Why Did LeBron Really Leave Cleveland?

Photo by Tim Shaffer/REUTERS/http://www.nydailynews.com/ Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)

Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)

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You may be thinking that I’m a little late to the party when it comes to writing about this topic, but in light of the recent re-firing of Mike Brown, I feel the topic deserves to be revisited.

For those of you that don’t remember (and I’m really not sure who that could be) LeBron James played for the Cleveland Cavaliers once upon a time. After a decent string of not quite getting over the hump to win a title, James left the Cleveland Cavaliers in what has infamously been dubbed as “The Decision”. Since that time, speculation has abounded as to why James left, what team owner Dan Gilbert could’ve done differently to keep him in town, and even what can be done to bring him back in the future.

So why did LeBron James ultimately take his talents to South Beach? The answer doesn’t lie with Mike Brown, Byron Scott, or even the complete lack of talent that the Cavs put around LeBron (yes, I’m talking about you Mo Williams). To me, the thing that most contributed to LeBron’s departure was a lack of consistency within the front office.

A consistent front office will produce a team that may not win a title every year, but is constantly in the conversation. This happens because the people in charge develop a vision and tirelessly work toward achieving that vision (see the New England Patriots as exhibit A…and yes, it makes me sick to give them credit). Contrast that concept with what you see in Cleveland and it becomes easy to see why this team is a dumpster fire waiting to happen. Cleveland has no direction at all. It seemed like they had direction while James was in town, but when you have the best player in the game on your roster, the proper direction is kind of obvious – bring in a supporting cast and get it done. As I mentioned, the Cavs couldn’t even get that accomplished in a coherent fashion.

You see, Dan Gilbert is a flip-flopper. First he wanted to please his star player by firing Mike Brown and bringing in Byron Scott. Then he wanted to…you know…I don’t really know what he was thinking when he brought Mike Brown back a second time...and then now he has fired Brown again! Gilbert has gone from wanting to please his star player to seemingly having no desire to please anybody and having absolutely zero direction for his team. He has a pretty decent crop of talent in Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters that he seems to be setting up for failure.

LeBron had to have seen this coming. Any owner who is willing to kiss the rear-end of one player as much as Dan Gilbert did while James was in Cleveland is going to be swayed by whatever whims may come in the future. Right now, the Cavs are like a ship with no rudder. LeBron James saw the roller coaster coming and decided to get off the train before things got bumpy.

Can anyone blame him? Would any of us really want to stay in Cleveland and watch our team fall apart around us? Or would we want to spend our time in Miami and watch it implode from a distance? I’ve been to Cleveland, and I’m sorry, but I’ll take Miami.

Was hiring Mike Brown stupid in the first place? Absolutely! But both of the Mike Brown firings have exposed the glaring holes within the organization…including the biggest hole of them all…Dan Gilbert. If I were Kyrie Irving, I would be the next big talent to leave Cleveland…no question about it.

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