April 16, 2014

LeBron James Hate Continues

It’s amazing to me how big of a story it is that LeBron James has been resting the last few games. This morning Mike and Mike talked about it for a couple hours. We’ve already heard from Stan Van Gundy and idiots with MVP ballots. Now it seems we will be subjected to this debate until the first round gets underway this weekend.

The argument is that fans are being ripped off because they purchased tickets to see LeBron James play and he is not playing. If he was injured there would be no flap of course, but because he is resting and capable of playing it is some sort of crime against humanity. Now, I’m all for getting your money’s worth when you go to a game. Like most everyone else I don’t have lots of loose cash laying around to throw away. I do realize that when you buy a ticket for a game you are never guaranteed to see any one player. That’s kind of the nature of sports. Especially at the end of a season.

Think about it like this- the NBA season is 82 games long. LeBron sitting the final 4 games of the regular season is the mathematical equivalent of Peyton Manning sitting down after the first two drives of the Colts’ 16th game. The Colts found themselves taking heat for Manning and company sitting out the final 2 regular season games, and only because the perfect season was in play. That would be like LeBron sitting out the last 10 games.

The funniest part of this whole mess to me is that the voices you hear complaining about it aren’t coming from Cleveland. Cavalier fans are perfectly fine with him sitting if that is what the team feels is best. You will read more about whether James and whomever sits will be sharp when they come back to play, as opposed to the organization cheated my family by sitting the superstar. So if the fan base in question gets the bigger picture goals of the team, can we get a moratorium on using us as pawns in this debate? If Mike and Mike want to argue whether LeBron should get a game check that’s their decision. But leave the fans out of it. We are a little more intelligent than to sue the Cavaliers because we thought that LeBron would be playing the last game of the season and so we bought tickets.

It is strange to have such a polarizing figure in Cleveland. We’ve been on the other end of the spectrum for so long. It certainly is easy to lob hate grenades at the Yankees as an organization, or at Alex Rodriguez as an individual. It seems strange now that we’re in the middle of seeing these attacks on ‘our guy’. Hopefully we’ll be defending attacks on LeBron James for years and years to come. It’s a lot more fun on this side of the battle.

(Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

  • Omar13Vizquel

    The key is this: “The funniest part of this whole mess to me is that the voices you hear complaining about it aren’t coming from Cleveland. Cavalier fans are perfectly fine with him sitting if that is what the team feels is best.”

    We all need to learn to switch off annoying voices.

    It’s almost playoff time. Nothing matters now, least of all Mike and bleeding Mike or any other smug EsPN crap.

  • Chris

    You know, Greenberg seems pretty ignorant to any of the happenings outside of New York. Golic on the other hand is from Cleveland. I’m really kind of surprised he’s doing this.

  • Swig

    If LeBron said “No, MB, I am not playing today” then maybe you could discuss him not getting a pay check.

    When it is in everyone’s (except perhaps the fans at the game) best interest to rest it should be a non-story. If the cavs had 69 wins, and could have gone for 73 it might be a notable.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    24 hour newz cycle needs moar newz.

  • Clown Baby

    Denny- For realz. There has to be a pro athlete cheating on his wife out there somewhere. I volunteer to be your source if you would like to get WFNY some hits.

  • AMC

    Spot on Rick. If Cavs fans aren’t complaining, we don’t need the national media making up some story about how Cavs fans are entitled to see LeBron play in meaningless games.

    At the end of the day, LeBron and the Cavs owe their fans one thing – winning a title. If Mike Brown thinks resting LeBron these last few games will assist in that goal, then I think Cavs fans are fine with that. I can certainly see the argument for playing LeBron these last few games, but there are also valid reasons on the other side. The point is, there is no real protocol for these situations, which is why they are debated endlessly. I thought the Colts should have gone for the perfect record, but I think it’s hard to argue they lost the Super Bowl because they gave up pursuit of it.

    By the way, Windy just tweeted both LeBron and Shaq will sit tonight. I was hoping Shaq might play since he hasn’t played in 6 weeks, but guess I’ll have to trust the Cavs on this one too…

  • stin4u

    This is getting a bit ridiculous to be honest….and now I hear the nba will “be looking into this”…..really? So now teams must play their “star” players at all times when capable?

  • Jack

    End of the season tickets in hoops and football are always like this…

    It’s a trade-off:

    1) potentially a more exciting game than a mid-season one
    2) you might not see the best players

    It’s a calculated risk.

  • 5KMD

    Do you guys have any other pictures in your “LBJ wearing a suit” collection?

    I think that’s the third time for that baby.

    I’ve thought the same as you the whole time Rick. What Cleveland fans are actually complaining? I’ll bet it is the out of towners who are the ones that are upset they aren’t seeing LBJ.

  • http://www.cavstheblog.com Tom Pestak

    This has gotten ridiculous.

    Phil Jackson and Larry Brown spouting off these passive-aggresive remarks? Hey PHIL: You got Pau Gasol for free – SHUT UP, go meditate or something.

    Hey Larry: We’re glad you’re so old school. Thanks for being Old School in the 2004 Olympics.

    First Doc Rivers talking about how he’s upset that Z can return even though they reaped the benefits of the rule the year before.

    Van Gundy’s entire life is dedicated to his “gamesmanship” against the Cavs and his Mommy-like support of Dwight Howard. These coaches are more irritating than DeShawn Stevenson.

    And now THE OFFICE OF THE NBA!

    The NBA takes away LeBron’s triple double against NY, and changes the rules every year to take away one of LeBron’s moves, but releases an apology on Kevin Durant’s last second shot where he was fouled. I don’t remember any apology when Rip Hamilton assaulted LeBron in game2 2007.

    Now the NBA is investigating LeBron sitting? No one cares when Popovich rests his players on the 2nd night of back to back. No one cares when Kobe sits to rest his “nagging injuries”. But when LeBron sits, because the Cavs don’t publically say he is injured (which would basically send the fanbase into hysteria), but that he needs some time to rest his bumps and bruises, a firestorm of HATE gets spewed all over LeBron and the Cavs, us fans are used as the artillery, and now the NBA is going to investigate.

    And people wonder why Cleveland fans are so paranoid all the time.
    /end rant

  • christopher

    Ask any fan, “would you rather see your star player in the final four games or see your star player hoist the trophy at the championship parade because he got the much DESERVED rest he needed?”

    I love how the national pundits have jumped on this like LeMVP is some sort of Allen Iverson clone (practice?)

    The guy has seriously logged more minutes than any other Cavalier since joining the team, played the past 3 summers with the National Team, and practices/works out like a FREAK.

    give a guy a break!

  • christopher

    i wonder if the national media will go this crazy if Acta decides to sit Sizemore at the end of the year for some rest while we have completely locked up our winter’s rest?

  • Bob

    Everyone compares LeBron sitting to the Colts sitting Manning. No one is comparing LeBron sitting to the Yankees sitting players in September after they have clinched. Doesn’t that happen all the time? I realize that there are 162 games in baseball v. 82 in basketball. Still. It’s okay for baseball, but not okay for basketball or football. It’s okay for your (NY) team, but not okay for someone else’s team. Especially when they have a superstar you want.

  • ClevelandSouth

    We could forfeit tonight’s game and I wouldn’t care. Let’s start the playoffs already!

  • A Bizzle

    I agree with you, @Omar13Vizquel. LeBron is a nationally public figure. We need to get used to it. People will talk. What they “speculate” is essentially inconsequential to us.

  • lilOUmikey

    Yet no one making news about Kobe sitting for a few games for minor injuries and rest.

  • historycat

    What’s the most difficult to prove injury?

    Let’s just say he’s out with that.

    There. That make you feel better whiners?

    I bet Stan Van wanted to play Lebron just so they could try to injure him. It’s the only way they’re making the finals.

    Let’s get that rumor started. There was a standing order with the Magic Sunday to take Lebron out. I hear it from one of their trainers. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  • Matt#2

    I would rather, at this stage, enjoy the novelty of watching the bench play.
    I wish Boobie had gotten more minutes.

  • dr. cleveland

    “It certainly is easy to lob hate grenades…”

    That’s a great sentence Rick.

  • mike

    id love to see David Stern’s reaction to lebron playing in a meaningless game 81 and suffering a major injury. talk about losing MAJOR playoff $$$. as a paying customer, id feel much more ripped off by lebron playing in a meaningless game and having his face broken ala chris bosh and thus missing the playoffs, than not seeing him play in a meaningless game 81. the fact is, the only thing we are owed as a fanbase (the cavs dont owe opposing fans a darn thing!) is having the best possible product and giving 100% to put the team in the best position possible to win a championship. a few things to consider since so many national pundits appear to forget things: (1) end of the season injuries seem more common since (a) vets often have mailed it in and dont care anymore, and (b) fringe players/contract year players are going extra hard to get their next contract. that combo can often lead to sloppy play and “freak” injuries. (2) part of getting ready for the post-season is figuring out a rotation. championships are won not solely by the top players but when bench guys step up huge (like PJ brown for boston a few years back). you need to figure out the rotation and so guys like Moon, Gibson, Powe, etc. can use that extra PT now while main guys rest to get them into a good rhythm for the playoffs in case they get called upon. the last thing a team needs is to be tinkering with the rotation after the playoffs start. The cavs didnt go through a grind of a season just to entertain the Pacers fans in game 80 of the regular season. they did it to put themselves in a great position and if they can use these last few games to get bench guys better prepared, then they deserve to do so. of course, the risk is the starters being “rusty.” we’ll see what happens.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Rick

    Thank you Dr. Cleveland. I liked that one myself. Descriptive.

  • Eric D

    Would you be more upset if you bought tickets to watch lebron in game 81 and he was voluntarily resting, or if you paid double face for playoff tickets and he wasn’t playing because he broke his nose in a game that meant absolutely nothing. And how would the NBA like a playoffs without Lebron because of a senseless injury? This discussion is played out.

  • BP

    People outside of Ohio are getting more and more hateful towards Lebron every day. It’s not like the media has anything to do with this (sarcasm).

    Personally, I love that we’re fans of the team that everybody hates instead of the team everyone feels sorry for(I’m looking at you Brownies). People only hate when you’re better than them.

  • http://www.cavstheblog.com Tom Pestak

    @BP – not always true. I hated the Wizards and I never thought they were better than the Cavs. I hate the Celtics now they definitely aren’t better than the Cavs.

  • http://bitmatt.com bitmatt

    1. Bogut
    2. Bosh
    3. Roy

    I hope the fans of the Bucks, Raptors and Blazers will get all their money back for the games those guys have missed here at the end of the season.

  • http://www.60bpm.com/ Robbie

    It’s gotten ridiculous. The Cavaliers have had nothing to play for since the Sunday before last. End of story.

  • http://bitmatt.com bitmatt

    And beyond all this crap- its not like the LBJ-less Cavs have been getting killed out there. The games have been competitive and fun, I’ve really enjoyed watching them. What more can you ask for when the games mean nothing else?

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    I AM SO ANGRY HERE IS MY RESPONSE!

  • akron.slinger

    @25

    Ahh you beat me to it. I was gonna throw Boozer into it to since he left the game last night.

    @10

    Agree,agree,agree and also agree

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  • DCBucks

    I think Golic was defending the decision to sit. Greenturd of course was being his ignorant racist self.

  • Stinkfist

    I dont know about you, but I go to the games to see Danny Green. If he doesnt see the floor in the playoffs, I want my money back

  • Harv 21

    Surely there’s enough out there to delay yet another out-of-town-writers-are-dissing-us story.

    These may not guarantee as many response comments but at least as interesting:

    - Browns to trade up for Sam Bradford. Must be true, Tony Zirella said it.
    - Jhonny Peralta cannot explain slow April, says feels good, no worries, eye surgery still holding.
    - WKYC has 4(!) different people doing weather on the air. Confirmed by billboard ad. Ok, maybe not sports but close because weather comes on right before sports.

  • mike

    as long as that cute short blonde dance team girl doesnt rest, im fine with whatever else the cavs do! :)

  • MacNip

    Did someone just call greenberg a racist in here?

  • mike

    greenberg is an anti-dentite

  • Clown Baby

    MacNip – I believe so and I got to say it was one of the more hilarious, off-the-wall, out of nowhere comments I’ve ever seen. MY REFRIGERATOR SMELLS LIKE CHALK!

  • Gren

    I love the arguement that Lebron/Shaq/Jamison/anyone will be rusty.

    Ok so their rusty, I’m pretty sure they’ll still manhandle the 8th seed in the East and knock that rust off in an easy series.

  • Dave

    I for one enjoy the games that don’t matter. It’s our chance to see how good you have to be to be on the end of the Cavs bench. That the Cavs bench took the 76ers into double overtime last year was a good sign and a great game for Gibson, for instance.

    An interesting aspect of this: LeBron-less Cavs are still quite competitive and dangerous, and I don’t think the national media (who tends to think of the Cavs as LeBron + a bunch of mediocre players) has quite wrapped their heads around that. They can’t make the story about how good Mo Williams and Delonte West are playing, or how ridiculously effective Anderson Verajao is without lighting up the stat sheet, or even just the extreme depth of the Cavs bench. No, they have to make it about the guy who’s not playing.

  • Doug

    Of course, “Mike and Mike” don’t take phone calls, because they’d be shown up by just about anyone with two brain cells – they’re not a “real” sports talk show, per se. I routinely question who at ESPN Mike Greenberg [impresses] on a regular basis to maintain his on-air status. That said, I really wanted to call and ask what it said on the tickets people purchase. I thought it was “Cleveland Cavaliers vs…” not “LeBron James vs…” Silly me.

    You know, it seems like only a month ago or so that LBJ landed funny and twisted his ankle and had to miss a few games. Why not let him rest up and make sure he’s at 100% before walking in to the playoffs?

    I’d be interested to see how the press would react if he were playing for the Knicks, they had clinched everything, and he was taking some games off. My bet: There wouldn’t be so much as a peep.

  • Joe

    The only thing that matters is the Cavs winning the championship. How they feel best in going about doing that is entirely up to them. If the Cavs had felt that starting the floor sweeper, two water boys, and two beer guy vendors last night in Atlanta I would have been completely fine with that.

    The Cavs roster is now 100% healthy, rested, and ready to rock the games that matter. My feeling is you fairly and legitimately EARN the right to rest your star players when you clinch the best record early. Those who are upset with that wish they could do the same thing.