Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (4-10) vs. Miami Heat (11-3)
When? 7:30 PM Eastern
Where? Quicken Loans Arena -- Cleveland, OH
Where on my eyeballs? ESPN
Let's talk about this LeBron stuff.
Obviously, this is a game between the Cavaliers and the Heat. It's not just Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, but that's how the media is going to market the game and I feel obligated to at least address the issue at hand. As you may have heard, there's one rumblings about a group of Cavs fans that have started campaigning for LeBron to come back to Cleveland in the summer of 2014. The campaign is called "Come Home, LeBron" and apparently there's billboards and stuff. My first reaction is that that's pretty lame. You just know it's the type of thing that people are going to point out and use to make Cleveland fans look like pathetic losers. It's not a good look. It's makes us look like helpless losers that can't win a championship and are so desperate to win that we'd goes as far as practically begging LeBron to help us out. But after thinking about it for a little while...isn't that kind of accurate?
The last time the city of Cleveland won a championship was in 1964. That was a long time ago. I've had multiple discussions with friends about how ridiculous it would be if the city won a title again. The parade would be insane. There'd be 90 year olds crying and celebrating. It'd be unbelievable and I want to see it happen. And if we're being honest, the best chance that we have at seeing a Cleveland championship is if we have the best player in the NBA on our team. That's LeBron James. It's been nearly 50 years since we've won. We are desperate and by definition our teams are losers. Of course, there's this whole thing about pride and dignity -- if you're into that sort of thing. But that's a different issue and I don't think I can speak for everybody involved. Begging for LeBron to come back to the Cavs makes the fan base look pathetic. ESPN and other sports fans are going to laugh at us and assume that a small group of people and few billboards are representative of the entire fan base. But let me tell you something: they're laughing at us anyway. When you constantly lose and haven't won a championship since 1964, people laugh at you.
I think I've made my stance on the issue fairly clear: I want to win. I don't really care what players are on the roster, as long as we win. Would it be great if the front office could put together a team built around Kyrie Irving and some other young players and develop the current core to bring a title to Cleveland? Of course. Wouldn't it be great to beat LeBron in the playoffs en route to the Cavaliers' first NBA championship? Absolutely. But that's getting picky. When you haven't won in so long, I don't think you can be picky. I'm not going to be stubborn and say "I don't want to win if it means I have to root for LeBron again." That's insane to me. I just want to win.
Now, the other question about this whole "Come Home, LeBron" thing is that it's probably not effective. I'm sure that some people will have agreed with most of the things I just said but also thought "yeah, but there's no reason to have stupid billboards that make us look dumb, even if we would like LeBron to come back to the Cavs." And that's a valid point. I'm not the one organizing the campaign. I'm not a part of it and I don't wish to be. There's a 99% chance that all it does is make us look lame and give people new jokes about Cleveland. But let's try to sit back and think about what they're trying to do. Remember the guy that ran onto the court during last year's Cavs-Heat game with a shirt about LeBron coming back in 2014? I think the point of that was to show LeBron that he still has fans in northeast Ohio and that people would welcome him back. It's no secret that Cavs fans were really pissed following The Decision and LeBron probably got a lot of really hateful messages on Twitter, etc. He saw fans burning his jersey in the streets. I can understand the train of thought that says "if we want LeBron to come back, we need to show that people don't still hate him here." I don't know if that's effective, but I think that's the goal. It's almost certainly not going to figure into LeBron's decision when he's a free agent. But they think it's a message that he needs to receive. *shrug*
I'd certainly like LeBron James to play for the Cavs again. It would help the team win and I want to win. I don't think the "Come Home, LeBron" campaign is going to be effective, but whatever. It's not representative of every Cavs fan and you can want LeBron back without supporting the silly campaign. LeBron's free agency decision will come down to what he thinks about the future of Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, as well as Kyrie Irving and the pieces that the Cavs put together. His next decision will be about where he can have success as a basketball player, where he can win championships, how he wants to shape his legacy, and what he thinks is best for his family. It's not going to be determined by some billboards or people thinking Cavs fans are lame. And that's all I have to say about that.
Let's talk about the actual game very briefly.
Andrew Bynum is huge. He played relatively well against the Spurs and should be able to take advantage of Miami's smaller front court. That could be neat to watch.
Matthew Dellavedova will be trying to guard Dwyane Wade in this game. Here's how I expect that to go:
Hopefully the team comes ready to play tonight, or else it's going to be ugly.
Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction:
Some fans will cheer for LeBron. Some fans will boo LeBron. Some fans won't do anything. The Heat will probably win.
- ESPN's Bruce Bowen talks Cleveland Cavaliers with Fear the Sword
- Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat: LeBron James returns to Cleveland again
- Cavaliers vs. Heat Q&A with Hot Hot Hoops
- NBA Draft 2014 Email Chain: Should teams tank, and who is #1?
- Cavaliers' News: My reaction to Andrew Bynum having "legit three-point range"