Cavalier fans feel pain already
Posted: Friday, July 9, 2010 6:44 pm
By MEGHAN BARR
Associated Press Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland fans gathered around televisions and yelled in anguish Thursday night as LeBron James announced he will leave the Cavaliers and sign with the Miami Heat.
At a shopping area in suburban Westlake, a loud “No” was heard the moment after James said on ESPN that he was going to South Beach. Hundreds of people who had clamored to see the announcement turned their backs and headed home in droves.
“I’m really stunned, I never thought he’d leave,” said Tom Sheehan, 15, of Westlake, who wore a James Cavaliers jersey as he watched the announcement. “It’s like we just lost a championship on the final shot at the buzzer. It’s so disappointing.”
Fans fell silent at the Harry Buffalo bar across the street from the Cavs’ Quicken Loans Arena, as the announcement was made, with some covering their faces and looking as if they were crying. Some yelled “Turn it off” and others shouted profanities aimed at James.
Within five minutes, the packed bar was nearly empty.
At The Purple Shamrock bar’s two locations, owner Frank Borally had promised to pick up patrons’ food tabs if James had chosen to stay with the Cavs.
Bar-goers had started making reservations for tables of eight and 10 by mid-afternoon.
“We were packed, and then everybody left,” Borally said.
He said James’ presence kept his business going when Cavs’ fans went to the games, especially during cold-weather months.
“I hope Mr. Gilbert has a good plan set up, but we need a miracle,” he said, referring to Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.
Published in The Messenger 7.9.10