From a Cleveland fan’s perspective, the view on LeBron James now compared to in 2010 is much different. It was, after all, ten years ago that Cavs fans were on pins and needles waiting for James to make a decision on where to play for the coming years.
Of course, the heartbreak of July 8 and “The Decision” devastated this entire town.
James would go on to win two championships in Miami as a member of the Heat before facing a similar decision in 2014. This time, the superstar would return home.
2016 looked like another year of disappointment after the first four games of the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors. Then, James and the Cavs won three-straight to become NBA Champions. It was glorious by every measure. James had made good on that promise and gave Cleveland the title the city so desperately yearned for all of these years.
Now, James is on a different team again in the Los Angeles Lakers. However, it’s just so different because of that championship and the current COVID-19 pandemic society is facing as a whole. There isn’t any basketball being played right now because of it. Without the aforementioned, it would be the offseason anyway. A champion would have been crowned in June like usual and that would be that.
49-14 is the Lakers’ current record compared to a Cavs mark of 19-46. This isn’t 100% because of LeBron James. However, the second departure this time to Los Angeles does clearly make a difference. Even so, it’s not like the fans here in Cleveland “hate” LeBron like those four years in Miami.
Remember that first game against Cleveland back in 2010? James was seemingly hated by every person in those seats. This time around, when games are actually played, it’s not the same at all. Clearly, fans are still appreciative of the championship James won this city in ’16.
It’s amazing that ten years have passed since that original free agency, which ended in such blistering disappointment. However, there was a return and a championship before another departure. There was a parade on the streets of Cleveland and such a celebration that the people in the area had never experienced before. That is, unless those reading this are in their 80s or 90s and think about the 1948 Cleveland Indians.
When LeBron James eventually does choose to retire, and it may not be for a couple of years, it will hopefully be as a Cleveland Cavalier. Right now, fans are already celebrating all of the achievements made in a Cavs uniform. After all, the times have changed for society as a whole. From 2010 to 2020, it is amazing how different the perspective is on LeBron James.
Photo via: SB Nation