Now that I've had a chance to digest the reality of Lebron's departure, I want to express my thoughts. Lebron James was born 25 years ago, near Cleveland. From the mid-1960s until the birth of Lebron, Cleveland had been without a championship and had very little to cheer about in sports. The Indians and Cavs had very little going well for them in those two decades. The Browns, with the exception of a glimmer of hope in 1981 (which ended with the heart-wrenching Red Right 88) also had shown little to no prowess since their glory days of the early 1960s. In those twenty years, the city of Cleveland had endured; despite the bad sports franchises and economic woes (as a heavily steel-based city, the 70s and 80s saw a major decline in steel jobs and the city fell on heard times) Cleveland was still working to maintain. Even despite the river catching on fire, Cleveland tried to stay on top.
Then Lebron entered this world. Since his birth in December of 1984, Cleveland sports franchises - and the city itself -has become more of a punchline than anything. Let's go over the last 25 years of Cleveland sports. We've had: the fumble, the drive, the shot, the Jose Mesa incident (1997 world series), the Meltdown I (2007 ALCS, Indians up 3-1 to Boston and losing), the Meltdown II (this year's NBA playoffs against the Celtics), and of course the Disappointments (pretty much the last four years of NBA playoffs). All in all, Cleveland has been kicked in the teeth on a national stage over and over for the last twenty-five years, and the twenty years preceding that wasn't much of a party either.
And finally, when we get to a point where Cleveland's biggest and brightest star of the past FIFTY years has a chance to pull us out of despair, he kicks us in the teeth again, and on national television.
Now, to be honest, I understand WHY Lebron left. He has a chance to play with Wade and Bosh, two top players in the league. I get it. It's his best chance to win. I get that. But leaving alone is a kick in Cleveland's teeth. But then to publicize it, make a three-ring circus out of it, and make it a nationally televised break-up (for all intensive purposes), is so appauling. Talk about kicking a city when its down.
Personally, I think Art Modell is a worse villian to the city of Cleveland, but keep in mind, when he took the Browns away, he did it in the middle of night and did not make a show out of it. I think this is the equivalent of Modell having a "going-away-parade" for the Browns as he shuffled them to Baltimore.
I always thought Lebron showed class on the court, but this spectacle showed no class at all. For Lebron James to treat his "home" and basketball-birthplace this way is terrible.
So say we all.