Dan Gilbert wrote his foolish, scorned-lover letter to LeBron James four years ago. It was alternatively hilarious and embarrassing. Depending on whom you read right now, on LeBron’s free agent decision, the letter still resonates.
Look at it this way – when LeBron went on vacation last week and tasked his agent, Rich Paul, to meet with teams (Cleveland included), everyone knew about the letter. Yet, if you read Adrian Wojnarowski, it was clear that Paul was giving the impression to Cleveland that a return home was in play.
Cleveland had been carefully listening to the direction of James’ agent Rich Paul, who has been privately telling people for weeks – even months and years – that he has been determined to deliver the prodigal son of Northeast Ohio back home.
So, clearly, Rich Paul, LeBron’s longtime friend and agent, didn’t care about the letter. Reminder: HE WORKS FOR LEBRON.
So then LeBron returns from vacation and heads to Las Vegas. He meets with the Miami Heat and refuses to commit to them. Well if the Dan Gilbert letter was such a dealbreaker, why didn’t LeBron just commit to the Heat right then?
ANSWER: Because it ain’t about the letter.
If you read Jason Whitlock’s thoughtful take on why pride should play no part in LeBron’s decision to return to Cleveland and play for Dan Gilbert, you can only hope LeBron, at 29, is over his understandable anger from four years ago.
Also, all those analogies you want to use:
* LeBron going back there would be like returning to his girlfriend!
* Would you return to an employer who publicly shit on you four years ago?
* Slave, blah, blah
Don’t hold up, so save them.
It’s LeBron’s team. His agent tells the Cavs to clear cap room, they do. They win a title, LeBron’s the hero. Oh, and then there’s the matter of him being the best basketball player on the planet, and getting a max contract.
But LeBron’s going to line the pockets of a billionaire with more money! Yeah, so what? What do you think he’s doing in Miami, for that cheap billionaire who got all frugal in free agency last year and cost Miami a bench?
In addition, the Heat bench proved far too thin to secure the three-peat. But it became that way because Riley was under orders from the top to make moves to save Arison from taking a $15 million luxury tax hit. So when the Heat allowed Mike Miller to leave after last season, that was costly, especially with Wade’s gimpy knees and sudden decline.
Sigh. Yes, I’d like to see LeBron return to Cleveland. I think if it comes down to a basketball decision, Cleveland over Miami for the next five years is a much smarter move.
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