LeBron returns to town tonight for the first time since signing with another team. We hope it's some closure for the fine folks of Cleveland, rather than just an opportunity to throw themselves yet another pity party.
Don't get us wrong; we hope you scream your lungs out at LeBron James, a professional athlete who took full advantage of a free agency system that's been in place since 1976. We hope you fully convey your displeasure with the relocation of a man who was raised in a town 30 miles away, despite only the whims of a random envelope selection having placed him on the Cavs in the first place — the territorial pick hasn't existed since 1965.
And then we hope you'll have gotten it out of your system. Because, you see, while you might have had the country's sympathies back in July, no one sees you as victims. We're starting to see you as whiny babies who need to get over the fact that LeBron's gone, and he's not coming back.
Think of any of your friends who have gone through a bad breakup. You want to comfort them at first, but do you continue to take their side when they keep moaning over what they lost, weeks and months later? They might even use the phrase "but we were supposed to be together," or something similar. No, clearly only they thought that; their significant other didn't. If it were true, they'd still be together.
But Cleveland thinks they're special, that they deserved LeBron for some reason. That mindset runs throughout Wright Thompson's cloying "Believeland" piece yesterday. Give me a fucking break. You really think your city's connection with LeBron was so special that no one else could possibly understand? And that LeBron never understood it?
You're not special. Every city's economy is in the shitter. South Florida's unemployment rate is higher than Northeast Ohio's. Detroit's still a wasteland, despite the Pistons' and Red Wings' championships. And it has nothing to do with not having won a championship since 1964, a fact Cleveland is all to happy to remind you of. Boston claims that "connection" crap all the time, and they've won just about everything this decade. LeBron wasn't a symbol of hope for a downtrodden city. He was a basketball player, playing basketball in a city.
And then there are people like Scott Raab, who somehow managed to feel personally slighted, even as he pretended to be a journalist. "Whore of Akron?" Raab lives in New Jersey now, so a man who left Cleveland is fightin' furious with another man who dared to leave Cleveland. And yet Raab, wonderful writer that he is, isn't nearly as relevant these days without his role as the prophet Abraham, ceaselessly railing against LeBron's King Nimrod. But Raab and the rest of Cleveland fancy themselves more akin to Job.
So enjoy the game tonight, your first of many chances to tell LeBron James in person just what you think of him. Be vocal, be passionate, don't be violent. But when it's over, and LeBron's moved on (he already has), why don't you try the same thing.
Christ. Seattle lost their entire team and they don't bitch half as much.