Lebron James returns to Cleveland tonite as a member of the Miami Heat. His new team takes on his old team and there's a lot of speculation about what the fan reaction will be, and a bit more on what it should be.
Here's the right answer for Cleveland fans: cheer the guy.
I am sure that there are people that read that sentence and wonder just what the heck I've been smoking, snorting, or injesting, but bear with me a minute...
Cleveland fans should be cheering when James is announced into the game. They should let out the biggest and best cheer they possibly can when he is announced as a starter for the Heat. Why?
Ah, that question is an easy one to answer: because Cleveland no longer has to deal with the guy. He is now Miami's problem, and, in my own opinion, will wind up being a problem in Miami for years to come.
As I heard discussed on the radio the other day, this is a player that pretty much refuses to be coached. He has always been the guy and has always been able to do whatever he wanted without much concern for sharing the ball, or getting the rest of his team that heavily involved in any game. Now he's on a team with a couple of other "superstar" players and none of them can figure out how best to play with the other guys on the court with them. He could have remained in Cleveland, taken a wheelbarrow full of money from that team, and waited for that team to add pieces around him that would compliment his play style all the while playing however he wanted. He was, after all, the somewhat local boy made good. But he didn't want to stay there. He wanted to play for a championship, wanted to play in the big town, and wanted to get away from Cleveland.
Too bad for him that he and his fellow superstars have severely handicapped his current team when it comes to salary flexibility. Unless they are somehow able to luck into a couple of great complimentary players via the draft, or unless they can find a few aging but still servicable players that will take the league minimum for a chance to play with those superstars to get a championship (and that may or may not really be possible because injuries can happen anytime and there's no guarantee that you could get the chemistry you need on the court no matter who you pick up), it doesn't seem likely that he will ever get to play for a championship, at least not unless or until things change drastically in Miami.
So again, the fans of Cleveland's NBA team should cheer when Lebron James runs out on the court. Cheer loudly and proudly that you aren't stuck with him. In the end the Cleveland Cavaliers were made much better through addition by subtraction. Hopefully they will be able to find their way into the playoffs and a good shot at an NBA championship sooner rather than later and with that hopefully wash the bad taste of the whole Lebron James era right out of their mouths.