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Opinion: The return of LeBron James means everything to Cleveland

July 11, 2014

grega.9@osu.edu
2013 NBA Champion for the Miami Heat and Akron, Ohio native LeBron James stands on the sidelines at the Wisconsin football game Sept. 28 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 31-24. Credit: Lantern file photo

2013 NBA Champion for the Miami Heat and Akron, Ohio native LeBron James stands on the sidelines at the Wisconsin football game Sept. 28 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 31-24.
Credit: Lantern file photo

I will never forget where I was four years ago, when LeBron James broke the collective hearts in Cleveland by announcing his decision to join the Miami Heat.

I sat in a Florida hotel lobby as the “King” made his announcement to take his talents to South Beach, and the lobby let out a collective roar. I sank in my chair knowing that the chances of a championship happening in Cleveland were, once again, dashed.

Flash forward to today — I sat in my bedroom. Not my school bedroom but my bedroom back home. The bedroom in which I grew up, and I heard the news that James was returning home.

It felt surreal.

I ran downstairs to make sure it wasn’t a dream. It wasn’t, and I couldn’t be happier for fellow Cleveland fans and for the King himself.

Nothing beats coming home. No matter how far away you are, nothing is better. My favorite place in the world is, and always will be, Columbus, Ohio. However, nothing is better than making the two hour drive up I-71 to come home to Brunswick, Ohio, which is located just 30 minutes south of downtown Cleveland, the place where I have always called home.

The same seems to stand true for James. In a letter written to “Sports Illustrated,” James said, “I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there.”

Words can’t describe how much those words mean to Clevelanders. No one chooses us. No one seems to want to play in Cleveland. But now, the best player in the world chose us. If you are not from Cleveland, you can’t understand, and we don’t expect you to.

Cleveland has endured The Drive, The Shot, The Fumble and even The Decision — but now, we have The Return. We have something to give us hope — something we haven’t had in a long time.

I wrote two months ago that the month of May could prove to be the turning point for Cleveland sports, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. Today is the day.

The drafting of Johnny Manziel to the Browns was great and brought some excitement, but nothing compares to this. The Cavaliers winning the draft lottery and ultimately selecting Andrew Wiggins was fun, but again, doesn’t compare.

James is an Ohio guy. Manziel and Wiggins, while great players in their own right, are not from here. They don’t know our desperation for a winner. James does, and his return to a city with a 50-year title drought means more than words can describe.

Let me be clear: Just because James is back in Cleveland still doesn’t guarantee us a championship, but it doesn’t have to. While we want a title, to see James likely finish his career with his hometown team means a lot.

So as I, a 21-year old man, sat in the house I grew up, watching the news on James unfold, I admit tears came into my eyes because nothing has ever meant this much to a generation of Cleveland sports fans.

Welcome home, LeBron. We are excited to see you back in the wine and gold.


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Comments (4)

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  1. Guest says:

    Like I just told my buckeye alum child I don’t agree with LeBron’s decision but I do understand wanting to go home (my child rushed home after college!)! By LeBron’s statement seems he made mistakes as well as Dan. Glad they kept meeting private not to be a media circus!!! I think LeBron realized to truly be a legend you have to build and stick by a team not create super teams cheating. Welcome to buckeye land King James and I wish you the best!!!! Can’t wait to see what ESPNs First Take and PTI have to say about The New Improved Decision! hahahaha

    I see TMZ is contacting former buckeyes to discuss laughing stock of the country sending dad nude photo (Clemson is wiping her name from its rosters I see hahaha)! I bet she glad King James took over the media hahahahahaha

  2. glen robert broemer says:

    If this seems like overposting, I generally publish when I’ve been assaulted, or when my privacy is ignored, or when my cats cry out in pain by some action of government. I’ve been assaulted thousands of times over the past decade now, I’m sure that estimate is accurate….the other day one of my cats was bleeding, hair missing from its back, and two of them actually have scabs on their back as a result of being shot with energy weaponry. According to one report this results from my publication of Ronald Reagan quotes and biographical facts, indisputable and in fact from wikipedia. The federal government of course has all the power in the world to stop it. My tooth was knocked out in increments, over a 2 year span by energy weaponry assaults, for stating and proving the crimes committed by the federal government, absolute torture, like having a tooth drilled without novocaine for several hours.
    If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth, right? the Democrats’ great accomplishment is producing the political equivalent of a Rodney King video, clearly demonstrating the lies of the right, the right Hilary Clinton correctly identified as a vast conspiracy. Confirm by examining Central District of California Cases, 01-4340, 03-9097, 08-5515, 10-5193, US Tax Court 12000-07L –though I think you want to view my US Tax Court Appeal to the 9th Circuit for a good account of their day to day assaults, a few month time slice indicative of a decade of assault, and more recently 9th Circuit

  3. Anonymous says:

    As a Brunswick native myself, I can think of a LOT of things that are better than returning to that cesspool of a city.

  4. glen b says:

    If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth, right? the Democrats’ great accomplishment is producing the political equivalent of a Rodney King video, clearly demonstrating the lies of the right, the right Hilary Clinton correctly identified as a vast conspiracy. Confirm by examining Central District of California Cases, 01-4340, 03-9097, 08-5515, 10-5193, US Tax Court 12000-07L –though I think you want to view my US Tax Court Appeal to the 9th Circuit for a good account of their day to day assaults, a few month time slice indicative of a decade of assault, and more recently 9th Circuit case 11-56043.

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