Thursday, May 24, 2012

To Mr. James

Hey LeBron,

Remember us? Cleveland? You know us right...that team, that city, you walked away from back in good ole 2010, leaving our NBA franchise out to dry.

Well we seem to be doing OK now, not playoffs OK, but up-and-coming OK, then maybe .500 basketball OK next year, then probably playoff basketball OK in two years and.....and then....

....and then.....

that leaves us, well right around the 2014 mark.

The year where, you sir, can opt out of your contract with your current team, the Miami Heat.

Sure things are great there, went to the championship game last year, deep in the playoffs so far this season.  Paces giving you quite a run and quite a scare right now though?  Without the 3rd of the Big Three Chris Bosh out (who knew??), you guys seem to be faltering a bit coming down the stretch.  No worries.  I know you'll probably pull this game out tonight and head to the Eastern Conference Finals...

...but maybe not.

You know reports came out a little ways back about your camp, and yourself, not being entirely happy with your new Miami home.  Something about the management not being to forthcoming with a lot of the treatment you received here, you're real home state of Ohio.


You know I know we made a big stink, me included, about you ditching town, throwing the economy of downtown Cleveland into one of those steaming, off-putting sewers that fill the streets.  You know, embarrassed us on national television, no heads up, no warning, just a sneaky, "don't want my wife to know I'm coming back home at 4am" kind of way.

No big deal.

I thought to myself today, "Self, it's been over two years.  Sure you'll remember that day when Mr. James left for the rest of your life.  You'll remember where you were (my mom and step dads house), where you were sitting (on the couch in their smaller living room), and what you were doing (eating dinner with the extended family).  But we have to least forgive, right?"


"Self, maybe it's time to put it all in the past.  He' a grown man, I'm sure there are plenty of people in this town who may have done the same thing.  Well, maybe not quite the same thing.  But you get the gist of what I'm saying right?"

Wait...confusing myself if I'm still talking to myself or at myself...

Let us get back to it.

Right now, at this very moment, you are preparing to battle the Indiana Pacers, looking for a second straight trip, with your new team, to the Eastern Conference Finals.  Maybe you get there.  Maybe you get to the Championship...

Maybe....just win the whole thing.

But as I pointed out before, before last game, you guys seem to be struggling without the presence of the Predator at the 4 spot.  You know maybe you come up short tonight...then in game 7.  Or maybe you take the series tonight, go on to face your bitter nemesis the Boston Celtics...

...remember when?

I know, we know you do.

Wasn't it fun?  Look at that smile.  You don't see that smile anymore LBJ.  Where did it go?

You had everything here in C-Town. Everything.

When the Cavs failed in the Finals against the Spurs, then against Orlando...we didn't blame you.  You had to deal with the Eric Snow's and Devin Brown's of the world.  You might have took the NBAs worst looking roster ever to the Finals.  There was Boston...something looked different in Boston, it didn't feel right.

Maybe you felt it too.

Maybe your mind was made up already.  That happens.  We all find ourselves at a job we don't want anymore and maybe a new job is on the way.  So we check out.  Mentally, physically...emotionally.  It happens.  Sure the people at the old job might not like us, the way we leave, the way we make our exit.  But hey! Look!  Here comes the new guy to the new job and the new town and everyone is just JACKED to have you here.


Good luck to you tonight.  Good luck to you over the next two years.  Maybe you get your ring this year, I'd bet against it.  It looks like, in my opinion, the trophy stays out West for another year, but maybe.  Or maybe next year, you guys add some more depth on the bench, a steady big man, you have your health and that's when you grab your first ring.  Well if not then, well maybe 2013-2014.


To be honest, I don't want you to win a ring.

Not yet.

Maybe after the 2014 season, four failed attempts at a Championship with the Big Three, you're more homesick than ever.

You see Kyrie Irving, possibly the best true point guard in the game in 2014 pushing the Cavs farther and farther each year.  Maybe in 2014 they make the playoffs.  Maybe they even face your Miami Heat.  Do we beat you?  I would bet against that.  Two years from now I don't see us having the potential to beat you guys if you all maintain your health, your chemistry improves along with your bench...

...but maybe.

Do I not want you to win a ring because I am bitter?  Maybe.  Do I not want to win a ring because I hate you? no.

The reason sir, I do not want you to win a ring down there in Miami... because I want you to win your first one here.  Your home.

Just think.  It's 2014.  You're 30 years old.


You have to want it more than ever right?  Maybe Kobe gets one more before he retires.  Maybe Durant has his ring, maybe he has two...or three.  Maybe the New York Knicks finally figure it out and steal one.

What then?

You look at the Cavs roster.  You see Irving, now a two-time All-Star and getting better every year.  Tristan Thompson, who maybe can't shoot it like Bosh does, but who will out-rebound him, block shots (NBA Defensive Team), and run the floor with you.  Maybe your buddy Varejao is still there, doing the dirty work that no one likes to do.  Hell, maybe your boy Boobie is still around....maybe.

But besides those guys you see that we added another scorer at the 2 (James Harden? Eric Gordon? OJ Mayo?)...maybe a legit 7 footer (Andre Drummond from UConn, Fab Melo from Syracuse).  We have bench depth with Alonzo Gee, Bradley Beal from Florida....and you think to yourself...

"I can do this."

And you can...and you should.

You could be that missing piece.  Instead of us trying to fit pieces around you, why not you come back, be that missing piece for Cleveland?  Be that missing piece...that sends us to a NBA Championship.

Hell if the fans show Mr. Dan Gilbert that we would welcome you back, you don't think he would?  He would.  Dan loves this city and its people.  Yea he may have stepped a little over the line...I loved that he stuck up for his town.  Who wouldn't love a guy like that?  You guys can patch things up, its been over four years right?  Sure, maybe his letter to the city was right, maybe you didn't win that ring yet and maybe we do win one before you...

...but maybe you help us do it.

Would I like to think that we can do it without you?  Certainly.  I don't want the fate of the Cleveland Cavaliers to fall on you coming back home in 2014 or 2015.  The way I laid it out for you, we are in the playoffs in 2014.  Maybe in 2015 we find that right piece (that maybe isn't you) and we bring one home for the good guys.  I am more on board with the Cavs than I ever was. Maybe because of you.  Maybe because I felt the team needed fan support more than ever now.  But they are young, they are hungry, and we will be a team to beat in a few years.

But can you imagine it?  I can.  You know you hate being a villain out there in South Beach.  You are booed everywhere you play.  And really, when you look up at those seats in the American Airlines Arena, those empty red seats just staring out at you enjoy that?  Wouldn't you rather be at the Q, 20,000 fans...adoring, loving fans...rocking the place, deafening cheers....for you, for your old team...

...your hometown.

I am on board the 2014 LeBron James comes back to Cleveland bandwagon.  Maybe I'm the only one, maybe I'm driving it, starting to pick up Clevelanders here and there...but soon enough we will be fill up.  Soon enough it won't be bandwagon fans...they'll be your fans again.

Maybe you're there October 27, 2014/2015, at the Q, back in your maroon and gold...listening to the announcers fill the arena with the names of the opposition...then you hear this...
...and highlights of you being drafted, your Rookie Season, All-Star games, the playoff battles against Washington and Detroit, the dunks over Damon Jones, Tim Duncan, KG play on the big screen....

...then Ahmaad takes over, doing what he does best Kyrieee Irrrrvingggg!..."The Wild Thing" Andersonnn Varejaoowwwww!...Tristaaan Thompsonnnn....!

...starting at the other forward, from St. Vincent St Mary, number 23, lets welcome him back home! LeBrooooon Jaaaaaaaaames!!!....

And the crowd erupts...just loses it and they stand...they stand when you score your first basket, they stand through the entire first quarter, they erupt when you finally getting a breather after scoring 15 in the first...

This is where you belong.  You know that, I know that...the people of Cleveland know that, or they will.

Your Legacy and a city, reborn.

Your image, untarnished.

The Q, hanging with banners.

Your gold.

Think about it.