image via NBA.com
So, the most recent disaster in the Lebron PR world is that he unfollowed the Cavs on twitter in preparation for the playoffs. Every year he pretends to turn off all the noise of social media, which I can imagine for the most part is true. I never really took it at face value, it’s kind of like when your friend says he’s going to stop drinking. He might tone it down a bit, but then he’ll stumble across an event like a wedding or a holiday or a weekend, and he’ll realize that he doesn’t want to stop, just to tone it back for whatever reasons. Personal, health, financially…whatever. That’s how I view Lebron’s absence from social media. He’s your lying asshole friend that says he’s going to do something until its too convenient or comfortable for him not to do it. We all lie to ourselves in this small way. It happens.
Now, having all that said, him unfollowing the Cavs, after cryptic-tweet-gate between Kyrie and him, after all the Kevin Loveless Instagram posts, after the sporadic trip to Miami to work out with D Wade on an off day…I think we all know what’s coming. It’s time for Round 3 of the Decision to broil on ESPN. That’s what this is really about. Setting up the summer ahead.
As a Cavs fan, the only thing I’ve really concerned myself with this team this year is on the court action. I don’t really dance with ESPN’s 24 hour news coverage of Lebron, because at this point in my life it has exhausted me. Think about it. Every tweet, every cough, every hiccup, it’s breaking news on ESPN. Do I think Lebron James is going to play in a Cavs jersey next year? I don’t know. I have no freakin’ clue. To be honest, I don’t care. I know that can be viewed as me being a Hardo, but I don’t care. I truly don’t. I am a 27 year old man trying to contribute to society. I care about what he does on the court while the court he plays on is ours.
Last post season, we witnessed the best performance from a loser. There’s no better way to put it. Lebron James played out of his mind, and was a free throw away from being up 3-0 on this almost identical Golden State team, sans K. Love and sans K. Iriving. The whole world thought that just one of those players would put them over, and nobody was prepared for Golden State to become the best team in the History of the NBA after outing the Cavs. Flash forward to this year, the Cavs media coverage makes them seem like they are worse off than the team that reached the Finals. That Delladova-Tristan Thompson unsung/unknown heros playing 200% above their pre-scripted level was actually close to winning it all. Now a better version of that team feels like a bug on a windshield because Lebron can’t balance being Lebron James the person and Lebron James the Cavalier.
Not because of gameplay. Although his shooting performance has suffered, the Cavs won 53 games total last year and were second in the East, this year they have 50 wins through regulation so far with 12 games to go. If they win all 12 games (they won’t) but if they do, this would be the most destructively covered team in the history of the NBA. It’s actually unbelievable. If the Warriors didn’t exist and the Spurs had an average regular season instead of this new and improved hybrid squad, and the Cavs won say 60 games…we would be talking about how this is the greatest Cavs team in NBA history. Instead, we’re talking about twitter.
Because it hasn’t gone to script, I imagine the focal point of the organization (Lebron James) would need to separate himself a bit. Get into the zone. It’s one thing to unfollow the team on twitter and announce you’re joining snapchat the next day, but that’s a whole different thing to me. You can send stuff and delete stuff on snapchat. You can connect to the people you really want to connect with and see only what you want to see on snapchat. It’s user friendly to the actual user. Twitter is trying to be user friendly to the user and user friendly to the corporation. (or so they’re trying to be.)
The only way to not see the annoying G-rated nothingness the Cavs account puts out on twitter is to unfollow it. I get it. I’m not excusing it, it was stupid and the reaction to the question about it was just as stupid as a grown man with kids answering a question why he didn’t follow his team on twitter, but that’s the world we live in. You have to be ready with a better response. Have to. You’ve been doing this dance for way to long to pretend like you are not the most covered athlete in the History of the Modern Athlete. Unfollowing the Cavs was stupid but excusable, not having an answer ready for the question is the most idiotic stunt since the Decision.
But I don’t care what you do off the court Lebron. I’m done. Do whatever. I’ve been that way for year and it’s been an enjoyable, just basketball season. Just be ready this year, this time. I don’t care what jersey you wear next year. The Cleveland Cavaliers are my life’s blood. They have been the biggest part of my life since you joined them in 2003. We have been the underdog for my entire life, and this year is no different. If you want to put your money where your mouth is Lebron, just say it now. Say this is it. Not on twitter, not on snapchat, not even planned. Walk into the locker room on April 16th, 2016. Look your teammates, coaches, and staff in the eyes. Own this moment. Say you need them as much as the city has needed you for the last decade, and tell them that you’re done. Cut everything that didn’t happen your way away, and focus on what you have and how you can make it work. The playoffs are your reset button, and it could be your last time trying in Cleveland. Be the hero. And for the love of God don’t sleep on Toronto.