Well the dust has settled (a little) from the Thursday 7-8-10 announcement by KING JAMES that he will be leaving The Cleveland Cavaliers to play for the Miami Heat. Nielsen Ratings reported 10 million people watched as Lebron James publicly stated he would play along side two other highly notable NBA Superstars and his US Olympic teammates – Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
The blow-back from his announcement was pretty intense. The people of Cleveland came out in droves to condemn and curse this young man who brought an estimated 150 million dollars a year to this state through tickets sales, surrounding businesses, team memorabilia and visitor dollars. Here’s an interesting look at the financial impact from an article a few days earlier at http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2010/06/how_much_is_lebron_james_worth.html :
“Say LeBron leaves and the crowds shrink to the size they were before he arrived: a little under 14,000 fans a game. That’s 6,500 fewer people buying tickets, paying for parking, visiting restaurants, celebrating in bars and renting the occasional hotel room for the night.
Positively Cleveland, the city’s convention and visitors bureau, estimates that the average fan spends $180 per game to see the Cavs at The Q, meaning the smaller crowd would cost businesses $1.2 million per game. Multiply that by 41 home games, and you have $48 million.
Or, more precisely, you don’t have it.
Now, the playoffs
Imagine LeBron leads the Cavs deep into the playoffs. Yes, forget this year for a moment.
John Skorburg, an economist at the University of Illinois at Chicago, estimates the James-led Cavs could generate $15 million for Greater Cleveland for each home playoff game. That’s based on a sellout crowd at the Q and 5 percent of the population watching the playoffs — eating, drinking, bar-hopping, renting cars, buying jerseys and so forth. He figures an average of $100 per person.
So on top of $48 million, add 10 home playoff games — a total of $150 million, according to Skorburg.”
Now…after The Decision lets revisit the venom spit from the man seated at the top of the franchise – Cleveland Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert:
Open Letter to Fans from Cavaliers Majority Owner Dan Gilbert
Dear Cleveland, All Of Northeast Ohio and Cleveland Cavaliers Supporters Wherever You May Be Tonight;
As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.
This was announced with a several day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.
Clearly, this is bitterly disappointing to all of us.
The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.
There is so much more to tell you about the events of the recent past and our more than exciting future. Over the next several days and weeks, we will be communicating much of that to you.
You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.
You have given so much and deserve so much more.
In the meantime, I want to make one statement to you tonight:
“I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER ‘KING’ WINS ONE”
You can take it to the bank.
If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our “motivation” to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.
Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.
Sorry, but that’s simply not how it works.
This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.
The self-declared former “King” will be taking the “curse” with him down south. And until he does “right” by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.
Sleep well, Cleveland.
Tomorrow is a new and much brighter day….
I PROMISE you that our energy, focus, capital, knowledge and experience will be directed at one thing and one thing only:
DELIVERING YOU the championship you have long deserved and is long overdue….
To quote Warren Buffet;
“Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked”
Now, I’m not gonna analyze the haters in the city this cat brought 150 Million dollars to for 7 years…nor am I gonna focus on the sheer BITCHASSNESS Dan Gilbert displayed and how this kind of rant will deter ANY high-caliber players to even think of darkening their doorstep (way to go Danny-Boy) OR how he rants about loyalty but fired his winning-est coach and GM – So the owner can be a businessman and play chess with people’s lives but Lebron was supposed to stay in a prize race horses place??? On this blog we make it a point not to focus on negative energy and haters in general. INSTEAD – I wanna look at the superb HUSTLE MOVE this was and how much of a true gamesmen Lebron and his Manager are for this.
NOTE: All of this info has been broadcast on various websites and media outlets.
Peep the game…
#1 – The fanfare he drummed up has been speculated to be one of sports greatest front page stories. He’s literally had people following his free-agency for almost 2+ years with last year of course being the biggest. This inspired arguably the NBA’s biggest chase for a single player in history and as most gamesmen know…you’re only as valuable as your options – and he had them all – literally. Not only did this make him more of a top commodity (as if he needed that) but now he is an even bigger cash draw. His announcement was viewed by 10 million potential consumers basically taking an “on paper” pay cut to get money beyond the reach of most sports athletes. (If this cat is not going to be the NBA’s 1st Billionaire – there isn’t a cow in Texas)
#2 – As ESPN and others have already reported there is NO STATE INCOME TAX in Florida so he effectively took Uncle Sam’s hand out of his pocket a little with the move (saving him an estimated 6-8 million). Although he’ll still have to pay the “jock tax” (where athletes playing away games have to pay the visiting state some $ – for those who did not know that) his personal income will not be as taxed though so he’ll keep more of his earnings.
#3 – The uber-obvious – to better position himself to win championships. And win them he will. I personally think that more talent will be willing to take the on paper pay cuts also. Championship rings breed big business for true gamesmen (See MJ & Magic). Nuff said here.
#4 – The international business this will spur. Of course he’s an international draw anyway but Florida is one of our most profitable border states and a bridge to business and trade with other countries South of the US. The closer you get to other countries the more opportunities a wealthy investor such as Lebron will have access to.
#5 – He has made a statement to the business and the sports world that he aint nobody’s bitch, whore, or slave. A ballsy move like that proves that the game is also played off the court as well. The owners gave him the terms he desired for free-agency and offered him top dollar to help fuel their dying team and state and he OUTPLAYED them.
There are several points to be made about his move. Various websites are going in on him about his decision, the amount of press he’s getting behind it, and making negative speculation on his future – all in true hater fashion. This will no doubt be discussed for the next years. Personally I like the move and I am an advocate of anybody who’s getting money and playing the game of life well.
Lebron we salute you brother and now is the time to get the hardware you have been seeking for 7 years. People who are eating off you tend to always show their true colors when the dynamic changes. Cleveland as a team should not have depended on one man to keep their economy stable; they should draft better, make better moves to attract talent and by all means keep the emotional reactions out of the news – it makes you look weak…not betrayed.