Yeah, I’ve been avoiding writing this because I was just too irritated, but the time has come to sit down and begin planning for the ’09-’10 Cavaliers season (and beyond).
Frankly, the discussion about Game 6 has been played out already. We had our runs at it and Orlando just had everything working for them (including getting the calls when Anderson Varejao touches Howard’s back, but not when LeBron gets tackled on his way to the basket). But whose fault is it? It’s everybody’s fault. Nobody had a full game Saturday night and as a result, everybody has the summer off.
Now for the good news.
After his brief hiatus from the media, LeBron James stepped forward and discussed his satisfaction with the Cleveland Cavaliers, including their front office and the direction of the team. Contrary to popular belief, LeBron has NEVER said that he wanted to leave this city (that’s the product of a frenzied media and several thousand internet trolls). What he DID say was that he wanted to stay in Cleveland as long as the Cavaliers continue building towards success and keep him happy.
Monday’s press conference with LeBron brought some sighs of relief to a city.
“I’m great. I feel great about this situation that’s going on. You want to continue to get better, that’s all you can ask. We got better and I feel this team will be better next season. You don’t want to take a step backward. I think we went forward from the Boston series last year. Hopefully we can go forward next year.”
Upon being immediately deluged with claims of LeBron going to New York after the Eastern Finals loss, this was a welcome sound for Cavalier fans worldwide.
Now, LeBron did NOT say he was going to re-sign with the Cavs, but this was a STRONG step towards that inevitable conclusion. The facts are laid out before him, he knows it, and everybody with half a brain knows it too.
The Cavaliers are the only team that can offer him everything he wants and needs, and his family is here. No major city, especially one that is in a rebuilding phase of it’s own, can give him anything more except money…..and the Cavaliers just got a HUGE infusion of cash to offer James. The news of a Chinese investment group offering to buy 15% of the Cavs will all but seal the deal to keep LBJ in wine and gold. With that move, LeBron can successfully market himself, his shoes, his jerseys, and anything else he wants to a billion chinese people who are starved for NBA stars. The Chinese government doesn’t allow an open and free market as much as we do, but with part-ownership in the team, expect to see Hu Jintao open the gates for anything with LeBron’s name on it.
But that won’t happen if LeBron leaves the Cavs….because the Chinese ownership is NOT of LeBron, it’s of the Cavs. Sucks to be you, Knicks.
Here’s our current money situation, seen through the eyes of an optimist like me;
This all adds up to good fortune for the Cavs. We’ll have to add 10-12 million a year to LeBron, Smith and Varejao’s contracts, but we save about 19 million with the losses of Wally and Big Ben. That leaves us with 7-9 million dollars left to grab a strong player to add to LeBron’s arsenal, and that’s only if we want to keep the same salary as 2008-09. We can go over the limit and pay a luxury tax to the NBA since we have that money to spend (hello, China!).
Translation – relax, Cavs fans. LeBron will stay, and with the mastermind known as Danny Ferry at the helm, we will get everything we need and start fresh again in October.