Posts Tagged ‘nba’

Fond memories of the circus

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

It’s been going on for three years now. Long before New York’s aggressive, and in many ways, pathetic, campaign to reel in the King began, people were already talking. Particularly, people outside of Cleveland.

I know this because I have lived outside of Cleveland for five years now. I hear the misguided and uninformed chatter that surrounds my city both in and outside of the world of sports. “Cleveland sucks.” Really? Have you ever been there? “No, but…” Sorry, but you’ve lost all credibility in two words. The silver lining is that now I can reminisce about old episodes of Matlock while you finish your worthless sentence.

Or better yet, some people answer the question, “Yes. I went there for work. It was a Tuesday night and everything was closed.” Yes. A major drawback to our city, that’s completely unique to Cleveland, is its extreme lack of Tuesday night merriment. Unforgiveable.

And PS: Untrue. Where were you trying to go? Walgreen’s? All of the downtown bars are open on Tuesday. You just didn’t know where to go, and you didn’t bother to ask anyone. Admit it. You scrolled through your hotel’s pay-per-view menu, saw Teen Sandwich 11, clicked “order” then blamed Cleveland when several of them looked to be well into their twenties.

But if you think Cleveland Tourism suffers prejudice, get to the back of the RTA bus. Because Cleveland Sports have been lambasted for decades at a level normally reserved for terrorists with who moonlight as pedophiles. And what have we done to deserve such indignation? Lose? Consistently? I’m sorry, but Hollywood classics like Rocky and Bad News Bears had me thinking that people rooted for the underdog. That losers were, in fact, loveable. I should’ve never trusted Hollywood.

Which steers this wandering rant careening towards one unmistakable point. If you’ve bought into the movie magic, the hype the likes of OMG.com, the twists and turns of a drama performed at the level of a high school production of Oliver Twist attended by grade-schoolers who were eager to give applause to anything that gives them a break from the airtight chamber of kid farts that is their daily classroom, then shame on you.

Sure. It was easy to be led astray early, when the path veered for the first time. I was guilty myself. “Oh, wow. Chicago with Rose and Noah has the best chance. The experts must know better than me.” –Internal monologue, circa June.

But as the leader in this invisible horserace continues to change by the minute, it’s clear the fix is in and this is not a race at all. It’s Russian Roulette (And no, that doesn’t give the edge to Prokhorov). Only the stakes are higher in this game, with five of six chambers filled. The Clippers and Nets have already unsuccessfully pulled the trigger, and now the sweaty pistol barrel rests on the temple of Chicago.

Regardless of what happens from here on out, it’s clear that our fate was decided when the cylinder was spun and locked into place on July 1st. Since then, any smoke and mirrors shrouded in cloaks of hope or despair have been distractions created by and for our captors.

Do I blame them for their heartless puppeteering? No. Am I resentful of the fact that I’ve ridden this emotional rollercoaster for months? A little. Will I celebrate tonight at 9:10 Eastern when LeBron announces to the world he prefers Cleveland over the likes of “world-class” cities like New York, Chicago, and Miami? Damn straight.

Fly on the wall. Day 2…

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Miami Pitch:

LeBron: Uhmmm… Hi.

Riley: What? Oh. You’re wondering about my hair, aren’t you. I had it permed, you dig? It was done by the same salon that styles Kourtney Kardashian’s bush. I figure this season you, me, Wade and Bosh, can all be fro bros.

LeBron: I’m not sure whether to laugh or be offended, so I’m gonna do both.

LeBron chuckles while shaking his head in anger.

Riley: Well, I had to stop using the grease one way or another. Between you and me, the oil that’s starting to hit the Florida coast isn’t from the BP debacle. It’s cuz I went swimming in Ft Lauderdale.

LeBron: I don’t know how I should respond to that.

Riley: You don’t have to say anything. You know why, because the surprise I have for you puts a hairstyle change to shame. Let me introduce to you Mr. Miami himself, Will Smith!

Will: Yo, Yo Yo. Welcome to Miami, Bienvenido a Miami!

LeBron: We’re in Cleveland.

Will: Well, it’s nice to meet you anyhow, playa.

LeBron: We’ve met. My girlfriend made me take her to one of your awful shows on her birthday.

Will: Say what? You must’ve left before I sang “Summertime.”

LeBron: Nope.

Will: Just the Two of Us?

LeBron: Sadly, I caught that one too.

Will: That shitty song from the Wild Wild West soundtrack?

LeBron: Why’d you do it, Will? Why’d you leave DJ Jazzy Jeff?

Will: What are you kidding, my career has exploded since I left Jeff!

LeBron: Torturous movies co-starring Kevin James? Is that really the legacy you want to leave behind.

Will: Yeah. I… I mean. No. (eyes welling) I don’t know where it all went wrong. I should’ve followed my heart and never given into the media hype. (bawling) Don’t ever forget where you came from, man. I gotta call, Jeff.”

Will leaves room.

Riley: He’s right. Don’t ever forget where you’re from. Where are you from again?

LeBron: Here.

Riley: Oh. Well. Uh, it’s cool to like forget for a few years. Just not forever, you know.

LeBron: Goodbye.

Riley: Wait. What if Will agrees to let you be in Bad Boys 3?

LeBron: Goodbye.

Riley: Or you could pair up with Will’s son and ruin another 80’s classic. Maybe Breakfast Club. What do you think?

LeBron puts his headphones on.

Riley: LeBron. Okay, that’s cool. Start working on that bro fro though. Hey, that’s three rhymes, did you hear me?

LeBron is bobbing his head to hip hop beats.

Riley: Alright. I’ll tweet ya.

Clippers Pitch:

Neil Olshey: Where is he?

Andy Roeser: I don’t know. I hear he’s shown up late to a couple of these things. So just be patient.

Neil Olshey: Makes sense. But where’s Sterling?

Andy Roeser: He wasn’t comfortable spending the money on a third plane ticket.

Neil Olshey: But he’s the owner!

Waitress: So did you guys want to order anything, or will it just be the coffees?

Neil Olshey: We’re on a tight budget.

Andy Roeser: Sorry.

Neil Olshey: So did he tell every team to meet him at the Denny’s
in Parma?

Andy Roeser: I don’t know. Sterling canceled my data plan.

An awkward silence ensues.

Neil Olshey: Where is he?

The question no one’s asked but should…

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Should LeBron decide to leave, or even if he’s still teetering, reporters should ask…

What do you say to Cleveland and Akron-area fans who think you’re quitting on them? Are you prepared to say, “I’m not good enough to break the curse. I can’t bring a winner to my own hometown.”?