“In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have. I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.” That’s right, folks. The King is coming home (for the small price of a max salary offer).
Sports Illustrated released an exclusive statement made by Lebron James to their very own Lee Jenkins this morning, regarding his future as one of the best basketball players in the world. LeBron spoke of his mistakes, his time at Miami, and his reasons for coming back to Cleveland. He even said that his “relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball.” LeBron wants to win a championship for Cleveland. He wants redemption.
The number one draft pick of the 2003 draft had his humble beginnings in Akron, Ohio, only a short 45 minute drive from Cleveland. It’s understandable. He wants to go back to where it all started. Good for him. We should be happy for him, right? Four years ago, Cleveland was outraged. The Decision aired on ESPN, as the country stood still, waiting to hear one man’s decision about where to play a simple game of throwing a ball into a hoop. It was a bigger deal than it should have been. James jerseys were being burned in the streets. Names like LeQuitter, LeLoser, LeLiar, and LeTrader were everywhere, and rightfully so. An entire city felt betrayed, yet they are welcoming the King back with open arms. It doesn’t seem right. Does he deserve this welcoming? That’s up to you to decide.
Now, Miami is back in the same position as Cleveland, looking as shocked and foolish as ever. A championship caliber team has collapsed, creating a new one in the process. And that’s professional sports for you.
Home is where the heart is: a quote that has stayed with me throughout my life. It has clearly stayed with the King as well. That’s just one thing that we have in common. Sincerely though, a home is a place that cannot be replaced. You can travel and visit new places, but you will always come back to that one place that has your heart. For the greatest player in the world, that happens to be Akron, Ohio. And what city closest to Akron has a professional basketball team?