Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Loyalty—a funny thing


Was talking with Rick Jervis, my friend and one of USA Today’s best guns, earlier today. I was sort of bashing LeBron, and he made a valid point. “The owner of the Cavs ripped LeBron for a lack of loyalty. But didn’t he just fire his coach and GM?”

Indeed, Dan Gilbert did. He’s fired many people. He’s cut many players. The team’s cheerleading squad surely turns over myriad members every year, some of whom don’t want to go. And you know what? I bet many, if not all, of them hail from Ohio. Where’s the loyalty?

Truth is, Gilbert is no better than LeBron, and in many ways worse. Would he have been loyal to LeBron James had he shattered his knee? Would he be so desperate to keep a limping, 9-ppg LeBron James?

Furthermore, Gilbert’s actions and words actually speak well for LeBron’s decision. When James was a member of the Cavs, all Gilbert had was praise atop praise atop praise. LeBron, I love you. LeBron let’s cuddle. LeBron, can I hug you? But now that he’s decided to leave Cleveland, the guy is a choker? A slacker? A loser who can’t carry a team? Really? In other words, you were full of poop. You told this guy everything he wanted to hear, then as soon as you were slighted, you tore him up. Heck, why the hell did you try to bring him back in the first place?

I don’t like the way LeBron James handled things. The TV special. Not calling the Cavs beforehand. The ego atop ego atop ego. But I can’t argue against his decision. He had a right to go elsewhere without being thrashed. Literally, he had the right of contract. It was his decision to make.

Let the Delonte West Era begin …