LeWho? How About LeYou?

By Staff Writer
In September 7, 2010

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that:

a. LeBron James has left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat;
b. the manner in which James departed has left a very sour taste in our collective mouths; and
c. the Heat, now perhaps the most hated team in NBA history, return to Cleveland on December 2.

Ever since James abandoned his quest to bring Cleveland a championship, Cavs fans have been salivating for the Heat’s first trip to town. But how do we – and by “we” I mean both Cavs fans and the Cavs organization itself – handle James’s return? Do we make an ugly scene of it, as many did after The Decision? Or do we turn a negative into a positive? I vote for the latter, and here’s my idea*, born from a conversation with a friend thinking of how to turn December 2 into something constructive:

If we know anything about LeBron, it’s that he’s both an immense talent and someone who loves being the center of attention. Taking away the acrimonious departure, it’s a no-brainer that James’s Cleveland numbers would be worthy of retiring his #23 jersey. So let’s retire it … with a twist. Let’s have a contest. From now until December – for only $1 – you would be able to enter yourself in a drawing. Enter as many times as you’d like, because 100% of the proceeds would go to charity. Before the game, on live TV, the Cavs would draw one name. The winner – let’s say you – would, the night of December 2, sign a one-day contract with the Cavs. You’d get it all: Official warmups, a seat on the bench with the team and a jersey. Jersey #23. Then it gets awesome.

Before the game, as the lights dim, the public address announcer would tell the crowd that it’s time for a very special ceremony. As both teams look on, you’d join Cavs coaches, management, and your family at mid-court. Then, right in front of “King James,” the Cavs would officially retire jersey #23. Not James’s. Yours. The banner, featuring your name and #23, would hang in the rafters, joining the likes of Austin Carr, Mark Price and Brad Daugherty. Then, you would have the opportunity to present the charity’s representatives with a check for the proceeds of the drawing, making the spectacle all worthwhile.

There you have it: Simple, interactive, attention-grabbing and for a good cause. What better way to take a jab at the Court Jester than to poke fun at his legacy in such a good-natured and good-hearted manner? I’d like to think that any Cavs fan would jump at the chance to take part, just like any area charity wouldn’t mind the donation pouring into its coffers. Further, for a team facing life without one of the world’s best players and the challenges that brings, media attention promises to be hard to come by. But not on December 2, when all the world will be watching. Let’s give them something to talk about.

*If you’re reading this, Dan Gilbert, you have my full permission to steal this idea, provided you give me two front-row tickets for the big game.

Staff Writer

So who is this mysterious staff writer? Could be anyone really, as long as they meet our very strict criteria. 1) Worked with us in one capacity or another. 2) Have something pretty interesting to say. 3) Want to use our blog to say it. See? Told ya they were strict!