By Cameron Heffernan
LeBron James, after days of deliberation, decided to take his talents, back to Cleveland. Most are rejoicing. This is why you should hate him.
The decision was made. In a stunning turn of events (not really), LeBron James has returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers and with the Decision 2.0, has lit the match in yet another dumpster-fire of a franchise that is now, the Miami Heat.
James penned a short piece in Sports Illustrated titled, “I’m Coming Home”. In it James explains, “before anyone cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio.” Something James forgot in the summer of 2010, as his jerseys were burned in anger filled vigils across that same Northeast Ohio.
He recalls his emotions during the Decision on ESPN, thinking. “This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating.” Something, again, he must have forgot about while this was happening:
And with that, we had our first Legion of Doom in the NBA. With two genuine super villains in Dwyane Wade (Lex Luthor) and James (Brainiac), and a lesser known, but still just as evil, Chris Bosh (Captain Cold? Cause he was coming from Toronto).
At that moment we all hated them. As a Celtics fan, I hated them. As a basketball fan, I hated them more. It was apparent that the League had a new No.1 evil. Something that had to be stopped, and it was, 2 out of the 4 times it made it to the Finals. Wade, Bosh and LeBron. Three friends that seemed inseparable, faced the greatest adversity and won 2 of 4 NBA Finals. It seemed like LeBron was destined to help build again in Miami, after the loss in the 2014 Finals. Help get back to the promise land in 2015 and beyond, and maybe somehow come through on the lofty goals of seven championships. It seemed like all was well in what some have referred to as the “Miami Mafia”. Even in the video you hear LeBron, after being asked what it feels like to play for the Miami Heat:
“Its feels right.” James responded with. “Being in this uniform…Every single night. We’re gonna let the world – not just the League – the world, know.”
It seemed like we were going to have to deal with the Heat and LeBron in the Finals every year, and we really were watching the second coming of Jordan.
Cut to about 9 a.m. PST today when my Facebook and texts were filled with “LeBron going home!!” and any and all messages of the sort. I didn’t believe it. The pic on SI.com was the same picture they used for his “Sportsman of The Year” cover from 2012. Every bit of it seemed made up, until I was on SI.com and was actually reading his words.
The whole point of his article was to illustrate that he had made a mistake four years ago. Now he had seen the err of his ways. He wanted to come home and help continue building what he left in ruins before. This is why you should still hate LeBron the same way you hated him when he “took his talents to South Beach”.
He’s a business man first and foremost. In Miami, was an easy route to all things golden. The thing that meant the most to his legacy. That’s what this was all about, right? He went to Miami because he realized he’d never win in Cleveland; we even knew he’d never win in the suck-pit that is Cleveland sports teams. Rings made him the true King we obsessed over for the last week. We had to know where he was going, where he was, the factor that the color pallet in his websites code was Cavs colors. LeBron was as big or bigger than the World Cup for about a week while we waited for the Final to be set.
LeBron is a brand. No longer just a basketball player. A global money-making machine. His Shoes are coveted each year they come out. His copy of NBA 2K is one of the highest selling covers, shipping over 5 million copies. Now, he’s had what some in wrestling communities call a face turn. The heel has gone from hearing boos to hearing the roar of the crowd. The prodigal son hath returned. Hulk Hogan has stopped being Hollywood, and gone back to the Hulkamaniacs.
Editor’s note: Hogan started his career as a baby face. Winning a whole bunch and generally being a “good guy”, and representing what was right with the Sport. Then, come Bash at The Beach ’96, and Hogan has joined the NWO and turned full heel, leaving all the little Hulkamaniacs to rot. Cut to 1999 and Hulkamaina is back. 2000, he’s back in the WWE and all is well with the world. Supposedly.
This is what LeBron is wanting you to think. That’s why he did this with an article no one will read, (cause who reads these days, really?) instead of a one-hour special on the world wide leader in bullshit sports journalism. I’m sure ESPN’s Chris Broussard is thanking the heavens his “85%” LeBron goes back to the Cavs was a hit. Him and Ramona Shelburne were at the center of a lot of BS for ESPN and they’re better to keep quiet the next few days before they fall into the same pit of unreliability that CNN is in.
Don’t be fooled, LeBron is going back to a very peachy situation in Cleveland. They recently drafted the next LeBron James with Andrew Wiggins, they have Kyrie Irving – one of the top point guards in the league – supposedly the Timberwolves and Kevin Love seem to think Cleveland is a good landing spot for the 25-year-old forward. Anderson Varejao is a damn good – oft-injured- but good center; maybe Anthony Bennett can figure something out; maybe the re-sign Loul Deng. And bam! You got yourself a baketball stew. In Miami, their big acquisition was Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger. Even Ray Allen is supposedly looking at Cleveland. All LeBron is doing is chasing rings and in the worst way.
Cleveland would have been fine building with the young talent they’ve cultivated with the three No.1 overall picks they have. They have pieces to be a contender in the next four years. That was before LeBron got there, now were looking at a year, maybe two, before they’re the actual team that we’re watching win title after title. We just haven’t gotten to hate Wiggins and Irving the same way we hated Wade, and started to hate Bosh. Now, just like Wilt Chamberlin, Patrick Ewing after New York, Steve Kerr (in a good way), Gary Payton after Seattle, and most recently, the aforementioned Allen – and of course, Hogan – LeBron is riding peoples emotions to a big payday and an even bigger sham of a legacy.
Jordan and Pippen were built from the ground up. Bird and Magic had young pieces brought to them through dumb luck and even dumber trades. These were guys that had help, certainly, but you knew who was winning it in the end. Now LeBron has a prospect that was once touted as the best since himself and a point guard that can be the next Chris Paul or Isaiah Thomas (the Piston one). Players who can take over a game, players that can be the future of the league. Don’t be fooled by what you see in front of you. Underneath lies a calculating robot who sees a better opportunity, and he took it. I mean, who wouldn’t ? By him winning more, he makes more money. He makes more homecoming themed Nike shirts. He essentially will become a printing press and no one will question his legacy or motives, because he finally went home.
In reality, with no blinders, he’s held two cities’ fan-bases hostage, suckered them into Stockholm Syndrome and at the first sign of adversity high tailed it to the best case scenario. The Lakers had no coach, no team and corporately represent something you’d see in King’s Landing in Game of Thrones; The Bulls didn’t, and don’t have actual cap space to sign the likes of James;The Suns, Clippers, Sixers, and Knicks were all long, long, long, long-ass-shots. And it really was Cleveland or Miami. And, as I’m sure with some sort of guilt in his heart, he went with Cleveland.
As much as it is the morally “right” decision (2.0), he is making the best business decision too. With that though, we understand that it’s not just about the fans, but how you trick the fans into feeling. It’s a whole new subliminal message. almost like a significant other that knew where their lover was going on those late work nights. They ignored it then, had their outburst, and they still do resent themselves for letting it happen. But he’s back now and you ignore the past, all just to be happy.
Again, We Are All Witness.