Sljedeći mail iz Simmonsovog mailbaga dotiče se najvažnije stvari koju u slučaju LeBron treba razlučiti:
Rob Reid - My first thought after hearing about the ESPN special: Nobody could be so cruel as to go on national television and sucker punch his loyal fan base of seven years, right? My second thought? That's exactly what a self-absorbed, ill-advised 25-year-old kid without any real perspective would do. It was at that point I was certain he was not staying.
Treba, dakle, razlučiti što se to točno zamjera LeBronu. Da li odlazak iz Clevelanda kao takav ili samo način na koji je to učinio?
I would just like to say: I don't like this... what Dan Gilbert did. This is free agency. The days when owners dictated to the players what they could do is over. I mean... William... my man William Rowland had a book called A 40 million dollar slave – those days are over. He's a... LeBron's a free agent and he chose to leave. Now, we argued the means which he did it...
His hometown won’t hate him as much for leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers as for the way he left them. Leaving never would’ve been easy, but he went out of his way to humiliate them. LeBron James can never go home now.
I don't have a problem with James' choice. (...) What bothers me isn't so much the contrived nature of the announcement, but that James was such a willing participant -- if not the creator -- of the spectacle.
Cleveland offered him more money. Cleveland offered him unconditional love. Cleveland offered him the chance to create his own legacy. He turned them down for what seems to him like a sure thing and a tax shelter in Florida. I don’t blame him for that… I really don’t. I can understand the draw to Miami, beyond the sun and beach. (...) I think there are some major questions about the team and how those three will play together, but it’s obviously very promising and I understand and appreciate why LeBron James would put his chips down in Miami. But, his apparent lack of feeling for his old city… that I don’t understand. (...) I just didn’t think LeBron James had it in him to create his own ESPN show dedicated to dumping his hometown. I always thought he might leave for another team. But I didn’t think he would do it so readily, so impassively, so cooly, I didn’t think he would so publicly spurn and embarrass the city that has dedicated so much of its energy to loving him. I didn’t think he had that in him.
He turned a lot of people against him by showcasing his choice to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers, situated less than an hour north of his hometown of Akron. The way he announced his decision is going to be more important to many people than his reasons for moving to Miami. Those reasons are understandable; some will call them laudable. But this threatens to go down as a case of What You Say vs. How You Say It. How he said it drowned out the meaning of his words. If he was going to divorce himself from the fans who viewed him as one of their own, as a savior to their depressed region, then wasn't there a less painful way to do so?
It's one thing to leave. I get it. You're 25. You don't know any better. You're tired of carrying mediocre teams. You want help. You want the luxury of not having to play a remarkable game every single night for eight straight months. You want to live in South Beach. You want to play with your buddies. I get it. I get it. But turning that decision into a one-hour special, pretending that it hadn't been decided weeks ago, using a charity as your cover-up and ramming a pitchfork in Cleveland's back like you were at the end of a Friday the 13th movie and Cleveland was Jason... there just had to be a better way.
my opinion is that James had every right to take advantage of the free agency he earned. Moving to Miami and playing with two other All-Stars would be a dream come true for many people. I do, though, take issue with two things. One was the way he ended it. He waited eight days and that limited the Cavs' options to improve after he left. Doing it on national television while not showing the courtesy to personally inform the Cavs he was leaving. Especially the way he was treated by the team and the city. The other was that even though he gave the Cavs seven seasons, taking the shorter three-year deal didn't seem to fairly give the team a chance to build long term around him. They competed year-to-year because they were attempting to keep him happy.
Wanting to win is invoked to explain away all sorts of bad behavior in sports. But it shouldn’t have been required here. After all, free agency was James’ star-spangled right, something he had long planned for and earned. (...). Again, free agency is no sin. But hubris of this magnitude is.
Svi su suglasni: LeBrona doista treba kriviti; zaslužio je spaljene dresove i pad u omraženost. I pritom su to sve razborite riječi, nema se što prigovoriti. Svi se slažemo da je pretvaranje cijele stvari u reality TV show bila grozna svinjarija s LeBronove strane. Ali zašto sam citirao ove ljude? Zato što je meni od općenitog pitanja da li je kriv ili nije kriv puno važnija ova diferencija za što je kriv: da je sporno jedino ''kako'', ali ne i ''što''. Njegovo temeljno pravo da ode – ibez da mora osjećati krivnju – nikome od njih nije padalo na pamet odricati. To je točka na kojoj počinje ono što me ovdje najviše zanima: kako se događa da ljubav pokaže svoje agresivno lice, kada se Ljubljenom odriče pravo da ode, da odbije i dalje biti naš Ljubljeni. Kod navijača se te dvije stvari pretapaju: nikada nije jasno krive li ga doista samo zbog načina na koji je otišao ili već i zbog odlaska samog; njihovo krivljenje je rijetko kada sasvim lišeno optužbe za to što se uopće drznuo otići, a ponekad je i otvoreno u tom tonu.
Paul - I'm 25 years old. I'm about to re-enlist for another tour overseas with the Army. I have an idea of what matters and what doesn't. But this still hurts. Nothing stings worse than when one of your own rips your heart out. Not like this... Maybe I should do what's best for me and get out of the Army. Unfortunately, loyalty is driving me to do one more tour. LeBron knows nothing of that word.
Da, Paul, možda baš i bi trebao učiniti ono što je najbolje za tebe. (Samo naizgled paradoksalno, tim bi egoizmom odmah bio i altruističan: američki vojnik kod kuće u Clevelandu mnogo je više na dobrobit čovječanstvu od američkog vojnika u Iraku ili Afganistanu.) Naš Paul LeBronu očito ne zamjera tek način, nego i samu činjenicu odlaska, tj. dezerterstva s dužnosti. Otišao je u Miami zato što je bio sebičan, gledao što je najbolje za njega, umjesto da bude altruističan i lojalan (prema ''svojima'').
Zac Jackson (za Fox Sports Ohio) obraća se LeBronu u drugom licu, optužujući ga za sebičnost:
Millions and millions watched you talk about you Thursday night, watched you announce that you were doing "what was best for LeBron James" and "what would make LeBron James happy." Those are actual quotes. One of the most gifted passers in the history of the game is one of the most selfish people in the history of the game.
Zac se iščuđava (''actual quotes'') da je LeBron imao petlje javno obznaniti kako mu je presudno u odluci bilo ono što je najbolje za njega osobno, umjesto da malo misli na grad i na regiju u kojoj je odrastao.
Grant, slično, ne može podnijeti prizor tog ''sebičnog govna'' u drugoj uniformi... - I can't fathom watching that selfish piece of crap in another uniform. I hate what I once loved. Basketball has been my favorite sport since I was 3... 23 years later, it is now dead to me at the highest level. (What the hell am I supposed to do now all winter... in Cleveland?!?!)
''Sebično govno'' je krivo već zato što mi sad moramo biti u komi – a zašto? – zato da bi on bio sretan?! Mo'š mislit'! Đubre jedno uopće nije marilo više za sreću nas navijača nego za svoju vlastitu! Gad je samome sebi bio ispred nas!
Rick C - John Wooden said "It takes talent to get to the top, but it takes character to stay there." It is now apparent that LeBron does not have the requisite character.
Nije nedostajalo tih skica za karakterni portret... Već je Zac Jackson LeBrona nazvao ''čudovištem'' (''this monster that's become you''). Da se svojom nedostatnom lojalnošću spram Clevelanda prokazao kao nekarakteran, tj. razmaženi egoist.
Josh - LeBron was loved and now he is a coward, disloyal, self-absorbed and completely insincere. It reminds of me of something William Goldman said after Nicholson made a drunken ass of himself at the Golden Globes a number of years back. He said that was what movie stars were really like. LeBron has shown in public what we all know: athletes, our "heroes", are often spoiled adolescents who deserve our pity, not our admiration. It is a sad day for all sports fans. And like most of America, I'm cheering for LeBron to never win a single title. I hope he enjoys that as his legacy.
Jim Martelli - My friend Max's reaction to the LeBron special and signing: "This country was founded upon the practice of defying egotistical kings."
Steve L - The Nazgul were the characters in "Lord of the Rings" that were former kings who turned into demons that were constantly chasing the ring. It completely consumed them and robbed them of their humanity. I think this sums up the situation in Miami.
Chunky A - Athletes, or most of them, treat sports like a business. Everyone says that, but it's times like this when it actually becomes clear. For fans, it's a romantic relationship. You've sort of noted this many times, but I never quite felt it until now. Fans of teams are not third parties to their teams. Or maybe I should say we don't feel like third parties. (...) That's why the LeBracle was so unseemly. It was premised on the assumption that fans (not just Cavs fans but Knicks fans, Heat fans, etc.) had romantic relationships with their teams while personifying the fact that the athletes don't return the favor.
Chunky, što nam zapravo želiš reći? Zato što ne uzvraćaju uslugu i na odnos gledaju previše poslovno (premalo romantično), sportaši su – reci slobodno – đubrad sebična nelojalna egoistična? Jel' to?
Joe Posnanski se zapitao:
Maybe if LeBron James had gone to Miami but announced it in a different way, handled this whole circus differently… well, I don’t know. Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered. I do know that to spit in the city’s eye like this, well, Cleveland will never forget it.
Tja, metoda nije bila na nivou, ali možda ipak nije samo do toga? Možda bi svejedno bili jednako bijesni? Možda smo ipak još najviše bijesni na njega naprosto zato što nam je dao košaricu i nije mario da ga nastavimo Voljeti?
Jay Karhoff - This is a drunk e-mail but I've never felt this betrayed. The deepest circle of hell is reserved for those who betray and LeBron earned his spot.
U prijevodu: bio bi nam on omrzlo đubre sve i da nije bilo nekorektnosti u metodi, jer je odlaskom kao takvim počinio izdaju – a zna se da je sam deveti krug pakla rezerviran za izdajnike.
Kevin Heffernan - We had a LeBronfire last night ... I burned everything I own with his name on it. My wife could sleep with my father and I wouldn't feel this betrayed. Born here. Raised here. Played here. Betrayed here.
Alain de Botton napisao je knjigu Ogledi o ljubavi u kojoj postoji ovakav razgovor:
''Jesi li dobro?'' pitao sam je.
Uslijedila je tišina, kao da me nije čula. Zatim je progovorila.
''Ti si predobar za mene'', rekla je.
''Rekla sam 'Ti si predobar za mene'.''
''Zato što jesi.''
''Zašto to govoriš, Chloe?''
''Ako išta, rekao bih da je obratno. Ti si uvijek spremna potruditi se ako dođe do problema, ti si uvijek kritičnija prema svojim...''
''Tiho, prestani, nemoj'', rekla je Chloe i okrenula glavu od mene.
''Zato jer se viđam s Willom.''
''Viđam se s Willom.''
''Što? Što znači viđam se? Viđaš se s Willom?''
''O Bože, spavala sam s Willom.''
On to nije najbolje podnio. Preplavio me osjećaj izdaje, jer zajednica u koju sam toliko toga uložio proglasila je stečaj, a da ja nisam osjećao da za to postoje opravdani razlozi. Chloe nam nije pružila priliku, tvrdio sam samom sebi, pekla me Chloeina nelojalnost, njeno krivovjerje, njena noć provedena s drugim muškarcem. (...) Nazvao sam Chloe nemoralnom jer je odbacila pažnju nekoga tko joj je svakodnevno pružao utjehu, ohrabrenje, potporu i nježnost.
Koliko god i novinari i navijači trubili da je bijes naspram LeBrona opravdan, jer da se ograničava na način na koji je otišao, ne dirajući u samo njegovo pravo da ode – to jednostavno nije točno da se ograničava. Čista laž. Oni se tamo prije svega osjećaju izdanima radi gole činjenice da ih je napustio radi drugog kluba.
Avi, San Francisco - Am I the only one who wants to see 20,000 Cleveland fans with fake knives stuck on their backs when Lebron arrives in his new Miami uniform next year?
Iznenađujuće je koliko se često raskid ljubavi uobličava u jezik morala, jezik koji govori o pravednosti i nepravednosti, dobru i zlu, kao da raskinuti vezu s nekim ili je ne raskinuti, voljeti nekoga ili ga ne voljeti, prirodno pripada jednoj grani etike. Iznenađuje koliko se često onaj koji raskida opisuje kao zao, dok onaj koji je ostavljen utjelovljuje dobro.
Posljedica ovog uobličenja u jezik morala je da se ostavljati može jedino pritisnut krivnjom zbog nečega zbog čega ipak nisi ništa kriv: naprosto zato što si u jednom trenutku odlučio da više ne želiš biti u ljubavnoj vezi s nekim s kime si prethodno bio u ljubavnoj vezi: za Chloe je etički dokaz da nije dovoljno dobra za mene bio isključivo u tome što me prestala voljeti kao muškarca koji ju je, u svoj dobroti vlastitog srca, još uvijek bio sposoban voljeti, i zbog toga se smatrala manje vrijednom osobom od mene.
''Manje vrijednom osobom'' je gruba, možda malčice pretjerana tvrdnja, ali recimo da se jednostavno osjećala loše u odnosu na njega.
Ummm... In this fall... man, this is very tough... umm... in this fall I'm going to take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.
LeBrona danas optužuju za bezdušnost. Pa ipak je očito da je njemu za ovo izgovoriti trebalo mnogo hrabrosti i tjeranja samoga sebe na čvrstoću. Ovo man, this is very tough... zapravo ne zvuči jako uvjerljivo; nije uopće isključeno da je to unaprijed pripremljeno – jer je znao da to mora reći. Unatoč tome, ne dvojim da mu je bilo teško – jer nije mogao ne biti svjestan što se s njim već tjednima, mjesecima, godinama stvara u Clevelandu i Ohiou, kakvi moralni naponi da ostane. Nije mogao ne znati da će ga oni tamo načisto zamrziti, da će ga proglasiti moralnim bankrotom, sebičnim govnom i izdajicom koji im je zabio nož u leđa, šaljući ga u samo srce pakla okrene li im leđa. Malo dalje, novinar ga pita da li bi ponovo prolazio kroz sve ovo. This is tough. This is very tough, because you feel like you've let a lot of people down. A drugom novinaru kasnije kaže: At the end of the day I feel awful that I'm leaving.