LBJ Taking His Talents to Believeland

By on July 17, 2014

After opting out of his contract in Miami, King James has decided to return to his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Unlike his move to the Miami Heat in 2010, this offseason he made an effort to stay away from the media and was much more subtle about his decision-making process.  The way that Lebron  abandoned Cleveland in an over-hyped, highly dramatic fashion left Cavaliers fans and ownership with a bitter taste in their mouths.  However, with the sales of the “FOR6IVEN” t-shirt skyrocketing upon his return, it is apparent that the fans in Cleveland have forgiven him, but how does the organization’s ownership feel about his return?

In 2010, the Cleveland Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert wrote a letter to Cavaliers’ supporters about Lebron’s decision to transfer to the Heat saying, “you simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.”  He also used words like “narcissistic” and “deserter” to describe James, but they were still able to forgive Lebron and come to an agreement four years later.  So why would Cavaliers’ ownership be willing to forgive a “narcissistic deserter” after they had already been “betrayed” by him once before?  Part of the reason surely has to do with the sincere letter he wrote about return to Cleveland, in which he stated that his “calling here goes above basketball,” and that “I[he] want[s] kids in Northeast Ohio to realize that there’s no better place to grow up.”

After reading Lebron’s letter to Cleveland, it is apparent that he has matured tremendously and obviously shouldn’t be seen as a narcissistic deserter.  Regardless, the overarching reason Lebron was accepted back is due to his ability to bring them a much-needed NBA Championship in the near future.  While Lebron James was in Miami, the Cavs obtained the 1st overall pick in 3 of 4 NBA drafts; and now have numerous young players with tremendous potential:  Kyrie Irving has proven that he deserves to be seen as one of the best point guards in the league while this year’s 1st overall pick, Andrew Wiggins, may be the most highly anticipated draft prospect since Lebron James in 2003.  Besides Irving and Wiggins, the Cavaliers have many other talented young players on the roster that will likely be used to make a trade for Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Forward Kevin Love.  With all of these pieces in place, the Cavaliers will be a very entertaining team to watch in the upcoming NBA season.

Despite the excitement surrounding the team, the Cavs still have a challenging journey ahead of them to the playoffs and finals. In the end, the Cavs’ success may be contingent on Lebron’s relationship with Dan Gilbert and Head Coach David Blatt.  Cleveland’s ownership may have forgiven Lebron, but they will never forget how he left in 2010.

By: Ryan Holland

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