Cleveland has plenty of reasons to declare a municipal omerta on LeBron James. Using a live TV special to choose the Heat was the sporting version of that part in Carrie where the popular jock makes Sissy Spacek his prom date just to dump pig's blood all over her. Only instead of pig's blood, LeBron used 80,000 gallons of Decisionwater.
But to claim the Miami Heat are more "evil" than the New York Yankees? P'shaw. Get a grip, Cleveland.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer's sports-mourner-in-chief, Bud Shaw, made such a claim yesterday, focusing mostly on the time LeBron wore a Yankees hat to an Indians game years ago. Seriously.
His column is mostly incoherent -- he might have thrown back a six-pack of "Quitness" before hitting the typewriter -- so we'll try to translate his speaking points into non-Northeast Ohioan.
What Bud said: "We know now the Yankees hat wasn't just evidence that he saw himself separate from things Cleveland. Along with his appearance on the Dallas Cowboys sidelines for a Browns game, it stamped him as the ultimate front-runner."
What Bud means: He's not like us. He chooses teams that are fun to watch. He doesn't eat misery for breakfast. Let's torch his Maybach.
What Bud said: "His introduction in Miami alongside Wade and Chris Bosh -- the one that made Charles Barkley roll his eyes and liken it to a rap show -- took the concept of 'SuperTeam' and made it feel more villainous than normal."
What Bud Means: I am now quoting the opinion of Charles Barkley. This is certainly some fine mescaline my intern procured for me.
What Bud said: "What it did in effect was take the late George Steinbrenner's team-stacking recipe and spice it with pure conceit."
What Bud Means: Holding a celebration for fans after the team secured three of the best players in the NBA [editor's note: while keeping the payroll to the same level as every other team in the league] was really mean. Even more mean than that baseball team from New York [editor's note: which has a payroll currently $70 million higher than the next-most expensive team in the MLB] that always absconded with our good players because our general manager practices a bootleg version of Moneyball.
Uh... George Steinbrenner! Web hits!
What Bud said: "There was James, who cashed his chips here with the Boston series still in progress, predicting the Heat would win multiple titles. Six, seven, eight. He couldn't decide."
What Bud means: I haven't eaten solid foods in three weeks. Is it possible to die from bitterness?
What Bud said: "Miami is the new SuperTeam in sports, which might be good for NBA ratings and road attendance but not much else... James, Wade, and Bosh together is good for them, good for the Heat, and terrible for the league."
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What Bud means: Let's face it: It's bad for me... and my poodle Darlene, which I feed only on days that a Cleveland sports team wins, because I am a bitter, bitter, man.
What Bud said: "Something else about the Yankees. Say this for them. Going back to Joe Torre's tenure, they stamped themselves as a class organization that makes good baseball decisions."
What Bud means: [Editor's note: Steinbrenner getting banned from baseball. Twice. Hideki Irabu. Carl Pavano. We could go on.] Num, num. So sleepy. Maybe I should stretch my legs. Darlene, do you want to go for a walk?
Darlene, why aren't you breathing? Here, eat these pierogies... No, Darlene, nooooooo!