LeBron James Returns to Cleveland: Hopefully, a Line Will Be Drawn

Frankie AnetzbergerContributor IINovember 26, 2010

"LeBron, I love you, but don't stand close to me next week in Cleveland," uttered the infamous Charles Barkley last night during TNT's pregame show.

On occasion, Barkley has been known to speak his mind in situations where it might have been best to keep quiet. However his statement about James' return to Cleveland after, in the minds of many Cavaliers fans, deceiving an entire city might hold some truth.

James and his Miami Heat will venture to the forgotten city of Cleveland next Thursday to take on the Cavaliers. Because of the highly anticipated return of their former, now despised, hero, the Cleveland Police Department has prepared a plethora of extra officers for the night. Some will be in uniform while others will act undercover. They will be stationed both inside and outside the arena, many of whom will be positioned near the Heat bench and exiting tunnel, reports ESPN's Chris Broussard. In addition to the ridiculous amounts of officers on hand, the Cavaliers have also banned any apparel depicting LeBron or his family in a negative fashion. Fans will be asked to remove the article of clothing and in return will receive a Cavaliers brand t-shirt.

The best way to describe this? Asinine.

It shows what this world, specifically the sports world, has come to. A man making a decision seemingly based on what would be best for his family is going through superfluous hatred. And I know that he expressed it on national television. I'm not saying the way LeBron made his decision was ideal, but it happened and is over.

As fans, we often drift far the realm of reason. Cleveland, you were blessed for seven years, and in a matter of seconds you turned into demons. We're all human and so is LeBron. This whole hometown kid defrauding what became his second family would have never happened had LeBron been drafted anywhere else. Suppose you didn't have the first pick in 2003. This wouldn't have unfolded at all like it has. You were graced with his talents for seven years Cleveland, and I bet a lot of you would have done the same had you been in his shoes.

What is unbelievably ironic about this whole situation? You, yes you Cleveland, claim to hate LeBron's guts and never want anything to do with him again, yet you all are buying tickets to see him. If you really wanted to make a statement, you wouldn't go to the game, and you'd encourage everybody you knew not to go. That would really show him how you feel. Instead you'll pull some adolescent stunt that will have little to no affect on LeBron, hopefully. Your barbaric actions will simply represent little class and you'll continue to dwell in the past and refuse to accept what has happened.

LeBron, I pray for your safety Thursday night. It's unfortunate how the city you played in is too caught up in hate that they forget to appreciate the success you brought to them. Maybe some of them will come out of that spell of hatred and become grounded.