Sports Lessons From LeBron—What Clevelanders Should Really Be Pissed About


LeBron James has decided to move to Florida and play for the Miami Heat rather than bear another season with the Cavaliers.

Everybody is piling on: How could a dude with a tattoo of the word loyalty on his chest abandon "the mistake on the lake?"

But LeBron is only doing what more than half of Cleveland's population has done over the in the last 60 years: Getting the hell out of the place.

He didn't leave because of money, though some analyses show that he can take home more in pay in Florida despite a lower salary. Ohio used to be one of the lowest-tax states in the country. Now it's one of the highest.

That's what Clevelanders should be outraged about. Their economy has enough to deal with already without being put in a full court press by high taxes.

Cleveland needs to get rid of its savior complex. LeBron James could never have saved Cleveland–no single sports star or entrepreneur or bailout can–but there are definite, proven steps that any city can take to improve
life for its citizens. highlighted a whole host of possible steps in our series "Reason Saves Cleveland" available at

"Lessons from LeBron" was produced by Dan Hayes and Nick Gillespie. Production Assistant Joshua Swain.

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      1. Nice! All Game Has Losers and Winners. Today both party loses and hopefully will gain something. We just see what will happen on the next season of NBA.

    1. You gotta love a spoiled rich biotch that’s also a douche.

    2. Lol. Nice use of Comic Sans. Very appropriate. How sad he didn’t own LeBron’s soul, like he wanted.

  1. Perhaps the Free State Project was too ambitious, but maybe we could start at the city level. If we all agree to move to Cleveland, we can show the country how effective all of Nick’s suggestions would be! Who’s with me?

    1. Only if I get to burn and pillage first.

      1. Yeah. A year and a day of laying waste, and then they may be ready.

  2. It’s not too far for me to go. I’m in!

    1. I call it the Cut Rate City Project.

  3. Hey good news guys! The Heat just offered me a contract. Apparently the league told them they had to have more than 3 players on the team.

    1. Beware! It could be a sign-and-trade.

    2. I hope Steve Nash does not leave my beloved SUNS to play with them. Nice handle by the way.

      1. I’d love to see Nash back home in Canada playing for the Raptors.

        Then again, I probably still wouldn’t pay for their overpriced tickets.

  4. Cleveland needs to get rid of its savior complex.

    And its inferiority complex. Has Cleveland never heard of the concept of “free agency”? That individuals have a right to seek their fortunes elsewhere? That personal happiness should not be sacrificed to the collective? I doubt that the whole city is consumed with this irrational rage and frustration, but if they are, they are doomed.

    1. (Since you’ve essentially reposted a post from the other Lebron thread, I’ll repost my response, since there’s little chance you’ll see it there and it’s clear that you haven’t seen it.)

      We understand it just fine. It’s possible to both understand the concept of free agency AND disagree with the way Lebron James handled it. In reality, that’s what’s got most people here and (surprisingly) in much of the media pissed off: he strung Cleveland along, grandstanded, preened and generally acted like a cocksucker before finally letting everyone know he wanted out – on a national TV event that he himself set up and demanded that ESPN air. He played virtually everyone for a fool. And he did this after out-and-out quitting on the team in the Celtics series.

      Some people don’t like it when that happens.

      1. It’s so weird that ESPN gave him airtime to do this. WTF?

        I recall being annoyed when Shaq left Orlando. It was pretty clear that he just wanted the LA limelight. But I didn’t see it as a betrayal. It’s his life, after all.

        1. Was this sarcastic?

          It’s so weird that ESPN gave him airtime to do this. WTF?

          At any rate, he called them up, demanded an hour primetime, demanded the interviewer, and demanded the location. ESPN was all too happy to oblige. I recall ESPN dictating some of the terms, but I don’t remember what they were.

          1. No, I think the whole hype-a-thon is ridiculous.

        2. Also, I don’t remember Shaq making anywhere near as big a spectacle of himself as LBJ just did. Which is pretty amazing when you think about it. Did Shaq lead Orlando on to any real degree?

          1. Nah, it was just a guy jumping ship. Like LeBron, without the Christmas ornaments.

            1. I also don’t remember him tanking like I’ve heard James did in the playoffs. I believe O’Neal actually made an effort in his last season playoffs here.

              Take that with a grain of salt, though, because I really don’t care about basketball and don’t pay much attention to it.

              1. LeBron definitely tanked. @reason: Nice video by the way.

      2. Some people don’t like it when that happens.

        Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

        1. That’s all the better you could do?

          1. Why the fuck do you give a shit? Holy fuck, sports fans are such tribalistic morons.

            1. OK, Poindexter, settle down. Your next gaunchie-pull isn’t for another 3 hours.

            2. Why are you all exercised about me caring?

              1. Because tribalistic bullshit is annoying?

                1. Not as annoying as you complaining about tribalistic bullshit, mister.

                2. Hey everyone! Look at me! Look at how cool I am for not caring about sports! Guys? Come on – I don’t even own a teeeeveeee….

                  1. Dude. Fuck that! The guy plays a game for a living. I am so happy for him and all, and it’s awesome that he has a talent that makes him so much fuckin money and all, but sports are dumb, and getting your panties in a wad because you felt Lebron James “led” your city on is kinda lame. Come on. Come on now. It’s a game. It’s a fucking game.

                    1. You really have to wonder about someone who drops onto a sports-related thread and says “sports are dumb”.

                      Attention whore or faux-sophisticate dying to be recognized? you be the judge.

                3. Because tribalistic bullshit is annoying?

                  Epi, now you know how everyone outside New York feels when you talk about pizza.

                  1. A-men.

                  2. Let me be clear here: I was being a dick, and I have no problem with you guys calling me one for doing so.

                    But I have to say that I am continually astonished by a group of people whom I respect as individualists turning into unabashed collectivists over a fucking game. Why? What about the stupid game causes you guys to suddenly think collectivism is super great?

                    1. Well, evolutionary psychology suggests that fuck you, Episiarch.

                    2. I just can’t win with you, Art. By the way: I hope Spain wins.

                    3. Hey Epi, guess what I had for lunch?

                      Chili…from a can.


                    4. You’re only hurting yourself, sage.

                      (gives sage a charlie horse for eating crap)

                      Know what I had for lunch? Lightly seared hamachi piled on sliced cucumber topped with a fried egg and Worcestershire sauce.

                    5. As a relatively intelligent individual, you should realize that tribalistic instincts are inherent in human nature. Better to get them out via proxies than effectuate the real thing, no?

                    6. I’m rooting for the Netherlands, apparently.

                    7. I always suspected you were a Dutch sympathizer. You sicken me. And man, it must hurt watching Casillas shut down several goals that the Netherlands should have had.

                    8. Epi, does it make a difference to you if a sports fan does not root for laundry? Teams are like nation states; you have heard of Red Sox Nation, often called, The Nation? We know that too many people are shallow thinking sheople when it comes to fealty to the red, white and blue. Its no different with their sports rooting interests.

                      For moi, although as a kid guided to root for the Red Sox, New York football Giants(my dad, like many new englanders of a certain vintage, did not have the Pats), the Celtics, I soon enough decided for myself for whom to root. Thus, I WILL be rooting for the Lebron and the Miami Heat next year and will cheer for them when they come to Boston to play the Celtics.

      3. Its not hard to play clevelanders for fools. They do it to themselves all the time. Look who they vote for.

      4. Here’s the one thing I can’t understand: if Gilbert and many Cleveland fans truly believe that LeBron quit on the team at its most crucial time, why in the world would they even want him back?

    2. Clevelanders disagreeing = irrational. How irrational.

  5. This whole ridiculous Lebron free agent crap reminds me of Obama’s over hyped presidential election.

    1. I wish he’d quit his current job and go play for the Heat, too.

      1. They’d eat his lunch, if not his daughters.

        1. *giggidy*

  6. Regarding the video, why is Nick narrating from within a corrugated steel storm sewer pipe?

    1. Because nothing gives that “Cleveland” feeling like a sewer pipe?

  7. I found this entire episode to be a perfect advertisement for the services of a good publicist. Lebron didn’t have many negative impressions around the country before this fiasco. Now he’s carrying a fairly large “douche bag” label. It really looks like he did the whole thing by himself – and inartfully at best. The announcement was deadpan and without joy, humor, sympathy or anything else that might have helped him. I know he wanted to have his moment in the sun, but he would have been well served to allow his professional publicists handle the thing.

    A joint announcement with Wade and Bosh would have been much better received and would not have allowed him to be more personable, particularly having the much more personable Wade alongside. Major opportunity wasted, and lots of collateral damage to go with it.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what this team can do this year, but most people outside south Florida seem to be reacting with relative hostility. My brother is in Charlotte and he’s on record saying he’ll be rooting against Miami. Before this week, he couldn’t have cared less.

  8. Anyway, what this whole tempest in a rustbelt boils down to is this: a few loud malcontents in an insignificant region of the United States are pissed off that an employee of one of their local companies has decided to go to work for another company in a different state.

    1. Still not getting it? Not surprised.

    2. There is only one explanation for Sun’s insecure hatred of this particular geographical region:

      So, Sun, which part of Cleveland are you from?

    3. There is only one explanation for Sun’s insecure hatred of this particular geographical region:

      So, Sun, which part of Cleveland are you from?

    4. Occam’s Razor, TAO, he could just be a dick.

      1. No way. He’s a self-loathing Clevelander; I guarantee it.

  9. Am I the one person who doesn’t care about Le Bron (French for “the bron”)?

    1. No, you are in the majority. But the thread is about LeBron, thus the commentary.

  10. jamais, jamais.

  11. I agree with much of this article,but,let’s not forget one thing.James and Gilbert are ‘welfare Queens’.The venue used to produce their wealth was paid for by the taxpayers,as is the case for most major sports.They can all go to hell as far as I’m concerned


    I don’t see anything about “and if this doesn’t happen, I will cut my own balls off with a pair of rusty tin snips, at center court, in front of you, my loyal Clevelanders!”

    Not even, “Free admission for a year.”

    1. I’m confused by this claim: Lebron self-titled himself as a former king, or did he self-title himself as king, but formerly, and now he calls himself something else? Kinda like Prince, or symbol, or whatever he is now.

    2. That would be a interesting irony. I remember in 1988 when Wayne Gretsky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the LA Kings. The Oilers won a Stanley cup in 1990 with other stars like Mike Messier (who was traded to the NY Rangers in 1991 and the Rangers won the Stanley cup in 1994 after a drought of 54 years), however the Kings goes to the finals in 1993 losting against the Montreal Canadiens. The LA Kings still wait their first Stanley cup championship.

      Even if the chances are slim, just imagine the Cavs winning the NBA championship. It’s time to end the sports curse in Cleveland http://www.associatedcontent.c…..s_are.html…..and-bigger

  13. haha, Lebron left because Miami created enough cap room for his chums, D. Wade and C. Boshs.

    Leave it to this website to turn everything into some agenda.

  14. I am a former native of Cleveland, having lived there for the first 24 years of my life. It’s a formerly proud town that has fallen on hard times. As a CAVS fan, I am disappointed to see Lebron leave but I can’t fault him for it; he’s just doing as so many others (including myself) have done and left for greener pastures. Sports is after all a business and he’s just pursuing an opportunity to live someplace warm, work with some top professional colleagues, and gain the chance for a greater professional advancement (i.e. a championship ring.) I know that many people who are griping about this would do the exact same thing in his shoes, or even their own, if an attractive job offer was made to them.

    1. I’d take the job, naturally. But I wouldn’t spend several interminable months playing organizations off each other to feed my ego. I also wouldn’t go on TV for an hour-long special to make a five-second announcement. But then again, I’m a normal person.

    2. With all due respect, YOU’RE MISSING THE POINT of what most of the griping truly is: the manner in which this was done.

      1. He humiliated us on national TV!

        1. Sun, is that you? Nothing more sad than self-loathing.

    3. Are you gay?

  15. Seriously, Reason. Talk about kicking someone when they’re down.

    1. Is there a better time to kick someone? I don’t think so.

  16. “Never hit a man when he’s down. Kick him.”

  17. “What Clevelanders Should Really Be Pissed About”

    Nobody has said the obvious answer-the Browns.

    1. I assume the thing that Clevelanders Should really be Pissed About was Living in Cleveland.
      That, my friends, is Occam’s Muther Fkn Razor right there.

  18. Watching this crap last night, I thought of Patti Smith. Let’s just go move into all the boarded up houses, squat the fuck out of them, fuck the local governance, deny the red tape, kick the bastards out, and announce our presence with authoritay!

  19. And that is not ironic.

  20. “Lessons From LeBron – What Clevelanders Should Really Be Pissed About”

    Yes, Lebron taught them a valuable lesson indeed.

  21. Shame on Reason for trying to politicize one of great tragedies of our times.

  22. Great tragedies of our time? Dramatic much?
    He did the smart thing and got the hell out of dodge. What I would do if I didn’t have a house that’s not worth what I paid for it!

    1. sarcasmometer fail…I think.

      1. It’s definitely a comedy.

  23. It’s kinda hilarious that he left considering the uproar it created among the butthurt. But it still has not overcome how annoying the build up/hype was.

  24. The city of Cleveland nurtured and enabled LeBron James. The “We Are Witness” hype, the building-sized posters, the elevation of a mere athlete to godlike status. They are culpable in the creation of the monster and his monstrous narcissism. The Cavs build a multimillion-dollar franchise around one man. That man, the monster they created, turned on them and destroyed them. Cleveland reaped what it sowed.

    1. So, in a way, Cleveland is the Modern Prometheus?

  25. That man, the monster they created, turned on them and destroyed them. Cleveland America reaped what it sowed.

    Wait- whom are we talking about?

    1. LeBron. The other black meat.

    2. The city of Cleveland
      is perfectly capable of
      destroying itself on its

      It no longer needs Lebron
      to do that for them…

  26. Thank you for your insight,the article was worth every minute reading it.

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  28. Thanks for taking the time to talk about this, I feel fervently about this and I take pleasure in learning about this topic. Please, as you gain information, please update this blog with more information. I have found it very useful.

  29. Cleveland Sucks. Hard. And it ain’t coming back. Stop the obsession with saving a terminally ill city.

  30. LeBron’s hometown is AKRON not cleveland. he has many events in akron including a skills camp which recently ended. upcoming is a charity bike ride. LeBron’s community involvement in akron will continue.

  31. I dust-off a bit the subject. Looks like LeBron should had chosen the Dallas Maverick instead of the Miami Heat. Someone posted a funny edited picture who speak for itself. 😉…..tcount=217

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