He’s done it again. It’s his third trip “home”, to the Q, to Cleveland. His number has changed, his uniform has changed, but his love for himself and attention remains embarrassingly as high as it’s ever been. He hasn’t been humbled. He hasn’t grown up. LeBron James is the same boy who one day in July sat on national television and forever ruined the relationship he had with the city he grew up in.
Tonight the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Miami Heat for the third time since LeBron has taken his talents to South Beach. For the past month, there has been speculation that LeBron is unhappy playing for the Heat organization. Why wouldn’t he be? His teammates are calling him out, he’s been a class-A choker under pressure, and the all the extras and free passes that Dan Gilbert gladly handed out to him are no where to be seen in the Heat organization. There is talk that LeBron is thinking of opting out of his contract after his three years. There is even more talk that one of the most desirable markets for him to go to would be Cleveland. That’s right, the prodigal son is considering a return.
After a practice at Quicken Loans Arena yesterday, LeBron told Cleveland reporters that he could see himself returning to Cleveland one day and that he hopes the fans here would accept him. Those comments had the desired effect; everyone is talking about LeBron again.
I have been a Cleveland fan all of my life and Cleveland is unlike any other city in sports. Most years our teams are lucky if they are a contender to make the playoffs. Most years our teams do not make the playoffs. Most years our teams are out of the playoffs before the all-star break. The terms “re-building” and “next year” may as well be our motto. Yet, ask any Cleveland fan if they would rather be a fan of another city or team and the answer you’ll receive is the same: NEVER. We are loyal. We tirelessly support our teams who haven’t brought home a championship in 50 years. Most of all, we are proud. We will never forget the way LeBron James left our city. It was embarrassing, it was disrespectful, and it was on national television.
If LeBron thinks he can come back to Cleveland when he is 35 and play the remaining of his old and talentless years on our court, he needs to think again. This city is over him. No one talks about him. We don’t need him or want him. We loved watching him fall under pressure in the finals last year, but we have moved on.
If LeBron thinks he can come back after he opts out of his contract in two years, he’s out side his mind. We wont trade our pride for a ring. Guess what? We are used to losing; we can deal with it.
LeBron needs to stop talking about Cleveland. He needs to realize he’ll never be welcome here. If anyone needs to move on, it’s HIM. Enjoy South Beach, LeBron, and keep Cleveland out of your mouth.