Lebron James and the City of Cleveland: A Lost Love Affair

Jason HenryCorrespondent IMay 31, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - MAY 30: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers sits on the court after being fouled by the Orlando Magic in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 30, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)

Last night may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. The situation was set-up perfectly for the King.


“Lebron James is crowned ‘King’ of the NBA, wins first MVP.” “Lebron and the Cavs cruise by the Pistons in four.” “The Cleveland Lebron’s ‘trap’ the Hawks, send them flying away for series sweep.”


This year would be different for the city of Cleveland. No longer would they have to endure flashbacks of repeated heartbreak. John Elway, Michael Jordan, Ernest Byner; the list goes on.


Lebron would un-break their hearts; he would right their wrongs, and bring them that elusive championship the city so desperately seeks.


Even the NBA thought it was finally Lebron’s turn. Massive commercial campaigns were rolled out featuring the King, as if the finals were already in hand.


And almost rightfully so, if we were to judge the Cavs based off of their play in the first two rounds of the playoffs.


That was until the King met Superman.


Ask any NBA expert and the Orlando Magic has a good team, but not good enough to matchup with the Cavs. Howard was a beast on the defensive side, but his offensive game still needed honing.


Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu were big men who could shoot the three, but stayed around the perimeter too much to bang with Cleveland. West, Williams, and Gibson were enough to give the Magic backcourt fits, especially since Nelson was lost for the year due to a bad shoulder.


Yes indeed, Clevelandwas half way there. The only thing that stood in their way was a sweep of the Magic, and the dream match up would be realized: Kobe Bryant vs. Lebron James.


But first, the Cavs had to zoom past Orlando.


Fast forward through game one and everyone but the Magic were surprised by the team’s surprising win. The Cavs skated to a 23 point lead at one point, but couldn’t close the deal, as Orlando matched the team’s intensity when it counted the most in the fourth quarter.


Next, we zip to game two, and Lebron hits a monster three that will forever live in Cleveland lore, like the shot Jordan hit over Elo in the playoffs.

It just seemed like everything was finally falling into place for the city of Cleveland. The Cavs seemed to have everything on track and Lebron put a seal on the past with one flick of his wrist.


The shot made Sportscenter's top ten of course, but for all-time greatest playoff shots. The King talked about how he had dreamed of making a shot of that nature, even suggesting that Cleveland needed something like that to bring the city back to life.


Then the Cavs headed to Orlando, and that’s where the wheels came off. Lebron continued to rain points while his supporting cast watched in awe of his, well, awesomeness. Mo Williams at one point in the series shot 32 percent from the field, clanking shots off the side of the rim and backboard.


During one “intense” battle, Williams was accidentally elbowed by Magic guard Anthony Johnson, which led to Mo receiving four stitches over his eye.


I guess that led to his delusional guarantee that the Cavs would eventually win the series after being down 3-1. Yea, ok Mo.


Eventually, the inevitable happened, and Lebron could no longer handle beating the Magic all by himself. And the Magic bounced the Cavs from the NBA playoffs and Lebron walked off the floor in disgust. He even chose not to talk to reporters.


So the love affair that the King has with Cleveland could be coming to a close. For the third year in a row, his supporting cast decided not to show during the team’s biggest games.


Maybe this is why Lebron wears Yankee fitteds during games around the city.


So now come back the ghosts of Jordan, Byner, Elway, and the Braves. That shot that Lebron hit will not and cannot go down as the greatest the city has ever seen since his team didn't prevail in the series.


As much as Cleveland needed the Cavs to at least make it back to the finals, it seems as if the city is turning into Boston before they won their first world series in 1,000 years.


While Cleveland may be begging Lebron not to leave just yet, the King may have his eyes set on a town filled with bright lights. Like the famous O’Jays song goes, “Your body’s here with me, but your mind is on the other side of town.” Cleveland, Lebron may be messing you around.