So LeBron is going back home to Cleveland. So everyone is happy now, right? Not me. I am not a LeBron fan. I am not a Cleveland fan. Actually, are there any Cleveland fans -- of any sport -- outside of Ohio? I don't care about the Miami Heat, either.
So why does this bother me? Why am I borderline irate about this whole spectacle? I'll tell you why. Because I am old. Yes, despite being only 42, I have come to the realization that I am old and, by definition, bitter and nostalgic. As a bitter, old man, I don't like to forgive and forget.
I will never forget the anger and hostility that the city of Cleveland had towards LeBron when "The Decision" came down the first time. LeBron bailed on his hometown team because, quite frankly, they sucked. He wanted to join his buddy, Dwyane Wade, in Miami. They also recruited Chris Bosh to form a Big Three.
LeBron made a huge spectacle of his jilting of his hometown. It was embarrassing for the city of Cleveland. Just like that-- Cleveland dove into anonymity again. It was the biggest sports jilting since -- oh, I don't know -- when the Cleveland Browns left in the middle of the night for Baltimore.
LeBron and his two new teammates had a huge party at their introduction to the Miami fans. It was a WWE production-- complete with music pumping, the players rising from under their respective stages, pyrotechnics. LeBron promised that the Heat would win "not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven..." championships.
Cleveland owner Dan Gilbert wrote a strongly worded open letter to Cleveland fans saying that the fight would go on. He even, foolishly, promised (in all CAPS) that Cleveland would win a championship before LeBron and the Heat would.
Cleveland fans would burn LeBron jerseys in effigy all around Ohio. They felt betrayed, and rightfully so.
Cleveland went from being the best team (61-21 record) in the East in LeBron's final year to the worst team (19-63) in LeBron's first year away. The Cavaliers would garner an improbable three top overall picks in LeBron's four years away. They never came close to making the playoffs.
LeBron, meanwhile would win two championships with the Heat. He gave them four chances, not the eight or more he promised.
Now LeBron is breaking his promise to Miami fans and returning to the original place he betrayed. I guess we're supposed to believe that two betrayals make a right? This is supposed to be a positive story?
Nope. It doesn't sit well with me. LeBron should be villified for this. He embodies everything that is wrong with sports. This is a black mark on his career. I would have been much happier if he just went somewhere -- anywhere -- else. Go to Chicago. Go to the Lakers. Do like Paul Pierce and go to Washington. Don't ask me why Pierce did it, but whatever.
Once LeBron turned his back on Cleveland, he should never have been allowed to set foot in its city limits ever again. It's like reconciling with an ex-wife who dumped you for a male model only to return to you four years later begging for forgiveness... and a max contract. Get out of here! I know there are people that do it, and Cleveland is, obviously, doing it now.
I am rooting for Cleveland. I am NOT rooting for LeBron James. Never will. I know ESPN and the rest of the media will make a monumental to-do when LeBron wins the first championship in forever for the city of Cleveland in any sport. Make no mistake about it-- the Cavs will win one. LeBron's supporting cast will be much better this time around-- thanks in large part to those three first overall draft picks they accumulated during LeBron's sabbatical.
It'll leave a bitter taste in my mouth. And don't be surprised when LeBron betrays Cleveland again. It'll happen. Once a cheater, always a cheater. And I will not feel bad for Cleveland when he screws them over again.