As we all know by now, Lebron James decided to return home to Northeast Ohio, and play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. After four solid years in Miami, the writing was on the wall with six minutes left in Game 5 of the 2014 NBA Finals. The Heat were down double digits, yet, one small run would have made a victory possible. However, Lebron sat on the bench and remained there until the final buzzer sounded. It was the end of an Era. A team that boastfully claimed that they would win seven titles, found themselves stuck with “not 2.”
It’s shocking that Miami went out with a whimper when basketball legacies were potentially on the line. After all, this was the same team that came back from down five with less than a minute left a year before. Surely, you could find it in your heart to at least cramp up or go down swinging. Instead of swinging for the fences, Lebron James headed for the gate out of town.
Granted, that town is back home, and he brings up some stellar points about his four years in Miami. However, his reasoning for going back to Northeast Ohio is strictly due to the Miami Heat losing. If you don’t think the roster factors in, you are fooling yourself.
For the past four years, Lebron had three top five draft picks from the 2003 class on one team. Now he’s going to a team that could have four No.1 overall picks on the same roster. That has never happened in basketball. In addition, the Cavaliers may not be finished with off season moves. There could be a major deal in the works for Kevin Love. If that happens, Lebron walked himself right into another “Big 3” scenario.
Therefore, to say it was only about going home is hard to believe with a straight face. If the Heat beat the Spurs for a “Three Peat”, would the same hometown loyalty even be considered? That’s highly unlikely. The point is, when the Miami Heat formed like Voltron in 2010, they thought it would be easy.
Miami expected to have four titles by now. Lebron expected to have four titles by now. All of the bandwagon fans expected the Heat to have four titles by now. Instead, they have four trips to the finals with only two championships. Frankly, that just isn’t good enough for all of the boasting during that pep rally four years ago.
Somewhere, the mantra “play ball” was lost on Lebron James and the Heat. Although Lebron has learned from his past proclamations, the narrative of the Cleveland Cavaliers aren’t changing once the season starts. They’ll be expected to contend for a title right away. You can believe that hype. If you don’t believe me, ask Vegas.
In the letter, Lebron states that he wants to deliver one championship to Cleveland. He says he wants to be a leader of the new look Cleveland Cavaliers. Most importantly, he’s ready to accept this challenge.
In reality, this could be the first real basketball challenge he’s faced head on. Ironically, it could all happen because the love of his hometown.
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