I’m from Cleveland, and I understand that LeBron James is about to win an NBA Title this evening. As much as I wanted him to win that Title here, as much as I didn’t want him to leave two years ago, and as much as I hated the way he left, I was pretty sure this would happen eventually. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh – sic team. An NBA Championship was inevitable the moment they all got together. Tonight doesn’t change anything for me as a Cleveland sports fan.
Frankly, I was surprised they didn’t win last year. There was no part of me that expected the Cavaliers to win an NBA championship before LeBron and the Miami Heat did either. Deep down, not even the guy who sent that email originally actually believed such a thing was possible.
Was I rooting for LeBron James to lose again this year? Yes, I was. Was I willing to go as far as wearing a cheesy shirt that says OKCLE? No, I wasn’t. Does that qualify me as some degree of a hater? I don’t know, and I don’t care. He’s going to win tonight because he’s the best player in the world regardless of what anybody cheered for. I understand and accept that, just like most people around here do.
I won’t be watching the post-game celebration at any point in my life though. Just being honest. We were supposed to celebrate that with him. He was supposed to carry that trophy down Euclid Avenue. That’s what hurts the most about the whole thing. Maybe it’s selfish of me to think that as a Cavaliers fan. Probably it is I guess, but probably it’s not at the same time. I think there’s a part of LeBron that still wishes he won it here too, as crazy as that sounds. Even though he won’t.
He’s the best player in the world right now playing like the best player in the world. There isn’t anybody or any team that can stop him. The movie was supposed to end with him playing like that in Cleveland, but it didn’t.
We watched him grow up. We watched the basketball world become enamored with the young prodigy from Northeast Ohio. We watched him as a Rookie. We watched him play out of his mind against the Pistons during that Eastern Conference Finals. We watched him over-achieve against the highest expectations ever, until he eventually was swallowed up by those expectations against the Celtics. Then we watched him fail, and we watched him leave. Now we’ll watch, from Ohio, as he wins that ring for Florida.
He’s the MVP of the regular season. He’s the MVP of the Finals. He hit big shots. He beat Kevin Durant. He was a mental mess last season and he put it back together. Those are all facts, and I’m okay with it. There’s no part of me that will ever be able to celebrate what he’s about to do, but I’m not booing him off the podium either. I don’t have energy for that.
I’m turning my television off when it happens, and setting my sights on the future. Kyrie and Tristan will get us there one day anyways. Maybe my man MKG will drop in and help with that too. Good days are ahead for the Cleveland Cavaliers, no matter who wins tonight.