Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hometown Delivery: LeBron James

Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven….only two. As most of you know LeBron James is going back home to start the next (and final?) chapter of his career. In his four years in Miami he reached the NBA Finals four years straight but only won two. Is this considered a failure? There are some who say it was but some who argue winning two titles is still a heck of an achievement. In his first year in Miami, the Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks in five games. I still believe losing that series, made him take a hit on his reputation. They were the heavy favorites against Dallas and they lost in five games. What a disappointment to start the “Big Three” era off. The next two years is what was expected of the Miami Heat, winning two straight titles defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder and the San Antonio Spurs. This past year, the Miami Heat were defeated by the San Antonio Spurs in five games. The Spurs were the better team but the Heat had the best player. It is unfair to blame LeBron for this loss but being the best player on the planet, he will take a lot of the heat.

LeBron James left Cleveland with a sour taste in their mouth by bolting to the Miami Heat in 2010 and teaming up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. The Cleveland Cavalier’s owner, Dan Gilbert, left a very bold message after LeBron signed with Miami. "I PERSONALLY GUARANTEE THAT THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS WILL WIN AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP BEFORE THE SELF-TITLED FORMER 'KING' WINS ONE". Safe to say he was wrong on that. It feels like the Cavaliers just won a championship by signing LeBron, but they still have a long way to go. LeBron seems like a good person, so are we surprised he wasn’t angry at Dan Gilbert to bring him back? LeBron is the veteran of the very young team and he has to mentor many of the young players in order for this team to be successful. It will be a fun team to watch. He signed a very flexible contract as he can opt out next year if he isn't happy with the team. You don't see teams do that very often letting players opt out after one year. The Cavaliers did everything they could to successfully sign him. LeBron wanted to go home and now he has a chance to deliver a championship to his home town, Akron but it won't be easy.

LeBron James announced he was leaving the Cavaliers the first time with an ESPN special “The Decision”. It was completely unnecessary to do it like that but he was young and didn’t know any better. Although he donated all the money generated from it to charity, he did not understand how selfish that was. This time he wrote a very good piece in Sports Illustrated called “I’m Coming Home”. The way he announced his decision this time was much more liked and people did not bash him (as much) for it. 

Although LeBron’s won two titles already, by bringing a title to his hometown Cleveland would definitely be the most meaningful title for him. He mentioned how playing in Cleveland means much more to him than just basketball. Being one of the best players ever to play the game, if he wins the NBA title, especially in his first year back, it will be the thing everyone remembers him for. If he fails to deliver, people will criticize him just like they do for when the Heat lost. Being the most scrutinized person in sports is a tough thing to do, but staying low key with his decision definitely shows how he has matured over the years. We are all witnessing one of the best players to play the game and too many of us don't appreciate LeBron James enough. LeBron James has a lot of weight on his shoulders and if he brings a few titles back to Cleveland he can close out his career with a story book ending.


Alan Liang is a senior Drexel Sport Management major with minors in Marketing and Business Administration from West Windsor, NJ. Alan scores baseball games for Baseball Info Solutions and is currently on co-op with the Philadelphia 76ers in the camps department. Follow Alan on Twitter @AlanLiang29. 

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