We are more than a year away and there is already chirping about if Lebron James will return to the Cleveland Cavaliers when he’s a free agent in 2014. Since we’ve got two die hard Cavs fans on staff I figured I’d go right to the source and see what they think about King James coming back home. Would they welcome him with open arms or would they turn their back on him like he did to them years earlier?
Lebron James potential return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 is the newest rumor. That is 18 months of Chris Broussard nagging about what his back channels are saying. Pretty sure I would rather suffer Shaun Livingston’s knee injury then endure that. As a lifelong and die hard Cleveland fan dying for a championship, I should be excited and want him back. In the words of Lee Corso “Not so fast!”
I will begin by taking away nothing from his on the court accomplishments with Cleveland -multiple MVP’s, 60 win seasons, a trip to the NBA finals and so much more. Aside from Michael Jordan, I have never seen anything like him. More impressive is that he did this with a supporting cast worse than Bryant Reeves career.
The last image of him in a Cavs jersey was quitting in the 2010 Eastern conference semifinals and removing the city’s name from his chest. He claimed that we were spoiled by his play. As a man who spent seven years of his 20’s dropping everything he did to make sure he was by a TV to watch every single Cavs game Lebron played in, I would say he was the one “spoiled” to have fans like us. At that point I was 99.9% sure I would never see him in a Cleveland jersey again. I hope I am right.
Returning to the Cavs to patch things up and lead the city to its elusive championship would be the fairy tale ending, it would be Lebron taking the high road. That is exactly what he wants. It is all about him and always will be, not about my city, our city. He makes the Narcissist Lex Luger look shy and introverted.
But are people that quick to forget what he was like while wearing the wine and gold? He had a posse larger than the Wu Tang Clan following him around by his jock as if he were Ricky Vaughn’s girlfriend Flannery. He made his own rules and had say and signed off in all player acquisitions. During his free agent heist he held the entire league hostage and made all teams come to him like he was a Greek god. Not once in seven years did he recruit high level players to Cleveland, but as soon as he joined Miami that’s all he did. However, Chris Bosh is not high level. That will not change.
The only thing different is the franchise. Better people in place and building plans for long term stability. He would not be able to walk on water like he did before. Would he be able to share the spotlight with another superstar this go round?
Would Lebron coming back to the Cavs increase the talent and their chances of winning a title for a beyond starved fan base? No question. But can you forget what he was like, how he treated the city, how he quit on them, and how he held the franchise and the league hostage during free agency? Me either. Go recruit another big three in another city, asshat. I have suffered 29 years for a championship, at this point what’s a few more years?
The answer: 1964. The question: What year did the city of Cleveland celebrate their last professional sports championship?
That’s right! Cleveland is approaching 50 years without a professional sports title. I could go on for hours about the multiple disappointing endings we, Cleveland sports fans, have endured, but I’ll spare you the history lesson. Of the three major sports in Cleveland, one team is one player away from immediate title contention. The Cavaliers need a giant puzzle piece to vie for the title, and that missing piece is Lebron James. I would love to see Lebron comeback to Cleveland for another shot a title in 2014.
Lebron left Cleveland in, what many would call a less-than-diplomatic manner, in 2010. The jerseys were burned, comic sans font tweets were sent, and the Cavs were left behind to rot away in the basement of the Eastern Conference. However, Lebron’s departure led to the Cavaliers winning the draft lottery in 2011 and taking Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson.
Irving is one of the best PGs in the NBA and has the chance to be an MVP down the road, while Thompson could develop into a solid role player. Their poor record last season also helped them to add Dion Waiters this past draft. Despite three top-4 draft picks in two years, along with Alonzo Gee, Marreese Speights, and an always injured Anderson Varejao the Cavs cannot sniff a .500 record.
Over the past 30 years, it has proven true every year that you need two potential Hall of Famers (HOF) on your team to make a run at an NBA title. It’s rare to build an elite team entirely through the draft, and if you do it’s only to a certain point. The NBA draft is always a crap shoot, and even if a team does hit, most times you only end up with a serviceable starter, not a potential HOF’er.
Teams will always look to add that pivotal free agent acquisition to make their title run. As for the vast majority of free agents, good luck getting anyone to sign in Cleveland. They’ve all seen the Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism Video. However, the Cavs may have the opportunity to get the best player in a generation to come back and play for them due to Lebron’s connection with NE Ohio.
In 2014, Lebron will still be under 30 years old and coming off his 11th pro season. Age shouldn’t be a huge factor. Kobe Bryant made the NBA Finals three times after age 30 and won two of them. Plus, Lebron has been relatively healthy his entire career. He has given no indication his body is breaking down. This would be match made in heaven. Lebron would finally have a HOF caliber PG and other young talent around him that could help the Cavs make a title run. Add a few more role players and you have yourself one of the 2-3 best teams in the NBA.
Now, this plan won’t be without any risk. Lebron will be under pressure to deliver a title, and his relationship with Dan Gilbert and the people of Cleveland is strained. Regardless, I am a firm believer that winning a title will alleviate any ill will still carried by Cavs fans, and Dan Gilbert being the business man he is, will let bygones be bygones for the potential title shot. If it doesn’t happen, it’s not like we haven’t been there before. We can handle losing. I hope the prodigal son returns home and delivers the first title in 50 years. Who doesn’t love a comeback story?
Cleveland Cavaliers fans we want to hear from you. Would you welcome Lebron James back with open arms or has the damage been done and you want no part of him? Holla at us in the comments.