A tale of two cities

Argentinians celebrateArgentinians took to the streets of Miami this week in celebration of their World Cup semifinals victory over the Netherlands.  Blue and white shirts and flags adorned the streets of South Beach with every last Argentine partying until last call and beyond.

After all, why wouldn’t they?  Their national soccer team is on the verge of their first World Cup title since 1986.

But not everyone in the city to the south was celebrating nor did they have reason to.  The chosen one was about to make another decision, this one not nearly as popular with the locals as the one he made four years ago.

While Argentinians went wild, Miami Heat fans mourned the departure of the one NBA player they could not keep.

LeBrons backJust like that, LeBron was gone.

Speculation had run rampant up until Thursday noontime with no media member able to report with any certainty where LeBron would end up.  He was to meet with Pat Riley in Las Vegas.  He was going to the World Cup Finals.  His agent had met with this team and that.  His wife had Tweeted a jpeg of Ohio only weeks ago.  Professor Plum did it with the candlestick in the conservatory.  Nobody, not even LeBron, had a clue.

Or so we thought.

That was until his heartstrings tugged just a little bit, surprising all of those who never thought he had one in the first place.  To quote a fictional, pig-tailed girl from Kansas, “there’s no place like home.”

In an online and rather heartfelt statement given exclusively to Sports Illustrated’s Lee Jenkins, LeBron James told the world that he was “coming home.”  Drunken Argentinians were not available for comment.

The James decision sent ripples through the airwaves and immediately shifted the balance of power in the Eastern Conference.  Las Vegas instantly made Cleveland, a team that missed the playoffs last year and finished sixteen games under .500, favorites to win the Eastern Conference.

After all, why wouldn’t they?

And so an image on the mend begins and so does a new era in Miami.  Chris Bosh has decided to stay with the Heat but that news wasn’t nearly enough to cheer anybody up.  Dwyane Wade has yet to officially re-sign but either way it is unlikely that a team that couldn’t win it all last year WITH the league’s best player will be able to do so without him.

The King has returned1200 miles due north, Cleveland was all smiles.  Clevelanders took to the streets as if they were Argentinians, confident it was only a matter of time before their inevitable championship.

This time around was different.  LeBron made no bold promises as he did upon arriving in Miami, a move which offended so many.  He tempered expectations through text, saying he was ready for the challenge but you and I both know it’s only a matter of time before he and his cohorts bring a title to a city that hasn’t seen one in fifty years.

Now who will root against LeBron like so many of us before?  Previously he had given us reason to but rooting against Cleveland is like cheering against the Bad News Bears.  It’s just un-American.

So as Argentina prepares for one final soccer game for the ages, two American cities begin life anew, one with a beaming smile on its face eagerly anticipating what’s to come and another wondering whether it was better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

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14 Replies to “A tale of two cities”

  1. Granted, we know the NBA to be filled with hypocrisy , with sorry #ss fans buying into just about everything the league was selling , even when using racial stereotypes to ply their wares and yet no one says nothing about that , but the a#s kissing of a mercenary is now relevant , why ? What has James proven with this move ?

    Dan Gilbert has his lips now pressed so firmly against LeBron’s #ss , that he can not only taste his excreta but will actually make a meal of it , The Cavaliers will by no means be a clear cut favorite to win the East much less the NBA title even with the addition of LBJ .

  2. I didn’t expected the Argentina spin when I saw the title to this… I just figured it would be Cleveland vs. Miami and a LeBron post.

    I’m intrigued by the World Cup final, and can’t wait to watch it…

    I will have to say that I have to root for Germany, only because, I will come off looking like a genius (ok, lucky), considering I picked them to win at the beginning of the tournament, and yes I have proof: http://thewifehatessports.com/2014/06/world-cup-2014-predictions-wifes-wacky-strategy-vegas-odds/

    Good read on LeBron, Miami and the entire situation, here was my LeBron take over at TWHS: http://thewifehatessports.com/2014/07/lebron-made-right-decision-logical-decision/

  3. Thankfully, we only have to suffer through the World Cup every four years and only while the US is playing. People actually pay attention to it after that?! As for LJ, I lost a lot of respect for him the way he made his announcement 4 years ago, plus he went to the Heat, just one of several teams from Miami I dislike. While I am still not a huge fan of LJ, I give him a mulligan and hope he can bring sucess to Cleveland.

  4. A tale of two cities ?

    Yet the city of Cleveland is getting way more credit than it deserves . Dan Gilbert still remains an @sshole and his NFL counterpart Jimmy Haslam is no better .

    The NFL under Goodell’s leadership remains a ###king joke .

    Haslam-owned truck-stop chain to pay $92M fine

    Goodell went ahead in approving the sale knowing that there was something dubious about the sale of the Browns . And fans still see nothing at all wrong with this ? Such hypocrisy .

  5. KP….

    As it turns out, Germany had themselves the best team and Rio turned out a pretty good show.

    I heard ticket prices were through the roof.

  6. Daniel…

    First of all, I’m actually surprised you didn’t get into the World Cup. Perhaps a pool next time?

    And I also think you’re not the only one giving LeBron a pass on his return home. His image consultants had plenty of work to do, that’s for sure.

  7. Al…

    I heard the news about Haslam and his Flying J doings.

    No surprise that another multimillionaire is trying to shortchange their customers.

  8. Meal ticket ? Gilbert and his estimated wealth ($4 billion) doesn’t need a meal ticket but he does need a competitive NBA franchise . I just hope that David Blatt is the right coaching choice , because if not , there is going to be a great deal of finger-pointing and blame to be passed around .

    LBJ took less money , two years $42 million , rather than resigning with the Heat , six years $126 million . Altruism on LeBron’s part or simply no longer wishing to labor with a team where the supporting cast was simply mediocre . ? Or as you stated Wade’s 19-4-4 was adequate during the postseason .

    Flying Pilot J and Jimmy Haslam were let off easily by the US Justice Department . Eric Holder remains soft on crime , much like everything else that dumb @ss deals with .

    tophatal ……………….

  9. Glad the kickball tournament is finally over…I’m sick of seeing every countrys flag fly BUT the US on our local freeways.
    Congrats to the krauts for pissing on the Peronbot’s Miami parade.

    So Gilbert, for all his bitching, whining and letter writing, loses LeBron 4 years ago, collects 3 #1 picks BECAUSE of it, now gets the prodigal son back?

    Seems fair to me.

    This same douchbag that poured fuel on the Cleveland jersey burners fire, joined Cuban and Jordan as the most vocal owners against the Lakers aquiring CP3 under the guise of “fairness” now cashes in because BronBron missed his mommy and clicked his ruby slippers three times?

    Seems fair to me.

    Then I remember those words of wisdom that I’ve heard so many times through the years…

    Sometimes life ain’t fair.

    God bless Gilbert. He’s living proof of that fact.

  10. With LeBron, Gilbert definitely has that competitive NBA franchise… and then some.

    I do like what the East looks like now. It may not be as good as the West but at least it’s wide open.

    And believe it or not, I actually like Tiger’s chance this weekend. Here’s hoping he’s around on Sunday to make the tourney worth watching.

  11. In the words of the wolf in Pulp Fiction, let’s not start sucking each other’s blanks quite yet.

    The Cavs are certainly a hell of a lot better than they were last week but they’re still a key player away from being serious contenders.

    Let’s see if Gilbert is shrewd enough to pull the trigger for that guy (Love) or whether LeBron will have ultimately made the wrong decision.

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