When I was a lad, I enjoyed the NBA somewhat, but the shenanigans between John Y. Brown and Paul Snyder that begat the L.A. Clippers basically killed my interest. A couple times a year, we would make it to a Braves game. Once in awhile, I would catch them on Channel 4 with Van Miller doing play-by-play. Thanks to a recent chance encounter and a throwback t-shirt I had on, I enjoyed a brief conversation about Randy Smith (easily the best Brave in my book).
The game has evolved and the finances are easily the most complex of the four major sports leagues, and perhaps even more so than baseball, the finances are swinging everything.
I don’t have a stake in the Lebron James foolishness. Here’s a guy who can make a fortune, step up his game, and continued to give Cleveland basketball relevance. People think of the Jordan Bulls, or the Showtime Lakers in reverent tones, because the pieces came together organically, not because a trio of millionaires (Wade, Bosh & James) decided to ditch the teams that made them individual stars and buy themselves a title in a tax free state. That would never happen for the Knicks that’s for damn sure.
This is the other side of the never ending news cycle. Did ESPN really need to devote an entire hour to polish Lebron’s ego to a fine sheen? I’d rather watch the Royals play the Pirates in interleague. So, he’s going to Miami. Like I said, doesn’t affect me one iota, but the fans in Cleveland get hosed. The Caveliers disappear under the floor boards, while Bosh, Wade and Lebron try to buy a trophy in tax free Miami. Ironically, James could have ruled the universe just fine from Cleveland, broadened the game’s appeal, maybe got Shaq to stay in Ohio and made more money.
Guess money is what it is all about, but Byrd, Magic, Jordan, and even Kobe won were they started, which is my mind is an impressive thing. A more vindicative thought is that he will still be ringless this time next year, but he’ll be in a better climate.
And what of ESPN? Thought they were about news, not video press releases/homages? Couldn’t we have seen the Bronx Zoo again?
In the interim, Cleveland just lapped Buffalo as the unluckiest sports town