Thursday, July 15, 2010
Behind The Scoreboard
King James’ big choice
It was advertised as an hour-long special to be aired on ESPN last Thursday evening to let the world of sports hear from the “horse’s mouth” just where Cleveland’s not so favorite (anymore) would be taking up his new residence (or should that be kingdom?). Actually, it lasted a lot longer than the proposed hour.
Throughout the broadcast, yours truly kept waiting for the channel’s front men to liken the saga of LeBron James to that of the famous “Iliad” attributed to Homer. Not to turn this into a boring history lesson, a certain Helen of Sparta, supposedly bound by an oath put into place by Ulysses, was to be wed to the choice selected by a panel of nations. This was thwarted when the Spartan King Menelaus married the beauty. To right the wrong, Prince Paris, son of King Priam of Troy, kidnapped the new bride and spirited her away to Troy. The states of Greece mounted a fierce armada and besieged the Trojan Empire for ten years. Legend has it that upon laying eyes on the daughter of Zeus for the first time, Priam’s queen remarked, “The face that launched a thousand ships!”
So, I was patiently anticipating something like, “The name that launched a thousand reporters to converge on the one time seaport of Greenwich, Conn., to proclaim the announcement to the whole world.”
Totally unlike Helen, James’ fame had been solidified by his prowess, straight out of high school, resurrecting the Cleveland franchise and giving the city hope for a national title which it has been without since 1964. Six teams were waiting in the wings, practically drooling with the Pavlovian prospect.
The notion surfaced early Thursday morning that King James was leaning toward the Miami Heat. The notion proved concrete about 30 minutes into the broadcast when James admitted that he was headed for South Beach. The decision brought immediate response from the Cavaliers’ owner, Dan Gilbert. This column is not long enough to mention all the adjectives mouthed by Mr. Gilbert. It suffices to say that they were not complimentary.
Of course, lest we forget, James was an unrestricted free agent. He has had seven years in the big league, all of them with Cleveland. So far he has no ring.
Does he have seven more years which would match the previous? Does he have enough time left to attain the status of “multiple championship winner”? Remember, he has an Olympic gold medal and at Miami he will be reconnecting with two other medalists from that 2008 team. Chris Bosch was acquired from Toronto and Dwayne Wade is already a part of the franchise. All three stepped up the wealth ladder.
None of the trio seem to have super egos (yet), and given the proper supporting cast, this just might translate into a basketball dynasty for South Beach.
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