In the summer of 2010, LeBron James left Cleveland and it was devastating for the entire city and all Cavs fans. The team made the playoffs many times and had a chance to win a title but never did. It felt like he was leaving with unfinished business. That’s why there was so much hate towards the man.
The story of King James returning home six years ago today is well documented- July 11, 2014. The team subsequently winning a title in 2016, coming back from down 3-1 to the Golden State Warriors, and a celebration ensuing. Yes, it all worked out in a magical way.
Sure, he could have stayed in Cleveland and never gone to Miami in 2010. However, it is worth look back on those Cavs teams and see a weak supporting cast around The King. That was a big reason why a departure happened in the first place – to team up with better players. While there is no way to know for sure, that “almost winning” would have most likely continued in the following years without any drastic change to whom James could rely on in Cleveland.
Star point guard Kyrie Irving was drafted by the Cavs with the number one overall pick in 2011 because the team was so bad the following season since James left. It was that same Kyrie that was right there with James to win the title in 2016, hitting “The Shot.” Putting the pieces together and it was the Cavs going from great to terrible that ultimately helped the Cavs win the title. It just took a few years of patience.
James stays in 2010 and announces say a four-year extension and the collective fanbase celebrates profusely at that time. However, it may have just led to four more years of that “so close.” No championship in 2016 or ever to date.
In a perfect world, the Cavs win the championship before James makes the decision to leave for Miami. He plays his entire career in Cleveland and wins multiple rings in Cleveland. Yes, James left again after the 2018 season to play for the Los Angeles Lakers. The feeling is much different since it came after a championship was brought to The 216 and a promise was kept.
Frankly, it is always interesting to look back and think about what could have been, especially with someone as great as LeBron James. The course history decided to take ended up working out well for Cleveland.