Thursday, May 13, 2010

Disbelief, Confusion, and Anger

At this point in time, I can’t choose the right word to describe my emotions. Firstly, I’m in disbelief. For the last 48 hours, I’ve known it was going to happen. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that they were going to lose game 6. There was too much negative criticism, and media coverage to make me think otherwise. But more importantly than that, I saw how the Cavs played in the game 5 disaster which has been coined “The LeBacle”. Despite all of this, I am still in shock that this happened. This wasn’t supposed to happen. This was supposed to be LeBron and the Cavs year, but it wasn’t. When the Cavs lost to the Spurs in the 2007 Finals, I thought to myself, in a few years, LeBron will have at least 1 ring by now. He made the leap against Detroit in the Conference Finals. To my surprise, it hasn't happened.

This leads to me being confused. I’m completely confused as to how this happened. This was the series that I wanted. I wanted the Celtics in the 2nd round. They seemed old, injured, beaten down, and disinterested. The Cavs had the MVP, and a rejuvenated supporting cast that at times was a bit of a let down, but was no doubt a huge step up from when the Cavs and Celtics played in the 2nd round in 2008. LeBron single handedly pushed Boston to the final seconds of game 7 before the Celtics prevailed. So this year, with Mo Williams, Shaq, Antawn Jamison, and Anthony Parker, it was supposed to be a cake walk. What went wrong? Was it that the Celtics behind Rajon Rondo who played out of his mind this series just got hot at the right time? Was it that the supporting cast still isn’t good enough? After all, Shaq is old, Mo is erratic come playoff, and Jamison completely crapped his pants on the big stage of the playoffs. Blame definitely deserves to be placed on them. Did Mike Brown botch this series so bad that it cost Cleveland a chance to push further? It may be. It amazes me that he just couldn’t catch onto the fact that his best lineup which we only saw for a few minutes was a lineup consisting of energy guys like Andy Varejao and JJ Hickson. Or is it my biggest fear, and I regret saying this; but was it LeBron? I’m fine with it if his shot is off or if he isn’t finding open teammates like he usually does. In game 5, it was a blatant lack of effort and aggressiveness. Why didn’t he have the competitive fire that he should have? He didn’t play like Jordan, Bird, Magic or even Kobe would have played with. After this confusion, it’s anger.

Why did LeBron just concede like he did? 3-14 with 15 points in a decisive game 5 is bad enough, but he looked like he could care less that they lost. The best home team in the league lost their 2nd game of the series at home. By 32 God damn points! Then he shook off questions after the game like it was a loss in the 20th game of the season to Memphis. I hate to think this, but did he care? Or was he looking ahead to July when all of the attention will be on him once again, when he is going to be torturing his team, his city and me. Cleveland is such a desperate sports city, and he will completely destroy the Cavs organization, and the city of Cleveland all at once in one swift action. He could say it’s because he wants a better team, or because he wants more media coverage. But he can’t say he is leaving Cleveland because it is morally the right thing to do. I don’t know for sure what he is going to do, but I would bet a lot of money that he is getting out of town fast. Maybe he’ll go to Chicago to follow in the footsteps of Michael Jordan. The truth is, as of right now he is not close to Michael Jordan. Jordan wouldn’t hold a team hostage by flirting with various other teams throughout the season, and he wouldn’t have rolled over and died like LeBron did. If he goes to New York or New Jersey, it is strictly because he wants more to be a global icon than an NBA champion. You might ask how this affects me in such a profound way that I include myself with the Cavs and Cleveland. Well, I have been on the LeBron bandwagon since he was a junior in high school. He was younger than I am now when I decided that wherever he went was where I was going. A huge void was left for me after MJ retired, and LeBron filled it. My room is covered in Cavs logos, LeBron posters and the Cavs 2009-2010 schedule. I purchase the NBA league pass just so I can watch every Cavs game. I’ve been to 5 Cavs games in Cleveland since he came into the league. I have dozens of Cavs shirts. For basketball every season I’ve bought the LeBron James sneakers. He was my idol. When I played basketball I wanted to be just like him on the floor. I don’t play basketball anymore, and LeBron most likely isn’t going to in Cleveland anymore either. I could easily sit here and say with the way he lost the last two years, when he was supposed to win, that I don’t want to consider him my favorite player anymore. But I’m not gonna do that. LeBron has given me 7 years of amazing basketball and I’m grateful. I still stand behind him and say he is the best basketball player in the world, and my favorite player. I’m not going to give up on him.