Do you remember the 2010 NBA offseason? Lebron James’ ‘The Decision’ teaming up with stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. What about the aftermath? Do you remember how Cleveland reacted?
If you do, you know why James will never return there to play. If you don’t I’ll remind you.
I bet Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert cringes every time he thinks back to the 2010 offseason. He lost the best player to come to the NBA since Michael Jordan and threw a temper tantrum when James left.
After “The Decision”, Gilbert published a letter to all Cavaliers fans. That letter included insults like “cowardly betrayal,” “disloyal,” “heartless and callous.” All while articulating how Lebron James epitomized “the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become.”
“The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.”
Obviously Gilbert didn’t get the letter much forethought. Well when you say things like, “I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE,” how can anyone listen to this guy, much less the player he razed out of town.
Then the city of Cleveland took their turn acting like a jealous teenager who just broke up with their girlfriend.
Cleveland publicly burned, kicked trashed James’ jersey, protested in the streets and yelled at anyone who told them it was Lebron’s choice, as a human being, to decide who he wants to be with.
All of the emotional abuse aside, Cleveland is a smaller market than Miami. Miami is the eleventh largest radio market in America while Cleveland is the thirtieth. Miami is the sixteenth largest television market. Cleveland is the nineteenth largest. In terms of gross metropolitan product Miami is the eleventh most productive city in America. Cleveland? Twenty-seventh.
Just to put the cherry on top, Ohio has a state income tax of 5.925 percent. If Lebron signs a max contract his annual tax bill for living in Ohio will be $1.3 million, just from NBA income. Considering in 2013 Lebron made $30 million from one off-the-court business transaction the tax maybe an even greater impact than the market size.
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