From Lake Erie to the Lakers of Los Angeles.
With LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for the second time–now to the LA Lakers for a small pile of gold coins worth $153.3 million over four years–that means a few things:
Cleveland fans are bummed yet again, LA Lakers fans are ecstatic and Keenan Thompson of SNL will keep making lots of ‘Weekend Update’ appearances as LaVar Ball with Lonzo Ball set to be a teammate of Mr. James.
Are you sure you made the right decision, LeBron? Have fun listening to the obnoxiously real and less funny LaVar Ball (not the hilarious Keenan Thompson featured below)…
Have a Better Week Than Last Week.
It has been way, way too long since Jamie Foxx has been in the news.
Luckily, Mr. Foxx not only makes an appearance in today’s blog post, but also proves why he is, as Jay Leno puts it, entertainment’s “Renaissance Man.” And, in the process, consoles an entire city draped in sadness with a brand new lyrical bedtime story.
Cleveland, OH tourism: If you’re watching and reading this, get Jamie Foxx’s agents on the phone ASAP.
Plus, call LeBron James as well.
The excitement when speaking about popular destinations in and around Cleveland, OH by LeBron James is the best pitch for a city I’ve seen in a long, long time.
“I gave it everything I had both mentally and physically, so obviously I’m drained right now, I’m ready to get home.”
–Lebron James, after Game 3 of the NBA Finals
It’s not surprising that Lebron James, the favorite son of Akron, OH/the Cleveland area, is exhausting all that he has for his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. What is surprising is that his Energizer bunny-like effort has not translated to any wins in the championship series versus the stacked (under statement) Golden State Warriors.
And, for Cavs fans, the possibility of a 4-game sweep increased greatly last night. Not simply because the Warriors have a 3-0 series advantage, but because of one person:
The Golden State Warriors are playing great basketball. However, the Cleveland Cavaliers (truthfully) have a squad equipped to handle and defeat the Warriors. True story. But that’s regarding last year’s Warriors team that the Cavs defeated 4-3 for the NBA title.
If the first three games in the 2017 NBA Finals has revealed anything, it’s that Kevin Durant is the prized x-factor and the one player the Cavs have no answer for. Not only does Mr. Durant score a lot of points, block a lot of shots and generally influence Cleveland’s play in myriad ways, but he simultaneously takes pressure off of his teammates (who may be struggling) and stretches the Cavs defense far too thin for 4 quarters.
Odds are very, very high that the Golden State Warriors will win this year’s NBA championship. And Cleveland’s personnel deficit against Kevin Durant is proving to be too costly thus far in this series. Still, the Cleveland Cavaliers came back from being down 3-1 to win the series 4-3 in last year’s NBA Finals. The question is whether the Cavs can strategically figure out how to minimize Kevin Durant’s impact on the court.
Stopping Kevin Durant seems unlikely, but anything is possible. And yes, that sentiment that “anything is possible” does include a chapter in which a professional sports team in Cleveland won a league championship in the 21st century with a surreal, magic run. If a 3-1 series comeback was magical, how would a 3-0 series comeback be described?
Thanks to the 2016 NBA Finals, people in Cleveland, OH have a legitimate reason to dream such wild things. And that’s part of the underlying magic of sports:
“The Win” is where Cleveland is at now, but “The Decision” is where the city was not too long ago.
How did Cleveland’s faithful make the transition?
Basketball aside, the healing peacemaker was surprisingly not an intermediary at all. Instead, the conciliatory trigger was a state of mind. Specifically, the Ohio state (small “s”) of mind. More specifically, the “OH-” state of mind. Outsiders may laugh and roll their eyes at the passionately proud nature of Ohioans, but there’s a lot to be happy about.
That list can wait for another day.
For instance, when The Ohio State Buckeyes play that team up north or in a national championship, a win is not the only thing on the line. The entire identity and emotional well-being of its citizens are at stake.
People from Cleveland and beyond read the LeBron James re-dedication letter from July of 2014 to his hometown in northeast Ohio, but movie watchers saw an entertaining abridged version of his sentiment in the movie Trainwreck. Granted, LeBron’s scenes are about the only appropriate moments in the film (true story) and are also the most clever and endearing.
Destination Cleveland: Why haven’t there been a collection of creative tourism videos in the following video clip’s spirit featuring northeast Ohio’s favorite son and a skeptical traveler?
A Ted Mosby cameo could be cool too…