Does A Return To Cleveland Salvage LeBron’s Legacy?

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Every day there’s a new twist in the LeBron James‘ free-agency saga. Every team is on his radar, right, but really insiders are quick to point out it will be either the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Miami Heat.

But according to SheridanHoops.com, The Decision 2.0 has been made. LeBron wants to go home.

A plugged-in source tells me there is a 90 percent chance that LeBron James will return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and it will be announced on www.lebronjames.com if it happens.

There is nothing left for him to accomplish in Miami. He went there for four years, he went to the NBA Finals all four years, and he won two titles while learning what it takes to be a champion. Nobody can ever take that away from him.

A chance to return home as a successful, seasoned adult with a chance to deliver the city of Cleveland its first championship in any sport since 1964 is too much of a legacy opportunity for James to pass up.

And another thing: The best player he has a chance to team up with is named Kyrie Irving.

I’ve been refreshing LeBronJames.com incessantly. Nothing yet.

But what a story this has developed into. James fled Cleveland in 2010 after yet another disappointing playoff finish that left LeBron ring-less, then took the next plane to South Beach to win two titles only to endure the same exact fate in the 2014 NBA Finals that made him want to jettison out of Cleveland in the first place.

If a return is in the works, my question is whether the people of Cleveland embrace ‘Bron? Or are they still bitter about his departure four summers ago?

Here’s my take:

I’m not from Ohio and could not care less about the Cavaliers or if they ever win another game. But if I’m one of them, it comes down to this: LeBron is Ohio’s son, the greatest basketball player of his generation and potentially ever, and if he can deliver a championship to the Cavaliers then The Decision will quickly be forgotten and I can act like he never even left.

But it’s not that easy. I know the people of Cleveland put their faith in James to deliver them a championship, and although that could easily be conceived as unfair, there was no reason for them to believe anything different. LeBron was the prodigal son, the second coming of Michael Jordan, and he grew up right outside the city in Akron.

He reveresd the Cavs’ fortune almost immediately, and though he could not get a ring in his seven seasons with the team, he still helped the fan base and the franchise taste success for the first time in a while.

Earlier this week, I outlined the pros and cons of LeBron signing with the Cavs and the Heat, and to me joining the Cavs is the better basketball move now and for the foreseeable future. I haven’t even gotten to the sentimental value a move back to Cleveland would be.

I don’t think any fans would reject LeBron’s homecoming. They would be wrong to do so. He left to win a title, something the Cavaliers organization was failing to help him do, and coming back means he has always been dead-set on delivering the Cavaliers that championship. And maybe this go-round he’ll have a real chance of coming through.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.
1 comments
CharliePeterson
CharliePeterson

Sam, as an obvious fan of NBA basketball, you should be concerned that all teams has a small chance of winning at least a few games.  There is a better way to say you not a fan of the Cavs than what you replied.  With that being said, James is not returning to the Cavs and any information you got is totally wrong.  If the Cavs had somehow kept Hawes, a 7'0" center with 16 ppg and around 9 rbp who can stretch the floor and shoots 3s better than most NBA players, he may had considered the Cavs. James and his team are using the Cavs to ensure the Heat vastly improve even if the owners have to pay through the nose when it comes to the luxury tax.