There’s No Place Like…

First let me just say LeBron James can do whatever he wants, he’s a grown man with a family and he could do and move where ever he wants too.  I read the open letter that he did in Sports Illustrated.  He has made the decision to return home to Cleveland.

I was absolutely stunned by the decision.  I feel like I was the only one after watching some of the reporters who four years ago dogged out LeBron and “the decision” and just recently had harsh words for James.  Just like that as quickly as snapping your fingers it seems all is forgiven and everyone should move on.  Folks are praising LeBron for his bold move and making a non-basketball decision. Some are even comparing him to the likes of Muhammad Ali as an athlete defining his own legacy.

But I’m scratching my head on this trying to still figure out what’s going on.  The one piece I get and applaud James for is –

I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.

I respect what he’s trying to do here for the community that he grew up in.  It would be nice if more athletes could follow this piece.  Living here in Atlanta I’ve seen the school where Dwight Howard attended and the area surrounding it and well it needs help – big time.

But I still have issues with “The Decision 2.0” as LeBron also stated –

I’m not promising a championship.

But yet when he left Cleveland the first time and took his talents to South Beach he was guaranteeing championships to the Miami Heat organization and their fans – not 1, not 2, not 3 – you remember the rest.  He was successful with getting two championships and I know some in the organization are appreciative.

Heat owner Mickey Arison stated on twitter –

I am shocked & disappointed in today’s news. However I will never forget what Lebron brought us for 4 years. Thanks for memories @KingJames

Well my girlfriend in Miami doesn’t have any classy words right now and she tells me that most in Miami are feeling sad and betrayed.

I guess the problem I’m having is going back to play for Dan Gilbert.  I couldn’t do it.  I understand LeBron and Dan met and talked and all is forgiven.  I get forgiveness and its importance.  How you should not carry grudges – I get all of that.  It is the “forgetting” I’m having issues with.  I can forgive someone doing me wrong because at the end of the day – that heals me and is best for me and my heart and allows me to move on.  But that doesn’t mean I have to ever forget what was done; so with that I can’t forget how Gilbert showed his behind along with a lot of folks from Cleveland when LeBron first left.

The burning of the jerseys, the hateful tweets and signs and Dan Gilbert’s letter to LeBron – here are some parts of the letter –

As you now know, our former hero, who grew up in the very region that he deserted this evening, is no longer a Cleveland Cavalier.

This was announced with a several-day, narcissistic, self-promotional build-up culminating with a national TV special of his “decision” unlike anything ever “witnessed” in the history of sports and probably the history of entertainment.

You simply don’t deserve this kind of cowardly betrayal.

You have given so much and deserve so much more.

It seemed over the last four years Gilbert always had a harsh word or jab for LeBron James.

But now all is forgiven and they have the new t-shirts to prove it so.  But I’m still shocked and not ready to be part of the party where LeBron and Johnny Manziel are the guests of honor.

The saying “You Can’t Go Home Again” comes from a novel by author Thomas Wolfe.  The phrase “You can’t go home again” has come to mean that “once you have left your country town or provincial backwater city for a sophisticated metropolis you cannot return to the narrow confines of your previous way of life and, more generally, attempts to relive youthful memories will always fail.”

This is an interesting time and I’m sure I along with the rest who live in the sports world will have plenty more to say about this.