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What was the old tourism jingle -- "New Jersey and You, Perfect Together."
Well, it should be amended. How about Pat "The Rat" Riley and LeBron James -- Perfect Together.
I always loved Riley when I covered the Knicks as a reporter for MSG Network. But when he left the team in 1995, he was considered public enemy No. 1. After all Riley resigned to become head coach of the Heat, who by the way were later accused of tampering, since Riles still had a year left on his contract. Pat has been booed at "The Garden" ever since.
Which brings us to Mr. James, who now joins Riley in South Beach. There's no question, he is public enemy No. 1 in Cleveland, where he was fast becoming a legend. But he's also going to be booed in every city -- on every trip around the NBA!
LeBron was "The King." He now is "Le-Bum" according to many fans, players and especially Cavaliers Owner, Dan Gilbert.
Did you see some of his explosive quotes late, last night after LeBron walked out on the Cavaliers after 7 glorious but title-less seasons ?
Gilbert called his free-agent campaign "narcissistic and self-promotional." He said Lebron's actions could be described as "cowardly betrayal."
Strong stuff to say the least in what was an open letter to the city of Cleveland.
James could have tried to win a title on his own. He could have continued to build his legacy of greatness, without two other superstars by his side. He could have handled this whole recruiting process with class and dignity.
He did none of the above. And in so doing, alienated so many of us.
Heck, last night I stood on the streets of Greenwich for hours, sandwiched among thousands of people -- trying to get an arrival shot with my cameraman.
All we needed was ten seconds of LeBron as he entered the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich. I needed that shot for my broadcast. But James fooled us all by slipping in a side door. He's getting to be an M-V-P at fooling us -- all the time.
Oh by the way, at 10 p.m. last night, I got a tip that Pat Riley was hosting a party at Polpo Restaurant in Greenwich. So I raced over to one of the great dining establishments in all of Fairfield County -- and what I found was nothing but amazing entrees.
I felt like a fool. Maybe I was just chasing fool's gold. Riley got me! So did LeBron! The two of them -- "perfect together."