Big news: LeBron is not expected to pick a team by Monday. C’mon, you didn’t really think he was going to let the LeBron-a-Palooza end so soon. Did you?
James gave each of the six teams in pursuit of his services – Cleveland, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and New Jersey – a chance to make separate sales pitches and convince him that their city, their franchise was the best place for him to be. Some teams attempted to sell the King on their luxurious city nightlife while others came in with a more business-like approach and focused solely on the tradition of their franchise (obviously a much better move when you consider that winning is more important to LeBron).
The Cavaliers, however, took a completely different road. Represented by new GM Chris Grant, Majority Owner Dan Gilbert, Assistant GM Lance Blanks and new coach Byron Scott, the Cavs turned their focus to a more personal, much deeper sales pitch. The team showed an animated video made in the style of Family Guy – one of James’ favorite TV shows – that included multiple inside jokes and locker room humor that was, without a doubt, meant to depict the Cleveland organization as the King’s extended family.
James took a look at a video (a brief segment is posted at the bottom of this story) that focused on seven key concepts: Home, Winning, Authentic, Mission, Partnership, Commitment and Community. It depicted James as “More Than a Player” and was intended to show James how much he means to the franchise, the city of Cleveland and the state of Ohio. Fans lined the streets, threw powder in the air and showered James with chants of “Noah Sucks! Noah Sucks!” (Yes, I am serious. I probably would have gone with something more along the lines of “M-V-P!” or “You’re Our King!”. But that’s what they went with).
There isn’t a whole lot left for the Cleveland organization to say. Gilbert and his staff have made their sales pitch over the last seven years. They were given an underachieving franchise with selfish players and a poor reputation throughout the league. But they have built this franchise into something special – a kingdom, if you will – that is fit for a King.
If he leaves now, it’s not because the Cavaliers and/or the city of Cleveland didn’t do enough. So there should be no regrets in that regard.
May the best franchise win.