Vindication, Cleveland?

By Michael Reghi

While my greater sense of Cleveland civic pride tells me most who call this fine city, and surrounding region home, had long since put LeBron James in our rear view mirrors, the Dallas Mavericks spanking of James and the Miami Heat to win the NBA Championship, after trailing two games to one, and reeling off three consecutive victories, has brought a sense of redemption to thousands here in Ohio, who simply didn’t want to stomach what would have been the ‘primp and preen’ show, had James and the Heat actually won something of substance…a championship. Instead, Clevelanders, scorned and snubbed by James eleven months ago, now feel validation, knowing they were right to question his ‘ultimate winner’ capabilities, after the failures of the last two seasons here, as James and the Cavaliers entered the playoffs with the best regular season records in the NBA.

After watching James turn timid, desiring to blend into the scenery, as he so readily did in games 4 through 6, while Dallas was sensing his retreat, can you convince yourself a James led championship was destined to be here in Cleveland? I can’t. James can deflect the criticism all he likes, pointing to the inabilities of his teammates, and coaching, as the reason he stalled with the Cavaliers. Fact is, he’s yet to prove he won’t shrink when the stage is the brightest. Call it whatever you like, disconnecting, choking, quitting, lacking heart and confidence, all of the above, which has been attached to James the past few playoff runs, he has yet to prove he can be the catalyst to which titles are won. He thought that would equate much easier in Miami. Of course he did.

From a basketball perspective, two things I’ve discussed with you for the past three years on shows continue to be constant regarding James game. 1. He does not play well without the ball. And, 2. He still has yet to learn how to be effective on the blocks, virtually no post-up game. Great basketball minds will be asked and debate if these are ‘learned’ skills. Going into year 9 in the league. Does he have the desire to do either for the betterment of his team? Didn’t in Cleveland. Didn’t see anything change in Miami.

Yes, Cleveland, he provided magical basketball, and sporting moments here for seven seasons. There was a price though, that went with that. Strapping this organization with complete uncertainty heading into the future, unable to make the moves necessary while he was here, to provide for multiple championship runs due to his lack of commitment. Maybe there is a ‘Cleveland payoff’ from the basketball gods initially. And it comes in the form of a championship denial to James. Redemption? Validation? A nod to Cleveland?

Call it whatever you like. There’s not a basketball championship here in Cleveland yet. And there isn’t one where LeBron James plays either. Sweet dreams, Cleveland!

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Boy am I glad I did not buy into that “beards for Lebron”…Yea right ! Anyone thinking he was coming back to Cleveland after ripping off that jersey the last game was out of their tree. Dude is a phony three-dollar-bill ! And I am going to relish my miserable life for the next 12 months !! cough cough !! choke choke !!

  2. Great blog. Really enjoyed it and agree entirely. LBJ finally became a sidekick and even then he dissipates. Clearly when things start going wrong, Lebron runs to the hills abandoning his problems. When the going gets tough, Lebron begs for help.

  3. Well done, Reghi!!!


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