Before the Cavaliers retire LeBron James’ number 23, they will win that championship owner Dan Gilbert promised would arrive before James’ first one in Miami.The number 23 will never hang in the rafters on Gilbert’s watch. It is entirely appropriate that it never hangs there at all.[snip]I believe we will want to remember the six good players (Austin Carr, Bingo Smith, Nate Thurmond, Mark Price, Brad Daugherty, Larry Nance) whose numbers hang in the rafters, not the indisputably great player who left in a manner designed to inflict the most emotional pain on the fans and do the most harm to the franchise.James simply does not belong with men who took pride in the jersey and played to honor the city and its fans.
Um, the guy is the Cavs all-time leading scorer and won two MVPs in a Cavalier uniform. Yea, he’s a total dick. I get that. And I get that we’re all pissed at him for how he left the team. (Basically, it’s the ‘Pete Rose was an asshole, but he was really good at baseball’ Hall of Fame argument).
But again, the last seven years didn’t suck. You can’t tell me those years weren’t fun. Yes, the way LeBron left was terribly shortsighted and narcissistic but it doesn’t invalidate all the things he did on the court.
The Cavs have retired Nate Thurmond’s number and Nate the Great played a grand total of 114 games in Cleveland. 114! If Nate’s number is retired, I don’t care if LeBron decapitated Moondog and wiped his ass with a Mark Price jersey on his way out, his number deserves to be retired.
(However, before LeBron gets his number retired, World B. Free needs his jersey in the rafters. Should’ve happened years ago).