LeBron James' Return: 5 Things Cleveland Cavaliers Fans Should Do for the Game
I've sat here for days pondering what I would do at LeBron James' return to Cleveland.
If this was the middle of July, just a few weeks after the "Decision," my decisions would have been simple.
As odd as that sounds, it would have been the only thing I could have done to channel my inner rage from LeBron's betrayal to the city he claimed he would not leave to go "ring chasing," as he put it.
But now a few months have gone by.
I have written many articles expressing my feelings about all of the parties involved in the process.
You already know I condone Dan Gilbert's letter to a certain extent—minus the whole slavery point of view.
You definitely know that I have no problem with an athlete leaving his team. It was just the method that he did it in.
And finally, all of the fans out there know that I think that there is a solid core of players on this team that could keep the Cavaliers as a playoff contender. If only general manager Chris Grant would go out and get a certain A.I. from Philadelphia.
With all of that said, I think there are a lot of fans confused as to what they should do tonight when LeBron James returns to Quicken Loans Arena for the first time since he became public enemy No. 1 in the city.
There are t-shirts expressing this anger, signs that will not be allowed into the arena. And there are plenty of Cleveland fans with the urge to chuck a bottle onto the court (see Browns versus Jaguars circa 2001).
And with all of these different options for the fans, it is only fitting that I provide you with the five things I think should be done at the game.
And no, throwing things onto the court is not part of my plan...sorry to disappoint.
5. Get Out the Anger through Chants, But Stay Classy
As much as I want to scream #### at LeBron James, the fans need to remember that there are children at the game.
Keeping the chants clean, while still taking cheap shots at LeBron, can be done in a positive manner.
If you haven't seen the Cavs' chant list for tonight, let me provide you with a couple of the suggestions:
- When they introduce LeBron for the first time, laugh as loud as you can.
- Chant No-Ring-King when he has the ball.
- Let him know that Ak-Ron-Hates-You when he has the ball.
- Feel free to let him know that we Wit-Ness-ed Noth-ing.
Those are just a few of the suggestions that Cleveland has for the fans tonight, making sure that the city stays classy and gets the point across at the same time.
Cleveland fans will have their first up-close-and-personal shots at LeBron James tonight. When this is over, maybe they will have a sense of closure.
4. Wear as Many of the Anti-LeBron Shirts as Possible
Nothing says "I hate you" like wearing a good hate shirt.
As long as it is tasteful, of course.
Some of the better shirts that I have seen are the "Quitness," the "Lyin' King" and "No-Ring King."
These shirts do not bear obscenities. But they will also hit home hard for LeBron James.
I mean, imagine how you would feel returning to a place where they loved and adored you. And when you look around, all you see are constant reminders of the betrayal that your decision gave the city.
I think that would be the best thing Cavaliers fans could do when they choose their shirts for the game tonight.
3. Please, Please Don't Burn Anything
"The Decision" is over with.
LeBron James isn't coming back to Cleveland to wear a Cavaliers jersey.
All of the burning of jerseys was a sign of a city's frustration of constantly losing its star athletes to bigger markets.
So let's try and keep the streets clean by not burning anything downtown tonight.
The last thing the city of Cleveland needs is to be featured on CNN for setting one of the largest fires in history outside of Quicken Loans Arena.
Oh, and please steer clear of the Cuyahoga River...
We already know its history of catching on fire.
2. Cheer and Celebrate Big Z's Return
Zydrunas Ilgauskas' departure was much different than LeBron James'.
Please remember that when they announce Z as a part of the starting lineup this evening.
Even if you want to boo him for following LeBron James, I implore you to listen to me.
Big Z went through everything in this city: being drafted in the first round, going through multiple foot injuries that threatened his career, becoming one of the best centers in the league for many years, becoming the face of the franchise when the teams were horrible, the loss of children with his wife, and many other things.
Z left because he wasn't in the future plans of the team. He was looking for an opportunity to add a ring at the end of his career.
He took out a full-page ad in the paper to thank the fans. And he did it the right way.
And if any of that doesn't make you want to cheer for him, just think of how it will make LeBron feel when you cheer for Z and not him.
1. Silence is the Key to Everything
Athletes feed off crowd noise.
Whether it is booing or cheering, it energizes an athlete to do something great.
In LeBron's case, he already has enough motivation to attempt to drop 100 on the Cavaliers in tonight's game.
But nothing would be greater than dead silence in the arena when they announce his name.
I mean, imagine it with me:
"The starting small forward, from Akron-St. Vincent-St. Mary, No. 6, LeBron James."
And then nothing.
Not a boo, a cheer, not a sound.
You could hear a pin drop from the rafters of Quicken Loans Arena.
I don't know about you, but as an athlete, that would drive me crazy.
Why aren't they booing?
Why aren't they cheering?
Do I even matter?
Come on, LeBron could create a new commercial asking...
Where do I go from here?
Why don't they care?
Maybe I am just a sidekick now.
Just imagine the mental state LeBron would be in if the crowd said nothing.
Yes, silence would be the key to getting in LeBron's head tonight at the Q.