Common Man & Company

LeBron back to Cleveland? Ok.. I'll bite

Posted by Richard Rodawalt January 15, 2013
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So people around the league and “sources” think the Cavs are going to make a run at LeBron James in 2014, which is when he can opt out of his Miami Heat contract. Ok, I’ll bite, even though I think rather than hearing from someone’s mouth that the Cavs will again pursue LeBron, someone was sitting around and like anyone else looking at possible destinations with the cap space, and pieces/players in place that would make it a good fit, realized Cleveland would fit that ideal scenario. So for the sake of the topic let’s answer the questions, would I accept LeBron James back to the Cleveland Cavaliers (my favorite team)? My answer has always been this, even knowing that on a team loaded with an all star caliber point guard in Kyrie Irving, a couple solid young bigs, and a possible explosive 6th man piece in Dion Waiters… it would just feel wrong. You see the things that I feel would need to happen for LeBron to come back to the Cavs, and for me to still root for him and that team, I do not feel he is capable of doing. Not all fans are like me though and we will get into that in a moment, but for me to embrace him on this team he would have to show humility, and not just for the sake of it being for the better of LeBron James. He would have to show remorse, for stringing my favorite team along for 2-3 seasons, knowing full well he had already made his decision to leave and go to Miami. He would first have to admit these things though, then he would have to play second fiddle to Kyrie Irving, continue playing without the ball constantly in his hands, and play with a “team” concept. See I feel if LeBron James were to want to come back to Cleveland it would be because it’s what is best for LeBron James. Just so that he could be comfortable again, have all his buddies traveling with the team, and all the luxuries he once had before Miami. This time it would have to be about the city, Cleveland and it's fans. He would need to openly court the Cavaliers, the way he forced them to do to him in July of 2010 for several days knowing his decision was made.

Of course you have your apologists, and people will root for him regardless, which is what I was alluding to earlier, most people will welcome him back with open arms. You will always have your apologists for certain things/players, and people who said he did nothing wrong to begin with, but those people were never Cleveland Cavalier fans. They were LeBron James fans, and still are even with him in Miami. To me it is a different type of bandwagon fan. This is something that strikes a nerve, especially with LeBron James fans, but I ask you what about him is it that makes you a fan of his other than the fact he is and always has been good? If you don’t know him personally there is no rooting interest other than the fact he’s good and wins. Isn’t that in itself the exact definition of a bandwagon fan? Maybe this is why, even knowing that a tandem of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving would likely bring an NBA Championship to Cleveland, I couldn’t take joy in it, again it just wouldn’t feel right. My favorite player as a kid was Larry Nance.. I loved Mark Price, and Terrell Brandon.. even Wesley Person, Brad Daugherty, and Ron Harper. I remember that if it weren’t for a guy named Michael Jordan the Cavs would have won not only 1 but probably a couple of titles. The day will come when LeBron James retires, and all of these “fans” will move on to the next flavor of the week, and the next “big thing”, because in the NBA more so than other team sports, fans are starting to follow players more so than teams. I however remember that there was a Cleveland Cavalier team before LeBron James, and when he retires, and all of his fans don’t know where to go or who to root for or just lose interest, there will be a Cleveland Cavalier team long after.


Richard “PorkChop” Rodawalt