Lebron’s Return

In the grand scheme of things, tonight’s game is a very tiny blip on the radar. North Korea, the War in Afghanistan, world hunger, those are real issues.  But in the world of sports, tonight is everything. Tonight is why we watch sports in the first place.  It’s USSR vs USA in Lake Placid. Rocky vs Drago. John McLain vs Terrorists. 

 The prodigal son returns home, to the seething masses that call themselves Clevelanders. Tonight is very personal. Lebron James returns to Cleveland as his (Dwayne’s?) team takes on the Cavs tonight in one of the most anticipated regular season games in recent memory. Now, I know this topic and this game has been beaten into the ground in the last two weeks, but I couldn’t let it pass without writing something. This is one of those must see games. Even for a non NBA fan like myself. It’s a train wreck that makes traffic back up for miles. Everyone must look and see for themselves.

In case you have been living in North-West Pakistan for the past year, Lebron James now plays for the Miami Heat. The high school prodigy from Akron who went from history class to the NBA, somehow got drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He spent the next 7 seasons moving that team from an afterthought to a playoff contender. In the process, he made an entire fan base fall head over heels in love. He was their basketball Messiah. A city that has had some of the worst luck finally had a chance. A die-hard fan base that hasn’t seen one of their teams win a championship since 1964 when the Browns won the NFL Championship (this was before the Super Bowl era). A fan base who has had their heart-broken by Michael Jordan and the Indians game 7 World Series collapse. A fan base that lost their football team to Baltimore, then watched in horror as that team won the Super Bowl in 2001. They have seen their rivals from Pittsburgh win 6 Super Bowls and 3 Stanley Cups. Oh yeah, the Pirates won a couple of World Series back in the day but that’s a different matter for a different time. LBJ was their saving grace. Their shot to finally be relevant again and deliver a long-awaited title.

 Then on July 8th of this year, “The King” went on national television and told the world that he would be “taking his talents to South Beach”. “The Decision” was one of the worst ideas ever conceived by a professional athlete and the rest of the world saw it for what it was, a narcissistic slap in the face to Cleveland. A man who was so revered went from hero to Nazi in a matter of minutes (Sorry, I had to steal a page from the Glenn Beck playbook. I obviously don’t mean think Lebron is a Nazi and if this either A) Offended you or B) You are a fan of Glenn Beck, please stop reading now. No seriously, close your browser immediately). A man who was so greatly loved by the people of Cleveland and much of the sporting world is now loathed.

Can anyone really blame the people of Cleveland for the hatred and venom that has been spewing out of that area since July? Although I don’t hate Lebron, I can understand why the people of Cleveland do. In a move that has really never been seen before, a superstar athlete decided to join forces with another superstar athlete (and another completely overrated athlete) in a city where the fans don’t show up until half way through the second quarter and have to be told how to “Fan Up” (http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/15262). Lebron has amazing ability and could have played anywhere he wanted to. Anyone with the cap space would have taken him in a heart beat, and rightfully so. I don’t blame him or hate him for leaving Cleveland. That’s his right. It is called free agency after all. I just hate the way he did it. I hated the ESPN debacle. I hated that we went to Miami instead of either staying in Cleveland or going to New York or Chicago. I hated that it seems like he wanted to take the easy way out instead of earning it himself. And I hate that my grandfather won’t get to see his beloved Cavs win a title. Legacy means a lot in sports. This is why we still take about Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, etc. Lebron tainted his and the stain will always be there no matter how much money he makes or how many championships he wins.

 He says he wants to win titles, be a global icon, and go down as one of the greatest basketball players in history. That won’t happen in Miami. Especially with no outside shooting or bench. You can’t win a championship with just two and half men. If he would have went to New York and managed to turn that franchise around he would be a hero there unlike anything that city has seen. He would have been Derek Jeter, Babe Ruth, and Joe Dimaggio all rolled into one. He also could have done the same thing in Cleveland. However, he decided to quit in the playoffs last year and run off to South Beach to join forces with Dwayne Wade. He is no Michael Jordan.


So the last 5 months have been leading up to this. Lebron’s return to the City on the Lake. The Miami Heat (11-8) take on the Cleveland Cavaliers (7-10) tonight in which should be a fascinating scene. The ex returns to the angry and jilted lover. The boos will rain down like a monsoon and there will be so much security you will think that Osama Bin Laden has just taken over the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hopefully tonight will give closure to the people of Cleveland. Maybe the Cavs will reach down deep, pushed on by the crowd and beat Lebron and the Heat, giving the fans an opportunity to raise their middle fingers with a big old grin on their faces. Maybe. All I know for sure is that at 8 tonight, I will be sitting on my couch ready to watch the car crash take place. Just remember to sweep the leg Cleveland….



One Response to “Lebron’s Return”

  1. How can you make the LeBron-Jordan comparison without this:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: