Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cleveland Cavaliers Fans Upset Over LeBron James Leaving

Sports retailers everywhere are practically giving away LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers merchandise. Fans that have Cavaliers collectibles involving LeBron are setting their once prized possessions on fire. Even a 10-story-tall mural in downtown Cleveland is being demantled. The billboard has dominated the city's skyline for years but is now useless since James is moving on to the Miami Heat.

This is what happens when a hometown hero suddenly becomes a villain.

Fans in Ohio have cheered on this Akron native since he was a teenager. But now, after feeling betrayed, they are burning his jerseys, throwing rocks at the mural, destroying his collectibles, and finding other ways to display their anger.

Retailers are suffering the most. At Dicks' Sporting Goods in Westlake, they have reduced LeBron James' jerseys to $29.99 and then offering another 75% off., which is owned by Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, dropped the price of its LeBron Fathead wall decals from $99.99 to $17.41. The price is ironic as it is the same year Revolutionary War traitor Benedict Arnold was born. Some bars in the area are offering free drinks in exchange for James jerseys or t-shirts.

Gilbert also had some harsh words for LeBron James. He posted a letter to Cleveland fans ripping James for:

a several-day narcissistic, self-promotional buildup culminating with a national TV special of the decision unlike anything ever ‘witnessed’ in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

LeBron James needs to go to another team with two superstars already so he can win a championship. We will win a championship before (the Heat) do. … It’s not about him leaving. It’s the disrespect. It’s time for people to hold these athletes accountable for their actions. Is this the way you raise your children? I’ve been holding this all in for a long time.
Gilbert also accused James of quitting in the playoffs the last two seasons during an interview with the AP.

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