The NBA Finals are on and people on Facebook, Twitter, and other social outlets are losing their ever loving minds. The Oklahoma Thunder are in a bitter battle with the Miami Heat and last night, Miami turned it up. With the wins being even, some are guesstimating an outcome already and what it would mean for LeBron James.
Fox Sports’ Jen Floyd Engel is one of James’ detractors that are still harping on his decision to walk away from Cleveland. Her “if he hadda stayed” spill is antiquated and losing luster as he comes through the Finals for the SECOND time since being with the Heat. Some may say close, but no cigar, but not Cleveland. Some, like Engel, may forget that with James at the helm, the Cavs made it to the NBA Finals in 2007, for the first time in their franchise history.
In Engel’s railing against LeBron in her op-ed “Easy Decision to Root Against LeBron“, she compares Peyton Manning’s career to LeBron’s disloyalty to Cleveland. Really Engel? There’s no comparison. A black man in the NBA as opposed to a white guy throwing for the Colts in the NFL? Their careers are drastically different. Had Peyton moved on to another team do you really believe his move would’ve revealed the owner’s underbelly in a letter like Dan Gilbert wrote to the fans (but really to LeBron)?
Peyton Manning is a legacy in the NFL. LeBron James came into the NBA without a father guiding and assisting his steps. Manning’s father, “Archie” Manning is a former NFL darling with another son who is quarterback of the 2008 and 2012 Superbowl champs, the New York Giants. And note, both Superbowls in 2008 and 2012 were quarterbacked by brothers Peyton for the Colts and Eli for the Giants. Legacy!
James is his own man, who gave the team his BEST first seven years of his professional career. He was the fastest, strongest, and most focused player he could be…with no help or guidance from his personal life in what he had to do to be the best at what he does. When he left the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was apparent that his decision was much bigger than a ring. If he wanted to leave because of a failed attempt at winning with the Cavs, wouldn’t he have made that decision a lot sooner than 2010; an entire three years after only going to the Finals once in 2007. As arrogant as he is portrayed in the media, the facts don’t add up.
Dan Gilbert persecuted him in a threatening racist rant on his way out the door which SHOULD’VE spoke volumes to the fans in Cleveland and throughout the nation. If he was dealing with this guy, it was obviously necessary for him to make the exit he made as a final “kiss my ass” to not the fans and Cleveland, nor Ohio, but the business associates of the game he adored playing in Ohio.
So Engel, when you taunt James and rally against him during the Finals, you and all the other James’ haters take Gilbert’s words into consideration. This dude came straight out of GoodFellas with innuendo talk of betrayal and death in his July 2010, open letter to fans:
“…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.”
When in fact, GILBERT, it is exactly who he wants his sons to grow up and become. On this Father’s Day weekend, let us also remember how proud LeBron’s children can be of the man he has shown himself to be on and off the court by giving them lessons in discipline, hard work, class, and being his own man in the face of extreme adversity at such a young age. Go Heat!
If you want a refresher (Engel), on this dark side of the NBA, read our July 9, 2010, story here. We provide a link to Gilbert’s full diatribe.