What’s up? How are the kids? You enjoying our seemingly endless stroll through the regular season? Long ain’t it? I realise that with the “favourable” schedule of late we’ve been somewhat coasting through games. We’re doing just enough to win, but getting the job done nonetheless. It’s all good, nine more wins and we’re home court come June. LeBron, when you’re not high fiving your teammates during one of our routes, I can only help but wonder what your young mind thinks of. How does Andy get his hair like that? Or maybe you’re thinking of your next victim on the perimeter? I’m getting warmer aren’t I? I can feel it.
I can’t help but imagine that maybe; just maybe, you cast your mind into the future. Perhaps to this summer even? To free agency? Should be fun for you. You skipped the whole college thing so you never had all the phone calls, the constant recruiting, people bending over backwards to grant your every wish in hope you’ll throw on their colours at a press conference. Lap it up. But while there are many pretenders for your next city of residence, let me pitch the hometown plea to you, Mr. James.
Since you arrived in our lives in 2003, we have adored you. We have taken you in as our own, and watched you grow before our very eyes. We all knew you’d be good, but this good? Ever since your very first NBA game (25 points, 9 dimes, 6 rebounds and 4 steals) we have followed your every move with the look and adoration of a love struck teenager. As you moved on in your career, you took us with you. You gave us our first Central Division crown in decades. You took us to the promise land in just your fourth season with a supporting cast including Donyell Marshall and Damon Jones. You have captured our hearts, along with the following records (to name just a few);
- One of three rookies to average 20, 5 and 5 -- ever
- One of two players in history to average 27, 6 and 6 for five straight seasons
- One of three players to average 40, 10 and 7 in a play off series
- And who could forget the record that is most consecutive points scored for a team in a play off game. Hello Detroit!
But it’s not just the accolades that make our love for you grow even more by the day. It’s because you’re one of us. You’re an Ohioan. It’s in your blood. You’ve turned the Cavs into and NBA version of St. Vincent – St. Mary’s. You’re the undisputed leader. We’re all yours, why even consider anywhere else? In New York you’ll play second fiddle to…New York. Nike will give you your 100 foot billboard, but wait, you have that already. You’ll make millions in endorsements in the Big Apple. But do you need more than the $28 million you made over the last year in little ‘ol Cleveland? People in New York will adore you for 41 nights of the year (regular season home games, you’ll have to wait a while for post season action with Gallinari and co.) and forget you the rest. Chicago is a no go because let’s face it; you want to be a pioneer. You want to set the trend for a franchise; the Bulls already had that guy. The Clippers? No, that town’s painted purple and gold. It preaches from the gospel of Kobe. And besides, if you go play for the Clippers, you’re almost nailed on to get either A) A knee injury, B) A D.U.I or C) Fined for punching Donald Sterling. You don’t need the hassle.
You have at your disposal an owner who has set no limits on what he’ll do to get you adequate help. Recession? Economic crisis? Please. Give me Shaq and his $21 million dollar salary, I’m Dan Ferry! A coach who lets you basically call the shots on who does what, when they do it, how they do it. You started off in 2003 with a blank canvas; all you need to do now is apply the finishing touches on your masterpiece.
When the time arrives, we can offer you more money for more years than anybody else. But money isn’t your desire. You want to go down as an all timer who took a club from nowhere to everywhere. Bigger than MJ and the Bulls. The standard setter. Why on earth would you want to do that with anyone else other than your Cleveland Cavaliers?
Editors Note: David O'Leary is the biggest Cavs fan in all of Ireland. In the past he's also blogged for Hoopsworld, and we're looking forward to his perspectives and continued commentary from the Emerald Isle on all things Cavaliers here at Stepien Rules. For David's previous post click here.