LeBron James and Why Cleveland Cavaliers Fans Should Still Hate Him
When LeBron James scheduled “The Decision” special, I heard “Honey, I think we need to talk” and I knew in my heart that the Savior of Cleveland was now my worst enemy.
I held onto the false hope along with millions of other Cavaliers fans that he really was committed to his promise of bringing a championship to Cleveland.
We all know how that played out. He left us, and we experienced the classic breakup symptoms: denial, sadness and then anger. We finally accepted that he was gone forever, but now we are still bitter every time we see him with his better-looking city.
This season was a disaster in everyone's eyes; we had to endure a painful 26-game losing streak, seeing LeBron go on to have another predictably great season with his new team. Our only retribution came when we all became Mavaliers fans for a bit, watching Dirk Nowitzki do what we all wanted LeBron to do: not give up on his team.
A lot of people are saying it is time to forgive LeBron, to stop burning his jerseys every morning before breakfast and just move on.
But I don't want to move on; I want everyone in Ohio to keep on booing the Heat. I want the players of the Cavaliers to be indoctrinated into not liking the Heat and the new Big Three.
For many reasons, the first being that it is wildly entertaining watching two teams who genuinely don't like each other. I remember watching my dad's old recorded Magic Johnson and Larry Bird matchups on VHS. Those were some of the most entertaining basketball games I've ever watched.
Second, it truly is good for the NBA for this to keep going on. When James returned to Cleveland, 7.1 million viewers tuned in to watch.
That is a lot of people tuning in to watch a regular-season game. The game received a 5.0 on the ratings scale when most games in the regular season hover around 2.0. This, coupled with the fact that Cavs fans ranked third in home game attendance during a horrid season, says something.
I doubt it would be the same if James left and no one cared.
The third reason is that marketable sports rivalries don't come along all the time. Every sport besides football pretty much has just one really good, defining rivalry.
This has the potential to be one of those rivalries.
Probably not one that spans generations like the Lakers and Celtics, but it should last at least until LeBron retires, and if the Cavs meet the Heat in the playoffs, there is no limit to the amount of money the NBA could make off of that matchup.
Is my disdain for LeBron abnormal and unhealthy? Yes.
But, I have had a great time booing the Heat and cheering the Cavs along with pretty much my whole town, at bars, friends' houses and my own home. And isn't that really what being a sports fan is all about?
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