July 9th, 2010
10:41 AM ET

Reaction to LeBron James' move to Miami

Cleveland police watch for trouble Thursday night at an iconic downtown billboard.

Reactions to NBA free-agent superstar LeBron James' decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat:

The Miami Herald sports page has a huge headline: JACKPOT!

The New York Knicks had been in the running to sign James but lost out. Today's New York Daily News front page features a photo of James and the headline: Hey, we're New York, the greatest city in the world, so WHO CARES!

Cleveland's newspaper, The Plain Dealer, features a huge photo of James walking away with the word "Gone" in large type; in small type there's an arrow pointing to James' hand with text reading, "Seven years in Cleveland. No rings."

The Plain Dealer found it necessary to post this note on its website, www.Cleveland.com:

Note for commenters

We understand your anger, but please show that Cleveland has class: no racism, no vulgarity, and leave his family out of it. Commenters who cross those lines may have their accounts temporarily or permanently suspended.

Plain Dealer sports columnist Terry Pluto writes:

Yes, James is free to go to Miami. He's free to market himself on ESPN. But fans in his hometown also are free to say that he never should have embarrassed them.

Marla Ridenour, sportswriter at James' hometown Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal:

Art Modell is off the hook, at least for a little while. LeBron James wrested the title of Northeast Ohio's Public Enemy No. 1 away from the long-despised former Browns owner by using a one-hour ESPN television special Thursday night to turn his back on his hometown team.

USA Today's Mike LoPresti:

He and his new mates had better win. No, strike that from the record. They'd better flatten earth and take no prisoners. The Heat never had more heat. Only a championship – more than one, in fact – will allow them to get away with this and not be infamous. They have made the Yankees look like the Salvation Army.

J.A. Adande, ESPN.com:

LeBron is free to go wherever he wants, whatever suits him best. Just because he's always lived in Akron and Cleveland doesn't mean he should always stay there. Everyone leaves home sometime, even if it's only for college. Athletes have an even smaller window than the rest of us. He has perhaps 10 more years to be one of the elite basketball players in the world, and he has a mandate to win championships if he wants to be included in the discussion of the game's all-time greats. It was apparent that wasn't going to happen in Cleveland.

Shaun Powell at nba.com on why James did not choose to sign with the Chicago Bulls:

In the end, you wonder if LeBron was spooked by a statue parked outside the United Center. Either he has such respect for Michael Jordan that he didn't want to ruin the legacy, or he felt he'd never approach it. Probably the latter.
Pat McManamon, senior NBA writer at fanhouse.com:

Cleveland sports took a death blow Thursday night.

A killing blow right to the gut. Through the gut, really. LeBron James eviscerated a city and an area in one all-about-me hour-long show on national TV. He said he was leaving Cleveland for Miami, and he did it on a show generated by him, about him and for him. He toyed with the emotions of people who supported him, who believed because he was one of their own that he might be different.

Try telling anyone in Cleveland he's different now.

Kevin Pelton on basketballprospectus.com:

As much as I feel for the people of Cleveland, they don't automatically get to be part of the choice. It came off poorly, but I agreed with James when he said he had to make the best decision for himself. This is another example of athletes being held to wildly different standards than we would hold ourselves. Would you stay at a job you hated for years just because you felt it wasn't right to leave your co-workers? Would I have made the same decision as James? Probably not. Would you? It doesn't matter, because you are not LeBron James.

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Filed under: LeBron James • Sports
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Ruby Stack o'Lee

    heartfelt condolences on inheriting this ingrate, Miami.

    July 9, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. Suzuki jeff

    He made his choice based on desperation! He is despite for a ring. Instead of taking a team that was givin to him and figuring out how to win. When he started referring himself as Lebron James in the third person I realized that this man is just another full of himself athlete and not the good guy we all thought he was.

    July 9, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |

    here is my reaction http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQP9AGFUutU&feature=popular

    July 9, 2010 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  4. Elaine Futrell

    I think the few but loud fans in NE Ohio have it all wrong. We should not be condemning LeBron for wanting to join a winning team, we need to place the blame entirely where it belongs at the feet of Dan Gilbert and the Cavs Organization. LeBron gave us 7 great years. Filling the stands for every game. Bringing millions of dollars to this area. Did the Cavs bring in other players so they could win a championship, NO! This whole debacle lies solely on the shoulders of Dan Gilbert and the Cavs organization.

    As for the comments about him making the announcement on national TV, I think it was the right thing to do. I think there were things he wanted to say about his time here and that was the only way it was going to be heard. I have always thought LeBron was a class act and still believe that to be true today.

    I, for one, want to say to LeBron, thanks for the 7 wonderful years. They are precious memories I will cherish. I wish you the absolute best in your future endeavors and will welcome you back to NE Ohio with open arms.

    July 9, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Franchise players don't just pick up and leave in their prime – at least those taht are not completely self-absorbed. Ownership would have tried to bring in anyone James wanted, but he just wanted it to be all about him. The announcement on TV was a joke and not even contacting the other teams befiore going on TV is an indication of his being egocentric and not very bright. Yes, he's a great talent, but he was the Cleveland Cavaliers and should have finished what he started. If yuo want ot jump on the bandwagon of a team with superstars when you're 32 and don't have a ring, go ahead, but in the prime of his career to walk away form his team (and it was HIS team) shows little class. Nash is still in Phoenix, Kobe in LA, Pierce in Boston, Wade in Miami, Dirk in Dallas, mor did Reggie Miller leave the Pacers or Patrick leave the Knicks. Franchise players stay there in make the team win...or not, but they don't pick up and chase a ring the way LeBron did. no matter how many rings he wins, he will never be in the same class as Kobe or Michael.

      July 9, 2010 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Deon P

    I am from Ohio. LeBron will always be a BUCKEYE no matter where he went. Buckeyes still love and support you! The Cavs didn't want to make the moves to build the team he needed. The owners are the problem.

    GO BUCKS via South Beach

    July 9, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rob Fiedler

    Who gives a rodent's rectum, he is free to do as he pleases, it is only money:)

    July 9, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ken

    LeBron left because he gave up on the Cavs. Management did what they could to build a team around him, but many players simply don't want to come here (taxes and winter the main reasons). Chris Bosh is a perfect example. As for the Witness billboard, it should be removed and 1) burned and have the ashes sent to LeBron, or 2) shredded and used as confetti,.

    July 9, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • L Larnell

      you answered your own questions. Why if I am 25 why would I stay in that town. Miami is a young town and a fun town. Not Cleveland. other players in the league dont want to be in that boring town. He was a free agent. He gave you guys the best 7 years ever be thankful and stop all that hating.

      July 10, 2010 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  8. Richard

    Kobe and the word class? Come on he is a rapist. Oh thats right he paid her how many millions to shut up and go away. It always amazes me how soon people forget. In my book Kobe goes down as another criminal that had money and paid for his freedom.

    July 10, 2010 at 3:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Bgm

      Kobe didn't settle with her...and the reaction here is regarding the basketball court. So in that sense Kobe does look better than Lebron.

      July 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. L Larnell

    You people need to get over it. Why would he play in Cleveland when Miami was there. WHy spend his entire career in a city that loses and never tries to win championships. If they wanted to keep him they should have made real moves to try to keep him. You people are so silly. Watch him on TV if you miss him . But for your dumb owner to talk about loyalty after he fires Mike Brown after he wins over 60 games in consecutive years and then release Danny Ferry he is the last Person on earth to talk about Loyalty. U guys will be cursed because no player that is good will ever play for that Terrorist owner there.

    July 10, 2010 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
  10. Geronimo J

    The show wasn't Lebrons idea. It was the journalist who did the show. Here's a link to the whole story.

    July 11, 2010 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Bgm

      Even if it wasn't LBJ's idea, he still looks bad. And if his agent, Maverick Carter isn't smart enough to see bad press coming then who's fault is it? LBJ

      July 11, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Casey Roberts

    I live in Southwest Florida. I am from Cleveland. Because it is to hot in the summer heat for a bonfire, I am waiting for the fall / winter to burn his jersey. He was called the King. He is not even worthy of cleaning out the bedpan of a Jester. What a Traitor. The bonfire awaits! Art Modell is off the hook. LeBron is now the new Modell!

    July 14, 2010 at 3:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. LeBron Quitter

    Okay one major thing I can't stand about the LeBron situation right now is that ownership didn't give him the 'players' he needed to win a championship. That's Bull complete Bull. Maurice Williams. Look at the Team LeBron went to the Finals with a couple years ago with Boobie Gibson starting at Point Guard and Damon Jones being virtually a 6th man off the bench. Compare that team with the team he had? Williams in All-Star Caliber guard, Anthony Parker a solid NBA player and a terrific 3-pointer shooter, Antwan Jamison a NBA All-Star and Shaquille O'Neal one of the 10 greatest players of all times. People say O'Neal is old and useless but he had just come off An amazing year and Phoenix and was looking great from phoenix he averaged like 20 and 10. The bench was pretty much the best in the league too. Z,Varajio,Delonte,Moon,Hickson the team was loaded. Ownership wasn't the problem they gave LeBron everything he wanted and more. Wake up people.

    July 15, 2010 at 1:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. THE MAN !!!!

    Anybody can not get mad at his choice.He is his own man and is free to do what he want's.If he think's he has a chance to win a ring with Miami then I say Go for it.....But I will say this WATCH OUT KOBE!!!!!!

    July 15, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. yo whuddup

    I don't see what everyone is freaking out about. Kobe is still gonna beat him.

    September 1, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |