So, we finally have an answer to the second of the two big questions of the 2009-10 NBA season. The first, can anyone stop LA, was answered in the negative. So, finally, was the second: Can/Did Cleveland do enough to keep LeBron from jumping the Cavaliers' ship?
I am not one to blame LeBron for his lack of patience with the Cavaliers: they did their best, but it was far from enough to win the title, and it was not necessarily going to get better. Nor do I blame the people of northeast Ohio, or the owner of the Cavs, for feelings of resentment: whether James did it himself or allowed it to happen, their expectations were raised, then unfulfilled.
I do have a bit of a quarrel, though, with LeBron's taste and selection. He wants to win a championship or five, but this feels like trying to do it the easy way--hard feelings from Cleveland and his other jilted suitor teams notwithstanding. Further, I don't know that he will get what he wants by going to Miami and playing with his two best buddies.
The first problem is that the Heat are stripped bare, besides the three superstud free agents. The only other guy under contract is Mario Chalmers, whom I'm personally fond of as a player but who has been ripped by his team and by his only returning teammate. They have little to no money to fill out the team, and not a whole lot of free agents left to do it with.
I will remind the readers that while Kevin Garnett came to Boston to make the Big Three and won a title the first year, they also had Rajan Rondo, on the rise, and others. I am also reminded of when Gary Payton and Karl Malone came to the Lakers, joining Shaq and Kobe (2003-4 season), and the coronation failed to happen. The Lakers are still out there, and the Celtics are back, as well.
I wish Miami well in their efforts to prevent a Lakers' threepeat--Pat Riley is a personal favorite, and coach Erik Spoelstra is certainly a young coach with a lot of potential--but no more than any other Eastern Conference, and certainly no more than the Western Conference rivals.