‘The Decision’ by LeBron James was something that came out of the left field for all NBA fans. Charles Barkley definitely didn’t like its execution.
LeBron created a seismic wave of emotional outpouring from all NBA fans when he left Cleveland for Miami. He was universally loved in his first 7 seasons in the league – his Cavs teams were some of the most fun teams that fans had ever seen.
Despite the fact that they’d gotten close to a championship in 2007, they never made it back to that stage. LeBron pushed and prodded and exerted his best efforts for 3 straight years after that.
But he was to be met with disappointment as Kevin Garnett’s Celtics eliminated his Cavs twice in the playoffs. His best chance at making the Finals was in 09, but Dwight Howard’s Orlando Magic went one better and took the Eastern Conference.
Charles Barkley was critical of LeBron James for ‘The Decision’, but he also roasted Cleveland
Tired of pursuing what seemed to be the unsurmountable goal of winning a championship in Cleveland, James decided to take the reins of his future into his own hands. His plan? Building a superteam with 2 players from his own draft class – Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
The 3 of them gave a shot to many front offices across the east coast. They entertained the Knicks, the Cavs, the Bulls and the Heat. Given the setup that Pat Riley already had with the Heat, they felt like the best choice at the time.
Charles Barkley was on The Late Show with David Letterman a few days in the aftermath of ‘The Decision’. He made his thoughts on the subject amply clear to David:
“I’m not upset he went to Miami, I’m upset the way he handled it. I think #1, he should’ve called the Cavaliers in advance. And that little ‘Decision’ thing was really silly.”
“LeBron, I think, is the best player and a great kid, I wish he’d have stayed in Cleveland. He could’ve made that city rise up. Cuz he made that city the place to be in the last 7 years, and now, it’s back to being Cleveland.”