LeBron James, as you may have heard, is leaving the Cavaliers for a second time to join the Los Angeles Lakers on a four-year deal. He clearly has learned his lessons from the first Decision, and has made sure to thank the fans.
Shortly after the press release announcing his decision to join LA, LeBron posted three Instagram stories:
LeBron thanks Northeast Ohio on his Instagram story pic.twitter.com/AFlgrp5HXa— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 2, 2018
From a distance, this is smart messaging from LeBron. The 2016 title is specifically what will keep the majority of Cavaliers fans from being particularly broken-hearted about the move, and evoking those memories is always going to be a win.
He also shared an update on his foundation and the school he’s building, re-affirming his commitment to the Northeast Ohio community. It’s about as well as he could have handled it without actually saying anything in front of a camera.
The wound is fresh, and people will certainly cope with it how they will. There will be dumb people who burn jerseys, and there will be people who are just sad. Some will be toxic — most won’t. Ultimately, this too shall pass and the relationship will be rebuilt as LeBron James moves into his post-playing career.
In the meantime, the Cavaliers should consider their messaging. There’s been no communication on their end to LeBron James or their fans, and ideally the team will present some sort of statement soon.
It’s going to be a long, long summer.