I didn’t exactly watch the ESPN docu-drama about the resolution of LeBron James’ laughable free-agent odyssey, but the news was pretty difficult to avoid last night. So King James is going to Miami. I am all a flutter.
I managed to steer clear of much of the hoopla right until the end, then got caught up in it enough in those final anguished days that I decided to put him on the cover of Sports Collectors Digest.
Well, really it was the confluence of that over-hyped signing and the fact that I wanted to use the spectacular Michael Joseph artwork of James, and since it shows him in a Cleveland uniform, this seemed likely to be my final opportunity.
So I did it, and I gotta admit there was just a teeny-weeny part of me that was hoping he would stay in Cleveland. Naive, for sure.
There’s a good deal that’s unseemly about how all this played out, not even counting the embarrassing spectacle that just about everyone in the media played a part in. I liken it to the idea of three big horses in the neighborhood teaming up and challenging all comers, which is pretty cool on a grimy, concrete basketball court in Harlem, but a little out of left field for the NBA, if I may mix my metaphors.
At the same time, I’ll concede it’s intriguing, this idea that three stars of that magnitude can make a concerted decision to end up on the same team, all in hopes of championship glory. And it’s cool that they allegedly huddled up years ago and made a pact to engineer this cosmic convergence.
But having said all that I have to add that I just don’t believe that it will work. There are just too many things that can go wrong with this admittedly picturesque alliance, from injury and intrigue to the pitfalls of designing a workable offense that can figure out how to accommodate three stars of that stature.
And I do feel more than a little sorry for the Cleveland fans, so I hope my SCD cover this week isn’t looked upon as a final injury that post-dates the ultimate insult.
While the outburst of the Cavalier’s owner was understandable and possibly even good public relations for his team’s fan base, the eighth-grade-style fury upon being so cruelly rejected was, at the very least, conduct unbecoming.
Speaking of which, the whole James fiasco was a pretty tawdry display of our distorted, even farcical fawning over top-rung athletes. I guess it’s just the pendulum swinging, from the days when even the greatest stars were probably compensated at a level far below what was justified to current days when our obsequious posture barely stops short of actual coronation, which I suppose we actually fell victim to in the case of King James.
Still, I am thrilled I got a chance to use the Michael Joseph artwork. And I’ll plant that SCD cover right alongside my New England Patriots 19-0 masterpiece from a couple of years ago.