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Sunday, July 13, 2014

LeBron’s return to Cleveland was a business decision

Alan Greenwood

So, His Highness is returning to Euclid Avenue, having fallen not one, not two, not three, but at least four championships short of what he vowed to bestow upon his South Beach subjects.

Only his loyal court jesters know precisely how and why he made the decision to return whence he came. Based on what we have witnessed from afar, it is safe to assume that basketball was a distant second in the factors motivating this symbol of celebrity-jock narcissism. ...

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So, His Highness is returning to Euclid Avenue, having fallen not one, not two, not three, but at least four championships short of what he vowed to bestow upon his South Beach subjects.

Only his loyal court jesters know precisely how and why he made the decision to return whence he came. Based on what we have witnessed from afar, it is safe to assume that basketball was a distant second in the factors motivating this symbol of celebrity-jock narcissism.

This was a business decision. Like a coolly efficient politician scouring the latest poll results, those who tend to the big guy’s financial kingdom understand that they could net even greater gobs of riches if they could find a way to minimized the number of potential customers who loathe the head of LeBron James Enterprises.

The 2010 ESPN extravaganza announcing his intentions was replaced by the cover of Sports Illustrated, The money was probably a fraction of what ESPN tossed onto the table, but was a far wiser way to break the news.

No rising on a circular stage in a cloud of smoke and bright lights, no silly predictions of eternal dominance, and a chance to make nice with people who felt betrayed.

His Highness has returned to Cleveland.

Let the mindless fawning resume.

The king and skylar

As reported by sportingnews.com, Skylar Grey was so moved by High Highness’ trip home that she remixed her song, “Coming Home.”

“I know that Cleveland awaits and they’ve forgiven my mistakes.”

Memo to Skylar: Read up on P.T. Barnum. When finished, start working on a song you might want to call “There is a Sucker Born Every Minute.”

Speaking of offensive

Even before the weekend’s final two games, the 2014 World Cup was firmly ranked as one of the highest scoring ever. In the games between the June 12 opener and Saturday’s third-place match, teams produced an average of 2.69 goals per game, not including penalty kicks,

Gamblers taking the over as a matter of course made out quite well, since the over/under for nearly every game was 2 or 2.5.

Now, as a guidepost for those unacquainted with international soccer, consider that in their games between June 12 and Thursday afternoon, the Red Sox averaged a shade over three runs per game.

One sport’s feast is another sport’s famine.

Time travel

“Long and lusty clouting featured the Sunset League battle between the P. N.A. and Tiger teams last night at the South Common, won by the latter by a score of 10-4.”

Further into the report from that July 12, 1934 diamond dual, “Freddie Jucknevich, former Red Wings hurler, was blasted for seven hits in three innings.”

The winner, Joe Malay, “permitted eight hits” and had a two-run triple himself.

You have to love vintage sports writing.