More than Just Leaving

Back when the Cavaliers played their season in 2002-2003 they finished 17-65, a team that was at its low and the laughing-stock of the NBA. Then the Cavaliers finally got some luck and won the lottery, drafting the player that was going to save Cleveland and win the city its first major championship since 1964. The “Chosen One” arrived in Cleveland.

His name was LeBron James as all of you know. He put Cleveland back on the map and the city was lively once again with a special buzz in the air every night. He led the Cavaliers to multiple division crowns and the Cavaliers only NBA Finals appearance in franchise history on 2007. LeBron also broke multiple Cavalier records such as points, assists and winning multiple MVP awards. James always gave the city excitement and reasoning to come hangout in downtown Cleveland every night. However, all of that changed Thursday July 8, 2010 at 9:27 PM.

On National Television, LeBron went live and announced what his decision was. A ridiculous one hour special TV show called “The Decision” that went all wrong for Clevelanders. After hearing he would announce his decision live on television, Cleveland fans including Cavalier Beat Writer, Brian Windhorst thought for sure that LeBron would re-sign with the Cavs. There was no way that LeBron would make his hometown and the team that gave him so much look bad on National Television, right?

LeBron announced his decision on Nation Televison

That is exactly what LeBron James did. He sat at the stage, with a button down polo knowing that the entire world was watching. He announced that he was going to “Go take his game to South Beach” and play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

What a slap in the face to the city of Cleveland and the franchise. LeBron did not even thank the fans of Cleveland for the great support they gave the young man. LeBron did not thank Dan Gilbert or any of his now former teammates for all the great times they had together.

LeBron has changed over the past year, he seemed to have a different swagger about him, and it showed on “The Decision”. LeBron has a huge ego and is very “Hollywood”. On the hourly special LeBron seemed like he could not careless about the city of Cleveland and what that franchise has done for him because he is going to South Beach and nothing could be better.

LeBron will never wear a Cleveland Jersey again

LeBron did more than just leave Cleveland, he screwed Cleveland. He made the entire city look bad on National Television and then had the nerve to smile. However, LeBron did way more than just make Cleveland look bad.

LeBron screwed the franchise’s hope of winning a title for many years now. A team that was built around LeBron and a front office that did everything the man could have asked. LeBron ran the show around Cleveland and Dan Gilbert did everything to make that young man happy, and because of that the Cavaliers now will not win a championship for a little longer. A team that was built to win a championship now is a team now without LeBron and a bunch of bad contracts and aging players.

I strongly believe that LeBron knew he was leaving Cleveland long before this entire process. I believe that he knew that he would be teammates with Wade and Bosh when this summer came around. However, why not let the Cavaliers know that? By not telling Dan Gilbert and Chris Grant until July 9th the Cavaliers have no chance to quickly recover.

It is mind-boggling that LeBron would do such a thing to a franchise and city that loved him so much. If LeBron would have simply told the Cavaliers he was leaving then the team could have stopped wasting its time on him and try to sign another free agent.

However, the team and fans waited around for LeBron to make his choice and got backstabbed on National Television. So the franchise is now without its hometown hero, and has a team full of bad contracts and aging players with no chance to improve, all because of LeBron and his terrible ego about himself.

The self-claimed “Chosen One” and “King” is no longer neither of those. How can someone like LeBron call himself the “Chosen One” and “King” when he choose to go play in another superstars building? He left his legacy to be a “Pippen” to Wade. He just gave up on his legacy to take an easy way of winning an NBA Title. That to me is being a coward and someone who was afraid to live up to the legacy that was “Chosen” for him. He took a backseat to winning a Championship and gave up on his hometown and city for an easy way out.

Look for these jerseys to be the big seller this off-season

Dan Gilbert and former GM Danny Ferry spent 7 years trying to find that so-called “Pippen” to play alongside LeBron. Spent so much time looking for the “Robin” of LeBron’s batman and this whole time LeBron was the actual Robin. LeBron was the person who needed a Michael Jordan next to him. LeBron will never be in the class of Jordan, Magic, Kobe, Russell, Oscar because he took a backseat.

The decision to play in Miami left many to wonder, why? Sure it is a great chance to win multiple championships but LeBron is now never going to have as many rings as Dwyane Wade will have. LeBron will always have one less than Wade. If anything this free agency will help Dwyane Wade’s legacy out the most.

Hopefully one day LeBron will look back to that night and wished he had it all back and do it differently. Until then, LeBron James is Art Modell 2.0 and I cannot wait until the Heat are in town in the upcoming season.

The Draft Effect

When NBA Commissioner David Stern took the podium many already knew what name was going to be call, John Wall. However, while John Wall’s name was called many people in the back of their minds were thinking, how each pick was going to affect LeBron James decision. So what teams did have affects on LeBron and what teams put them in the best position to land LeBron?

Chicago– The Bulls are now considered the favorite to land LeBron, thanks to a trade that sent Kirk Hinrich and their 17th pick to the Wizards, this allowed the Bulls to open their cap space and now are capable to sign two max deals for the free-agent class. This could land a combo of LeBron, Wade, Johnson, Bosh or many others to play with an already young talented group of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Tai Gibson.

Will LeBron be playing in-front of Jay-Z next season?

New Jersey— the Nets also had a great draft. They took Derrick Favors with the 3rd pick and Jordan Crawford with the 27th pick. Two young players who could turn into all-stars and have solid careers. The Nets also have a young core, players such as, Devin Harris, Brook Lopez (one of the best young centers in the game), Courtney Lee and now Favors and Crawford. The Nets also have enough money to sign two max deals as well, a team with the worst record of 10-72 last season could end up in a deep playoff run next year.

Miami—Dwayne Wades house, the Heat also traded their pick to the Thunder to gain money for the free-agent class. The Heat now also has enough money to sign two max deals. The money could lure a deadly combination of LeBron, Wade, and Bosh could win multiple championships.

Teammates next year? Maybe.

So while those three teams made moves to improve their chances of landing the big prized this July, others made moves or didn’t make any moves that might have hurt their chances.

Cleveland— with so many rumors the Cavaliers were going to buy a draft pick and make a major trade, the front office could not get anything done. Even though Grant and Gilbert tried all night they could not get anything done. The Cavaliers could not accomplish anything and might have hurt their chances of landing LeBron. A team with a bunch of role players and aging players, the Cavaliers are in a tough position. Without a coach and may not have enough to make a move the Cavaliers may have to rely on hoping LeBron loves Cleveland to much to leave.

These workers might be taking down the LeBron poster soon enough.

New York— lets just say the Knicks had a terrible draft. Andy Rautins may have an outside stroke but he won’t be nothing more than a 3 point shooter who most likely will play for 10 teams in his career. He is not a building block and nothing more than a below average role player. The Knicks also drafted Laundry Fields, a 6-7 foot small forward that is a below average shooter and defensive guy. Another player who most likely will disappear in the league. The Knicks really hurt themselves in the draft and it seems LeBron is continuing to lean away from New York.

So while many teams took advantage of the draft others did not take advantage. LeBron will make his final decision soon enough, and his decision may come down to the best chance for him to become a champion.

Which way will LeBron go

Prediction—LeBron will listen to each teams offer and will love to have all eyes on him. He may prolong his decision because he loves being the center of attention. LeBron may realize that Chicago is too good to pass up and I think he will go to Chicago and play alongside Rose, Noah and another free-agent.

What’s Next?

So much for Tom Izzo, The Michigan State legend decided to turn down Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

That leaves the Cavaliers with multiple questions about what is the next move the Cavaliers will make. Who will be the next coach on the Cavaliers radar? Are there any moves the Cavaliers will make that will be considered blockbuster
trades, or moves?

Will Byron Scott be the next Cleveland head coach?

Since the Cavaliers got turned down by Tom Izzo, the Cavaliers have three coaches on their radar for top candidates. Candidates such as; Byron Scott, Mike Woodson, Phil Jackson (If chooses to leave LA), and Jeff Van Gundy. Some other candidates that might be considered are: former Nets coach Lawrence Frank, Lakers assistant, Brian Shaw and maybe even former Cavalier guard Eric Snow.

Byron Scott- Probably the Cavaliers biggest target as of today (assuming Jackson stays). Bryon Scott was a shooting guard in the NBA from 1983-1998, scoring over 15,000 NBA points. Byron Scott also coached the New Jersey Nets from 2000-2004. He coached them to two NBA Finals appearances, failing to win either. He then coached the New Orleans Hornets from 2005-2009. He coached the Hornets in 2008 to a 56-26 record, earning head coach of the year. He coached the Hornets to multiple postseason berths.

Mike Woodson- The Cavaliers have had discussions with Woodson to become the next head coach. He coached the Atlanta Hawks from 2004-2010. He led the Atlanta Hawks to a season record improvement every single season he was there. He coached the Hawks to a 53-29 record in 2010 and a 3rd seed in the east.

Phil Jackson- The Cavaliers have not contacted Jackson because of his postseason run with the Lakers. If he opts to leave the Lakers you can sure count the Cavaliers to contact him. He has won 11 rings now and is a future Hall of Famer, what else is there to say?

Lawrence Frank- A young, energized Frank coached the New Jeresey Nets from 2003-2009. He coached the Nets to four playoff berths losing in three Conference Semifinals and one first round series. Frank is considered to be on the Cavaliers radar for head coach or assistant head coach position.

As for the trade rumors, the Cavaliers have been involved with a lot. Brian Windhorst reported a few weeks ago that the Cavs have been in contact with a west coast team to make a blockbuster trade. A trade that has become a rumor that the Cavaliers are looking to trade for Monta Ellis and their 6th pick in the first round.

The Cavaliers have contacted the Raptors about Chris Bosh.

Another rumor has it that the Cavaliers have had talks with the Toronto Raptors about Mo Williams, a trade that most certainly have Delonte West in it as well, for Hedo Turkolu. It was also reported on June 19th that the Cavaliers have contacted the Raptors about Chris Bosh as well.

My Prediction: Bryon Scott will become our next head coach as the Cavaliers will work out a blockbuster trade, getting a decent player in return and a pick in the draft.

Cavaliers in a Win-Win Situation

After the firing of Mike Brown, team owner, Dan Gilbert has had his eyes set on Tom Izzo to become the next Cleveland Cavalier head coach. Gilbert, a MSU graduate and from the Michigan area, has been in hot pursuit of Izzo. Gilbert has believed to offer Izzo a 5 year deal worth $30 Million dollars. Mr. Izzo still has yet to announce his decision to either stay at MSU and make another run at a NCAA Title, or switch to the NBA and become the next Larry Brown.

Could LeBron be standing next to Izzo in 2010?

The biggest question still has yet to be answered, and by now I think everyone knows that question is LeBron James. While LeBron James is enjoying the “Summer of LeBron” extravaganza, Cavalier fans are wondering if the hiring of Izzo will lure him back to Cleveland or (gasp) leave Cleveland. There have been recent reports (realgm.com) that LeBron James wants to play under a coach that has played in the NBA and a proven coach who has won rings. That of course is just a rumor and of course could be false. Either way Cavalier fans have to look at this summer as a win-win situation, if it’s the hard way or the easy way. However, no matter how much LeBron’s decision this summer will affect the Cavaliers in the next decade, Tom Izzo’s might be even more important.

Cleveland fans have to take a hard look at the impact Tom Izzo (if he decides to take the job) will have with the team. If Izzo does indeed sign to be the next Cavalier Coach than Izzo might be the coach that can lure LeBron back to Cleveland. There are multiple reasons for this, a successful coach, a hard-nose coach and LeBron never did play for college, so playing under a legend in the NCAA might not be a bad thing for LeBron. Izzo’s signing will give the Cavaliers a complete different look with rumors that Izzo will want Eric Snow and Lawrence Frank as assistants. This might be the fresh start that LeBron needs and playing under someone who knows how to get the best out of his players is always a positive.

Izzo’s signing could also lead to the negative impact of LeBron as well. LeBron has stated multiple times that he wants to win, and win now. Izzo might need a year or two to reach the promise land. LeBron has also stated that he wants to play under a proven coach who has won rings and will give him the best chance to win multiple Championships. Signing Izzo could leave LeBron to question the Cavaliers aspiration to win right away.

Izzo might be the right man for the job after all.

The hardest thing to do if you’re a Cavalier fan is to think of this situation as a win-win. If Izzo signs with the Cavaliers and lure LeBron back to Cleveland then great. LeBron will learn under a great mind and a very triumphant college coach. However, if LeBron decides to bolt out-of-town then fans must think that Izzo is a great starting block. Izzo will develop young players and get the most out of them, and have the Cavaliers back into contention before you know it. Rebuilding with Izzo is not always a bad thing and if LeBron were to leave then I think Tom Izzo is the man to rebuild a franchise.

What seemed like a long shot to sign Izzo has now turned into a reality. With July 1st, looming, the Cavaliers must be thinking to themselves that they are in good hands either way.

Make or Break Summer- Tom Izzo?

While the Cavaliers main focus this summer is to re-sign LeBron, the Cavalier organization has created more than just LeBron this summer.

If LeBron re-signs he will have a new Head Coach and new teammates

With the firing of Mike Brown and the resigning of Danny Ferry the Cavaliers were without a General Manager and Head Coach, all while the top free agent (LeBron James) is looking for a place to win multiple championships, a good organization and a productive front office. The General Manager position has been filled by the assistant general manger Chris Grant, but the head coaching position is still a question. With other teams making changes and filling coaching positions Dan Gilbert and Chris Grant are feeling pressure to make a huge splash in the head coaching position.

Since the Cavaliers fired Mike Brown they have been linked with names such as; Bryon Scott, Avery Johnson, Phil Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy and Marc Jackson. The Cavaliers have also been linked with college head coaches such as, John Calipari, Mike Krzyzewski, and Tom Izzo. The most recent news is that the Cavaliers have made an offer to Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo.

Tom Izzo has won one NCAA Division 1 Championship in 2000 and has made six Regional Championships. He also has six Big Ten Championships and 2 Big Ten Coach of the Year awards, all of this while going 364-146 since 1995. Izzo is believed to be making close to 2.6 Million a year at Michigan State and Dan Gilbert is willing to double that offer and is believed to be offering a 5-6 year deal for 6 Million a year.

Tom Izzo to Cleveland? Don't count on it just yet.

Several people who are close to Izzo told Brian Windhorst they do not think Izzo will accept the offer. The main reason of course is because of the status of LeBron James and waiting for him to re-sign with the Cavaliers or go to another team.

“There is not a contract offer on the table,” Hollis said in a telephone interview with the AP. “Last week; there was talk that Chicago and New Jersey were interested. If I was anywhere but at Michigan State, I would be interested in Tom, too, because he’s the best coach in college basketball.” However, the Plain Dealer of Cleveland reported that Dan Gilbert did make an offer for 6 Million a year for 5 years.

Other rumors that are flying around the Cavaliers are trades. Brian Windhorst reported on ESPN Cleveland radio 850 am that the Cavaliers are looking to get a lottery pick for this year NBA Draft. Some are saying they are trying to get Philadelphia’s 2nd pick with taking Elton Brands contract off their hands. While Windhorst also stated that the Cavaliers are working with a west coast team in making a splash. Reports have stated that Monta Ellis is a prospect the Cavaliers are looking at hard. Other rumors today stated that Toronto and Cleveland have been discussing trade scenarios for Mo Williams. Hedo Turkolu has been a name that has been popped up for the Cavaliers as well.

Will Monta Ellis become a Cavalier this summer?

Whatever the Cavaliers are up to this summer it will make or break the franchise for the next 5 to 10 years. Making a right coaching choice, re-signing LeBron and then trading for the proper players to finally win a championship, what a first summer for Chris Grant.

A Summer of LeBron

When the buzzer sounded in Boston after game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals “The Summer of LeBron” officially started. Although LeBron cannot legally talk to teams until July 1st there has been already more talk about LeBron than the NBA playoffs. Ever since the Cavaliers lost that game 6 to the Celtics the internet, blogs, ESPN and much more has put their attention fully on what city LeBron is going to sign with. So many rumors and whispers about LeBron have fully taken the attention away from the NBA playoffs. All eyes are on LeBron James yet again, even though he is not playing on the biggest NBA stage. A short take about what options he has are below and what each city can offer him, since we are not talking about the NBA Finals.

Cleveland: LeBron’s home state, born and raised in Akron, Ohio which is about 25 minutes from downtown Cleveland. LeBron was selected first overall by the Cavaliers back in 2003 and has yet to accomplish his legacy as a Cavalier, leading the franchise to the first major championship since 1964. LeBron also has a guy named Dan Gilbert who is willing to pull out his wallet to always have a championship roster around LeBron. LeBron also has money on his side with the Cavaliers, as he would be leaving 30 million a year on the table if he walks. Because of the cap agreement with the league and might be his last chance for a while to sign a 5-6 year contract. The Cavalier fans; LeBron is beloved by the Cleveland fans and love him to death, with a big poster in downtown Cleveland, it can’t get much better.

Will LeBron Re-Sign With the Cavaliers?

Chicago: With hiring of former assistant coach Tom Thibodeau, the Bulls landed one of the top coaches. Thibodeau radiance basketball mind has helped the Boston Celtics to another NBA Finals emergence and thought as one of the finest defensive coaches in the league. The Bulls also has a young star in Derrick Rose and another young upcoming player in Joakim Noah. The Bulls may also be able to bring in another star such as Dwayne Wade, Joe Johnson or Chris Bosh to play alongside LeBron and Rose. Another advantage is the city of Chicago. A gorgeous city that is, with great fans and a striking city, Chicago is a great place for LeBron to land if he chose to depart Cleveland.

New York: Oh how ESPN has blown up New York and LeBron so much. New York is the “King” of all cities and the “King” of basketball has a chance to play for New York. A long history of New York basketball is in the balance and New York has the money to make such changes to such a fraught franchise. The Knicks have the money to sign two of the top free agents this summer for max deals. Such as LeBron James, Joe Johnson, Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade, Carlos Boozer, by signing two of these names the Knicks could possibly be in the contention lists already. With a great offensive minded coach in Mike D’ Antoni and a General Manager in Donnie Walsh the franchise will create big noise in the Eastern Conference.

LeBron going to the Kincks? Not so fast.

New Jersey: Although the Nets came of a horrifying season going 12-70, the Nets have the money and young talent to become an instantaneous winner. Young players such as Courtney Lee, Brook Lopez and Devin Harris and a third pick in the 2010 NBA draft can make the franchise a dynasty with the signing of LeBron James. Jay-Z, great friends with LeBron James could also persuade LeBron to sign with the Nets as well. With a plan to move to Brooklyn, New York in a few years LeBron could sign with the Nets.

Miami: Miami has a little benefit with signing LeBron James because of good friend Dwayne Wade. Signing with the Heat could ensure LeBron a superstar alongside. James could be assured that he won’t have to carry the load every night and could give himself a great chance to winning a title. Pat Riley the GM of the Heat could also return to the bench and coach again. One of the greatest coaches could coach LeBron James and Dwayne Wade to a championship. The city of Miami also is a great place to land. Great weather and great night life could entice LeBron to sign with the Heat.

Good Friends could become good teammates in 2010 .

Sign and Trade: If the Cavaliers receive word that LeBron does not want to return to town Dan Gilbert might seek a sign and trade deal with a team to get some talent back in return for James. Hot spots could be Dallas, because of expiring contracts of Eric Dampier and also pieces such as Brendon Haywood, Caron Butler and other pieces like Jason Terry. Other places include the Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors with young talent such as, Blake Griffin, Stephan Curry and others.

Prediction: LeBron will take his time and make Cavalier fans very worried. He will soak up the attention because he loves the spotlight on him. In the end if the Cavaliers make severe changes starting with a good coach and a few trades then LeBron will re-sign with the Cavaliers, if not then I predict LeBron will go to Chicago.

Boston Makes Improbable Run

The Clock struck at 11:26 P.M. and the Boston Celtics finished off an unlikely run through the Eastern Conference Finals.

After a year removed from their Championship Boston is back in the Finals

Paul Pierce finished with a game high of 31 points and had 13 rebounds while Nate Robinson followed him with an emotional lift off the bench, scoring 13 second-quarter points when Rajon Rondo hit the floor hard. Nate Robinson came off the bench hitting pull-up three’s to open the game up in the second quarter and left the Orlando Magic stunned. The crowd lifted to its feet and the building was rocking as the smallest guy on the court dominated.

Boston was a 4-seed and many wrote them off before the playoffs even started. Many thought the Miami Heat could pull off the upset. Then Boston knocked off the two teams with the best records in the league. The Cleveland Cavaliers (61-21) and the Orlando Magic (59-23). All of this while beating top players in the league in Wade, James and now
Howard.

Now the Boston Celtics move on the 2010 NBA Finals against either Phoenix or Los Angeles where the Celtics can beat yet another top player in Kobe Bryant or Steve Nash. All while being considered the underdog and not being considered a force in the playoffs. Many can bet that neither Los Angeles nor Phoenix wants to play Boston, only time will tell.