LeBron James' Comments About Returning to Cleveland Is a Non-Story

Thomas Galicia@thomasgaliciaFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 18, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 12:  LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat waits for a free throw against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on February 12, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

On Friday night, the Miami Heat made their first visit to Cleveland in this shortened 66-game season and demolished the Cavaliers by the score of 111-87.

LeBron James would wind up scoring 28 points and adding five rebounds and five assists. However, LeBron's performance and the Heat's dominance weren't the big stories of the night surrounding this game.

Instead, the talking heads are at it again trying to interpret comments that LeBron made prior to the game.

If you need a refresher course on these comments, here they are, unfiltered and without my analysis:

"I think it would be great, it would be fun to play in front of these fans again. I had a lot of fun times here. You can't predict the future. Hopefully you continue to stay healthy. I'm here as a Miami player and I'm happy where I am now but I don't rule that out in any sense. If I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me."

Here's where I'll interject my analysis: first you have to remember the fact that that was a response to a question that was posed by members of the media on that very day.

But when you read those comments for the first time, were you aware that it was an answer to a question? Odds are you found out about this through Twitter, which only has a 140-character tweet limit. The part about LeBron answering the question was likely omitted, and to find out about it, you had to click on the article being discussed. While most of you probably did just that, I know a lot of people didn't.

Hey, that's alright, there are more important things going on than LeBron James, so you just take or leave the information itself.

However, a lot of readers dwell on every thing LeBron says and does. This is why he's constantly covered, this is why other people get sick of him. My interaction as a Heat fan with LeBron James goes like this: so did the Heat win or lose? That's all I care about, that's all that should matter.

But comments on articles throughout the internet say that for most people, they have to get their two cents in about how LeBron James is either the spoiled and selfish egotistical or is misunderstood. I'm in the camp that he's neither and just a basketball player who doesn't deserve the heat he's received. He's never committed a crime nor even been implicated in one, yet the only person to come from Ohio that has received more hate has been Casey Anthony (and I understand the reason she has had such hatred—I'll admit that I hate her too).

So when he makes comments like the new ones about returning to Cleveland that created a whole new firestorm, everyone jumped on board the analysis train.

Here's how I analyzed it.

LeBron answered the question how he did because he was sincere and honest. This doesn't mean he's not happy with the Heat, nor does it mean he pines to return to Cleveland now. It's just something that he would consider later on in his career. Had the question not been asked, he doesn't discuss it, he's focused on other things—like for instance his current job with the Heat.

Also keep in mind that had LeBron not answered the question or flatly stated that he wouldn't return to Cleveland, he would've received more hate and more abuse. In fact, that's reason No. 1 why this is a non-story: no matter how he answers this question, it would've been dissected seven ways from Sunday.

That's not LeBron missing Cleveland, hating being in Miami nor wanting to "have his cake and eat it too," as Skip Bayless would likely say; the answer simply is what it is. No need to provide context to it that isn't actually there.

The reason for that is partly the media and partly you the readers and viewers. You state that you are sick of the coverage of a certain person, place or thing, yet can't stop commenting on stories about the very things you are sick of. Obviously, that tells me that you are just interested in getting angry at something or someone.

However, I do know that this only applies to maybe five to 10 percent of sports fans regardless of the subject matter. The rest of you just watch the games, discuss it with your friends then leave it be.

With LeBron, it's beating a dead horse into the ground at this point. The truth is even in Cleveland, for the most part, people have moved on. Only the five percent of people still dwelling on it and sports writers who want to appease those five percent still care.

Just the fact that a question about LeBron returning to Cleveland was posed was going to turn into the story. I didn't catch what reporter asked the question, but I'm sure, as he did, he knew what he was doing. He was going to get an answer that would be controversial to someone and would be constantly talked about.

Let's let this story rest once and for all and take it as it is—a purely speculative answer to a purely speculative question meant only to spice up an otherwise slow sports news day outside of Linsanity (and boy, do I feel terrible for that kid once the media decides it's time to tear him down, and you know it's coming if it hasn't started already).

I only wrote about it to say what I just said in this sentence. If you're tired of LeBron, stop reading about him and stop watching the games. Remember, this is a supply-and-demand business. If you show the demand for something, they will do their best to make sure there is an ample supply of it. And showing your demand for certain news is as simple as clicking on links for it and leaving message board comments.