LeBron James' Fall From Grace Unseen Like Any Other: How He Becomes a Pariah

Chris Burnham@CMB1979Contributor IJuly 9, 2010

GREENWICH, CT - JULY 08:  LeBron James speaks at the LeBron James announcement of his future NBA plans at the Boys & Girls Club of America on July 8, 2010 in Greenwich, Connecticut. James announced during a live broadcast on ESPN that he will play for the Miami Heat next season.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Estabrook Group)
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

The one we've once lovingly called "The King" will be known only as "he" in this space. Not counting the self-aggrandizing special, let me try to be as thorough as I possibly can in saying that he has proven himself to be able to acheive the impossible: He conquered Mount Modell, and became the new conduit of statewide venom.

His whole premise and promises once he was drafted was and were to bring a championship to Cleveland. The front office allowed he and his "inner circle" (however many there were) to handle his doings the way he wanted. Probably knowing that the whole thing could backfire. They hoped their good faith would be rewarded.

They went above and beyond the luxury tax threshold repeatedly ; tried to acquire the players whom he wanted to play with; basically putting themselves in cap hell at the behest of keeping him happy.

And the fanbase, despite his enormous ego that bubbled over tonight, loved him for it anyway. We looked the other way.

And he's an Ohioan. Just like I am. He made the promises. He didn't deliver. Now, his teammates didn't always help when it counted, but the onus was on him. That's what he said he wanted. And he takes the easy way out.

He couldn't spare us even a little bit of grace by announcing it without trying to do so with as little spectacle as possible. (As Kevin Durant did two days ago and Kobe Bryant did recently.) No, he needed an audience at Cleveland's sad expense. A national audience. An international audience.

A kid from Akron doing this after all this heartbreak that he's surely aware of? It seems unrealistic. Inconceivable.

I know that some of you won't get it, but most of my family doesn't remember the last time Cleveland had a championship trophy. And realistically, it isn't coming anytime soon, now, despite Dan Gilbert's amazing and partially cathartic statement. He was supposed to be the cornerstone. I believed him. A fanbase believed him. Two cities believed him. Hell, an entire state would've voted him in as governor, just because.

But basically, because he was a kid from Akron--Akron!!! --put on this earth to win the city fifteen minutes north a championship. Seemed like a storybook.

Turns out that's all it was. A going back on his promise. A betrayal of an uncanny caliber.