LeBron could've taken the easy way out.
It was his decision to make. He a free agent and every NBA team in the league willing to throw anything in their arsenal at him.
It would have been simple to stay in Cleveland.
If he had announced his return to Ohio, the sports talk shows today would be full of nothing but praise and adoration for LeBron James.
Everyone would be talking about how loyal and dedicated he is. You wouldn't be hearing an ounce of criticism from anyone.
But LeBron refused to take the easy way out.
He could've returned to the Cavaliers where he has a laundry list of legitimate excuses waiting in the wings should he continue to fail in his pursuit of a ring.
People wouldn't blame it on him if he never managed a title in Cleveland. I mean, its Cleveland.
And if he did manage to win a title in Cleveland, even just one, the praises of the nation would have been heaped upon him. He would forever be the breaker of the curse, the savior of the sky-less city.
But all that would've been too easy.
No, not LeBron.
He's taking the hard road out of Cleveland.
The road that has the organization that he built up calling him names on the way out.
The road that has his fans chasing him out of his hometown.
Instead, he has to watch as the franchise that he put seven years of determination and effort into throwing ridiculous insults at him. The same franchise that is now worth more than $300 million than it was before James arrived.
And the hard road is leading him to the highest of all expectations.
LeBron knows that not only Miami, but the entire nation will immediately expect an NBA championship.
A world of haters stand ready to pile on every cliche and nonsensical insult in theirbag at him the second he fails to bring home a title.
And on top of all that, if he is in fact able to bring home a title right away, he knows not to expect much credit for it.
Mr. Armchair Basketball has decided that since Miami is Wade's town, LeBron deserves no praise for any success that may come.
So why does he do it?
Maybe LeBron understands that he needs to go through a little Hell to get to Heaven.
A decade from now, with a handful of rings and more games played in a Heat jersey than any other, it will all be worth it.