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Byron Scott may be less unfortunate in the situation he has inherited than a lot of people seem to think he is. Yes, it is true that a 60-win season next year seems like a pipe dream, but Scott has faced challenges before, and has taken teams in deep trouble and turned them into playoff teams, and in the case of New Jersey, into a Finals team.
Perhaps the job of re-making Cleveland is perfectly suited for Scott, and perhaps losing LeBron James - and the drama which he brought to the table recently - gives Scott the chance to once again start at a disadvantage and turn lemons into lemonade.
Terry Pluto explores Scott's attitude toward rebuilding in this column; a column which makes one feel much better about the Cavs' chances of coming back, if not with a vengeance for a year or two, at least to being a contending team again in short order.
“We are removing the LeBron James Witness mural in downtown Cleveland and expect the process to be completed within a few days,” Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.
Wilkins said he does not yet know what the company’s plans are with the gigantic sign on the side of the Landmark Office Tower.
How about another local athlete? Josh Cribbs??
Cooler heads prevailed. The Cavaliers have agreed to a sign-and-trade deal with the Miami Heat, assuring the Cavaliers of at least something in return for LeBron James.
It breaks down like this:
LeBron James, who signs a 6-year, $110 million contract
Two first-round picks, that must be used starting in 2013 and ending by 2017
2012 second-round pick Miami received from New Orleans
Future second-round pick Heat acquired from Oklahoma City
Cleveland can also swap first round picks with the Heat in 2012
A large trade exception($15 million or so) that the Cavs must use in trades for one calendar year.
Not a bad haul, when LeBron was leaving any way.
Ira Winderman of SunSentinel.com writes that the Miami Heat signed LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to six-year contracts with player options after five years.
Bosh, James and Wade each signed six-year contracts, with option rules allowing an escape after the fifth year.
“What we signed today for is not important,” James said. "What is important is we all sacrificed money.
“We didn’t take the max deals.”
James was able to sign a six-year deal rather than a five-year deal because the Cavaliers agreed to participate in a sign-and-trade with the Heat.
ESPN's Chad Ford reports that James's deal is worth $110 million.
Eric Freeman of the Sporting News reports that Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Mo Williams took to twitter to air his thoughts about LeBron James’s decision to bolt for the Miami Heat.
While Williams’s rant was profanity-laced he did stand up for the city of Cleveland and fans of the Cavaliers.
The only thing, and I mean the only thing I disagree with is…. If he knew somewhere else was the destination. He should have spared cle On national tv. But this was history so we might not understand the magnitude today. But when we look back on this, we might not Never see this again.
Freeman writes that Williams has the opportunity to turn this into a leadership moment in James’s absence.
Without him, the Cavs have to reorganize themselves both on and off the court.
It can take time to pick up the pieces, and the Cavs may never experience this kind of relationship again. But if Mo Williams looks deep inside himself, he may come out on the other side a better person, teammate, and leader.
Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer is reporting on twitter that the Cavaliers will participate in a sign-and-trade with Miami Heat, sending out LeBron James for four draft picks and a massive trade exception.
“Sources say Cavs will get 4 picks: 2 1st, 2 2nd,” Windhorst writes. “Cavs also will receive a trade exception of up to $16 million.”
Initially, it was believed the Cavaliers would not participate in a sign-and-trade so that they would not be seen as complicit in James’s exit from Cleveland. In the end, the Cavaliers likely realized that it was better to come away with something rather than nothing.
The trade exception gives the Cavaliers the potential to be a major player in this summer’s free agent and trade market. David Aldridge of NBA.com, for example, says Cleveland could make a run at Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Al Jefferson, who is known to be on the trading block.
Orlando Magic general manager Otis Smith was asked for his thoughts about LeBron James’s decision to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. Smith minced no words, wondering how the three players would share the basketball and then really opened up on James, questioning his competitive desire to the Associated Press.
“I was surprised that he went” to Miami, Smith said. “I thought he was, I guess, more of a competitor.”
“The great ones do and usually stay in one location,” he added. “This is a new era. It’s a little different than my time.”
Some people from northeastern Ohio react one way when adversity comes along, some react another, some are loyal to their teams, some are not, some "get it" when it comes to being a Cleveland sports fan, and some do not.
LeBron James, sad to say, does not "get it".
Bernie Kosar, on the other hand, does get it, and is not afraid to say so.
Bernie, you were always one of the best, and you still are. Keep rockin'!
Were you as confused as I was with the softball questions tossed at LeBron James? What about the 6 minutes – and 18 questions – it took Gray to finally ask LeBron what team he would be playing for(even Gray looked uncomfortable with this)
There’s a good reason. LeBron James paid the bill.
ESPN didn’t play down one part of the business arrangement of the deal — that Gray, the former ESPN and NBC reporter who is now working on a freelance basis, was James’ preferred interviewer. But the network didn’t say, and now says they didn’t know, that Gray’s travel and payment for “The Decision” show was being paid by the entity set up by Team LeBron and not by ESPN, as CNBC has learned.
“We aren’t privy to Gray’s arrangement,” said ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys. “He came as part of the package. We accepted Jim knowing that we would have extensive time for our people to interview LeBron, which was bulk of the show.”
The worst play-by-play voice in the history of the Cavaliers proves to be the worst fake interviewer as well. Truly great journalism.
LeBron James arrived in Miami in the middle of the night and wanted to make sure the photogs were ready for him -
Tabloid reporters were all called by LeBron’s people to the hotel at around 3:00am to get pictures of the prima donna basketball player arriving, according to Media Take Out.
Expect to see lots of LeBron on the gossip websites in the coming years from the Sunshine State.
It seems LeBron’s real thirst was for attention. We’ll see how long D-Wade basks in the shadow of the Paper King.
The Miami Herald of course jumped right into the festivities last night in this story. It is fair to say that jubilation abounds in south Florida.
For those that think Dan Gilbert’s letter to fans regarding LeBron James was over the top, take a moment to investigate the reasons why Gilbert may have felt that way. Brian Windhorst does a great job giving us a glimpse inside the Cavaliers day-to-day operations.
In every trade Gilbert made, he took on more money than he sent out, his payroll spiraling into the luxury tax and then more deeply into the tax. Each, whether it was for Ben Wallace or Mo Williams or Shaquille O’Neal or Antawn Jamison, came only as James signed off. Yet when it was time to sign free agents, James would not commit to the future.
It left the team being forced to improve mostly through trades, deals they often made with the short term in mind that required them to give up future assets in the form of draft picks and prospects. Largely it worked, as the Cavs became one of the league’s most successful teams.
Gilbert hired one of James’ friends and paid him more than some assistant coaches to hang out with the team so James would be comfortable. Gilbert allowed members of James’ management team to fly on the team jet. He spent $25 million to construct a practice facility that was located 20 minutes closer to James’ home than the old one. He rebuilt the locker room. He hired a masseur to travel on the road because James likes massages.
Perhaps that helps shed some light on the situation.
Reaction to ‘The Decision’ is flying in, but perhaps SI has done the best job so far explaining just how weak LeBron’s reasoning for heading to Miami with D-Wade and Chris Bosh is.
“Michael Jordan announced on national television he’s leaving Chicago to join the Detroit Pistons. Jordan said it was tough to bolt Chicago, where he was the most popular athlete in many years, because he thinks he has a better chance to win a championship if he plays with Pistons star Isiah Thomas. Jordan said by playing together, he and Thomas “won’t have the pressure of going out and scoring 30 every night.”
Does that help you see how ridiculous all this is??
Mo Williams, who was brought in to help "The King" to win a ring, apparently has more loyalty to Cleveland after just a couple of seasons than LeBron did, for he expressed bewilderment and shock, among other emotions in remarks on Twitter late last night.
Cleveland Cavaliers Owner Dan Gilbert has penned an open letter to Cavs fans. And it is absolutely insane.
It reads in part…
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.
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”
Join in the raging discussion over at SB Nation’s Fear The Sword.
During ESPN’s “The Decision” broadcast Thursday night, the network showed video of Cleveland fans burning LeBron James’s Cavaliers jersey in response to his decision to sign with the Miami Heat next season. Here’s the image.
Asked for a response to the burning jersey, James stated, “I can’t get involved in that… I wanted to do what was best for LeBron James.”
Free agent forward LeBron James made it official in an announcement from the Boys and Girls Club in Greenwich, Connecticut that was broadcast on ESPN Thursday night: he will play for the Miami Heat next season.
"This fall, this is very tough," James said. "I'm going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat."
"I wanted to thank all six teams I had the opportunity to sit down with," James said "It's been a humbling experience, an unbelievable experience... It was everything I expected and more."
James said he made his decision Thursday morning after a conversation with his mother, Gloria James. James said the major factor in his decision was "the best opportunity for me to win, and to win now, and into the future also. Winning is a huge thing for me."
Asked for a message to fans in Cleveland, James said, "It's hard to explain... my heart and the seven years I gave to that franchise and city, it was everything. Those 20,000+ fans came out every night, they've seen me grow from an 18 year old kid to a 25 year old man. I never wanted to leave Cleveland. My heart will always be around that area."
Asked what he thought the fans reaction in Cleveland would be, James admitted he wasn't sure. "They will have mixed emotions of course... This is tough, you feel like you let a lot of people down. It's tough because I'm a loyal person."
James said he had no doubts about his decision. He thanked everyone within the Cavaliers organization.
The ESPN broadcast, dubbed "The Decision", began with analysis from Stuart Scott, Jon Barry, Michael Wilbon and Chris Broussard. Asked for their predictions, the panelists favored the Miami Heat. Prior to the announcement, ESPN displayed pictures of James in the jerseys of five different teams and showed highlights from James's high school and professional career.