It never fails to amaze me how much influence sports can have on the world around us. I am a pretty big fan of the Detroit Lions (NFL), the Detroit Red Wings (NHL), and I have appreciation for the Detroit Tigers (MLB). I'm not really a basketball guy, however. I can appreciate a good game, team, or player, but I'm just not a huge fan of the sport.
Despite this, I would've had to be blind, deaf, and mildly MR in order to have missed the big summer story: Who will Lebron James play for? Something like this happened last year as well, regarding NFL quarterback Brett Favre and if he was going to stay retired or come play for the Minnesota Vikings.
Regarding the Brett Favre situation, he used to play for the Green Bay Packers, who would be considered just a bit of a rival of the Detroit Lions, so although I appreciated his talent, I was pretty happy to see him end up with the New York Jets in 2008. At least we wouldn't have to mess around with him for once. When he announced his retirement after a year with the Jets, and the Vikings then began to try and sign him... I must admit that the prospect of having Favre on the Vikings was exciting even to a fan of a rival team, because I knew it was a perfect fit.
I was able to extract myself from the situation completely and just look at the situation from the perspective of simple, irrefutable logic. To me, it made perfect sense that Favre would go to the Vikings. He would make a lot of money, it was a schematic he understood and helped to perfect in Green Bay in the late 90's/early 2000's, and they had a good running game, so he wouldn't have to sling the ball on every play. Turns out, my logic proved correct, and not only did he go, for all intents and purposes, the Vikings probably should have been Super Bowl champions that year. Go figure that it wasn't the fault of the now 40-year old Favre, it was the inability of superstar running back Adrian Peterson to seemingly be able to hold onto the ball for two plays consecutively. Seriously, 4 turnovers?
So looking at the LeBron James situation, I knew right out of the gate he wouldn't re-sign with Cleveland. It made no sense to me at all. That team had 7 years to build the team around him, and if they hadn't done it yet and hadn't made a single move for one of the major free agents this year, they weren't likely to change that anytime soon. So, I figured for sure, he'd be going to either Chicago or Miami. They both made sense to me, perhaps Miami a little more so. LeBron came into the league at the same time as Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosch, and all of them are NBA all-stars and Olympic gold medalists. Wade already has a ring from 2006 with the Heat, so when he wanted to try and get LeBron and Bosch with him, you know it wasn't for money, it was to win. That's something you really don't see much in sports today, people who will take less money for an opportunity to win. You see it a lot in the NHL, but not so much in the NFL, NBA, or in Baseball (mainly because there is no salary cap to speak of there).
Turns out, I was correct about him not resigning with Cleveland, and the city imploded. The owner of the Cavaliers sent out a letter that was petty and seemed to make little sense, the fans were burning LeBron jerseys in the streets, and you could almost hear the screams from out here in Fort Wayne. If I were them, however, I'd be more upset at the team then at LeBron for realizing that there was no hope for him in Cleveland. As a Lions fan, when Barry Sanders left, I was pretty upset with the organization, because they didn't do the best they could to build a team around him.
The answer to why they got mad at LeBron for leaving Cleveland? Simple. Cleveland sports fans are idiots. Simple enough. Just look at the Browns sometime.