July 9th, 2010
07:48 PM ET
13 years ago

Kucinich: Cavs might surprise, even without LeBron

(CNN) - Former Cleveland mayor and current Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich weighed in Friday on the Lebron James free-agency saga, admitting that James "was the beneficiary of a status in Cleveland that only a few athletes ever achieved." And in what many basketball experts might consider a bold prediction, Kucinich said that Cleveland would "surprise the NBA with its resilience" next year.

"I think the other players are going to have a chance to show their potential," Kucinich said on CNN's John King, USA. "I mean you could imagine for some of the tremendous athletes who are part of the Cleveland Cavaliers, in many ways they have to be in the shadow of one extraordinarily gifted athlete. And now they'll have a chance to come forward, and you may actually see the kind of chemistry that can produce the kind of teamwork that will be essential to win."

Touting Cleveland's strong emotional commitment to its sports teams, Kucinich acknowledged that some might say the Cavs will be "at a great disadvantage" next season, but he added that life will go on in his home city.

"This town wants a winner and invested a lot in Lebron James, it backed him, it helped pay his salary," Kucinich said. "So, are there hard feelings? Yes. Strong emotions? You bet there are. But will Cleveland bounce back? Of course we will. This is a strong city and a strong sports community and the fans are the best. And you know the Cavs have the support of the community and an owner who is determined to deliver. So the team will come back, no question about it."

Kucinich cited estimates that placed the economic impact of James' departure on the City of Cleveland somewhere between $38 and $48 million, but he was quick to point out that much of that money is generated by the entire Cavs team, not James alone.

"We still have a team and the team is going to be supported," Kucinich said. "Cleveland will rally behind the rest of those athletes …I don't think that you're going to find anyone talking about us closing up shop because we lost one athlete."

Filed under: Dennis Kucinich • JKUSA • John King USA
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. vwrtb

    More good paying jobs please... Enough of this B.S....

    July 9, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  2. veteran

    Good grief ; spare us from one more minute of over hyped grossly overpaid dumb bells in the pro agenda ! Grow up America!

    July 9, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  3. Tony Gray

    Sorry for Cav's loss...

    July 9, 2010 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  4. ib

    who cares the nba is nothing but a joke anyway.

    July 9, 2010 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  5. Hugo

    I would like to see the best science or math teacher in America get a billion dollar contract, or an engineer or scientist that comes up with some innovative idea that does society some good. This blows my mind every time I see it, just remember this dolts, every time they pay one of these fools this kind of money, your soft drink, snacks, shoes, clothers or any other item promoted by these idiots just went up to help pay their salary!

    Basketball Jones, my basketball jones, I wanna be a basketball jones....

    July 9, 2010 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  6. Keith in Austin

    Great political insight CNN! Who cares what that little weasel Kucinich thinks about Cleveland basketball?

    July 9, 2010 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  7. mark

    Lebron left...I would have done the same. I mean..think about it, Noah was right!! Who do we really blame?

    July 9, 2010 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  8. Ruth

    LeBron has a BIG ego. Why do people care where he goes. Big TODO about NOTHING.

    July 9, 2010 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  9. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    The very fact that this little moron is from Cleveland is justification for anyone to flee to another city. What an embarrassment to Cleveland and the state of Ohio to be represented by this little joke of a human being.

    July 9, 2010 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  10. Victim of GOP Taliban

    It's not like Cleveland really won anything WITH Lebron anyways. They never even reached the Finals yet alone win a championship.

    July 10, 2010 12:44 am at 12:44 am |