Maybe LeBron Wasn’t Kidding

by Eddie Mayrose

There was no way it could have gone easily for LeBron James. The native son of Ohio, who was also the biggest star in any sport to ever become a free agent, was, absolutely, going to leave behind a lot of ill will and broken hearts when he departed Cleveland. That he decided to pour salt in the wounds by selling the television rights for his “decision” to ESPN and uttering the now infamous “I’m taking my talents to South Beach” only made it worse. So, off to Miami he went, to join Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to pursue what James said was his only motivation — to win a championship.

There was no love lost for James in the cities he’d spurned, either. Fans in New York and Chicago serenaded the beleaguered star with derogatory chants that had to do with LeBron playing second fiddle to Wade. Then, when the Heat struggled out of the gate, fans everywhere were downright gleeful that the Big Three formula that worked so well in Boston would be a failure for Pat Riley in Miami.

Things haven’t quite worked out as the naysayers would have hoped, however, since the NBA playoffs began. Miami has easily dispensed of both Boston and Chicago, with James and Wade leading the charge. After the Heat had finished dismantling the Bulls, none other than Scottie Pippen dubbed LeBron the greatest in league history. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but, with Wade, he probably forms a more formidable tandem than Pippen and Jordan. Something for the Mavericks to consider as they try to devise a plan to stop the Heat in the finals.

Even with Dirk Nowitzki playing like a man possessed, I’m not sure Dallas can figure a way to get four wins over the suddenly invincible Heat. And, if Miami should win, would we then be forced to concede that James was right all along? It was about a championship.

Down in Front!

Who’d a thunk that with slumping stars on the left side of the infield, no production from the corner outfield spots, two big bullpen guys on the DL and a starting rotation that’s essentially C.C. Sabathia and then “cross your fingers,” the Yankees would be sitting atop the A.L. East on Memorial Day? Maybe this Girardi guy is a little smarter than the “first-time, long-time” crowd would have you think …

Very impressed that Rex Ryan, looking for a way to best prepare his team when and if the NFL labor dispute is settled, sought the advice of Joe Gibbs, who coached the Redskins to titles in two strike seasons. But, Big Rexy kinda tipped his hand a little bit when he went public with Gibbs’ insights …

Vancouver faces off against Boston this week for the Stanley Cup. This concludes the hockey portion of the column …

Now that Fred Wilpon has told us what he really thinks about Jose Reyes, hasn’t he already sealed the shortstop’s fate? Reyes has to be dealt, if for no other reason than he can’t be expected to re-sign with an owner that has such small regard for his talent. Way to play it close to the vest, Freddie …

Funny how life’s most important moments occur when you’d least expect. Like a simple, late night ride on the Garden State Parkway, when the only person who stays awake on the way home makes you fall in love with her before you make it back to Brooklyn. Happy anniversary, Gin. Thanks for giving all of us such a wonderful life.

Eddie Mayrose appears on SiriusXM’s Fantasy Sports Network every Sunday at 3 p.m. with Craig Mish and can be seen, with Tom D’Angelo, on “Down in Front,” available to Fios customers in Brooklyn. Check local listings.

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