I didn’t want to do it.
Ever since LeBron James opted out of his contract, we had an idea it might come to this. A waiting game. Nothing to do but stare at a computer screen, read into different reports, and then wait. We couldn’t get fired from our jobs, because our bosses were sitting right next to us doing it too.
All the while, I didn’t want to do it.
I kept saying over and over that this is different from 2010. That the Cavaliers have a much better foundation than the slop they had when LeBron left. That it was their foundation that they had that would lure LeBron back to Cleveland.
Still…I didn’t want to do it.
I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I didn’t want to be upset again. I didn’t want to be tricked into being a sycophant like I was in 2010, and most of all, I didn’t want to be here on a night where LeBron led us on again, only for us to be let down. Let our imaginations run wild, and have to answer calls from friends who needed to vent, yet again. I know in my mind that this Cavalier team is better off than the one in 2010, but this would be no time for pragmatism. This time would hurt too.
Notice they’re called “friends,” not “fans.” There’s a reason.
You never forget where you’re from. You never forget the people you’ve grown close to. You never forget the impact you have in their lives. How you can help each other out. Be a shoulder to cry on. Someone to laugh with.
In Northeast Ohio, they’re not just fans. They’re friends.
50 years is a long time. Those who last saw Cleveland on top of the sports world have now turned gray. Their memories have become hazy, not because of their own minds, but a near lifetime of bad memories tend to cloud the good ones that happened so long ago.
They are our friends, neighbors, and families. They are us.
In our world we are special. A life time of feeling picked on by those outside of our area has toughened our skin and strengthened our resolve. We have been downtrodden, but NEVER once, not proud to call this place home.
It’s that feeling that made me dread tonight. It’s why I saw the sunrise every morning this week. To sit in a chair and listen to friends pour their hearts out about what might have been, and not be able to have a reasonable answer because deep down, I would feel the same way, was a thought that honestly terrified me. It’s a feeling of relief, then excitement that we don’t have to go through it together.
This isn’t the end though, make no mistake. This is only the beginning. LeBron returning to the Cavaliers has nothing to do with the team’s history. It has nothing to do with planes, hex charts, rumors and innuendo… and it has NOTHING to do with Dan Gilbert.
This is about you. Us. LeBron. His legacy, and our’s as a fan base.
LeBron James is one of us. I didn’t want to take those calls, he didn’t want to let you make them.