If you were not privy this past week, to the insinuative media manipulative techniques of LeBron James, hinting at a return to Cleveland, then I welcome you back from your monk like attempts to shun the outside world, or at least rumors involving James.
Of course with any calculated media moves from the maker of “The Decision,” one has to perpetually retain whole rations of salt granules to temper the level of sincerity. Additional weariness ensues in considering that James made this public declaration on the eve of a game between the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers that was taking place in Cleveland this past Friday.
However, this latest gibe, is tantamount to getting a voice mail from someone you were in a great relationship with, till it ended ugly; as much as you want to vulgarly ignore the possibility, your human instincts refuse to disallow your indulgence in the intrigue of the why and what if.
Regardless of the validity of James' motivations, any potential return by him to the city he helped to garner national sports attention, and worldwide recognizance should come with acceptance from Cavalier fans.
This is by no means meant to infer that the people of Cleveland are biding their time and training their vocal chords for a song of appreciation for the return of the once prodigal son. Rather this would be a reflection of recognition for a player who despite his sordid departure, gave the city more excitement and sustained opportunities for sports success than any other individual or team in it's history.
The Cleveland fan base is in an impenetrable consensus towards James as an ego maniacal individual, and a legend in his own mind first and foremost. And the publicity immersed way in which he departed was callous and insensitive, undeniably.
Yet, we can surely recognize that James was already being touted as a man childlike savior as a middle school player in his hometown of Akron, and had a documentary, More than A Game, made about his artistry as a high school basketball phenomenon.
Needless to say given that his history within the national landscape was well established when most of us were trying to find the pimple cream that is right for us, and hoping to tame our voices uncanny ability to crack at the most inopportune times, is it a wonder that his ego is what it is?
And unfortunately, from the moment that his name was read aloud by NBA Commissioner David Stern, as the first overall pick in the 2003 draft by the Cavaliers, the fans and organization did nothing to disrupt his impetuous impulses towards greater belief in his singular significance.
A player even more coddled by the organization, as implied by his former teammate Shaquille O'Neal, and fans, based on his hometown heritage and supposedly heartfelt inferences of wanting to help the city finally obtain retributive championship hardware.
It is undeniable that bitterness can consume, especially in a city that has more than it's historical share of sports related resentment to cling to, but this should not prevent a potential opportunity for reconciliation and acceptance of James, should he eventually return to Cleveland.
Of course the speculation behind James' latest comments will resonate within the minds of many Cleveland, and surely Miami fans. At the very least it would seem that James, as is often the case upon reflection and reminisce in a relationship, is realizing his erroneous methods, as well as the genuine loyalty of the fans in Cleveland.
In turn, perhaps such a remark should spark movement amongst the fanbase from hostility to forgiveness for a player who other than in the rarest of moments, including Game 5 of the 2010 playoff series against the Boston Celtics, always justified the collective belief in his abilities. Lest we forget, as Cleveland fans, after those playoffs, the free agency summer of 2010 was built upon a roadshow of other destinations for where LeBron would possibly take his “talents.”
So if you were under the impression that his inevitable departure was not imminent, it's no wonder that consequently it is harder to accept his return.
This should not, however, in what is purely a highfalutin hypothetical, cloud Cleveland fans ability to recognize the benefit in James rejoining the team, possibly as soon as 2014 when his Miami contract ends.
Surely four years is enough time to come to terms with his departure and accept him once again. And he would still be at an age where he would be able to contribute to a team that currently has hope in the form of young talent like rookie Kyrie Irving and others.
Of course it would come with the initial obligatory sense to resist rooting for him on the court, but over time, would come to represent one of the great stories of forgiveness in the history of the city and in it's many sports annals.
It is already a possibility that fans in Miami must account for in very realistic terms, and Cleveland fans should take as a compliment of their significance to a player seemingly portrayed as being bigger than both the team he plays for, and the league, for much of his career. Whether LeBron James truly wants to return may be uncertain, still, he does want to be forgiven, which is the first step in Cleveland's ability to accept the potential of his return, a first step the fans should allow themselves to take.
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