You can't control an independent heart
Can't tear the one you love apart
Forever conditioned to believe that we can't live
We can't live here and be happy with less
So many riches, so many souls
Everything we see we want to possess
- StingNo sooner did Lebron James announce that he was leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for greener pastures, Cavs owner Dan Gilbert rushed out an open letter to the heartbroken fans. If James needed any outside help in beginning to restore his image to those who felt he was a traitor for leaving, Gilbert unwittingly assisted him in spades. It was passionate, heartfelt and absolutely unprofessional. It was written with pure emotion and with zero rational thought. It was understandable and yet at the same time unbelievable.
Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight; As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier. This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his "decision" unlike anything ever "witnessed" in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment. Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us. The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you. There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you. You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal. You have given so much and deserve so much more. In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight: "I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE" You can take it to the bank. If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels. Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there. Sorry, but that's simply not how it works. This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become. But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio. The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma. Just watch. Sleep well, Cleveland. Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day.... I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only: DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue.... Dan Gilbert Majority Owner Cleveland CavaliersIt’s easy to enjoy this from the winning side if you’re a Heat fan today. But what would have been your reaction if Dwyane Wade had left to play for Chicago? Be honest, doubts started to creep in when news broke that Wade was having a second meeting with the Bulls. The threat of him leaving and taking with him the very real possibility that the franchise would be set back for years to come may have been very real. Could it have been possibly worse if he was born here in Miami and had played all his life here (like Udonis Haslem)? The pain in Gilbert’s letter is tangible, but his words are unforgivable. James put his heart and soul into trying to make his team better his entire career. It’s unfair to ask him to do everything in a team sport and then turn around and retroactively blame him for everything that has gone wrong as soon he’s not your property. It’s selfish. If Wade has gone through the same effort each and every game throughout these long 82 games every year to try to will his team to victory single-handedly, then the weight on James’ shoulders and the pressure to deliver an overdue championship to rabid fans from your own hometown must have been unbearable after 7 futile seasons. That’s why he had to leave home. That’s possibly why Wade also spurned Chicago. In a sense, that’s why everyone eventually leaves his or her parent’s home or accepts a job out of town that represents a dream opportunity. To be free, to be unshackled. For good or bad. That’s why it can be an uncomfortable situation if spouses or family work together. There’s an extra element of emotion on top of the job at hand that may not manifest when everything is going well but rears it’s ugly head when problems arise. James first picked up a basketball presumably to have fun and just play. Then he wanted to be a winner. Then ping-pong balls decided he should play miles away from where he lived. Seven years later, you could see it in James’ face during the Celtics series that this wasn’t working. The fans, apparently ungrateful but more out of desperation after the Cavs were widely expected to challenge the Lakers in the Finals, booed him and his teammates as they were soundly beat by a better, more balanced, opponent. Then he saw that team, originally formed by three All-Stars, move on to the Finals to compete for a second ring in three years. James is tired of watching the Finals on TV. So is Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Being the "Man" on their teams wasn’t working out and they decided to do something about it. I feel some sympathy to Cleveland and their fans. But if you love somebody, you also need to be prepared to set them free.