I got an email this morning – and this made me laugh “Andrew, before Lebron arrives, the Cav’s were awful and I was watching them. From his first game until his last one, every game became an event. I so happen to have a ticket for tonight’s game, when the Miami Heat & Lebron return to Cleveland. Not surprisingly, it’s my first and probably only game I’ll be attending this season. I plan to stand and to cheer Lebron, thanking him for 7 great seasons. I just hope I’m not the only one” Dude, do you wanna live to see tomorrow? Seriously? Because that won’t be the case, if you rep your Cav’s Lebron James jersey. You’ll for sure be the only one!
For small and unsuccessful people that don’t win anything big or never do anything big in their life – which basically sums up Cleveland sports, this is their season! This is Cleveland’s year. Cleveland is not a city that has had really big success. In turn, this is an absolute nightmare game for Miami. I don’t bet NBA games, but I get the Cavs at +6 1/2, it’s probably the NBA bet of the year.
It’s funny – I was listening to Lebron James – I thought this was a moment of real candor. Lebron James on returning to Cleveland, there is a key byte in what he said that athlete’s, psychologically don’t even like to say this word, but he said it and he acknowledged it, check out the quote and see if you can decipher what the word is “…it’s going to be very emotionally draining, I can tell already. It’s going to be fun but it will also be very emotionally draining just for myself to go back, it’s going to be difficult I think.”
Draining? Pro athletes don’t like to use that word. “I’m already getting drained on this game?” Listen, if you were going to go and perform – I don’t care if you’re a concert pianist or a standup comedian – and you know that you’re going to go a place where everybody hates you, I got news for you, they don’t hate the Heat…they hate Lebron!
You don’t hate Kobe; you hate the Lakers and that’s fine! Kobe knows that when he goes on the road, people hate the Lakers…but it’s not all about Kobe. They don’t like Artest either, this isn’t about Miami, this is totally about Lebron. I don’t care if you’re a standup comedian or a rockstar, it is draining emotionally before the event even starts… nobody wants to be hated in life.
Now the Lebron’s and Simon Cowell’s and Bill O’Reilly’s of this world love to play the villain and they play it very well. But that doesn’t mean that the moment you go into a snake pit, it’s not emotionally difficult to deal with. I mean, Chris Bosh, 2 days before tonight’s game, check out what Chris Bosh says. “I don’t think we know what to expect, but I’m sure it’s going to be something like we’ve never seen before. I’m sure a lot of people are going to come out and show their support for the Cav’s in their own kinda way” We don’t even know what to expect? This is 2 days before the game!
So, I mean, Cleveland’s whole season comes down to this and you know, just like your less successful brother-in-law, when you come into town for the holidays and he beats you at Golf and goes and tells all his friends, it’s a big deal. For you it’s like “well it’s a game of Golf” But for your brother-in-law, it’s a really big deal because he’s always played second fiddle to you.
This is Cleveland’s Superbowl, this is the Cavs’ season! They weren’t even paying attention Tuesday night when they got beat by Boston by 20. So you’ve got Miami, on back to back games, they get into Cleveland at like 3am. Every Cavalier player is totally vested in this game, while on the Miami squad, only one guy is, Lebron.
My prediction is that it’s going to be a wild event. My prediction is: Miami will never match Cleveland’s intensity and the Cavs – it will be there big W of the season. The franchise lost a star…they will crush Miami. In fact, I couldn’t believe this morning, I get 6 ½ points against the Heat and I don’t even bet on the NBA. But you get a Miami team that is beat up; get’s into town at 3am, with chemistry issues, players admitting that it’s draining.
We know the officials in basketball – and the stats show us for both NBA and college, that basketball is the one sport where there is absolutely no question – that the officials, they are human beings, and the crowd is right on top of the officials, So in big games, go look at the Lakers/Celtics Game 7, home teams get the edge and get the calls, they just do!
Duke basketball won the national championship last year, never lost on a neutral floor, never lost at home. Get them on the road…suddenly same players are struggling. Officials are going to lean towards Cleveland.
I’ll tell you something, it’s very easy to say – and a lot of people will say this “oh Andrew, if you watch tonight’s game; Lebron will rise to the occasion.” That’s never really been Lebron’s thing; to be honest with you, Lebron is a great talent but Kobe is a rise to the moment guy. Kobe hits the game winning shot. That’s not really Lebron’s thing, Lebron is just a transcendent talent.
I saw a column this morning, Jason Whitlock who I think is very interesting but I totally disagree with him here, he goes “I give up; this was going to be a column to plea for Lebron to apologize to Cleveland fans an apology in the hours before the game, but I give up. Lebron feels looks and sounds like a lost cause today. A millionaire celebrity incapable of reaching rock bottom in self reflection and in utter ounces of remorse, talent is the kind of abundance James is blessed with and it is now a curse. It seduces the owner into believing that his flaws are his strengths”
I completely disagree with him on that statement! I think Lebron is going to be fine. But I’ll tell you this, I was on MSN messenger last night – haven’t done that in the longest time – and these NBA die hard friends I have, were arguing with me because I am of the belief that Cleveland is going to absolutely run over the Heat. I think tonight is going to be as ugly as it gets. Cleveland on Tuesday night against the Celtics weren’t even paying attention.
The Miami players acknowledged “oh boy, this is going to be draining” I absolutely cannot wait for this game tonight! It really had this Vegas fight night feel to it, it absolutely does!