King of Pain: Lebron James Continues to Torment Cleveland

Lebron might want to go back, but would Cleveland welcome him?

Lebron James makes O.J. Simpson look like a great ex-boyfriend.

After breaking up with Cleveland in the cruelest way possible (The Decision was the equivalent of taking your girlfriend to a major sporting event, and then dumping her on the jumbotron), the ego-maniacal superstar took his talents to South Beach in search of a title, or whatever Will Smith was singing about in Miami.

Things didn’t quite go as planned for the Heat last season, but the team retained a solid core and began 2012 as one of the best teams in basketball. Even better, the team was gliding under the radar with Linsanity in full swing, and the fervor over Lebron’s messy divorce from Cleveland had simmered down.

Great right? Of course not. The most aloof player in the league decided that he needed to once again be on the tip of every tongue, and opened his big mouth. When asked about a return to Cleveland, James uttered the following nonsense:

I think it would be great…it would be fun to play in front of these fans again. I had a lot fun times in my seven years here. You can’t predict the future, and hopefully I continue to stay healthy. I’m here as a Miami Heat player, and I’m happy where I am now, but I don’t rule that out in no sense.”

Try to ignore the grammar in the last part of Lebron’s statement (don’t rule that out in no sense?) and read between the lines:

Lebron: “Oh hey Cleveland. I know that I dumped you like bad leftovers and starting dating a much hotter girl (Miami). I’m having a great time with her, but if things ever don’t work out with me and the Heat, I might consider getting back together with you, if no better options are available of course. Sounds good right? You remember Breakfast at Tiffany’s don’t you?”

Cleveland: “Well I guess that’s one thing we’ve got.”

Don’t bother trying to figure out what goes on in the mind of Lebron James or what stupid thing he’s going to do next.

Just remember that he’s like school in July…no class.

 

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From King of the Court to Lord of the Diamond: Lebron James Signs 5-Year Contract with Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pittsburgh fans were initially stunned by the LeBron signing, but most agreed the move was a slam dunk.

Apparently LeBron James really does want to be “like Mike“.   

In a move that sent shock waves through two sports and broke the heart of every New York Knicks’ fan, the Pittsburgh Pirates reported Thursday that they had reached a contract agreement with basketball superstar Lebron James. Though exact terms of the agreement have not yet been made available, sources close to the situation speculate the contract to be in the neighborhood of 5 years/$200 million dollars. Additional terms of the deal allow LeBron to finish the season with the Cavaliers before reporting to the Pirates Double-A affiliate at the beginning of July, with additional work scheduled in the Arizona Fall League.   

Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington released the following statement regarding LeBron to the AP:   

“Obviously we’re thrilled to have a player of LeBron’s caliber here in Pittsburgh and we really feel that he is going to be a difference maker for the Pirates. He’s got nothing left to prove on the basketball court and athletes with his skill set don’t come along often; it was a no-brainer for us as an organization. The plan is to have LeBron patrolling centerfield for us fulltime in 2011 with Andrew McCutchen shifting to left. With his size, speed and vertical leap it’s hard to imagine any homeruns leaving the yard against our pitching staff. We’ve been working him out over the past few months and he has shown the ability to hit for power to all fields and with his length it won’t take more than a few steps and a slide to steal bases. The Pittsburgh Pirates are turning over a new leaf as a franchise and it starts today with the signing of Lebron James…I just can’t wait to see him on the field.”   

Huntington has raised quite a few eyebrows as GM of the Pirates by trading away popular players like Jason Bay, Freddy Sanchez and Jack Wilson, but nothing could have prepared the sports world for this stunning move. Message boards and radio shows were quick to criticize the move, calling it a publicity stunt or simply an April Fools joke. Huntington also responded to those comments:   

Michael Jordan never panned out in baseball. Does LeBron have what it takes to save the Pirates?

“LeBron is a world-class athlete and we have no doubt that he will be an All-Star outfielder as soon as next season. Obviously we realized that this move would be met with some skepticism, and that’s fine, because it won’t be long before other teams discover what they missed out on. We would not have made this move unless we were 100% convinced as an organization that LeBron would help the Pirates win a World Series. Sometimes in sports it’s necessary to think outside of the box, and with 17 straight losing seasons, it was evident that our franchise needed a radical change to reverse our fortunes. LeBron was already the next Michael Jordan and now it’s time for him to become the next Ken Griffey Jr. He’s got the chance to be a very special player for a long, long time.”  

LeBron James could not immediately be reached for comment but tweeted to his followers that: “Cavs gonna take da Finals this year n its time 4 me to rule another sport. I already own football now its on 2 baseball” and also “@BillSimmons I ain’t like Mike cause I chose to leave da league, I didn’t gamble my way out. LOL!” 

While that may be the case, Pirates’ fans had better hope that LeBron has better luck in baseball than Jordan (career .202 hitter in the minors). With $200 million dollars invested in just one player, Pittsburgh is betting the farm on LeBron leading them out of the cellar and back into the World Series. Of course it he doesn’t, what’s one more losing season for the longest suffering franchise in sports?

Washington Nationals Expected to Lose Remaining 100 Games: Bryce Harper to Skip Final Two Years of High School

Based on his raw talent, Harper might have gone #1 in this year's draft.

Based on his raw talent, Harper might have gone #1 in this year's draft.

Just about a week after being featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, phenom Bryce Harper drastically altered the 2009 baseball season without so much as picking up a bat or throwing a ball. On Sunday, Harper’s father made an announcement that Bryce would be forgoing his final two years of high school to enter the 2010 MLB Draft. In order to be eligible, Harper plans on attaining a GED and then enrolling at a community college (somewhere in Ohio, Lebron James wonders why he didn’t come up with the same idea). Harper would conceivably be the number one pick of the Washington Nationals, who at 16-45, are the worst team in baseball by nearly 10 games. That would give the Nationals back-to-back number one picks after selecting Stephen Strasburg in last week’s draft, and might finally give Washington baseball fans something to get excited about (other than waiting for the inevitable Elijah Dukes implosion). But with this recent development, and Harper’s once in a generation talent, it might not be long before teams start throwing games like the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2002-03. If any team signs Jose Lima or Denny Neagle as starting pitchers, the battle for inferiority could get ugly.

After reading Tom Verducci’s article in the June 8th Sports Illustrated, it became clear that Harper had little left to prove at the high school levelAs a sophomore Harper hit .626 with 14 HRs, 55 RBI and stole 36 bases; numbers most people would struggle to post in a season of Wiffle Ball against the cast of The Biggest Loser.  At only 16 he already looks like a major leaguer, standing at 6’3″ and weighing 205 lbs, in addition to throwing 96 miles-an-hour and hitting 500+ foot longballs. He draws rave reviews for his defense at catcher and his speed and strength are unheralded for a player his age. Against top international talent in the 16U Pan Am Championships last year, Harper was named MVP after hitting .571 and slugging 1.214. To put it quite simply, Harper is ready for a new challenge.

At only 16, Harper's bat speed has been measured at over 100 mph.

Harper's bat speed has been measured at over 100 mph.

Although he will probably receive criticism for his decision to skip high school, Harper won’t be the first player under 18 to ever sign with a major league team. The majority of these players have been foreign born, so Bryce will be breaking new ground in a sense, but what motivation does he have to play two more years of high school? Talented players from Latin America can sign as soon as they turn 16, the same age that Miguel Cabrera was when the Marlins signed him for over $1 million. Of course that contract will look like a bargain compared to what Harper will receive after being drafted in 2010; his agent is the hellspawn infamous Scott Boras. Harper has nothing to gain by staying in high school, risking injury or plateauing as a player by continuing to compete against inferior talent. His stock will likely never rise higher than it is now, and with Boras asking around $50 million for Strasburg, the question becomes: what ungodly sum of money will Harper receive from the Nationals in 2010? $75 million? $100 million? By making himself eligible for next year’s draft, Bryce Harper puts himself in a position to be set for life…at the age of 17.