It was one of the more disturbing moments in sports history, not because what James was wrong in what he did. As a free agent, he had the right to do whatever he wanted and go play for whichever team he felt gave him the chance to win.
It was in the manor in which he did it.
Some people called it a callous move by James. Others called it arrogant. It was, no doubt, a black eye for not only professional basketball but professional sports as a whole.
Fast-forward to today. The Heat has won the NBA title on their second consecutive trip. Now that the Heat has indeed won the ring against a vaunted Oklahoma City Thunder team, will James be forgiven?
I am not sure that James ever works his way back into the hearts of NBA fans. He alienated many NBA cities with how he conducted himself during his free-agency period. While his talent is unmatched, so is his ego.
Gone are the things that fans loved about James. Remember the Nike commercials, “The LeBrons”? He was completely humanized, funny and entertaining. He also identified with a suffering Cleveland fan base, one that had not ever raised a NBA title banner in the rafters. He was a local product with a single mother. Everything you can love about a success story, LeBron James was it.
Now, all of the love is gone. Many fans wanted James to finally win a title so he can just go away. Others spoke of a different sentiment. After talking to some friends about the NBA playoffs, the common theme was If my team cannot win it all, I would rather see anybody but the Heat win it all. It was echoed in many places I am certain.
It is also what has inspired this question: Will NBA fans forgive LeBron James for “The Decision” now that he has finally won it all?
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