He’s gone…again.

LeBron James has officially signed a 4-year 154 million dollar deal with the Los Angeles Lakers and is leaving Cleveland for the second time in eight years.

I have had a lot to say during #LeBronWatch and received plenty of positive and negative responses from fans, but that’s all part of the business.

What a lot of fans disagreed with me on is that I refused to give LeBron a free pass for leaving Cleveland. Of course, I am grateful for his return home, these past four years and especially the championship he brought to Cleveland, but it’s not like he HAD to leave Cleveland. He could have easily signed a four-year extension with the Cavs (for more money) and remained here for the rest of his career as our hero.

So what exactly drove LeBron out?

Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors after the 2016 season shifted the balance of power completely in the Warriors’ favor. The Cavs had no chance of ever winning another championship, even with the likes of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love alongside LeBron. I think he got tired of losing in the finals every year.

LeBron’s relationship with the front office, specifically Owner Dan Gilbert, was very frosty. Losing GM David Griffin didn’t help. I always tried to downplay this, but it must’ve mattered enough to push LeBron away.

The supporting cast alongside LeBron was terrible this year. He had to put up 40 points a night in the playoffs to keep the Cavs alive. Ironically, it was the contracts LeBron pushed for that handcuffed the team.

Living in Los Angeles over Cleveland. It’s always warm there and he avoids the freezing winters of Cleveland.

Finally, and this is a reach and just a guess of mine, but LeBron hates President Trump and he won Ohio by 10 points. Additionally, LeBron campaigned for Hillary Clinton. LA is a lot more liberal of an area. Again, just a guess.

I am not sure why LeBron went to Los Angeles in terms of basketball. It’ll be a lot harder to get to the finals and beat Golden State and Houston in a tougher Western Conference.

In regards to Cleveland Sports Talk, LeBron coming back certainly helped the brand grow to where it is at today and we will not be going anywhere despite his departure.

Winning the championship in 2016 was one of the most memorable moments in my life and that is all thanks to LeBron. I just felt like the storybook ending to his career would be to ride it out in Cleveland and I am disappointed he chose to take another path.

LeBron will be the greatest player to wear the Cleveland jersey. Thank you for everything, but I cannot say I understand why you chose to leave the people that would do anything for you.

Let the rebuild begin.

Image: ESPN

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