pic source: nba.com
The sports media has been obsessed with reminding us about the rough fall-out from LEBRON JAMES’ first “decision” four years ago… fans burning jerseys, owner Dan Gilbert’s nasty open letter to LeBron, and so on.
So, with that in mind, here are five reasons it is NOT hypocritical or weak for Cleveland to welcome LeBron back with open arms now:
1. Cleveland’s tantrum was understandable. While Gilbert’s open letter to LeBron was unprofessional and he shouldn’t have written it . . . make no mistake about it, LeBron’s public breakup with the Cavs was downright COLD.
For perspective, it was very much like your high school sweetheart announcing that they’re leaving you . . . without any advance warning . . . on national TV.
2. It’s been four years . . . also, Cleveland still hasn’t won anything. Despite what you may have been led to believe, Cleveland had moved on. Yes, there were still complicated feelings toward him, but the hatchet had largely been buried.
Also, it’s been 50 YEARS since Cleveland has won a championship, dating back to the Browns’ pre-Super Bowl-era title in 1964. The city is starving for a winner.
3. LeBron said all the right things in his letter. Instead of merely returning, LeBron’s love letter to Cleveland made it clear where his heart is . . . and that he’s truly sorry for how his departure in 2010 was conducted.
Not to mention the fact that he’s a superstar who actually WANTS to be in Cleveland. You’d be hard pressed to find a star player in any sport who’s said they want to be in Cleveland, aside from old-school quarterback Bernie Kosar.
4. LeBron is coming back in his prime, to a team that isn’t good yet. Some Cleveland fans thought LeBron would be back in a Cavs uniform at some point. But most of them assumed it would just be a symbolic thing at the very end of his career, when he could no longer LEAD them to a title.
LeBron could’ve easily gone back to Miami, or another big-market city and played with his friends . . . but instead, he made the sacrifice of coming back now, when the Cavs are still a young, unproven team that doesn’t seem ready to win it all.
5. LeBron is returning for good. It wouldn’t mean much if LeBron came back without a long-term commitment. But he said he hopes to RETIRE in Cleveland.
Of course, you never know what the future holds, and if anybody can screw things up, it’s Cleveland. But LeBron is genuinely giving himself to the city, in the hopes of bringing them something they haven’t witnessed in 50 years.
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