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Cleveland--He's Just Not That Into You

 Cleveland  Hes Just Not That Into You

So, I'm guessing you don't have your receipts?

Darth LeBron has made his decision.  The Death Star stands intact.  Evil times are upon the NBA.  LeBron shirked his duty as the savior of the Cleveland economy as well as the city’s apparently fragile psyche.

And Lindsey Lohan is on her way to prison.

BP still hasn’t plugged the hole it blew open in the ocean floor.

My health insurance apparently ran out two months ago.

Yes.  All these are the fault of one LeBron James.

At least that’s what many sports media members and NBA fans would have us believe.  Certainly LeBron’s one hour special on ESPN was more than a tad insensitive to Cleveland fans.  Okay.  That may be like saying Glen Close’s character in Fatal Attraction was just “a little clingy.”

But how did we think this was going down?  With subtlety?!  With a simple tweet stating his intentions?  A five minute interview on a local Miami affiliate?

lebron james ad Cleveland  Hes Just Not That Into You

Except during the playoffs. Then we plead the fifth.

The guy was nicknamed “King” when he was fourteen.  His high school basketball games were broadcast on ESPN.   The governor of Cleveland allowed a 212 foot LeBron-Nike sign to be festooned across a building that stated “WE ARE ALL WITNESSES.”

How can the sports viewing public honestly expect humility from an athlete who is regarded as royalty, whose performances are framed in terms of being witnessed as if he were a full blown religious prophet on par with Moses, John the Baptist, and Tom Cruise?

we made you Cleveland  Hes Just Not That Into You

We made you!

Cleveland fans now bemoan their misfortune.  They remind me of the truck stop waitress in Maximum Overdrive, bitterly shouting “we made you!” at the eighteen wheelers come to murder her.

But here’s the thing, Cleveland—you made him!  You tanked an entire NBA season to ensure you’d be able to draft him seven years ago.  Then you treated him like the second coming of Christ.

And don’t forget—he re-upped before his rookie contract expired in order to spend a few more seasons chasing a title in Rock & Roll city.

But Cleveland made two critical mistakes.  One, they assumed the hometown love would trump everything.  This led to their second mistake—they were complacent in the front office.  The Cavs kept making halfhearted trades and never surrounded LeBron with real talent.

moe williams Cleveland  Hes Just Not That Into You

It's alot easier to watch than play. Just ask Moe.

Moe Williams.  Drew Gooden.  Broken Shaq.  Delonte West, who’s mental instability is matched only by the creepy birthmark that always makes him look like he needs to wipe barbecue sauce from his chin.

None of them pass the mom test.  In other words, none of them are players your mom would recognize by name.  Except Shaq—but at this point he’s fading faster than Blockbuster stock.

 Cleveland  Hes Just Not That Into You

All LeBron ever wanted. A tougher turtle to shoot free throws at the end of games.

More importantly, none of them are alpha dogs.  LeBron is about being liked by teammates, being part of a family.  He needed a bulldog enforcer, a player unafraid of pressure.  A teammate that had rather cut off his own head than lose.  A Raphael to LeBron’s Leonardo (and yes, I am the first columnist to reference the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in a LeBron article).

But Rapahel never came.

And now LeBron won’t return.  And that’s okay.  Because if Cleveland’s entire future truly rests on the self-aggrandizing whims of a 25 year-old athlete, then not winning an NBA title is the least of their worries.

You see, players come and go.  Professional sports is a business.  Loyalty is rarely show by anyone, including fans.  I wonder how much reverence Cavs fans would’ve bestowed upon their King had he never brought them a ring.  My guess is only a little more than Suns fans have for Charles Barkley or Knicks fans have for Patrick Ewing.

That is to say—not much.

 Cleveland  Hes Just Not That Into You

Angelina moments after rescuing young Cavs fans from Quicken Arena. They're now safely in Miami.

So Cleveland must do what Colts fans did when the team left Baltimore, what Timberwolves fans did when Kevin Garnett headed to Boston, and what Jennifer Anniston had to do when Brad Pitt decided to hook up with a woman addicted to orphanages.

Get over it.

Breaking news—LeBron just caused the price of Angus beef to rise by one dollar per pound.

What a jerk.

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