Posts Tagged ‘Cleveland Cavaliers’

LeBron James’ “The Decision” was a 1 hour televised pistol-whipping to the collectively miserable psyche of Cleveland sports fans.  Last Tuesday, “King James” headed back to greet his former peons at Quicken Loans Arena.

It was the second time LeBron had taken his talents back to Cleveland since he left under heavy criticism.  The first trip the Heat scorched the Cavs to the tune of a James-led curbstomping that sent the Cavs into a “Blackhawk Down” style, tailspinning nightmare which crash-landed them into the boneyard of all-time bad teams.  The 2010-11 season saw Cleveland turn into the dirty rug of the league, constantly getting the dust beat out of them.

The Heat, heralded by some as a super team worthy of 70+ wins and by others as a whole lot more hyperbole than substance, have proven that both sides of the spectrum are right in one way or another.  They’re inconsistent.  In fact, they’re consistently inconsistent.  They have Space Mountained their way through several tough losing streaks and a few impressive winning streaks as well.

While they’ve had well-documented trouble beating upper echelon opponents they have been decisively smoking patsies like the Cavaliers all year.

And then Tuesday happened.

Cleveland, woefully inadequate in both scoring and defensive stats, hadn’t won a game by 10 or more points all year.

And then Tuesday happened.

LeBron and the Heat headed to Cleveland feeling like rockstars.  Calling themselves “The Heatles,” they landed their roadies, possies, and PR agents on the tarmac of LeBron’s former town feeling ready to deliver another defacto performance; to drive a #6 labeled stake into the hearts of the staggering undead that is the Cleveland franchise.

But in a city that houses the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame, “The Heatles” played more like an Air Supply cover band than a group worthy of any kind of enshrinement.  Suffice it to say, LeBron was “All Out of Love.”  (*Author’s Note: Shoot me.  Seriously.  I think that’s a new Burnpoetry record for lamest name drop of a song.  Ever.)

LeBron’s troubles started early Tuesday evening.  As the Heat’s team bus was pulling up to head into the arena, LeBron and his crew were attempting to sneak in in-coward-nito through the back parking garage.  The LeBrontourage was spotted rolling in an Obama-worthy cavalcade of multiple SUV’s but were turned away by security.

I’m not saying that LeBron was scared to come in the front door. . .but LeBron was scared to come in the front door. 

However, can you really blame him?  If you were Benedict Arnold, would you want to pull your carriage up at the front gates of Mount Vernon or would you probably try to sneak around back to the slave quarters?

It got worse from there.

As the Heat prepared to have their team introductions read, and as they began to announce LeBron James’ height, weight, and high school “The Chosen One” chose to cop-out.  With a rolling thunder of boos cascading down, vibrating through the arena like a chorus of tribal war drums, LeBron was nowhere to be found.  Apparently Bron-Bron had to pee-pee.

When asked about his absence after the game LeBron said that he’d had to go to the bathroom.  He was defiant about his choice to hit the John at the exact moment when he would be basking in the unabashed hatred of 20,562 people, asking inquisitive media members if they “had a problem with that?!?”

Of course they did, LeBron.  At the moment when you were supposed to come out and rally your would-be bad boy image, show the icy contempt that made Jordan who he was and Kobe who he is, you copped out and popped a squat in your locker room.

Now, to be fair, maybe LeBron has a prostate issue.  Maybe he’s got a hot new endorsement deal for Beta Prostate and will be starring in a commercial about untimely pee breaks.

I’m not sure why, if LBJ had to take a pee, he couldn’t just go on the court.  He practically took a dump at center court last year when he completely gave up during the Cavs’ last playoff game in 2010.

The Cavs, however, came out motivated — they must have taken their bathroom breaks at the right time — and played with a ferocity and passion that has been sorely lacking since James’ departure. 

The Cavs won their first game by more than 10 points all year.  They exorcised a minor demon in the process, beating the man who beatdown the whole city last summer, and they allowed me to make a prostate joke in a sports post.  Thanks, the Cavs.

The Heat continued to look severely flawed, having their porous bench get outscored by nearly 30 points by the Cavs’ bench and they lost the chance to move up a spot to third in the Eastern Conference standings.

Now?  The playoffs loom large.  The question remains, will LeBron and company show up and deliver in the face of mass amounts of “we’re going to win 7 titles” self-hype, or will their season end up in the toilet like their superstar? 

FIN

 

After last season’s surprise, twist-ending that saw King James get bounced out of the playoffs by an aging Celtics squad, teams have been scrambling to get LeBron on their team.  The Knicks have pulled out all the stops, throwing their financial, celebrity and big city trappings at Lebron’s Niked-up feet.  The Chicago Bulls have thrown their lot into the mix as well, slashing and burning cap space like it was rainforest, and the Miami Heat seem intent on pitching Dwyane Wade as Eric Murphy to LBJ’s Vince.  The entire city of Cleveland has attempted to ask, or should I say beg, their greatest homegrown athlete of all time to stick around.  Where will LeBron end up?  Will he choose the beaches and thongs of Miami or the board rooms and penthouse suites of NYC?  Will Cleveland ever win anything?  These answers and more, in the LeBrontourage Season Premiere starting today on every sports network imaginable.

 New York: a bustling metropolis with well-known nicknames like “The City that Never Sleeps”, “The Capital of the World” and “The Place Where a Guy Tried to Sell Me a Fake Rolex and a Dime Bag in the Same Conversation.”  Alright, that last one was mine.  But that did happen.  New York is a place where LeBron could take his already astronomical net-worth and truly blast into a Jordan-esque tax bracket.  New York has the fabled Madison Square Garden, one of the most famed home courts for a team in history, and a star-studded, celebrity courtside crew.  LeBron and New York seem like a great match off the court.

But on the court?  New York is a bigger mess than a sorority girl on cheap-margarita night.  After she just got dumped.  They have plodded along to a 212-362 game record since LeBron’s joined the league.  That’s a 58% winning percentage and a meager 6% better than Shaq’s career free-throw percentage.  The best player on the Knicks is a Honky with two first names that I have to Google just to show people who he is.  Alicia Keys may sing that the city is a “concrete Jungle where dreams are made of” but the only thing concrete about the Knicks, is the way they move their feet on defense.

 What about the Chi, you might be saying?  Doesn’t the land of Obama and Oprah, Jordan and Joachim get any love in this whole contest?  The answer is “yes.”  The Bulls have made room for LeBron and have thrown off some of their lesser, overpaid talent to pave the way for him.  Would LeBron dare go to the Windy City where the G.O.A.T. once played, to suit up alongside a guy that he almost had an altercation with, in Joachim Noah.  The Bulls have a few pieces in place in Derrick Rose and the aforementioned Noah and can pick up one Max-contract free-agent but seem to be trailing the next team in the recent media blitz’s predictions on who’ll land James.

 The other team that is vying to take LeBron away from his home-state is the Miami Heat.  This team has been carried on Dwyane Wade’s ample back for the last few years and, needless to say he’s getting a little tired.  The city itself is another big-time market and all the team needs to do to lure LeBron’s gaze away from the dirty, cold streets of Cleveland is to kick open his limousine door and let him catch a whiff of the salt-tinged beach air.  All he needs to do is catch an eyeful of the perfect sand, rolling out its own version of a red carpet down to its never-cold-enough-to-need-the-15-winter-coats-you-are-required-to-have-in-Cleveland water.  Miami is gorgeous and boasts fast cars and wild times for the 25-year-old millionaire. 

But does it boast touches on the court?  Will LBJ and D-Wade work out together?  They seem compatible on the court, having done well together as teammates on Team U.S.A., and are legitimate friends.  But both are big time scorers and both guys are alpha males that lead their team.  Will Pat Riley come back and take over the Heat?  He seems to come back to coaching like a junkie to the pipe.  It would be tough for James to say no to a team with Bosh, Wade, and himself coached by one of the all-time greats in a climate where you don’t even need to wear long pants in January.  If LeBron doesn’t feel threatened by going to “Wade’s City” and “Wade’s Team” and if Wade doesn’t mind giving up a few late-game jumpers and a few groupie 3-ways to The King?  I’d watch out for the Miami Heat.

The last piece of this puzzle is Cleveland.  The Cavaliers can’t seem to work any general manager magic, make any moves that put the Cavs over the top, or ride the Bron-Bron express to the promised land.  For 2 straight seasons the Cavs have finished with the league’s best record and for 2 straight seasons they have been bounced before reaching the NBA finals.  James has played himself to back-to-back MVP trophies and they still can’t put it together around him.  Anderson Varejao is his best big-man and Varejao’s hair is usually more noteworthy than his stat line.  I LeBron leaves, he leaves behind a town and state that have adored him since he was 13 and suddenly takes the title “most hated man in his hometown of all time.”  A tough title to bear, for sure, but Cleveland is nearly maxed out and the best they could do would be to bring in a middling free agent in some kind of trade for Mo Williams or another guard.

No matter what LBJ chooses, LeBrontourage Season 7 promises to have all kinds of twists and turns.  Will it have the surprise ending that makes “Saw” seem predictable, like James heading to New Jersey?  Or will James choose Miami sand over New York skyscraper steel?  Tune in today as it all plays out.  Also, check out the mathematical equations that I have developed for each team in my post tomorrow.