Four years ago, the entire state of Ohio was rocked when LeBron James announced that he was taking his talents to South Beach. Cleveland fans had hoped for a championship for seven seasons, only to have their hopes knocked back down each year.

“The Decision”, a day that will live in infamy, changed the entire atmosphere of Cleveland. It went in line with “The Move” and “The Fumble” in a long list of Cleveland heartbreaks. Even though we knew deep down that there were better options and teammates for him to chose, we stayed optimistic that James would choose us. After all, Ohio had given him his start, and he was ours to claim … that is, until he claimed someone else.

It was a bad break-up, one of those where you don’t realize it’s over until you see your sweetheart with someone else. You wanted to burn all the pictures, clothes, and memories of the times you had together, and move on, as tough as it was going to be. And then to make it worse, we still had to see him. LeBron was everywhere, happy with someone other than us.

Then there were the rings. The rings seemed to seal the deal even further. He was really no longer ours, he had married someone else. Yes, we hated it, but he was an Ohioan just like us, so we had to give a pained smile through our tears.

Four years went by, and then the remarkable happened.

He chose us.

We dug out those old t-shirts and jerseys from the bottom of our closets. We re-hung our posters. Our hope returned. After everything that had happened, he still wanted us. And we welcomed him back with open arms. With all the hate we had since 2010, for most it turned into love and excitement.

The first season back with LeBron is upon us, and he has help now. LeBron may be Cleveland’s – and Ohio’s son, but Kyrie Irving is becoming the extremely talented nephew, and Kevin Love is the new neighbor boy that ties it all together.

A new hope has swept across Cleveland and the rest of Ohio. The electricity and excitement surrounding this season is tangible. LeBron brought his talents back to the shores of Lake Erie, and we are more than ready to see him back in the number 23. And after all we’ve been through as a city and a fan-base, we need someone to put our faith in, and maybe, just maybe, Cleveland can finally have its ring.

 

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