While I was occupied with personal stuff last week, I missed the whole LeBron James saga, which I probably wouldn't have paid much attention to anyway. But in catching up, I couldn't help but notice how overwrought everybody got about his decision. He had a choice to make, and he made the one he thought was best for him -- get over it. The over-the-top prize has to go to Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert in his open letter to Cleveland fans:
You simply don't deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.
[. . .]
If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels.
[. . .]
This shocking lack of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson we want our children to learn.
Whew. There's even more in the same vein about James' "heartless and callous" action and what "bad karma" he's going to be dragging along to Miami.
In truth, I think what James did is exactly the lesson Cleveland should want its children to learn. You work hard, make the most of your talent and take the best opportunity from the ones that are presented to you. "Loyalty" means you love the one you're with, which James seems to have done in Cleveland and I presume he will do in Miami. It does not mean you an organization's goals ahead of your own when the two diverge.
Of course, if Peyton Manning ever tries to leave Indianapolis, well, now, that's a whole different story.