If you haven't seen any 30 for 30 documentaries on ESPN then you should really check them out. Actually, just check out The U, that's the only really great one. I love documentaries. I don't know if it's because I feel like I'm obtaining credible information or I just like seeing different things from different peoples' perspectives.
The first 30 for 30 documentary was Kings Ransom directed by Peter Berg. This is the description from the ESPN Films page:
On August 9, 1988, the NHL was forever changed with the single stroke of a pen. The Edmonton Oilers, fresh off their fourth Stanley Cup victory in five years, signed a deal that sent Wayne Gretzky, a Canadian national treasure and the greatest hockey player ever to play the game, to the Los Angeles Kings in a multi-player, multi-million dollar deal. As bewildered Oiler fans struggled to make sense of the unthinkable, fans in Los Angeles were rushing to purchase season tickets at a rate so fast it overwhelmed the Kings box office. Overnight, a franchise largely overlooked in its 21-year existence was suddenly playing to sellout crowds and standing ovations, and a league often relegated to “little brother” status exploded from 21 teams to 30 in less than a decade. Acclaimed director Peter Berg presents the captivating story of the trade that knocked the wind out of an entire country, and placed a star-studded city right at the humble feet of a 27-year-old kid, known simply as “The Great One.”
Everyone basically knows the story; the documentary definitely went much deeper into the hatred that the Oilers fan base had toward the owner and Gretzky's wife. The trade not only changed the sport, but it changed the city as well. There has never been a move been an acquisition like that since, in any professional sport. There could be though.
Tomorrow at 3:00pm the NBA's trade deadline commences. There's some trade rumors going around, but the major story is what the Cleveland Cavaliers will do. Everything is about LeBron James. Does LeBron like this move, will he resign if this move happens, is Lebron the one that is asking for this trade? All these questions keep getting brought up over and over and all these questions are legitimate questions. The Cavs have the best team in the NBA and still everyone thinks that the Cavs have to make a trade if they want to secure LeBron James this summer.
What will happen if they don't secure LeBron though? Analysts have looked at the team perspective of how the organization will handle it, but how will the city handle it? How will the NBA handle it?
I think if LeBron jumps to a different team than we will have a reincarnation of Kings Ransom, but this time it would be starring King James.
Cleveland is a diehard sports city that has seen so many irreconcilable moments. They have the drive, the Jordan jumper, the annual draft day busts; this is a city that can't catch a break. Can we name any player who has signed to the Cleveland Browns that became a star since the Browns have returned to the NFL? This is a city that has put all their eggs in one basket and all their faith in one man. LeBron James.
LeBron isn't just an athlete to the city of Cleveland; he's a sign of hope to a city that hasn't had much in a long time. I think LeBron knows that; I think he recognizes what he means to a city and he wants that pressure. Pressure seems like an evil word, but for some it's what motivates them every day. I don't think LeBron has any qualms about being great and bringing a championship to Cleveland, he will however feel the burden of an entire state that watched him grow from a state championship high school player into the NBA's MVP.
Cleveland would riot. There would be cars on fire, windows smashed; the huge LeBron James "Witness" facade would be off the building by the time the ink dried on his new contract. Fans would be in tears and the city would return to its past state of no prominence. It's kind of a morbid thing to think of, but we have to, we've seen it before with another Great One.
The NBA would thrive. LeBron would probably be in one the biggest markets and the notoriety would be unseen like never before in any other sport. He'd make more money than any sport athlete ever has.
Is it worth it though? That's the question he's going to have to ask himself this offseason. He'll have to look at all the variables including money, endorsements, and is the team doing everything they can to win a championship?
At what point is doing the right thing for yourself and the wrong thing for so many others the best thing to do?