By Karl Kimbrough, Cleveland Urban News.Com Sportswriter (firstname.lastname@example.org). Cleveland Urban News. Com and The Cleveland Urban News.Com Blog, Ohio's Leaders In Black Digital News . Tel: 216-659-0473
|Cleveland Urban News.Com|
Sportswriter Karl Kimbrough
That infamous day in July of 2010 when James left Cleveland had to be on the minds of Cavaliers' fans, who are use to being spurned, as LeBron's possible return loomed. But after Cavaliers' owner Dan Gilbert's private plane was spotted in Miami on July 6, speculation grew quickly that Cleveland had gained the lead in the race for one of the nation's most talented basketball player. After July 6 the anticipation for LeBron to announce what team he had chosen grew nationally with each day and each hour, especially after James met with Miami Heat GM Pat Riley on July 9 and would not commit to the Heat.
LeBron would wait until Friday, July 11 at noon to release his decision to the world. Suddenly people all over Cleveland began to act strange. One man was seen walking down the street shouting 'welcome back to the Q' when there was no one within shouting distance of him. Others were seen getting out of their cars and doing a happy dance for no apparent reason, and running down the street with their cell phones in their hands. Thousands changed their plans for the evening to go to their local watering hole to celebrate. Meanwhile, the national focus switched to who The King chose and why. The explanation he gave for coming back to Cleveland will forever be remembered.
James made the announcement on the website of Sports Illustrated in a letter. In the letter LeBron opened up and let everyone peer into his personal space to see the torch that he's been carrying for Northeast Ohio for many years. In doing so he exhibited several qualities that will endear him to the residents of Ohio for years to come. James opened his letter by saying that “before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball I was a kid from Northeast Ohio.” He continued that “It's where I walked, its where I ran, its where I cried, its where I bled, and it holds a special place in my heart.”
James said that people in Northeast Ohio have seen him grow up.
“Their passion can be overwhelming, but it drives me,” said James. “I want to give them hope when I can, and my relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball.”
When he left Cleveland for Miami, James was perceived by some of his critics, many jealous of his stardom, to be a self absorbed, egotistical diva of an athlete. But his interview with Sports Illustrated proves different.
“When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission, I was seeking championships,” said James “I won two, but Miami already knew that feeling.”
The mega star said that “what's most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.”
Those comments seem to indicate that LeBron had really had an unselfish pride for his roots, even before he decided to leave four years ago. Although he was contrite when he admitted his first decision to leave Cleveland was not done the right way, he indicated that he would have left nonetheless.
But he was humble too.
“These past four years helped raise me into who I am,” said James. “ I became a better player and a better man.”
This is a lesson for fans to not put too many expectations on the broad shoulders of young athletes. Sometimes fans need to step back and reflect on where athletes are in there development, not only as players, but as men and women. In retrospect, LeBron leaving may have been the best thing that could have happened for Cleveland Cavaliers' fans. If he had stayed and committed to Cleveland his growth as a player and a man would have been inhibited or stunted.
James needed to experience another culture to expand his game and his knowledge. He needed to learn how to win at the highest level, and how to become a true champion. Now that he has come back to the Cavaliers', he can be a true leader of men.
LeBron's maturity is obvious, and he admits that he has grown since joining the NBA in 2003 right out of high school.
“I see myself as a mentor now and I'm excited to lead some of these talented young guys.”said James. “ More importantly, I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough.”
Here we see that James not only over came his own reservations, but showed those in his family how to as well. To come back to Cleveland, LeBron decided to overlook the transgressions of others. He chose to show love.
Even as a rookie LeBron was considered wise beyond his years. And in joining the Miami Heat in 2010 and returning this year to the Cavs he quenched the thirst. He managed to change his perception in Cleveland, Ohio from one of the most controversial people, to one of it's most beloved. He touched the lives of basketball fans, on lookers and businesses, who will all benefit from the residual effect of his return to Cleveland.
LeBron James is an example of what professional athletes should aspire to represent and become. (www.clevelandurbannews.com) / (www.kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com)