Saturday, December 10, 2011

Bad reactions to 'the decision'

Since the beginning of the NBA offseason all the talk and speculation was about where Lebron James would play basketball next season.

And then we had the hour long spectacle, "The Decision" last Thursday on ESPN in primetime. About twenty five minutes into the show James announced that he was taking his talents to South Beach and all hell broke loose in Cleveland, and the party started in Miami.

I have been a fan of the media anointed "King" since he was a stud high school basketball player earlier this decade. The guy is undoubtedly a rare talent who has been blessed with the tremendous ability to play the game of basketball. He has accomplished things earlier in his career than most hall of fame players did and has left many of us speechless with some of the things he does on the basketball court.

He took a team from the slums of the league to being a legitimate title contender on a yearly basis.  James single handedly brought life to a city that has been death struck when it comes to having a team win a major sports championship. Yet, the so called fans of his turn around and burn his jersey in the streets after his decision to leave Cleveland was made public.  No wonder the guy left town.

He signed a contract and played the game within the confines of the rules that were established by the league and the players’ association. His choice to not re-sign with his hometown team is totally legitimate and a choice I'm sure didn't come easy for him.

I would have preferred if James didn't hold an ultra-dramatic television special, basically holding the teams in pursuit of him hostage for the whole world to see. I would have been just fine if he would have held a press conference and told us where he was going to play for the next
couple of years.
As I watched the show, I had mixed feelings about how this whole thing was unveiling and wondered if this announcement was being blown way out of proportion.  ESPN, the fans of Cleveland, New York, Chicago, and Miami; and ultimately James himself made this a bigger deal than it should have been. 
The worse reactions to “the decision” came from the owner of the Cavaliers, Dan Gilbert and from Rev. Jesse Jackson.
First, Dan Gilbert.  After James chose not to re-sign with Cleveland, Gilbert ripped James in a letter to Cavalier fans.  He accused James of  not being loyal, quitting on the team in the playoffs, not being accountable, and felt personally betrayed by James, calling him a deserter, etc, etc.  It’s hard to believe he was talking about the same player that just won back-to-back MVP awards.  The same person he so desperately needed to keep his hopeless franchise afloat.  If James was that bad, Gilbert should have been the first person to shake his hand for not coming back to his team.  
I want to remind everybody that this is the same owner that fired the most successful head coach in team history.  Sure, Mike Brown didn’t win a championship for the city of Cleveland, but he did lead the team to the most victories in the league over the last two years.
He was let go due to the team being bounced from the playoffs before even reaching the finals.  Brown was ironically due a $4.5 million dollar guaranteed salary a few days prior to his firing.
Gilbert’s explanation to Brown was as simple as saying that the team needed to move in a different direction.  That statement is going to turn out to be more literal than he can imagine. I’m talking about the Cav’s going back to the years of winning 20-25 games a year without James in the midst. 
Talk about no loyalty, and not being accountable.  What a hypocrite Gilbert is for even allowing that kind of garbage to come out of his mouth.  It’s a business decision when an owner trades or releases a player, or fires a coach before the contract is up, but when a player is a FREE agent and signs with a different team, he’s now all of a sudden becomes a bad guy? I don’t think so.
By the way; the only Brown to win anything for that city was the great Jim Brown.
Now on to Rev. Jackson.  Let me start off by saying that as a black man, I am ashamed that this man has been seen as the voice of black people in this country for so many years. This guy reminds me of the fire fighters who intentionally goes out to set the woods on fire to prevent larger fires.  But in his case, he turns small fires into wild fires. 
Rev. Jackson’s remarks concerning Dan Gilbert were just as stupid and irresponsible as Gilbert’s original attack against Lebron James.  Jackson once again played the race card and framed Gilbert’s comments in the same context as a slave owner and slave.
The more I read his remarks, the more annoyed I started to feel.  For him to put a basketball player and a slave in the same sentence is flat out disrespectful.  It’s a slap in the face to the descendants of slaves, and a bigger slap in the face to the slaves that lived through that horrible period of time in this country. 
If somebody can tell me how this guy has remained relevant over the last few decades, I am all ears to hear your answer, but please bring some credible facts to the table when you talk about this hypocrite. 
There have been numerous things Rev. Jackson could have addressed that have taken place over the course of the last couple of weeks that have no kidding been racially motivated.  This wasn’t one of those cases. 
This wasn’t Mel Gibson telling his ex-girlfriend that he wished she was raped by a gang of N-word’s. 
This wasn’t Attorney General Eric Holder dropping the case against that idiot King Samir Shabazz. Shabazz is one of the new black panthers out of Philadelphia, whose language and thought process is just as ignorant and dangerous as the white power screamers.  
This wasn’t Rush Limbaugh (with his usual divisive, negative, seperative, and elitist rhetoric) commenting on the death of George Steinbrenner by saying, “That cracker made a lot of African Americans millionaires.” “And at the same time he fired a bunch of white guys.” Are you serious? How this moron is so popular and still on the radio blows me away.
Those are the legitimate issues Jackson could have addressed, yet he chose to compare Dan Gilbert and Lebron James to a slave owner and slave. What a joke!  
I give James a pass this time for not handling the situation in a more appropriate manner.  This should be a good learning lesson for every other athlete on how not to handle a free agency decision.  

No comments:

Post a Comment