July 28, 2014

LeBron James aces the off-season

by Dan Bilicki In: Basketball

Since ‘The Decision’ back in 2010, I have hated LeBron James.

I’m fairly certain that was the case for a lot of people.

But now, I’m on the verge of forgiving the man anointed King James.

Why? Because over the course of this summer James has done just about everything that he possibly could to repair his relationship with the place he shunned four years ago and the fans whose hearts he broke. Well, everything short of actually calling everyone in Northeast Ohio and apologizing for The Decision.

Sure, “The Letter” published by Sports Illustrated was about as close as you could realistically get to doing that, but that’s splitting hairs.

With that letter and the decision to come home to the Cleveland Cavaliers after four years and two titles in Miami, James made the best choices for him, the people around him and for the league.

James, according to his letter, wants to raise his family – about to grow with a daughter on the way – in Northeast Ohio, which wouldn’t exactly be possible when he would be “working” in Miami for eight months a year.

It also helps repair the bond with the fans who supported him from Day 1 – and not just Day 1 of his NBA career. These are fans that have cheered him since he was a high school hoops prodigy.

James has also set himself up in a better basketball environment as well. He may not have the star power with him in Cleveland, but he has young, capable players full of potential. Guys that should be eager to learn under him like players learned under MJ, Larry Bird and Magic. LeBron James could be the best thing to ever happen to Andrew Wiggins – if he’s not dealt for Kevin Love.

And who has he hurt with this move? Almost nobody. Ask Heat fans – if you can find any anymore – if they care. They never deserved James in the first place – walking out in the middle of a NBA Finals game because your team is losing is unforgivable. Besides, the man brought two titles to South Beach; I think that’s enough.

The only real person that was slighted here was Chris Bosh, who really should’ve taken the Rockets’ deal and fled Florida as well. He stood the most to gain if both he and James returned to Miami with Dwayne Wade and possibly lured another top-flight talent to create a Big Four.

And Wade? He doesn’t care. He just won two more titles for HIS team thanks to his masterful recruiting in 2010.

Finally, James made perhaps the best move of all this weekend, announcing that he would wear his No. 23 jersey and not the No. 6 as he did with the Heat.

Now, those Cavs fans that didn’t burn their James jerseys will be able to jump right back into the excitement and relive the good old days.

It was another selfless move when you consider how much more James stood to gain through sales of a fresh No. 6 Cavs jersey.

James may have ended the playoffs on the losing end, but he spent the summer winning, plain and simple.

Follow me on Twitter @danbilicki

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