No city and organization were impacted more by the departure of LeBron James than the Cleveland Cavaliers and the city of Cleveland.
In response, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert appointed himself spokesperson for the masses with an incendiary letter in which he called James’ announcement “a cowardly act of betrayal” and guaranteed that the Cleveland would win an NBA Championship before the self-titled ‘King’ did in South Beach with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
Furthermore, Gilbert’s Fathead LLC, a company that sells life-size wall stickers of LeBron James in a Cavaliers uniform, slashed the prices of the memorabilia from as much as $99.99 to $17.41; which, by no coincidence, is the birth year of Benedict Arnold, one of the most notorious traitors in American history.
The healing process for Cleveland continued Saturday, but with much less fanfare than Gilbert’s boisterous demonstrations to express his displeasure with the most controversial member of ‘Miami Thrice’.
According to ESPN.com, workers began dismantling the 10-story-tall iconic image of LeBron James on a mural in downtown Cleveland, a billboard that dominated the city's skyline for years but is being taken down now that the NBA’s two-time reigning MVP has taken his talents to Miami.
"We are removing the LeBron James Witness mural in downtown Cleveland and expect the process to be completed within a few days," Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
As further evidence of Cleveland’s desire to completely wash their hands of ‘The Chosen One’, merchants are selling No. 23 jerseys at discounted rates in an effort to get rid of the inventories for James and businesses are offering perks, like free beer, in exchange for a James jersey or T-shirt.
What has this world come to when a basketball player, who merely exercised his right to seek employment elsewhere, ignites the passion of millions with whom he has absolutely no personal relationship?
Truth is, the blame for this fiasco rests with the fans and the media who placed James on a gradually loftier pedestal from the moment he was selected by the Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft.
As the old adage goes: “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.”
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