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A study in hypocrisy: America's reaction to LeBron

This is a happy day for Miami. The improbable dream for all Heat fans has come to fruition, and now the focus of the basketball world is solely on AmericanAirlines Arena. After this possible dream scenario arose two weeks ago from the now-Nostradamus-like Stephen A. Smith, I thought about how it would be received across the country. Of course, it appeared the reaction would be that LeBron would be selling short his legacy, content to settle with superior teammates to win, instead of fighting for his own legacy. But never would I have imagined the vitriol he's faced in the last four hours. This isn't a homer rant. Even though I'm ecstatic I'll be able to watch three of the top four players as ranked by John Hollinger's Player Efficiency Rating play 10 miles from my home, it is a bit of a bummer that Cleveland got the short end of the stick. Obviously I wanted LeBron, but if he would have gone home, I would have understood. I also understand the Cleveland reaction, and even though it's a bit extreme to light stuff on fire in the street, the Cavaliers fan has every right to be livid. But anyone who isn't a Cavaliers fan who's ripping LeBron James, including numerous national columnists and Cavaliers team owner Dan Gilbert, is nothing but a blithering hypocrite. LeBron James gave up money and sacrificed what should have been enormous ego to come play with his friends and attempt to monopolize NBA Championship rings. He sacrificed money for winning. NO ONE EVER DOES THAT! THAT'S WHY EVERYONE ALWAYS BEMOANS THE FACT THAT PLAYERS ONLY CARE ABOUT MONEY! For years, lazy columnists have bemoaned the influence of money on players, and that no one really plays for love of the game any more. LeBron James, the biggest player in his sport (I understand some may choose Kobe, I'm looking to the future) willingly chose less money and less power just for the chance to play on a winner. And with that choice, he gets beaten about the head. It's moronic. Even columnists I really enjoy, like Gregg Doyel at CBS Sports or Bruce Arthur at Canada's National Post just jump on the easy pile, instead of considering what James is doing, and how it's something we've never seen. I doubt, when LeBron James goes to bed at night when he's 50, and he's got a few rings in the drawer, that he'll lose a wink thinking that Gregg Doyel thinks they're "worthless trinkets." If LeBron had chosen New York, everyone would be falling all over themselves to celebrate the move. It would be the resurgance of the NBA's "biggest" team. Restoring the basketball "Mecca." Give me a break. He made a decision which hurts the Cavalier fan and that's it. Miami's an easy target for those who aren't familiar with what happens west of the Hudson and south of the Mason-Dixon Line. And now to Dan Gilbert. Danny, Danny, Danny. Your letter was exactly what your fans wanted to hear from you. But you embarrassed yourself to the rest of the league in the process. Henry Abbott, the Godfather of True Hoop, covered it best in his post this morning entitled "Dan Gilbert's Disastrous Letter." He sells someone down the river he supposedly valued hours before. He clearly indicated the team didn't work hard to keep LeBron by saying they'll be working even harder. And now on top of a rookie coach and a rookie GM, the Cavaliers will be identified as having a ranting owner. All the loudness of Mark Cuban with none of the fun. It's embarrassing to read, made all the more embarrassing by the ridiculous Comic Sans font with blue font color. It reads like a post-break-up letter from a 14-year-old girl. It feels good now, but that one post will do untold damage down the road to a franchise that now needs all the help it can get. So get used to it, Heat fans. You're the new Evil Empire. This team is the one with a target on its back, not the Lakers or Celtics. It's the indicator of success. But it will also make your blood boil from time to time.