Minutes after LeBron James announced that he would be leaving his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in an ESPN special titled "The Decision", fans let loose with their disappointment and anger.
ESPN showed video of Cavaliers fans burning LeBron's jersey. Other fans went to the radio airwaves to voice their displeasure with LeBron for leaving Cleveland.
However, the venom that the Cavaliers fans had for LeBron was nothing compared to what Cavaliers majority owner Dan Gilbert had for him.
In a letter to fans posted on the team's website, Gilbert called LeBron's decision "narcissistic" and "self-promotional." Gilbert also called LeBron "the self-titled former 'King' and guaranteed fans that the Cavaliers would win an NBA title before LeBron wins one.
Should the fans and Gilbert feel this way?
I understand that they are disappointed about his decision but does one decision completely change how a city and franchise feels about a former hero?
LeBron gave seven great seasons to the Cavaliers. He led them to heights the franchise hadn't seen. In the end, Cleveland was simply unable to make a substantial move to improve the team and LeBron felt that he had a better chance of winning a title in Miami.
LeBron made the decision that he thought was best for his career. Is that such a bad thing?
How many of us would make a move that we felt was better for our career if given the choice?
Is it different for LeBron because he is the hometown hero? Is it different because LeBron was the only thing going for a city that has endured 'The Drive', 'The Fumble', the Browns moving to Baltimore, and the Indians losing a pair of World Series in the 1990s? I don't think so.
I know that it's difficult, but I believe the fans of Cleveland should celebrate the time that LeBron played there and understand that he made the decision that he felt was best for his career. He left because he feels that Miami is closer to a championship than Cleveland.
Face it, at the end of the day, players of LeBron's caliber are judged by the number of championships they win.
I understand that LeBron didn't make the decision that Cavaliers fans were hoping for, but he shouldn't be vilified for that. He gave everything he had to bring a championship to Cleveland.
"The Decision" stings now, but hopefully Cleveland and its fans recover quickly.