They burned his jerseys. Talked about his mother. Called him a coward. Cleveland fans did everything in their power to disrespect Lebron and show him that they hated him for leaving. The owner, Dan Gilbert, even posted an open letter on the team’s website detailing his disdain for James, even going as far as to guarantee the city of Cleveland an NBA title before Lebron would win one with any other team. As it turns out, he was wrong, and now the tables have turned. Lebron James has come home to Cleveland, back to the franchise that drafted him and he resurrected, back to his roots, in hopes of righting two wrongs; him towards Cleveland and Cleveland towards him.
All is well in Cleveland
Everyone is all smiles now in Ohio. Rewind the tape to 2010 and the people there wanted his head. They saw their homegrown basketball savior take another team to the promised land. As a Cleveland fan, that had to hurt. That had to be more painful than watching John Elway on “The Drive” against the Browns in 1987. This had to hurt more than watching MJ sink “The Shot” over Craig Ehlo in 1989. Lebron’s leaving town was more tragic than Jim Brown retiring in his prime. The city of Cleveland’s sports teams have had some bad luck over time. They haven’t won a sports title in 50 years and they’ve never won a championship in basketball. With James back in the fold, bringing perennial All-Star Kevin Love with him to form their version of the “big three,” the luck in Cleveland may have just made a turn for the better.
Cleveland fans know all about patience and this is going to take some time. Some want to pencil in the Cavs as the champions already for this season, however there is reason the games are played. The Chicago Bulls are good – actually the Bulls are great – and will probably be the Cavs’ biggest hurdle getting out of the East. That being said, even if the Cavs do reach the finals, can they beat any of the top teams in the West in a 7 game series? It’s a good question. The Cavs will be fine offensively but defensively is where the worries begin. Sure, Lebron is an all-world defender. Kyrie is solid and so is Marion. That’s pretty much where it ends. Love isn’t a great defender, rebounder sure, but there is more defense than rebounding. Varejao is no rim protector and the one guy that they have that could be, Brendan Haywood, is old. There was no rim protection in Miami during Lebron’s time there and it was a glaring hole and it will be in Cleveland facing Noah, Gasol, Gibson, and Rose.
So Cavs fans, along with bandwagon Miami Heat fans that are no longer Heat fans and have become Cavs fans, you got your man back. He apologized, you apologized – all is forgiven and forgotten. He made a decision and some of you went too far. There is a lot of passion involved in being a fan, along with a lot of Joy and a lot of heartbreak. If you don’t get a championship out of this deal be glad that you had a chance to ‘witness’ the best basketball player of this era (Kobe not included). You know what you have now. Enjoy him, cherish him and be glad he found his way back to you. After all…
There’s one life, one love, so there can only be one King.