The buzz on the internet today is that Lebron James is returning home to play basketball with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Today’s cartoon pokes fun at the Cleveland fans who in 2010 burned Lebron’s jersey when he went to play for Miami. In fact then (and now) Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert stated in a now famous letter when Lebron left,
This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown “chosen one” sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And “who” we would want them to grow-up to become.
But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called “curse” on Cleveland, Ohio.
Well Cleveland continues to be “cursed” while the Miami Heat went on to win two championships under James. That is all seemingly water under the bridge as James and Gilbert seemingly have made up.
James stated his reasons for returning on Sports Illustrated:
To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough. The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?
In Southeast Ohio, college basketball means more than the NBA. However, I always liked Lebron James public persona (minus the mistaken way he decided to announce going to the Miami Heat). I think his actions in continuing to support the Northeast Ohio community with his Foundations and Donations should have kept more Cleveland fans on his side. Now they have the chance to love him once more.