Can this be Over, Already?

July 11th, 2014 by Nate Smith

What a bizarre few days its been. Northeast Ohio has hung on every word — every scrap of news about LeBron’s impending decision. And still? LeBron’s silence is deafening. The emotional meter has swung from hope, to overconfidence, to pent up exuberance, to frustration, to befuddlement. No one knows what to make of the delay that is holding up half of the NBA off-season. In the age of #HotSportsTakes, everyone has had an opinion on whether ‘Bron is coming back to Cleveland and how everyone should act. My barber, the people I work with, random people in a movie theater: all of them have either asked me or told me whether James is coming back. Heck, even the groundhog that lives under my shed was wearing a “Forgiven” t-shirt, yesterday. It’s all gotten a bit out of hand. Why are people so emotionally invested in this guy? Why’s everyone losing their stinkin’ minds?! I agree with Tom Pestak’s ethos: sports should be fun. If they’re not, what’s the point? It’s ok to get crazy and a little silly at times, but this doesn’t feel fun anymore.

What concerns me most are the people who are camped outside LeBron’s Bath Township home. They seem to have lost their grip on decorum and civility. Apparently Bath police were called to watch the house in anticipation of “the announcement,” and a possible return to Akron by James… Or not. Likely? ‘Bron’s family saw the idiots hanging outside their house and told the King, “Whatever you do, don’t come here.” If anything were to give No. 23 6 pause, it would be the throng of fanatics urinating in his bushes. This is why sports stars move to L.A. There are stars everywhere in lalaland. There, you’re just one of many: it gives one an opportunity to just blend into the firmament. I’m sure that’s looking somewhat enticing right now. So in the words of Corey Feldman in ‘The Burbs, I hope LeBron tweets, “Hey lamos, get off my lawn.”

I’m also pretty sure ‘Bron’s meeting with Pat Riley went something like a scene from Inception. Riles was probably crawling around in James’ brain for a few weeks in “dream time.” Anyone who thought it would be easy to beat Riley at a game he helped invent was being naive. Pat knows where the skeletons in LeBron’s Miami closet are, and he knows how to whisper in the ears of super stars and tell them what they want to hear. I’m sure he remains a convincing devil on the shoulder.

Not that LeBron doesn’t deserve a lion’s share of the blame for the situation. It’s called communication, king. You don’t have to make up your mind. No one is trying to take away your agency. It’s your life, you do with it what you please, but at least do people the common courtesy of communicating. This silent treatment towards the media, etc., while everyone guesses at what it will take to “make you happy,” is the most egotistical act of passive aggression I’ve ever seen from a non-dictator. What an oddly insulated and self-absorbed man, LeBron is.

The latest rumor? LeBron wants Dan Gilbert to apologize publicly (which he probably should have done a while ago). Gilbert should release a statement at this point…

We’d like to thank our fans and the media for their patience with the Cavs free agency situation, and we’d like to urge people to remain the dignified, good citizens that we know make up the vast majority of Cavs fans around Northeast Ohio and the world — regardless of the outcome. Personally, I’d like to do something I should have done a long time ago, and apologize for my anger and wishes of ill will upon Mr. James in my letter four years ago. While I don’t take back any of the emotion in that letter, I do apologize for the vitriol and the personal attacks. I don’t want anyone playing for my team that doesn’t want to be here. I should have expressed my extreme disappointment, wished Mr. James luck, and moved on.

I’m not apologizing now in an effort to woo LeBron to return to the Cavs. LeBron James is an adult who will make up his own mind in due course. I’m apologizing because it’s the right thing to do, and I apologize to any of our fans and my employees who felt that the sentiments reflected poorly on them, or hurt the reputation of the Cavs organization around the country. You deserve the best.

Meanwhile, I’d like to urge responsibility from our fans. Please give Mr. James’ and his family privacy and respect, now and after the time of his decision, regardless of the outcome. To Mr. James, I’d like to say, Good luck with your decision. It’s my wish that you choose to play where it would be best for you and your family’s happiness. If that’s the Cleveland Cavaliers, I’d love to welcome you back, and think we will be able to do great things together. If not? I hope you are happy and fulfilled, but we’re still going to try to beat you on the court at every opportunity. For the sake of our organization, our fans, and the NBA, please make that decision expediently.

Or something like that.