LeBron James ditching the Cleveland Cavaliers seems to be one of the biggest mistakes made by an individual when it comes to sports. Perception of James' move to Miami is going to change as the years go on because eventually the Big 3 will win a title.
Although many people want to put the blame on coach Erik Spoelstra, the problem isn't who is drawing up plays from the sidelines, but the overall makeup of this team. This Heat won't peak until after the All-Star break and, even at their best, may not be NBA Finals-worthy.
The scrutiny LeBron is under will ease with time, but that doesn't mean he didn't make a huge mistake in leaving Cleveland. By leaving the Cavs, the King didn't just leave a fan base, he also left a chance at basketball immortality.
Here are some other reasons that will keep LeBron from getting Cleveland off his mind and why the Cavs will consistently haunt the NBA's suddenly most-hated player.
Anyone who's dumped a significant other for someone else knows that it feels great at the time, but it feels 10 times worse when you see your ex down the road and she is happy with someone else.
LeBron will see his former team for the first time in Cleveland this Thursday, and there's a good chance he may feel justified in leaving. The Cavs could very well get hammered and, even if they don't, there isn't a player on the team who even approaches the King's level.
That won't last forever because Cleveland is eventually going to find somebody to step in and lead the franchise. whether through the draft or free agency. Once this happens and Cleveland starts winning, there's no question LeBron is going to be the bitter ex, disappointed to see that the Cleveland organization and fans have moved on.
Cleveland embraced and loved LeBron at a level no other team would be able to reach, other than maybe the New York Knicks. Right now, James is sharing the limelight with two other stars and is being criticized like never before, probably longing for the days when he could do no wrong.
No matter how many titles he ends up with, he will never be idolized as he would have been had he brought a championship to Cleveland.
Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and, of course, Bron Bron joined forces this offseason to form a dynamic trio of the league's best friends. While everything was all blue skies and rainbows after they signed together, it seems they forgot that NBA titles aren't just given out. Other teams will show up to the arena and won't back down to the Super Friends, no matter how talented they are.
The saying is, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going," but with the Heat, the going has gotten tough and they have responded by wanting to "chill," in the words of Bosh.
Wanting to chill with the expectations stowed above Miami's head won't be enough. And with trials and tribulations, the true character of individuals is unveiled. We have seen that LeBron's true character is to point the finger elsewhere, with his currently aimed at Spoelstra. What happens when Spoelstra is gone and the struggles continue? Who does the King point to next?
My best guess is Wade, and James will lay the blame on Bosh when his finesse game comes up short against tougher, more physical opponents in the playoffs. The three may be best buddies now, but their friendship will be tested if expectations aren't met.
Despite the experts continuously bashing Cleveland, which they had supported throughout LeBron's reign as a Cav, that same cast is sitting just two games under .500 now and only has one loss more than the Heat.
James now has two stars alongside him and nine other players who would have a hard time cracking the rotation in Cleveland. So while it may have seemed like a great idea a couple months ago to play with Wade and Bosh, you have to wonder if James is missing the days of running the show on a consistent basis.
The King racked up back-to-back MVP awards the past two seasons with the Cavs to become the undisputed best basketball player in the world. And, as unhappy as LeBron seemed at the conclusion of last season after being bested by the Celtics, you have to wonder if he made an impulse decision and forgot about all the games the Cavs won. And all the fun they had doing it.
Being the alpha dog on a team is something that cannot be taken for granted, which takes me to my next point...
So far having two of the best five players in the NBA hasn't worked out as originally planned for the Heat. Part of the problem is that LeBron's and Wade's games don't mesh well, so it's no surprise that they have had their struggles. Neither is very good three-point shooters and both are best with the ball in their hands in pick and roll situations.
When James was in Cleveland, he took over games when he had to and never had to worry about getting anyone else touches. With Wade on the court, the two have been too passive, choosing to defer to each other early in the shot clock, which ultimately leads to one of them hoisting up a jumper as the shot clock expires.
The lack of chemistry is something that James' Cavs never experienced, because in big moments they knew what to do and, more importantly, LeBron knew what to do: take over.
Maybe the two can coexist, but they still have a long way to go. One thing is certain: If he were still in Cleveland, there would be no question who would take the last shot.
Cleveland fans will never forgive LeBron as long as he is in an opposing uniform, and he has become the most hated Cleveland sports figure of all time. Quite the turnaround from a year ago.
James may still be accepted in Akron, but everywhere else in Ohio, the man is spoken of like an outlaw. That's something that the King has to live with for the rest of his career, and possibly the rest of his life. It's also something that undoubtedly bothers James—a man who has grown used to constant praise.
When LeBron hits the floor in Cleveland on Thursday, fans will shower him with boos as no athlete has received before. He may come out sharper and more motivated than we have ever seen, but there's no doubt in my mind that those boos will ring around his head for the remainder of his career.
Sometimes you have to wonder, if James could turn back time, would he have done things the same way? My guess is yes, although two years from now, if he still doesn't have a ring, that may be a completely different answer.
Either way, the King won't be welcomed in the castle he once reigned over.