Living in Northeast Ohio, it was like a volcano erupted last night. I don’t mean it just rushed through and wiped out everyone in the area, it was like a volcano erupted many miles away, but still in sight. We all felt something rush through us, like earthquakes and tremors triggered by the explosion.
I know personally, my chest tightened, my legs tingled, and I had this overwhelming sense that something was going to be missing for the next few years.
Has the dust settled? Not even close. It’s still raining down, perhaps not as violently as just after the eruption, but still coming down.
I think of myself as a responsible basketball fan, not just Cavaliers fan or LeBron fan, so I didn’t take the news as hard as some of my Ohio brethren. The burning of jerseys is irresponsible and ignorant and Dan Gilbert sounds like a complete fool. But the anger is understood.
He not only left, he left for the sexier, younger woman who happens to be a yoga instructor. But I can’t blame him, no matter what others may think, he is not only going to a team that has realistic championship expectations for the next near decade, but he is joining a team that is composed of his friends. And if you could do that in a place that has sunshine year round, who wouldn’t take that opportunity?
It’s a sense of betrayal that the fans are feeling. They devoted their time, effort, money, and hearts (for lack of a better word, maybe spirit. I’m not talking about the frontrunners) for the past seven years as well. They drove to Cleveland in freezing sleet, snow, rain, whatever, to watch one of the greatest players in his generation to lace up his shoes and play.
Could LeBron have handled this in a different way? Absolutely, but it wouldn’t have changed the outcome or the fact that Cleveland would not have gotten another player in free agency. Dan Gilbert could have handled his reaction differently, as could have the idiot fans who had access to lighter fluid and an open flame. I would be a hypocrite to criticize LeBron for doing something that would make him the happiest, since that is what I think everyone should do (to an extent).
I don’t want bad things to happen to him, or Bosh, or Wade, as many Cavaliers fans have expressed interest in. I want them to win, because I like basketball, not just a single team. The Heat are now the greatest theater in the NBA, taking the reigns from the Lakers. Every night should be a spectacle. It would be foolish to expect anything but dynamic, exciting, great play from these three.
Saying all that, I don’t really blame a lot of Cavs fans for their feelings. This is not the first heartbreak for Cleveland fans, and it won’t be the last. This is another in a long list of tragedies in the realm of sports. Like always, Cleveland fans will continue on, championship or not.