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“First off I’d like to thank everyone for coming. This decision was a long and hard one to make. After heavy consideration from my family and friends I have decided to take my journey through the NBA else where. I’d like to thank the Cleveland Cavaliers organization and my teammates who I’ve had the great pleasure of playing with during my time here. I would like to thank the fans the most for coming out and cheering the loudest they could ever night. The city of Cleveland, Ohio has been more then just a place for me to play basketball. It has been my home since birth. Growing up in Akron made me the man I am today and I won’t forget that. I love Cleveland. It will always be my home but today I have decided to go else where. Today I open a new chapter in my career in hopes that the dreams I have, which have been overshadowed by failure, will be succeeded.

The team I have chosen to join for the next part in my career has what I’m looking for. The desire to win. The players that share the passion I have for the game. Basketball isn’t just a game. It is life to me. This team is going to help me in my life and make it a successful one. I’ve spent this past week talking to numerous teams. I would like to thank The Miami Heat, The New Jersey Nets, The New York Knicks, The Los Angeles Clippers, The Chicago Bulls and of course the Cleveland Cavaliers for all their time. They spent months I am sure getting a plan ready to sell to me for their team and not make me only apart of it but apart of their family. And so my decision has been made. I have picked the Miami Heat as my new team. I will join Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Pat Riley and the Heat organization. I felt that this would be the place I could win and I’d be happy with my decision. Again thank you Cleveland for all you have given me. I hope you will still follow me and support me throughout my career.”

My rendition of the speech LeBron James will give on ESPN when he announces his decision to join the Miami Heat.

-Tim Dimas

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If Izzo heads to the NBA he won't be cutting down anymore nets.

ESPN 1050NY is reporting that sources close to Michigan State coach Tom Izzo say he is leaving East Lansing and is headed to the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Honestly, this comes as a great surprise because, with all the success he has had at the college level, why would he go down what seems to be the dark road that many have gone down before with little success, the college to pro transition?

Ask John Calipari, Rick Pitino, and Tim Floyd how hard it is. Guys who have been well-regarded in college just can’t seem to find their footing at the pro level. Maybe it’s the difference in player personality, maybe it’s the level of competition, but there is something that just doesn’t translate.

There are two important things to consider. Firstly, why would he want to leave? With Lucas, Summers, Roe, and Green all returning to Michigan State, it seems they have a solid shot at winning the National Title. Clearly, if these reports are true, college has lost its allure to Izzo. If there is any chance to win it all again, this year is the year.

The other thing is this: what does it mean for the LeBron sweepstakes? LeBron has said nothing about hand-picking a coach or GM, and, outside of the Larry King interview, has not tipped his hand about where he may land.

In my opinion, Izzo would be going to Cleveland in hopes that LeBron will stay, but Izzo’s presence will not influence James as to where he will go. One must remember, in 2000, Atlanta offered Izzo a job and he turned it down. That was clearly because there was no chance to win. But, the thing is that, if LeBron leaves, Cleveland becomes that 2000 Hawks team. Izzo would really be rolling the dice.

Coach K was smart to turn down the Nets job this year, and it would be prudent for Izzo to stay where he is and make a run at the National Title this year.  But, the bright lights of the NBA and the prospect of coaching LeBron may be too strong to refuse this time around for Coach Izzo.

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LeBron James has every reason to stay in Cleveland. He was born and raised in Akron. He is the face of an entire city, state, and franchise. Money isn’t an issue, because he’ll still get a max contract to stay. He could be the star that stays with one team his whole career and “makes” a city, like Jordan did in Chicago and Kobe is doing in LA. He could forever make Cleveland synonymous with LeBron James.

But, at the same time, LeBron James has every reason to leave Cleveland. Upper management has shown that they can’t give him the pieces around him to win a championship. With New York calling, the largest media market in the world could propel him from the face of the NBA to the face of worldwide basketball, into an upper tier that only Jordan has achieved. He could become a BRAND. He could be the biggest icon in the most recognizable city on a historically frustrated but also historically rich team. LeBron loves challenges and what better a challenge than having the job of turning the Knicks around 180 degrees, back to the days when the Garden was rocking so loud you could hear it in Times Square? That would be his. All his.

This is where the problem begins. One case is just as legitimate as the other and the only thing that matters now is exactly what LeBron decides to do. And that is what he has kept guarded like classified government information. It’s not like people haven’t asked. It’s a constant topic in his interviews. But, every time it is asked, he dances around it just as easily as he does the futile defenders that stand in his way on the court.

So what are we to think? Truthfully, all we can do is over-analyze, run in circles, and draw unsubstantiated conclusions.

Guys make fun of girls many times for being interested in celebrity gossip, but this is exactly what we’re doing! This is our Brad and Angelina drama! This is our lead-up to the season finale of The Bachelor? Who will Lebron give the rose to? The glitzy and glamorous blonde that is New York City, or the All-American, Midwestern sweetheart in Cleveland?

We won’t know until July and we’ll be tearing our hair out over it until then. Your future depends on this. Choose wisely, Chosen One.

-Dan

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After listening to four hours of New York sports talk,there’s something that really blows my mind. With LeBron’s flop last night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals that was, admittedly, atrocious, the media is ready to slap labels on him like “choke” and “fraud”. Stephen A. Smith went as far as to say LeBron should go to a tattoo shop and get “King James” and “The Chosen One” removed from his skin.

He’s got to be joking.

Granted, it was a huge situation, really a MUST WIN situation at HOME in the PLAYOFFS, but there’s no way you can say that he’s no longer the player he “was”. He is a two-time MVP, he’s been hampered by an elbow injury, and the pieces that were brought in the propel this team to a championship just aren’t showing up. The Cleveland Cavaliers are becoming the Cleveland LeBrons and last night proved that the latter is not the team that was favored to win coming into the playoffs.

Just like Jordan’s championship teams of the 90s, it takes a whole team to win. LeBron has no Scottie Pippen. Antwan Jamison has shown he can’t be “that guy”. LeBron has no Dennis Rodman, that gritty, selfless guy in the paint to do the dirty work. If you come back with Varejao as an answer, you tell me who you’d rather meet in a dark alley, Dennis Rodman or Anderson Varejao. Point proven.

Without these other pieces working like a well-oiled machine, the Cavs will fall because every other team left in these playoffs is complete enough to win. A lot falls on LeBron’s shoulders, true. Being a global icon and arguably the best player on Earth carries weight. But, when it boils down to it, you can’t win a championship by yourself. Look at the last ten champions and you’ll see. Look at the stars and you’ll see it. Magic had Kareem. Bird had that whole team. After Shaq left, Kobe didn’t win another until he had Gasol, Bynum, and Odom. It’s the way it is.

Basketball is a team sport and, until the Cavs start playing like one, they will be sent packing and LeBron himself may be packing up and heading out as well. He is a fantastic player, one of the world’s best, but a one man show will only take you so far.

-Dan

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