Fuck a Bron hater and fuck you Mr. Dan Gilbert-… O wait what? I have to be classy? Mature? What, logic? Reasoning-the hell is this shit that you’re putting on me?
Man, y’all lucky Mr. Editor shut my ass down on another certified gold Leupe rant. Apparently I can’t just throw a couple hundred f-bombs and call it a day, I actually have to have a BASIS for an argument, but in an even more awkward turnaround I actually have to have an argument.
The world is a needy place, but I digress.
We’re always told by our history teachers to recognize and memorize the age-old axiom of “history always repeats itself”, which we then mutter a quick “suck my deeeeee” before succumbing to the tempurpedic-esque softness of our school desks. Good times. It isn’t until we actually grew the fuck up a bit ourselves until we realize “holy shit the ol’ fart was right” as we find ourselves removing the rusty shank from our lower back as the 8th grade history class you were subbing quickly files out the classroom (Can ya guess which junior high you’re at? Answers found in the comment section).
Gangrene stings, but I digress.
Here we are days after the momentous “Decision” made by the Heat’s Unholy Trinity. The fanfare, the anxiety, the drama, and the climax. Twas a tumultuous time in the sports world and in a way the impact has spread beyond the realm of sports, to affecting the wellbeing and mind-state of a city already given the finger by God on a few momentous occasions throughout the city’s history.
Anyways I’d like to draw a connection if you don’t mind. It’s a bit of a stretch and it might get freaky and scatological on a few parts, but bear with me.
On February 13, 2009 Aubrey Graham, or the artist known as “Drake” dropped one of the top mixtapes of 2009, So Far Gone. Although this was already his third official mixtape to drop, many in the music industry saw Drake as some sort of rookie phenom; his ability to pen lyrics with actual content along with his ability to sing out his own equally important catchy hooks, left the music industry along with its fans astounded. Who the fuck was this kid and who the hell was he with? The answer, to everyone’s disbelief, was he was independent, dropping the mixtape on his own label October’s Very Own, utilizing the internet as his sole distributor.
Most artists when releasing their mixtapes are either backed by their record labels or subsidiaries (ex: Lil Wayne’s No Ceilings was distributed to the multiheaded hydra of Cash Money/Young Money) or websites/clothing lines/people with money (Wale’s Back To The Feature presented by LRG clothing), as these are the only avenues in which your music will receive the most exposure equating to more downloads equating to more people wocka-flockin to your music. Or you can go the independent rout as Drake likes to continuously shove in people’s faces, “BITCH I DID IT WITHOUT ONE”.
It was amazing the amount of hype, listens, and downloads that he was able to acquire through such a small niche in the hip-hop distribution world. Unfathomable. Drake’s numbers alone changed everyone’s perception of the quality coming out of independent artists releases and primed Drake as an incoming freshman primed to change the game. Problem was with all the talent that Drake had, you needed competence behind your management to put that greatness out there for the masses. Drake had already gone as far as he could on his own with little to no support from the managerial side of things, but he knew that although his love for the independent movement in terms of freedom in creativity and production were essential to him, he needed the guidance and influence of a legend to take him to the top.
Lebron James entered the league as the first draft pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2003 NBA draft. He was Cleveland’s son, homegrown and prepped to be the one to bring salvation to Cleveland sports. Prior to that we have to all accept the understanding that Cleveland has been a small-market team, and if not a small-market team can we at least say they have had had the publicity and exposure of a small-market team (prior to the advent of BronBron). I ask you think back on any great moments in basketball and see where the Cavs are in your mind-montage of hardwood memories? “The Shot” by Jordan? “The Fuck Up” by Ricky Davis? None of it painting the Cavs in a good light and none of it serving as examples of a winning legacy by the Cavs.
Even with Lebron this culture of losing or never being able to attain greatness has still plagued this team. Although boasting +40,+50 win games over the years just as they did in their tenure in the late 80’s/early 90’s, they were still never able to have a single Finals appearance, consistently getting knocked out in the eastern conference playoffs. You still can’t knock what Lebron has done on his own and for this team though. He brought relevance back to Cleveland, he was able to garner 6 All-Star appearances, 2 MVP’s, but most importantly he was able to turn a losing franchise into a winning commodity. According to Forbes (that’s right fools, WHITE people wrote this shit)
after Lebron was drafted to the Cavs not only did team revenue skyrocket from a paltry $93 million to a gwopamolic $159 mill, the team’s value upped the ante by increasing from $298 mill to $476 mill. Do you people understand? In 6 years the Cavs went from being a couple mill over from being a D-league affiliate to being a few mill short of shitting on the national GDP of Tonga. Do I hyperbole too much? Kiss my 28inch dick.
But the onus doesn’t fall on Lebron for the failures of the Cavs for the past few years. Although his individual accomplishments were amazing, he wasn’t really able to truly win it all because of the lack of support and ineptitude from the rest of the team, from the coaches to management. He needed leadership and a cast that had won and have had the legacy of winning. Lebron’s first coach Paul Silas although an important mentor in Lebron’s development was unable to maintain the team’s dynamic throughout Lebron’s earlier years and with Lebron’s game taking the next step throughout the first years of Silas’ tenure, the rest of the team had tripped each other up back at the bottom.
Coach Brown was hired the following season and although Coach Mike Brown won a championship with the San Antonio Spurs, it came as an assistant coach (meaning less stress, less worries, less responsibility, Hakuna Matata) with the team. Cleveland hired Coach Brown as a relative newbie in the head coaching biz and was expected to take a young phenom and try to act like this was still a 5-man team. We have seen the fruits of his labor to this day, a team that although was “shorts-wettingly dominant” during the regular season, consistently failed to overcome its playoff hump season after season. GM Danny Ferry didn’t help things out too much either, dishing out deals to players that make you shake your damn head in disappointment: Mo Williams (has the Mo Williams jersey bonfire occurred yet or did they not-…o what? No one in Cleveland has a Mo Williams jersey..?), a decaying Shaqtus, an aging Big Ben Wallace, Wally Scz..something, Antawn Jamison, and re-signing Anderson Varejao (I KNOW he’s actually been a bright point on this roster, but… I cannot respect a man that was personally told by D-wade to bow down to the mayor of Wade-County).
DO WE SEE THE CONNECTION PEOPLE?! MIND-FUCKED???? THERE’S MORE!!!
Lil Wayne and Dwayne Wade both came into their respective worlds as the underdogs. Undervalued by both friends and haters alike, both men worked and clawed their way to the top. Lil Wayne was only nine years old when he was signed to Birdman’s Cash Money Records. Many thought that it was some gimmick to placate Birdman’s ego (birdman pic), I mean who in their right state of mind would sign youngn’s to a dang rap group *COUGH*lil twist*FARTS*lil chuckee. Naturally people shrugged off the Wayne as some extra stage prop,
but he soon began proving his detractors wrong. After finding some success with rap groups The B.G.’z and the Hot Boys (*wayne chuckle*nohomo) Weezy’s solo album effort The Block Is Hot put him on the map for greatness. To date the album has moved over 1 million units. Though it wasn’t until a benevolent veteran of the rap game, who although was waning in the last years of his career (Note: Be honest, the man fell off after Get Yo Shine On), really took Wayne under his wing and not just in the studio though, but outside of it as well. With Birdman leading the way D-Wayne’s discography grew with his joint album with Baby, Like Father, Like Son as well as dropping The Carter’s I-II, as well as utilizing the feature and mixtape game earning Lil Wayne the moniker of being the hardest working rapper. All of it leading up to one of the most heralded moments in a rappers career, hitting the 1,000,000 mark in the first week of The Carter III’s release (a near impossibility nowadays) and the title of being the number one rapper in the game.
Dwayne Wade was the number five pick in a draft headlined by studs such as Lebron, Carmelo, and Chris Bosh. Although no one could deny Dwayne’s talent and leadership, especially after pulling off those NCAA Tourney moments with Marquette, there were still doubters. “Ooo he too small to play shooting guard”, “Hmm he isn’t a natural point”, “Naw that boy too flashy”. Unlike Lebron though Dwayne was lucky to get in with Don Pat Riley during Riley’s run as the Heat’s head coach. Unlike Coach Brown though Riley WAS a winner and coached ONLY to win.
Yeah sure everybody coaches to win, but Riley took that shit to another level. There were no “ah well we tried” or “we gave them our all” speeches with Riley. Hell no. There was the “look” and a room full of medieval torture devices somewhere deep in American Airlines Arena. Though stupidfly on his own it wasn’t until a proven winner and vet in the Shaq-daddy came along was Dwayne able to finally reach the top of his game. Dwayne cemented his flyness with a NBA Jamz-esque performance in the 2006 Finals while winning it all to boot.
Sadly both Dwayne and Wayne could only go downhill from there. Dwayne and a gutted Heat team mired in mediocrity for the next few seasons as Weezy F. Baby wondered how long he was going to able to stay on top. Mainly, could they both still succeed on their own? Or did they need the energy and prowess of a young stud to help them maintain their greatness?
Connecting the dots
Both Drizzy and Bron were stuck in a rut. Teams and record labels from all sides were demanding, pleading, praying that they would sign with them. At first money became the issue, then loyalty, then back to money, then to the prospect of success, then back to loyalty, then to Delonte West sleepin with Lebron’s momma (Say word?).
In the end both men chose friendship and success as the main motivators for their respective signings. Both left millions on the table in order to be able to play/work with each other. Drake turning down a record deal and advance of up to $2 million from an undisclosed agency in order to sign with Young Money with just an advance of a milli. Lebron allowing Joe Johnson to take the cake in free agency money in order to sign for less to guarantee the construction of a successful roster.
Well what about Chris Bosh? Where’s his Young Money connection? Well I had to think long and hard about this cause well, I couldn’t remember who the fuck was in Young Money. But I came to the conclusion that Chris Bosh and Nicki Minaj are both one in the same. Both are CLEARLY unable to stand on their own in both the court and in their songs. So far their mainstream appeal has stemmed from their associations or features, Chris being lumped in with the Miami Thrice and Nicki being shoved in whatever song another artist needs to blow 30 seconds on. Also, both have not lived up to their physical gifts. Chris being a semi-poose in the paint and Nicki refusing to just give in and shoot a music video with Shakira and utilize that blessed amount of junk she has, HOLLA IF YA HEAR ME!