Friday, July 2, 2010

A little creativity

It's safe to say that tomorrow will be the most important day in the 40-year history of the Cavaliers.

When the Cavs and LeBron James' people get together in downtown Cleveland late tomorrow morning to discuss the superstar's future, the life of the franchise will be on the line.

That's why it's imperative that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and his people show up with more than a generic plan in an effort to persuade James and his group that there is only one place for him to ply his trade. Selling home sweet home won't be good enough.

That's all well and good, of course. But if that's all the ammunition they bring to the table as they attempt to keep LeBron in northeast Ohio, they might as well not even show up. That won't do it.

Gilbert is a smart man. He is a self-made multi millionaire who has used creativity as a stepping stone to that wealth. And now, he must tap that fountain of creativity if he is to retain the biggest jewel of his NBA team.

To walk into that meeting tomorrow morning without an inventive plan, minus something that stirs more than just the imagination, absent a presentation that jolts James' people say and causes them to say, "Wow," is the wrong approach.

Yes, LeBron's heart is in the Akron-Cleveland market. Yes, he is aware how much it would dramatically affect the sports culture of northeast Ohio if he were to leave. And yes, he is more than cognizant that if he did decide to stay, it would take something dramatic to cause him not to leave.

The Cavs already fulfilled one of James' wishes when they hired Byron Scott as head coach. But it'll take a lot more. Such as the makeup of the Cavs roster and what needs to be done to improve what hopefully will be LeBron's supporting cast.

Great move on the Scott hire. It was the move I was hoping the Cavaliers would make. He was the only coach available capable of making James even greater than he is. Had Scott coached the last three seasons instead of Mike Brown, the Cavs would own at least one NBA title and we wouldn't have to go though the current nonsense.

As for Scott's new job, it's been generally reported that James wanted no part of selecting the new Cleveland coach. If you believe that, you'll believe anything. Somehow, some way, James' fingerprints are all over the Scott hire.

Does that mean he'll stay despite the extravagant presentations put on by the New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets, Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls? No. But it can't hurt.

One also can imagine how awkward tomorrow morning's meeting will be. The parties know each other, of course. But for the first time, James will meet with Gilbert & Co. as a non-employee.

It's the stage James had hoped for when he decided to test the free-agent terrain. And he's done it the LeBron James way. Make them come to see him instead of the other way around. No question as to who is in charge.

No doubt he has enjoyed the entire circus. It turned out to be exactly what he expected. Teams falling all over themselves, placing him on the highest of pedestals, offering him riches, in some cases beyond even his dreams. All fit for a King.

But perhaps this King should give his good friend Warren Buffett a call. Grab hold of that speed dial and ring him up. In Omaha, Nebraska. Maybe the 79-year-old gazillionaire will impart the most sagacious advice anyone can give LeBron.

Buffett, you see, didn't need New York or Los Angeles or Miami or Chicago as a base to accumulate his $47 billion cache. Omaha was just fine, thank you.

No reason LeBron can't do the same in Cleveland.

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