Ok, I think it is obvious that LeBron James can do or say anything and it will make national news. When he showed up at Jacobs Field(Oh, I know the name changed, but I prefer The Jake to The Prog) wearing a Yankees camp during last season's ALDS it got everyone in Cleveland bent out of shape. How could King James do this to Cleveland? "Blasphemy" they said.
Soon after the season ended, all the uproar faded away as LeBron put together his best regular season of his career and once again led the Cavs on a playoff run. Winning, it seems, cures all ill-will. It didn't last too long, with LeBron once again throwing the hearts of Cleveland fans under the bus this past Sunday, showing up to Cleveland Browns stadium to pay homage to another of his childhood favorites - the Dallas Cowboys. Lebron was seen sharing hugs with the likes of Terrell Owens and Pac-Man Jones. Once again, Cleveland fans are up in arms over James' allegiances.
Perhaps Browns WR Braylon Edwards can clear up some of this for us --
"It didn't bother me," Edwards said. "As I've gotten to know LeBron, LeBron isn't a Cleveland guy. LeBron only plays for the Cavaliers, and who knows if he even likes the Cavaliers? He doesn't like the Indians. He doesn't like the Browns. He's a guy from Akron who likes everybody but his hometown.
"I don't know how that's possible, but it is what it is, and he is who he is. You know, it's LeBron."
Braylon is partially right. LeBron isn't a Cleveland guy. He's an Akron guy. I know Akron very well. There is a definite "little brother" feeling to the city, with alot of resentment from Akronites, (or is it Akronians?) towards the city in the great north. LeBron is incredibly loyal to the City of Akron. He holds several charity event in the city, and his clothing line will outfit the University of Akron basketball team. Like Edwards said, LeBron James isn't a Cleveland guy, he's a guy from Akron who LOVES his hometown.
That leads us to the question. Should Cleveland fans be concerned, annoyed, pissed even, that LeBron doesn't root, root, root for the home team? Let's start with when LeBron grew up. A child of the late 90's, LeBron is a confirmed Yankess, Cowboys and Bulls fan. Is it surprising that those 3 teams won alot of games and Titles during the 90's? Three Super Bowls, 4 World Series and 6 NBA Titles. That's alot of winning. We all went to school with the kid who liked whoever was winning, you know, the Front-Runner. Is that what LeBron is?
Maybe, but not so fast. LeBron is a freak athletically. Much of that is physical, bit not all of it. There have been dozens of examples of great athletes that failed in athletics. The ones that excel are the ones that want to win so badly that it consumes them. They are addicted to it. Should we find it surprising that someone like LeBron, someone that is addicted to winning and success, would not be attracted to it in other sports? Not a surprise to me, that's for sure.
Let's not forget LeBron's age, either, or the fact that James loves to stir the pot and get attention. Why else would he say during the Olympics that he would entertain playing overseas. Easily a topic for it's own post, LeBron signing in Euorpe in 2 years is far-fetched to say the least. Financially, a team may offer LeBron some crazy contract. LeBron isn't stupid, however, and he is a basketball historian. He knows the only way to create the legacy as one of the best ever to play would be to play in the NBA for 15,16 years, not in Greece or Italy.
Now that we have some idea why, should Cleveland fans be bothered? Hell no! To me, LeBron can wear any hat he likes. What I want from LeBron James is to show up every night at "The Q" and give me everything he has every minute he's on the floor. That is what LeBron's obligation is to the City of Cleveland and it's fans. Oh, and it would be nice if he hit a free throw every now and then, too, but one thing at a time. If LeBron is going to average 30/7/7, he can wear any hat he wants. Does that make me a bad Clevelander? If you are saying yes I think that's ridiculous, but I respect the opinion. I just think people care too much about wanting their athletes to be perfect, to be something that, in reality, is impossible. Perfect.
Just enjoy what LeBron does when he is wearing the one uniform that matters, the Wine and Gold. Anything else is well enough left alone.