With the Cavs opening game having been last night, and having heard that the fans were rather fair-weathered, I want to say one thing:
I understand LeBron James.
I too was born and raised in Cleveland. There is no other place I call home. Coming home, no matter where I’ve lived and for how long, means coming home to Cleveland. It means zipping down the long, winding roads of my neighborhood. It means sitting on my grandparents couch, being fed deep-fried Indian dishes I wouldn’t dream of touching elsewhere. It means running in circles in my backyard with my dog. It means my childhood, and it means my family.
But as much as I love it, I’ve realized that sometimes in order to grasp the opportunities I need in life, I have to be elsewhere. Yes, the city is wonderful. The people are welcoming and loving like people nowhere else. But how many of you can say you’ve put a city before your own life? Before your own success, your happiness (which often translates into the happiness of your loved ones). I bet not many of you, right?
Cleveland is the reason I am who I am. It will always be. But that doesn’t mean that I have to stay rooted there, never experiencing anything else. My absence in Cleveland does not translate to my lack of love for the city or the people there. It just means I needed an opportunity to grow.
So while there may still be some LeBron haters out there, I urge you to ask yourself why. Because he was, and again is, the heart and soul of our team? Because without him, your Cavs jersey wasn’t worth a dime? Because we were yet again deemed “the mistake by the lake”?
He’s the main character of his story, much like we are in our own. And personally, I think it’s unfair to tie a hero to just one story, especially when they have so much potential.
So, welcome back LeBron. You were right, there’s no place like home.
P.S. If I can forgive LeBron for leaving, anyone can. If you must know why, he was the first man I ever drunk cried over. That’s REAL.