LeBron James Will Return To Cleveland Cavaliers, And You'll Experience These 5 Specific Emotions
For the man who broadcast his decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers four years ago in a televised special entitled "The Decision," no display of self-promotion is too grand, too over-the-top, too kingly. Consequently, LeBron James's Sports Illustrated article entitled "I'm Coming Home" was surprisingly understated for the now two-time NBA Championship winner and two-time Olympic gold medalist, especially considering the message — after four years with the Miami Heat, what many considered the dream team, LeBron James is going back to Ohio.
If you, like the rest of the basketball fans in America, are having trouble processing this information, we are here to help. The rush of emotions that accompanied this news is second only to the devastating, er, wonderful news that Ryan Gosling has officially contributed to the gene pool with Eva Mendes. Depending on where you are on the I-love-LeBron spectrum, the five stages of loss and grief might have manifested themselves in different ways. But we hope that this guide will help everyone — from Heat fans to Cav fans to Lebron fans — cope with this LeBron's latest move.
1. Denial and Isolation
This is probably what LeBron himself will experience, at least for a little while, when he returns to the city that burned his jerseys when he left his hometown and the team that drafted him fresh out of high school back in 2003.
Let's be honest, LeBron may, for a while, be denied by his former fans and left feeling isolated and alone in northeast Ohio. After all, when he won his first NBA championship, Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert congratulated the Miami Heat, and not "The King."
Of course, many Cavalier fans are particularly well-acquainted with this particular stage, and now it seems that some Miami Heat fans will suffer the same feelings of betrayal — though not to the same extent as their Cleveland counterparts. After all, LeBron already won them two NBA championships.
LeBron might also end up stuck in this stage for awhile, especially when he discovers just how not-ready the Cavaliers are to win the coveted trophy. Said James to Sports Illustrated, "My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head." LeBron doesn't seem to have much patience. Watch out, Cleveland.
Let's be real, who are you really going to trade LeBron for? James, for one, seems to be striking his own bargain — reclaiming his hometown popularity in exchange for victories. Of course, the Cavaliers are nowhere near as weak as they were when LeBron first joined the team, as they now boast such players as Kyrie Irving, a star point guard who will be with the team for quite a while, and Andrew Wiggins, who like LeBron James, was the top overall pick in the draft.
In his Sports Illustrated statement, James referenced many of his future teammates, including Irving, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters, and "one of his favorite teammates" Anderson Varejao, but left out Andrew Wiggins. So maybe some bargaining is going to happen after all.
Look, LeBron: If we had to leave the beaches of Miami, we'd be pretty depressed, too. But just think! You're going home! Sing a song like Will Ferrel! As for Cleveland fans, this might be a delayed emotion that comes back into play when LeBron (possibly inevitably) decides to leave once again. Who knows, maybe next time he'll go to the opposite coast and revive the Lakers.
The inevitable final stage. Love him or hate him, LeBron's statement made clear that his decision to return to the Cavaliers was driven as much by professional as personal reasons — he is, after all, quite literally going home. And this is something that we can all respect and understand.
"Our community," LeBron says, "which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get." Like it or not, LeBron has no shortage of talent, and for better or worse, he's bringing it home. He concludes, "In northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have." And we'd like to see LeBron James work for Cleveland one more time.