Friday, July 09, 2010

Enough blame to go around

Sick of hearing about LeBron James yet? Glad that after this final burst, we're done with him until training camp, more or less?

Are there any heroes in this story? Well, no. Let's recap.

Start with the Cleveland Cavaliers. They had one of the biggest breaks in the history of sports fall their way. They happened to have the first draft pick seven years ago when they LeBron James was draft-eligible. James was considered a superstar-in-waiting at the time, and sometimes teams aren't that lucky. Sometimes you get Kwame Brown.

Oh, and just to add to the fun, he was from Akron, Ohio. As in, just down the road. And he loved the area, couldn't wait to play before family and friends.

The Cavs had seven years to assemble the rest of the parts around James to build a championship team. They couldn't do it. Some of that is luck, of course, but you'd have to think there might have been a way to make the Finals a little more often, at the least. That might haunt the Cavs for decades.

From the sounds of it, the Cavs apparently had one last good chance to keep James. They needed to convince Chris Bosh to come to Cleveland in a sign-and-trade deal with Toronto. Bosh, reportedly, wanted nothing to do with Cleveland under any circumstances. Fans in Cleveland will be busy booing James in years to come, but maybe Bosh deserves a few boos in Ohio too.

Finally, there is James himself. I'm not sure I can attack him for his basketball decision. He is walking into a pretty good situation, although it's tough to say who exactly the rest of the roster will have. But who told him this hour-long show announcing his decision was a good idea? It just made him out to be a self-promoting show business wannabe. And I'm not sure what Jim Gray's role in all of this is, but talk of his involvement in the process doesn't sound good. LeBron, have a news conference in Miami, explain your situation, and move on. This was rather ugly.

Sometimes you can have too much talent in basketball, and we'll see if the Heat can keep three good-sized egos fed while taking a few other guys to inbound the basketball.

Meanwhile, if I'm NBA Commissioner David Stern, I am doing one thing: I call up my schedule-maker for 2010-2011, and say, "Can we have Miami at Cleveland on Christmas afternoon this year?"


Anonymous said...

Budd, Hope all is weill with you. I just saw the re-designed web site. Conspicuously absent was the "This day in Buffalo sports history" blog that many of us look forward to every morning. Will this feature still be a part of the sports section web site, or am not looking in the right place?

Chris Wendel

Budd Bailey said...

It's a little hard to find, but it's still at: