Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Look Out, Cleveland

Look Out, Cleveland,
the storm is comin' through,
And it's runnin' right up on you.
Look out, Houston,
There'll be thunder on the hill;
Bye-bye, baby, don't cha lie so still.

Was Wed'sday evenin' when first we heard the word,
It did not come by train nor bird.
T'was when Ben Pike stepped down to say,
"This old town's gonna blow away."

When news was confirmed on Wednesday that the highly coveted free agent power forward Chris Bosh had agreed to sign a contract with the Miami Heat there were a few things that became clear.

1. Dwyane Wade was going to stay in Miami
2. Dreams of the NBA's version of "The Galacticos" were still very much alive.
3. No top-flight player wants to sign a free-agent deal in Cleveland.

Since signing LeBron James to a rookie contract on July 4, 2003, the Cavaliers have not been able to bring another All-Star player to town via free agency. This team was built into an almost-but-not-quite championship contender via trades and the draft. Although a few key regulars were re-signed after arriving via one of those two one-way avenues the shores of the Cuyahoga have not been a popular destination among the dunking set.

And, now, Bosh ain't coming. Which makes it seem like Ray LeBron ain't coming home.

After scouring the transaction records over at, it looks like the only free agents that were actually convinced to sign with Cleveland during the LeBron era are Kevin Ollie, Ira Newble , Jelani McCoy, Lucious Harris, Scott Williams, Jake Tsakalidis, Robert Traylor, Luke Jackson, Mateen Cleaves, Lee Nailon, Alan Henderson, Damon Jones, James Thomas, Jerome Moiso, Drew Gooden (re-signed), David Wesley, Scot Pollard, Zendon Hamilton, Stephen Graham, Sasha Pavlovic, Demetris Nichols, Devin Brown, Lorenzen Wright, Tarence Kinsey, Daniel Gibson (signed extension after being drafted by CLE), Billy Thomas, Lance Allred, Kaniel Dickens, Danny Green, Leon Powe, Cedric Jackson and Jamario Moon.

And some of these guys were first brought aboard via the draft or trade (I think). Either way, not too many guys that were cracking the starting lineup of the Redeem Team at the last Olympics. Or the 2008-2009 Knicks squad for that matter. Regardless of how much LeBron had hoped to win a title in Cleveland, I don't see how he stays after every major free agent opted to play elsewhere. Perhaps he'd thought that the force of his personality and his game would transcend his zip code. False.

Bosh went to Miami. Amare went to New York. Boozer, who already has fled Cleveland once at top speeds, went to Chicago. This has to hammer home that no star player who considers himself a difference maker wants to take their show to Quicken Loans Arena. Which means, look out, Cleveland. This native son is gonna blow away.

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