Why (and how) Cleveland Cavaliers Fans Need to Apologize to LeBron James
The Miami Heat signed LeBron James this past NBA offseason. But you all already know that. As soon as James made the decision to announce "The Decision," Cleveland Cavaliers fans immediately burned his jersey in effigy. In the matter of a 30 minute television special, James went from the most popular athlete in Cleveland to the most hated man in Ohio.
He even beat out Art Modell, which proves that even feelings of extreme hatred do fade away over time.
Cavs fans were not only upset and stunned, but also devastated and enraged. While they had every right to be heartbroken at the choice James made, they should be looking at him in a different light right now. James did what he needed to do, as well as what any other logical person in his situation would have done. Plain and simple.
Miami is not going to set any records this season. They have won six straight games, but they are still one game behind the Boston Celtics for the best record in the NBA Eastern Conference. At 37-14, some people have called them a disappointment, but I contend that they are right on track for where they should be at this point in the season.
But while the Heat will not set any records, the same cannot be said about the Cavaliers.
With last night's defeat at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, the Cavaliers have now set an NBA record for futility with their 25th consecutive loss. That beats the previous mark of 24 straight losses held by... you guessed it.
The Cleveland Cavaliers - back in 1982.
LeBron wasn't even born yet.
While Miami is 37-14 and headed to the playoffs in April, the Cavs are 8-44 and sit almost 30 games behind the Heat in the Eastern Conference.
The Heat are sending James and Dwyane Wade as starters for the East's All-Star team next weekend in Los Angeles. Chris Bosh is going as a reserve.
The NBA All-Star game is not like the Major League Baseball All-Star game, so not every team will send a representative.
To no great surprise, Cleveland will not be sending anyone. Antawn Jamison is the team's unquestioned best player, and if the team has any human decency and compassion and intelligence, they will trade him over the next few weeks to a team who has a shot to contend for a title.
But that is unlikely. That is one of the main reasons why James bolted for greener (and bluer) pastures. Team owner Dan Gilbert has shown his true colors over the past six or seven months. He has no idea what he is doing running an NBA franchise. The only thing at all that this team can boast over the last seven years or so is that once upon a time, the Cleveland Cavaliers were so bad that they got the #1 pick in the NBA Draft. That just happened to come immediately after James graduated from high school and entered the draft as the clear cut first pick.
What have they done since?
So, that is why fans of the Cavs need to start showing different feelings toward James. No longer should they be angry and bitter. It is time to be thankful for what he did for your terrible team.
You should turn your anger toward Gilbert. After all, he is the one who put those foolish and ridiculous thoughts into your heads about the Cavs winning an NBA championship before the Heat. That is ludicrous. He has no idea how to win in this league. James left because he knew he would never get a better opportunity to win in Cleveland than he would anywhere else.
And it isn't just the Heat. He could have gone to the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets, Los Angeles Clippers or almost any other team besides Cleveland and had a better shot to win a title. That is how little he - and most of the world - thinks of Cleveland and the Cavs' chances.
So, Cavs fans, it is time to move on and show different emotions to James. I know you may be hesitant, but it is the right thing to do, and you must know it if you are truly honest with yourselves. James is not the enemy. The Heat organization is not your enemy. Your own owner is your enemy. You know it and I know it, and it is now time to come to grips with that fact.
Let me help you. Trust me, you will feel better when you say it. With that being said, I'll write the letter, and all you have to do is print out a copy, sign it, and send it to James in care of the Heat - a winning franchise. Here is one very brief example:
Dear Mr. James,
"I am truly sorry for how I treated you back in July - and every moment since. I was wrong, and I have now realized the error of my ways. I am not really mad at you. You did what you felt was best. It was within your rights to change teams, and I now understand why you would want to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers. We actually are forced to watch them every game, and they are absolutely horrible.
So, I am not mad at you. I am not upset, bitter or jealous. I see that you didn't really want to leave, but Gilbert gave you no choice. If I could, I would leave Cleveland for Miami as well. After all, who wouldn't? You are not the first of our superstars to leave town. We have seen many of our better players leave to go to teams who have a far better shot at winning a championship. We are a city that watches their best players get traded or leave via free agency, and we have no right to be mad at any of them. It is clearly what is best.
I am just actually so thankful that you made our little franchise relevant for the previous seven seasons. We are not worthy.
In closing, I wish you the best in Miami and in life. Please try and take it easy on us next time. We are just awful, so it would be kind of you to show us some pity.
Best of luck!"
(Insert your name here)
You are all welcome...
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