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July 9, 2010 - Al Stephenson
Well it's over. THE Decision has been made. No, not LeBron's decision. My decision. I do not need an hour on ESPN to keep you in suspense either. I'll tell you what it is right now.
I am giving up on the NBA completely (instead of for the most part) and will stick to watching paint dry. It will be nearly the same excitement level. I have never liked what the NBA has done to the game of basketball and the dog and pony show that was dubbed The Decision has convinced me that it's time for this casual fan to say good bye.
A friend of mine told me that he didn't watch NBA games, but kept tabs on it because LeBron gave Cleveland a chance to win a title. The guy is not a Cleveland sports fan like I am, but he felt sorry for Clevelanders and wanted to see if the Cavaliers could give the city that long awaited championship.
That pretty much describes my feelings and now that LeBron has spurned Cleveland, I feel comfortable walking away from the game. Cleveland is not likely to see an NBA championship in the forseeable future (despite Dan Gilbert's claims to the contrary), and I no longer have to feign an interest in the sport.
The past week has given the NBA a WWF feel and in case you were wondering that is not a good thing. A one hour special on ESPN to announce where the man is going to play for the next several seasons. Give me a break. Though curious where he was going, I wasn't, as some ESPN announcers would have you believe, sitting on pins and needles and waiting with bated breath. This just wasn't the most important thing in my life.
I found a number of things amusing as the so called drama unfolded. Perhaps the funniest thing was the comments from Wade, Bosh and LeBron that it wasn't about the money. Each took less than the maximum deal to team up in Miami. Shouldn't they be commended for that? Puhlease!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hey guys. In case you didn't notice you were already millionaires going into free agency. You will get an additional obscene amount of money to play a game for crying out loud. Yes, LeBron turned his nose up on an additional $30 million to stay in Cleveland. That is pretty easy to do when you are already on your way to becoming a BILLIONAIRE!
How much money can you spend in a lifetime? Seriously, how many cars can you fit in your garage? You are not coming off as Sister Theresa here fellas.
A few other random thoughts. Dan Gilbert's tirade after the announcement caught me by surprise. He didn't mince words about how he felt. LeBron's contention that the NBA is a business made sense to me. Let me suggest to LeBron that when I don't like a business, I don't patronize it.
The view from my seat suggests that the NBA will go on without my support. Traveling will continue to be ignored, the continuation play that defies any sense of logic will still be there. Superstars are going to get preferential treatment.
I just won't see it and more importantly - won't miss it!
Good Bye LeBron. Good bye NBA. Good riddance!
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