NBA star LeBron James is taking heat from Clevelanders who have worked themselves into a fury about his decision to leave his hometown and play pro basketball in Miami. Sports fans have taken to the streets to burn his jersey, his former team’s owner has called him a “coward,” and the Internet is buzzing with scathing anti-LeBron epithets.
But honestly, can you blame him? Cleveland sucks.
Once a post-war boomtown full of hope and manufacturing contracts, C-Town has been on a steady decline long before baby LeBron was but a twinkle in his father’s eye. Just a few years before he was born, it was the first city to default on its loans since the Great Depression. After an exhaustive review of employment rates, government corruption, tax policies, weather patterns and more, Forbes magazine recently rated Cleveland as one of “America’s most miserable cities.”
In a recent video series on Cleveland’s plight, Nick Gillespie of ReasonTV summed up the downfall of what has long been known as the Mistake on the Lake.
“Cleveland in the 21st century remains mired in a 1970s era funk of double-digit unemployment and population flight,” Gillespie says. “[The city] routinely ranks as one of the poorest big cities in the United States. More than 10,000 vacant homes in the city act as a constant reminder of Cleveland’s economic catastrophe.”
And it’s not like Cleveland is doing anything to help the LeBron situation. Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert penned a scathing open letter to fans about James late Thursday night, promising revenge. Written in Comic Sans font, (hard to take seriously, no?), the letter lambastes the star for his “shameful display of selfishness” that is the “exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn.”
Aha. So now we know the root of Cleveland’s troubles. For all these years, the former industrial powerhouse has been teaching its kids to check their ambitions at the door and settle for third-rate maladroitness. Any city that sacrifices personal greatness to the altar of putrid mediocrity deserves to be down one 6’8″ superstar. If Ayn Rand ever gets resurrected from the dead, her first stop should be Cleveland to lay the smack down.
Sure, Cleveland may have been ranked one of America’s most livable cities just a few years ago, but that’s its problem. It’s merely “livable.” Afghanistan is livable. (Arguably). But a “livable” city is no place for a talented, young, fast-moving single athletic megastar with Benjamins to burn. That kind of man needs a city fit for a king.
A city crawling with beautiful women who regularly fit their entire outfit for the day neatly folded in a band-aid box. (Polka dot bikini, giiiiiiiirl)
A city where the average temperature is a perfect 76 degrees year-round, allowing for said lack of clothing.
A city where men build islands harboring mansions reachable only by boats, check pointed bridges or helicopters.
And perhaps most importantly, a city where its rivers don’t catch fire. (Well, that is, unless BP has anything to say about it…)
Anyone who has spent time in Miami knows that it is a city worthy of the self-described “King James.” And that’s where he belongs.
WATCH: WHY CLEVELAND SUCKS