Other than that, Mr. Randall, how are things going in Cleveland?
Damarious Randall, the free safety acquired by the Browns in a trade with the Packers in March, got off on the wrong foot with residents of The Land, who do not take kindly to criticism of any of their sports teams. Over the course of 24 hours, that quaint localized passion mushroomed, in the way that, say, a nuclear device does, and now Randall is on the hook for, possibly, well over $100 million. Give or take.
This all started shortly before midnight Monday when Randall was feeling chesty about the Golden State Warriors’ advancement to the NBA Finals, where they’ll play the Cleveland Cavaliers. He even laughed at Tyrod Taylor rooting for the Cavs now that the quarterback has been traded to Cleveland.
So chesty was he, in fact, that he allowed his thumbs to tweet a promise to “buy everyone who retweets this a jersey …”
Well, who can’t use a fresh jersey? Evidently nobody, because this little comment has been retweeted more than any tweet by an NFL player (according to Pro Football Talk); as of 7 a.m. Wednesday, it has been retweeted nearly 662,000 times. Given that the Cavs’ website has authentic jerseys going for a max of $200 a pop (and who wouldn’t want the very best jersey available?), that means Randall could be out something just north of $132 million. Gulp.
Of course, there is a very good chance all this works out just fine for the Pensacola, Fla., native with the four-year, $7.9 million contract because no less formidable forces than Vegas and history agree with him.
The Westgate sportsbook has the Cavs a +650 money line underdogs (bet $100 to win $650) against the Warriors this year, the longest odds a James team has faced in his nine NBA Finals appearances. The previous high was his first Finals trip in 2007, when James’s Cavaliers were +350 underdogs against the San Antonio Spurs, who swept Cleveland in four games. In his nine trips to the NBA Finals, James’s teams have opened as favorites only twice: The Miami Heat was a -220 favorite to win in 2013, and it did, while Miami entered the 2011 Finals as a -175 favorite, losing to the Dallas Mavericks in six games.
Overall, James’s teams are 3-5 in the NBA Finals and last year the Cavs lost to the Warriors in five games. In 2015, Cleveland lost to the Warriors in six games and in 2016 they won the Finals against the Warriors in seven games.
The Warriors are listed as -1000 money line favorites to beat the Cavs (bet $1,000 to win $100), which equates to an implied probability of around 91 percent, according to The Post’s Matt Bonesteel. And, to top it off, Golden State is the biggest NBA Finals favorite in at least the past 16 years, per historical data compiled by SportsOddsHistory.com.
But what if the Cavs can pull this off? Randall put an end to one user’s suggestion that there was “zero chance he delivers” with a quick, “100% chance” reply five minutes later.
Of course, if the Cavs do pull it off, he can always do what Aaron Rodgers did when he tweeted to a social media user in 2012 that he would wager his “salary next year” that Ryan Braun of the Brewers was not using performance-enhancing drugs. When Braun copped to it, the Packers quarterback said that Braun had lied. “It’s disappointing, not only for myself as a friend but for obviously Wisconsin sports fans, Brewer fans, Major League Baseball fans,” Rodgers told reporters. “It doesn’t feel great being lied to like that, and I’m disappointed about the way it all went down.”
That bet was all but forgotten. And, come September, Randall says Clevelanders will have moved past his promise.
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