Complicated relationship between LeBron James and Cleveland fans
Now that LeBron James has returned to the Cleveland Cavaliers. People have asked me how I feel about his return. My answer has always been the same when asked, “Conflicted.”
I can’t speak for all Cleveland fans, but I think I’m correct in saying, that LeBron coming back hasn’t really sunk. Partly because the city is still drunk as a rat from all the celebration, and partially because it’s so unbelievable.
It’s hard for Cleveland to grasp the idea that one of the greatest athletes ever chose them, while in their prime. No one chooses Cleveland. Hell originally LeBron didn’t choose Cleveland.
I don’t believe it will become real until the first home game when LeBron throws the chalk up…and he better throw that chalk up. I don’t want to hear, “Oh this is the new LeBron. I have a new number and I’m leaving that behind.” No dammit I want chalk.
With that being said, I’m still conflicted about LeBron James coming back.
The way he left was so callous and narcissistic. Now I’m not talking about The Decision show. That’s been over analyzed for the last 4 years. Just to be analyzed again for the last week. Everyone, including LeBron agrees that it was a bad idea. So I’ve gotten over that.
I’m conflicted, as a fan, about the relationship I’m supposed to have with LeBron now. He wasn’t just a player for my favorite team. He was from northeast Ohio. If you were from Cleveland, you felt a special connection to him unlike any other athlete. You felt he bore the sports pain that you bore, and was going to do everything in his power to make Cleveland a winner. As a fan you felt like he not only represented your team, but he represented you.
You never thought things would play out the way they did. No one in Cleveland thought he would quit on them in the playoff, publicly embarrass them, distance himself from Cleveland, leave to win somewhere else…and then choose to come back.
How do you reconcile that?
I guess you can be happy he came back because it makes the team significantly better. Maybe you can rationalize cheering for him by saying, “I cheer for my team not an individual player.” You could make excuses for him and say, “He had to leave to learn how to win. Now he can help us win.” Perhaps with time things will get back to the way they were? Maybe the relationship between Cleveland and LeBron James will always be complicated? Right now it’s hard to tell.
I’m sure I will have a better answer when that chalk goes up.
Editor-in-Chief of Comedic Prose
Follow Kortney Williams on Twitter @kortneyshane