Why Cleveland Fans Would Never Welcome LeBron James Back as a Cavalier
ESPN's Chris Broussard and others have hinted throughout the course of the season that there could be a situation in which Miami Heat star LeBron James could opt out of his contract after the 2013-14 season and possibly make a return to Cleveland.
Would LeBron be greeted with open arms if he wanted to return to Cleveland?
For one, as long as Dan Gilbert owns the Cavs, there is no way James would be welcome back in any form or fashion, except as a visiting player. Gilbert's feelings towards James haven't changed since LeBron turned his back on Cleveland for Miami nearly two years ago.
Gilbert may not be seething mad as he was when he wrote his letter to Cleveland fans back in 2010, but his feelings of betrayal toward James will likely never go away.
Then, there is the fact that James turned his back on an entire city—not just a basketball team.
James was their hero. The city of Cleveland may not have championship banners to boast about, but it had James. He was one of theirs, and he jumped ship at the first opportunity. The general feeling among Cavs fans is that James viewed himself as better than the city and left at first opportunity.
Finally, there's the way he handled his exit.
Basically, James spit in the face of every loyal supporter he had, and he had a ton of them. He burned every bridge possible on his way out the door.
Now, I'm not judging LeBron at all. It was his decision to make, and a man has to do what a man has to do.
But even James would be foolish to think that he would be welcomed back to Cleveland with open arms.
He can't potentially opt out of his deal for two more years, and time heals all wounds, but not this one. That cut was made too deep.
Even now, the hate for LeBron isn't as strong as it was in 2010, but it's still there and it will never go away.
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