So many people have no idea of how business works. Several have commented that Gilbert, Cleveland, local business owners, etc. "made money off" LeBron, as though that money was made at LeBron's expense or came out of his pocket. Nothing could be further from the truth. LeBron was paid the maximum amount he could be paid under the CBA on every contract he signed with the Cavs. Of course LeBron added tremendous value to the team and the city, but he was paid fairly for it. You could argue that he outperformed his contract, but it wasn't Dan Gilbert who decided how much LeBron could be paid.
And to say the Gilbert pocketed all the money he made from LeBron is just ignorant. He paid salaries well over the cap to try to win a championship. You can fault Gilbert for hiring Danny Ferry as GM who couldn't get the right players to complement LeBron, but you can't argue he wasn't willing to pay for players. You could easily argue (some have) that LeBron made it harder by only signing a three year deal, not giving Ferry the flexibility to make longer term decisions. Look at what Miami did: they tanked two season to get rid of all of their high priced players except Wade just to be able to get 2 max free agents. Gilbert never made LeBron endure that kind of situation.
LeBron leaving is not the issue. Yes, he was supposed to be the hometown hero who would bring us a championship, who would stay here and win at home instead of leaving as so many before him did. Ultimately he decided he had a better chance to win elsewhere and he left, as was his right. Even if he left because he didn't want to be here, or because he wanted to party on South Beach, or just to play with his friends, all of those reasons are his right also. He was a free agent, and he acted accordingly.
It was the classless way he did so that angers most of us. Calling it "The Decision", just like "The Shot" and "The Drive" and "The Fumble." LeBron grew up here: he knows better. He knows what that kind of wording means to us. That narcissistic ESPN special is something Magic, Kareem, Michael, Bird, Dr. J, Kobe, Shaq, etc. would never have done. LeBron wants to be considered in the same class of all of those great players, but he isn't carrying himself the way they did.
LeBron had two choices: stay and be the man, or go and be part of a trio. He took the easy out. That's not what being the man is all about. And if you think Cleveland fans are being hard on him, you should read what they're saying in NYC.
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