It’s barely been a day since the news broke of Cleveland’s prodigal son returning to claim his basketball throne. Like Michael Jackson’s death or the royal baby’s birth, every Cleveland fan will remember where they were when they heard the news. I was putting on my pants for the day when LeBron’s now famous Sports Illustrated picture came up on my television screen. Based on his pose, I assumed LeBron was preparing to sell me some nice real estate. Or perhaps looking to give me an estimate on life insurance, being the physical specimen he is. Then the reporter started talking and I had realized my basketball dreams were being fulfilled. LeBron James was returning to the place where it all started.
LeBron’s essay was just the right amount of words with just the right amount of heartfelt meaning to prove to me how he truly feels. His four year journey in Miami being likened to college is one of the most meaningful analogies I’ve ever heard. Some modern fans forget that LeBron came into the league straight out of high school, which no matter how you interpret, it speaks volumes for his maturity levels. Now he heads home with an understanding for winning and the game of basketball that he never had throughout his tenure in Cleveland. I could go on for hours (as many news stations have) about The Return, but let’s focus on what happens next for the Cavaliers franchise.
Almost immediately after the confirmation, reports surfaced of the Cavaliers trade offers to Minnesota. David Griffin and Co. are using everything in their arsenal NOT named Andrew Wiggins to entice Minnesota into departing with Kevin Love. Without Love the Cavaliers are certainly a playoff team, but with Love they become final contenders. An Irving, James, and Love big three will have basketball folks everywhere shaking in their boots. Just the thought of it has me shaking as I type. It really is a miracle that I’m not making dozens of typos right now to be quite honest. Now even if Kevin Love doesn’t dance his way over here from the Timberwolves (Dances With TimberWolves starring Kevin Love is a great documentary title, ESPN), many reporters are declaring that past LBJ teammates such as Ray Allen, Mike Miller, and Chris Andersen are being pursued by the Cavaliers. The only thing for sure is that Cleveland isn’t done yet this offseason.
Another point highlighted in LeBron’s essay was his belief that he can now be a mentor to the players in Cleveland. If this bodes true, which it likely will, Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and the rest of the team are primed for the best mentoring of their lives. Imagine being a quarterback for your struggling team and having five time MVP Peyton Manning assist you in learning what he knows. It’s an extremely rare opportunity and the potential outcomes scream with positivity. Don’t forget new “mastermind” head coach David Blatt or the new highest paid assistant coach in the league, Tyronn Lue, a very good friend of Mr. LeBron James. Everything in Cleveland is bright at the moment, no matter which way you look at it. It’ll be fun to see what progresses in the upcoming days, but we can all take a deep breath for now. The King has come home.