Blake Griffin’s 43 not enough. L.A. Clippers fall to champion Heat, 116-112

LeBron James was a blur scoring 31 points and dishing out 12 assists in Heat's 116-112 win over the Clippers.
LeBron James was a blur scoring 31 points and dishing out 12 assists in Heat’s 116-112 win over the Clippers.

The Los Angeles Clippers were game, but they need a lot more rehearsing after losing to the two-time defending world champion Miami Heat, 116-112.

It was a high-flying battle waged above the rim with Clippers all-star Blake Griffin going toe-to-toe against the reigning league MVP LeBron James.

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L.A. Clippers host King James and Champion Miami Heat

DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin of the Clippers have each others' back with the Heat in town.
DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin of the Clippers have each others’ back with the Heat in town.

Right before the season started first-year Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers told the media his philosophy on the regular season is that it’s a dress rehearsal for the playoff grind.

Well, tonight’s game is definitely a dress rehearsal. The Clippers (34-17) host the defending two-time NBA world champion Miami Heat in the first of a five-game home stand at Staples Center.

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I’ve had about 10 days to absorb the soap opera that was the LeBron James Free Agency Courting and what’s happened in the wake of LeBron joining a hoops trinity in South Beach.

My observation, good for LeBron, D’Wade and C’Bosh.  The Miami Heat still won’t beat the Lakers in a seven-gamer. At least next season.

DONE. Not so fast.

Problem is politics and the race card had to get involved in the soap opera.

I’ll say it again, I hate it when sports and politics intersect because there’s no place for it. When it does, I have to comment on it because it’s so insulting, divisive and demeaning, especially when the premise is so wrong.

Rev. Jesse Jackson

The Reverend Jesse Jackson just couldn’t resist to weigh in on LeBron James leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh with the Miami Heat and Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s subsequent email tirade to fans on the Cavaliers web page.

The civil rights activist and former presidential candidate answered with his own letter working the race card accusing Gilbert of being a racist in the entire ordeal. Jackson said this, and I quote:

“He speaks as an owner of LeBron and not the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers. His feelings of betrayal personify a slave-master mentality. He sees LeBron as a runaway slave. This is an owner-employee relationship between business partners and LeBron honored his contract. LeBron is not a child, nor is he bound to play on Gilbert’s plantation and be demeaned.”

Jackson’s statement demeans the atrocities slaves in America endured at the hands of their African captors and American masters.  Slaves didn’t sign seven-year, guaranteed $100 million contracts and multi-million dollar endorsement deals to pick cotton. The “swoosh” slaves wore were from being whipped to the brink, not a Nike endorsement deal. The brand burned in their skin wasn’t an NBA logo, but a crest identifying which family owned them.If you ask me, it’s a racist remark. Coming from Jackson, that’s “reverse racism.” Either way, it’s racism.

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert

Look. What Gilbert posted after LeBron’s “ESPN Decision Special” went a bit overboard. That’s obvious. His anger towards LeBron was obviously because he and the Cavalier fans weren’t given the courtesy of being informed of LeBron’s decision prior to the “primetime fiasco” which would’ve saved Northeast Ohio from an embarrassing National Television “Slap in the Face” if you will.

NBA commissioner David Stern fined Gilbert $100,000 for the tirade calling it “ill-advised” which it was. He did say he understood why it was said and explained after defending LeBron’s rights as the free agent he was.

“Had he (LeBron) asked my advice in advance, I might have suggested that he advise Cleveland at an earlier time than apparently he did that he was leaving, even without announcing where he was going, so we could have eliminated that. I would have advised him not to embark on what has been come known as ‘The Decision.’ I think that the advice that he received on this was poor. This “Decision” was ill-conceived, badly produced and poorly executed.”

Jackson’s rhetoric towards Gilbert is wrong and totally unnecessary. It almost seems as if he’s trying to stay relevant by using words that personified a time and place that occurred almost half a century ago.

Jackson’s relevance in the Civil Rights Movement working alongside Andrew Young and the great Martin Luther King Jr. to change this country solidifies a legacy that helped elect a person of color in the White House.

When it comes to billionaire LeBron’s free agency soap opera, Jackson’s irrelevant.  To compare it to slavery is an insult to those who were enslaved. It’s a disgrace and shameful to compare the two. Jackson should know better.

Enough is enough!

Et Tu, LeBron?!?! We Are All WITNESS!

WOW! Fantasy Basketball League’s becoming reality right before our very eyes. LeBron, D’Wade and Chris Bosh all on the same team. Three of the top five picks in the 2003 NBA Draft wearing the same uniform and it doesn’t say “USA” across the chest.


Fitting that the Miami Heats’road uniform is black and Pat Riley sports that “Gordon Gekko” hair-do.

Greed is good.

C’mon! Who doesn’t love the 80s!?!

Seven years after Ohio native LeBron James, the anointed “chosen one” and lottery pick delivered to the hometown Cleveland Cavaliers after the “ping-pong ball gods” made it so, arrived with so much promise of a championship Clevelanders have been longing for since Jim Brown’s Browns won an NFL Championship in 1964.…………………………

He’s gone.

In his wake headed south to Miami, Bron-Bron leaves Cleveland with one Eastern Conference Title, two Most Valuable Player Awards and millions of broken hearts.

Like Cleveland sports fans aren’t used to that.

Reality is LeBron fulfilled his seven-year obligation to the Cleveland Cavaliers lifting them to “elite status” in the association.

No championship. But, you can‘t have everything.

LeBron earned his free agency status and the right to shop his services to find the best opportunity for him to win a championship and play alongside anyone he wants.

He tried to lure Bosh to Cleveland. Bosh wanted South Beach. So, you can’t lure ’em, join ’em.

LeBron didn’t do anything a pro sports team owner wouldn’t do. The King did what’s best for LeBron and his brand. He left for greener pastures and a much better chance of winning that championship he covets. That’s fine.

But, it’s the way he did it that’s not so fine. LeBron pulled a “Robert Irsay“.

In the wee hours of the night in the Spring of 1984 the late, former owner of the then Baltimore Colts brought in moving trucks driving his franchise out of Maryland to Indianapolis before anyone that bled Colts blue and white knew what in the name of Johnny Unitas happened.

No 18 wheeler needed for LeBron to drive the dagger home. Lebron humiliated and betrayed Cleveland sports fans on national television in a prime time, one-hour, self-absorbed ESPN “Decision Special” rendering all of us witness to their latest sports anguish.

Cleveland deserved much better from the local boy.

How gut-wrenching that reality show was for Cleveland sports fans. They understood five other teams had a shot at LeBron and probably would’ve reacted better to the news of the Kings departure had he made them aware prior to his “prime time fiasco”. Instead, Cleveland’s “chosen one” made his hometown fans “the shafted ones” once again.

“It’s a business decision.”

That’s what LeBron said during the fiasco after revealing the Heat was his choice. That’s fine.

That‘s what Irsay said after the contents of the moving trucks were unloaded in Indy and what Art Modell, the former owner of the old Cleveland Browns, said when he moved his team to Baltimore to become the Ravens.

What LeBron’s decision did is “put the shoe on the other foot.”

Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert became one of those jilted sports fans evidence being the bitter message he fired off vilifying LeBron on the Cavaliers website after the King’s ready for prime-time knife stabbing.

Continuing the “rub the salt in the wound tour”, the hoops trinity was paraded at American Airlines Arena in Miami Friday night in their new Heat garb with D’Wade introducing the King and the Predator (I‘m sorry, that‘s who Bosh resembles)to Heat fans.

All three look good in those uniforms. We’ll see how it works out on the court this coming fall.

Remember Dan. Business is business.

The Cavaliers and new head coach Byron Scott, who‘s got to feel as if someone pulled the rug out from under his feet,

Cavs head coach Byron Scott

will march on. At this point, no longer championship contenders, most likely as an eight-seed in the eastern conference.

So will Lebron, D’Wade, Bosh and the Heat, most likely as the east’s top-seed with eventual trips to the finals and a championship or two at some point. But, not yet.

That would have the Heat and Cavs meeting in next Spring’s first round of the NBA Playoffs. If there’s any poetic justice at all for those jilted Cavalier fans, their team would take the Heat to a seventh game and win it with a buzzer-beater literally sending LeBron, D’Wade and Bosh to the beach.

Cleveland sports fans can only hope. At this point, that’s all they have.

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