Before he said the words "Miami Heat" (at that point I just shook my head and sipped my beer... what else could I do). When there was still a sliver of hope he might stay. And then he responded that the whole process had been "humbling". F*U*C*K you.... that is BULL SH*IT!!!! HUMBLING MY A*S*S! (Yes, I know you are supposed to replace letters with the * to sensor them, I am merely adding it between letters to drive home my emotion) HUMBLE??? Really what about an hour long special to make a 2 second announcement is humble????
I said earlier, well before any announcement, that at the end of the day, I wanted him to resign with us because he's disgustingly good at basketball. I've "witnessed" him in person. From my sophomore year in high school when he was a freshman at St. V and CRUSHED my high school's team in basketball up until the present time. From "Holy crap, did the freshman just DUNK???!!! Who the hell IS that guy" to his last second shot in the Orlando series last year (still one of the best sports moments I have personally seen), I have been amazed with his skill and athleticism. BUT these past few weeks he has proven himself to be a diva, a media whore, and a drama king/queen. And even if he were to still wear wine and gold next year, as much as I would cheer for him as a player, I would no longer respect him as a person. Now I will do neither.
I talked myself into and out of the fact he was staying over and over again. I tried not to. I tried to avoid the situation. I tried not to read into it and avoid all the media crap (F* you ESPN... you suck!). But I couldn't help it. I was like a deer caught in the headlights. I wanted to run, but I couldn't. What he did was cold. Make your decision. Sign wherever you want. But don't make a spectacle out of it. Be like a "normal" celebrity, do your thing, and issue a press release. In trying to build your empire, make your brand known, become an icon, you've tarnished yourself. You are a joke. Yes, you are still good at basketball. Don't get me wrong. I am not for a second doubting that. You may not have any rings. You may not have won a game in a finals series, (yea, I'm going to drive that home now that you're a bad guy), but you're good at basketball. But you may now be one of the most hated players in the NBA outside of Miami. New York fans and I can unite against him.
I really am heart broken by this because I do love the city of Cleveland. I myself left it for the bright lights of New York. I wouldn't have loved LeBron for that, but I would have gotten it. I could have understood Chicago. Again, wouldn't have loved you for it, but I would have gotten it. But the MIAMI HEAT? I hope the three of you and the rest of your minimum salary losers win 30 games next season.
I'm done ranting. My take aways from this: Despite what anyone says, Cleveland had strong supporting players. Maybe they weren't always consistent. But they had heart. We've got some strong role players. We just need a leader to step in. LeBron couldn't do it. Maybe someone else can. Let this be a challenge to any other want to be hero in the NBA. Come in and lead this team to do what Lebron couldn't.
At the end of the day I am still a Cleveland fan. Through all the heartache, I love my teams. I thought I was going to swear off basketball if Lebron left, but the more I think about it, the more I want to be a fan. I've loved this team for as long as I can remember. I rocked my Cavs starter jacket when it was sooooo much cooler to have a Hornets or a Bulls one. The name Mark Price will mean more to me than the name Lebron James ever will. I want to see this team rise above this and succeed. If I can stick by my Brownies, I can stick by my Cavs.
I'm going to end this with reposting Dan Gilbert's open letter to Cavs fans, which is currently on the front page of the Cavs website. As a friend of a friend put it best in their facebook status: "For seven years, he held a gun to our heads and made demands. For seven years, those demands were met. He shot the hostage anyway. This is why you don't negotiate with terrorists"
Danny Gilbert did nothing but give. He deserves the right to be angry. I love his open letter. Its got some Phil Savage-esque "go root for buffalo" undertones, but I think its bitter in an appropriate way. He says everything Cleveland is thinking and is promising us something better.... you know what DG... I hope you're right:
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....