LeBron: Though I may leave Akron, my heart remains

This weekend’s Sunday conversation on SportsCenter was with LeBron James, and the conversation was revealing. LeBron was asked where his loyalties lay, and no, he didn’t mention Cleveland, and he didn’t mention the Cavs. He mentioned Akron, and he seemed to be setting the stage for his departure at the end of this season:

My loyalty is to Akron. I’m looking forward to this upcoming season, but I’m looking forward to the summer of 2010, too, to see what may happen. No matter what happens that summer, you know, I’m still here. I’ve got a nice big house here that I’m always coming back to. You know, I love this city and I’ll always give back to this city no matter what my profession; if it takes me somewhere else.

Now, I don’t know a lot about Ohio. But commenters on various blogs have convinced me that Akronites and Youngstowners (apparently that’s a place near Akron) aren’t too fond of Clevelanders. Neither am I (but my personal feelings are besides the point). LeBron is an Akronite. His MVP announcement was in his old high school in Akron, which is where he’ll announce his intention to play for the Knicks.

Look at the comments on Cleveland.com. Folks are already resigned to the notion that LeBron is ghost. And his Sunday conversation didn’t help matters. They are villifying him already as, of all things, a bad tipper.

It also doesn’t help that one of the main factors Cavs fans cite as proof of LeBron’s intention to stay – his giant new Akron house – has been eviscerated by King James himself: “I’ve got a nice big house here that I’m always coming back to.” “[A]lways coming back to.”

Implication: After I leave for a kingpin’s Central Park apartment on the top of New York City, which in case you haven’t noticed is home to moguls, tastemakers, and the summit of culture, cuisine, and business, I’ll come back to Akron for the Summer. Cleveland is the home of, well, Cleveland (and not LeBron James). It cheapens LeBron to stay.

Also, for the upteenth time, replace LeBron with Al Harrington and the Cavs are a lotto team, or now, with Shaq, a 6-8 seed. So don’t give me no jive about the “supporting cast.”

Now could this all be a tease? Sure. But the signs point to LeBron moving on from the dregs and into the limelight on one of the only stages left that matters.

LeBroptimism up. Way up.

7 comments

  1. JLS125

    Just got back from Youngstown a couple of weeks ago. My wife’s family is from there. I drove by LeBron’s mansion in Fairlawn, OH which is a suburb of Akron. For OH, the area is pretty nice. Akron is actually a nice city but like every city there’s good and bad parts.

    With all that said, Akron is nowhere close to NYC. He clearly has to go where his market value is. That Sunday Conversation fluff piece was to increase his branding and recognition. He made ESPN’s Top 10 just to promote his China tour. If he’s doing this already, imagine what happens when he signs on the dotted line and is now a NYK. The world opens up for him and NIKE.

    I like OH to be honest with you. I think it’s a great place to go and get a dose of reality. Chappelle lives there for that very reason. I think for LeBron, having that home in OH will be good for him because he’ll have a safe haven to keep him grounded when he wants to get away from the madness of NYC.

  2. JLS125

    i don’t normally quote comments from other blogs but, i thought this comment on The Knicks Blog – SNY makes some good points. I wanted to get others thoughts on this situation because I think what this commenter says is very viable.

    despite the “new developments” on the sessions front, the situation remains as it was months ago, and will remain this way until the ricky rubio situation is settled. it only makes sense…

    Kahn and the Timberwolves cannot afford to put Rubio on the back burner for 1 or 2 more years until he’s finished in europe. The team, which is in DESPERATE need of money/increased attendance, would rather put all their eggs in the jonny flynn basket and trade rubio’s rights away for the best deal they can get. Since Rubio was #1 on the knicks draft board (assumed rubio1, curry2, hill3), the knicks would be happy to acquire rubio and have him learn under duhon during 2010 without any further roster moves at the pg position. Because all other teams filled up their pg spot (only pgs left are ramon sessions and a pile of garbage), the knicks will be the only viable team in the market for rubio, so hopefully we can swap wilson chandler and cash for rubio, and not be beaten by any other offers. Kahn would rather wilson and cash than an asset that cant begin to manifest itself for 2 years.

    There is no way that Rubio will play with the T’wolves because an 18 year-old would not submit himself to a 5million dollar debt (buyout $ minus Minnesota’s 500k and half a mil of endorsements). Bottom line is, NY endorsements pay more, so he will face less debt coming to the knicks. If the #s work out for Rubio then he will be a knick this season.

    (on a side note, what the hell was the rubio camp thinking entering him into the draft? even if he were picked 2nd overall, he’d still have to devote the first 2 years of his salary–about 5 million$ after taxes–to paying off his buyout loan)

    So there it is– A GUARANTEE that the knicks will not sign Sessions until the Rubio situation is resolved. Once Kahn is positive Rubio will not play with Minnesota this season, he will trade Rubio to the best deal; the only place that Rubio would agree to go (endorsements..) is NY, so we’ll lose chandler and maybe nate/jeffries. The bigger the trade, the better.

    And until Walsh is positive he can’t get rubio for 2010 (and at a bargain), he will NOT make a run at sessions, who is a very expensive alternative to rubio.

    and on a similar thought, if the twolves are seriously looking at acquiring rudy gay and rubio doesn’t want to play in memphis, then is there a trade that goes:

    MIN trade Rubio to NY
    MEM trade Gay to MIN
    NYK trade Lee to MEM and N8 to MIN

  3. Dan L

    I think Rudy Gay has more value than David Lee. Not only that but the Grizzlies are paying Zach Randolph a ton of money to be their 4, plus they have Darrell Arthur, Marc Gasol and the newly drafted Thabeet. So do they throw the kind of money that David Lee is going to want to get him to come to Memphis when they already have lots of guys who need minutes up front? I don’t see them throwing 8 figures at David Lee.

    From Minnesota’s standpoint though, I think they’d move Rubio for Nate and Gay.

    I’ll also say that I think people need to let go of Rubio. I really don’t think its happening, and I don’t think the Sessions situation is related to anything that may be going on with Rubio.

    Rather, the delay with Sessions is that Donnie wants to give him $x, Sessions wants $y, but nobody wants to give him $y, so Donnie is waiting for him to give up and take $x. That’s all it is, it’s got nothing to do with Rubio.

    I also challenge the notion that Rubio was target 1 for the Knicks. To me it was clear that Stephen Curry was target 1 for the Knicks.

  4. Jon

    My personal assault on Steve Kyler and Hoopsworld:

    “Jon in :
    Is Hoopsworld willfully ignoring what Lebron said during his ESPN interview that ran on Sunday? Denying reality won’t prevent it. Or maybe you took his comments to mean he was going to sign a max deal with a team in Akron…

    Steve Kyler:
    Willfully ignoring… or just not chasing the hype?… LeBron is not a free agent until July 1st 2010… nothing new is being said, its basically the same stuff… I for one am not waiting with baited breath for LeBron James’ free agency… Its all talk at this point, unless he says it one of us in a way that we can understand intent, chasing soundbites from LeBron is not news…

    I think we ran a Newsline on it, as we would any other report, but there just isn’t anything new to what was said this week, versus what was said last month or last year… LeBron plans to explore his options.”

    Seems awfully defensive there. I think he protests too much.

  5. Pingback: Hahn: Knicks Not In Sessions | The Knicks FanBlog
  6. Pingback: Lebron: Decision 2010 | Exclusivity Magazine

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