When the Heat won their first title of the Big Three era, I was predictably sad. I wasn't angry anymore, just bummed. "it was supposed to be with us." Alas, it was not with us. I had to get over it.
This year, I made my best effort to just appreciate how good LeBron was - I didn't have to root for him, but I didn't have to root against him either. I continued to acknowledge he was the best player in the world, and picked the Heat to win the Finals.
After the Heat won tonight, I sat around with my (impartial) friends, and we sat and laughed at LeBron continuing to awkwardly address Bill Simmons' whiteness, made T-Mac jokes, and felt sorry for Tim Duncan. The worst was over; I didn't have to feel bad this time.
And then on the drive home, I couldn't help being, well, bummed. Again. I did everything right this time; I didn't venomously root against LeBron, I tweeted impartially, I respected the series for what it was; incredible. But the feeling persisted, and I think I know why.
I think it's fair to say most FTS-ers were pulling for the Spurs in this series (unless they were trying for good karma just in case LeBron comes back (VECENIE!)
Are we all just a bunch of bitter haters? I'd don't think so. LeBron James is inextricably tied with our last basketball happiness, and is in the same way inextricably tied to the decline of that really, really fun era.
When I see LeBron James win a title, I barely think about Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh or even LeBron James. I think about the Cavs. I think about how much I miss my team being competitive, and no other player's success can bring me back to the Cavaliers' lack thereof like LeBron.
I don't begrudge LeBron for leaving anymore. As Zavac tweeted earlier, the Decision has been validated in every way from a basketball standpoint. I respect LeBron's game, and I respect how good the Heat were this year. And I still don't like them. And I don't have to.
I don't hate the Heat, and I don't hate LeBron. I love the Cavs. I love the community that supports this team, both virtually and at the Q. A lot of people hated the backlash after the Decision; some were just band wagoners. And those same people won't be happy until every Cavs fan is as happy for LeBron as they are.
But I don't think that's the way I have to feel. Some might call me a hater, but I call myself a Cavs fan. The Cavs aren't good right now. Hopefully they'll be good in the future, it certainly seems like they're trending upward. That positive trajectory doesn't make me feel better about what happened tonight, and that's okay. We'll get there. In the meantime, I'll just boot up my 2K and make the Cavs a winner again on my Xbox.