Dan Gilbert got to write his letter to LeBron. Now it’s my turn. But this one isn’t just for LeBron. I’ve got something for everyone involved.
To Cleveland Fans
I’m sorry. You didn’t deserve this. Your city has endured enough. While LeBron was in Cleveland you were nothing but supportive and loyal. There’s nothing that can be said that will take away the sting of this, but let me offer you a few pieces of advice. Don’t follow Dan Gilbert’s lead. You’re better than that. Try not to blame LeBron for leaving. The Cavs management had plenty of chances to do what was necessary to keep him around but they didn’t. That’s not LeBron’s fault.
To Dan Gilbert
Give it up. You failed. You drove LeBron away. And every time you say or write something stupid, or pull some bullshit prank you’re just reminding everyone why LeBron left, and reassuring him that he made the right decision. Right now you have two options. Keep acting like a child. Or get your act together and start building the championship-calibur roster that you were never able to assemble while LeBron was in Cleveland. Art Rooney would never pull this crap.
To the Cavalier Players and Organization
Don’t be surprised. You knew this was coming. If he wanted to stay in Cleveland he would’ve said “I’m going to become a free agent but I hope to stay in Cleveland,” like so many other players have. But you the organization didn’t do their job putting a decent squad together, and you the players didn’t play well enough to be competitive. Danny Ferry, this is as much your fault as anyone else’s. Mo, if you can’t average more than 5 assists a game with LeBron on your squad, then we’ve got a problem. And if you’re not going to average more than 5 assists then you sure as hell better score more than 15 points per game. Antawn, I know you came in late, but you were an embarrassment in the Conference Semifinals. You were brought in to get the Cavs over the hump and you failed, miserably. Varejao, cut your hair. Shaq and Z, get younger. Delonte, we all know what you did. Not cool, man. Not cool.
You made the right decision. Don’t second-guess that for a minute. But you went about it in the worst way possible. From here on out you will be judged on two planes. First, your success. You must win multiple championships in Miami or this All-Star experiment will be viewed as a failure. But you knew that already. Second, how you handle yourself. You’ve done well by remaining pretty quiet on most topics. But that doesn’t change the fact that you shit all over the fans in Cleveland by leaving the way you did. And you need to make that up to them as best you can. You need to apologize publicly. You need to take out ads in Ohio newspapers. You need to make donations to charities and you need to continue to hold off-season events in Ohio if you wish to rebuild the damage you’ve done to your reputation.
To Maverick Carter
You’re new to this game, we get it. But you messed up big. Now is the time to come out and say so. Your client is taking all the heat (no pun intended). No step up like a man and take some responsibility. And because we know you’re new at this, we also know you have exactly zero experience handling PR nightmares. This one is up there as far as how bad they can get. Probably behind BP but ahead of Tiger Woods on the PR disaster rankings for recent history. So hire someone to help your client and clean this up. You could probably learn a thing or two in the process.
To Dwyane Wade
If you haven’t already, you need to thank LeBron. He has given you a great gift, and is taking all of the heat for it. He’s being chastised for being weak and not a leader because he’s going to play with you. But no one is saying anything about you asking him and Chris to come play with you. Play like we know you can, and make sure LeBron gets at least a couple of rings in Miami.
To Chris Bosh
You selfish bastard. You know you’re the weak link here. Everyone knows it. You had better have career years every year you’re in Miami. Because if you make LeBron look like an ass for coming to Miami to play with you and D-Wade, you will be the goat to end all goats. The Three Kings title is a joke. Everyone knows it’s really Two Kings and a Princess. So it would be in your best interest to put down your tiarra for a moment and tighten up your game.
To NBA Fans and the Sports Media
You asked for this, so I don’t know what you’re complaining about. You wanted a 1-hour LeBron special, and you got it. You wanted a trio of superstars to unite in one city (NY, Chicago, Miami, etc.) for sports greatness, and you got it.
In the week leading up to his decision, LeBron was faced with two basic choices. Chase the money or chase the rings. The entire world was preparing to tear LeBron apart in the event that he chased the money. He would be called greedy, and selfish, a quitter, a second-class athlete for not making winning a priority. Instead, he did what every sports fan wanted him to. He chose to chase the rings. And even now he’s getting blasted for it.
LeBron deserves to be criticized for how he let his advisors play out this free-agency like they did. But any other criticism is completely unwarranted and unfounded. To question his personality, integrity, competitiveness, desire to win and leadership is ludicrous. There’s more to being a leader than thumping your chest and telling everyone you’re the best. That’s just being an asshole. And despite “The Decision”, anyone being objective knows that that is not what LeBron is.
But ultimately, what can you do? Haters gonna hate.
Editor’s Note: No typefaces or type designers were hurt in the making of this letter.