Too much sadness for hate

Rewind to the spring of 2009. Say for a moment Andy runs Rashard Lewis off the 3 point line and he misses in game 1. Say Delonte West is able to corral a loose ball to secure a victory instead of the ball bouncing out of bounds in game 4 giving another shot to Orlando. What if Lebron went MVP in the Finals that year? Me and my buddy, let’s call him cynical Nate, used to laugh and ask ourselves “what if this is the year?” We would refuse to admit it but both of us thought we were winning a title. Lebron was all-world and our team chemistry was uncharted. We would finally experience it. The city would explode and let loose 46 years of pent up frustration and the party would last for weeks, not days. The statue that would have been built of Lebron would have been big enough to house his newest Nike banner.

To this day I hear stories about the legend of Jim Brown from elder Clevelanders. Lebron’s legend would have dwarfed that since he was the hometown boy. I would be telling my grandkids ad nauseum about the game I went to when LB tomahawked on KG. The joy we would all feel would be unbelievable. The joy in the Cavs locker room would have been child-like. Lebron would have been smiling ear to ear during his little bike-a-thon the next month. The media would gush for months. Let us take a moment to think to ourselves. This was not that far off from happening. A bounce hear a bounce there. A miss here and there. We were a legit title contender and would still be this year. If Lebron would’ve been half of himself in last years series vs Boston we could very well have won the title. Nobody could ever convince me otherwise.

While most of Cleveland is engulfed in venom and hatred that’s ready to spew out all over TNT  tonight (and probably embarrass the hell out of us) I can’t even feel that. All I can feel is sadness about how this played out. It could’ve been so story book. So pipe dream. It’s turned out so horribly that there’s no other word but…sad. I truly feel Lebron has robbed himself of feeling true joy in winning a ring. It’s now going to feel like a great relief. He’s robbed himself of going down as the greatest. We used to be on national TV every other night and now what qualifies for breaking ESPN stories on the Cavs now entail high powered law firm investigations and beefed up security. It’s horrendous to think this is how it played out. When it was good over the last 7 years it was great. Now that it got bad it’s really really bad. The same jokers that were making money hand over fist selling “witness” T-shirts are now on the “Queen James” train. I used to make sure I got to games early to see the intros and the powder toss and now I don’t even want to watch because I know some idiot is probably going to throw something and make us all look like wackos.

Life goes on and I had already moved on. I enjoy watching the new Cavs. I enjoy watching the new Heat lose. But now that he’s coming back I can’t help but reflect on what could’ve been. He scared himself into thinking he couldn’t get it done on his own so he took the easy road and sold himself and Cleveland short. It could’ve been a Hollywood script but in 6 months Lebron has gone from William Wallace to evil King Longshanks. It’s just so damn sad.

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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