They say in life that you can’t miss what you’ve never had, but one must be thankful for all you’ve had, and that could not be more applicable for the City of Cleveland, Northeast Ohio and the Cavaliers basketball franchise during this week of Thanksgiving.
Akron native son, the wunderkind who survived life as an only child to a single mother, reared in poverty to ascend to the heights of the greatest basketball player in the world and arguably the most famous athlete on planet on planet earth is back.
LeBron Raymone James Sr. never knew his dad, but has become a model father to his three children, an adoring husband to his wife and a philanthropic enterprise of the highest order.
After spending his first seven seasons with his hometown Cavaliers, another four after his Decision to head south to Miami and return back to Cleveland for what was his final four glorious years with the Wine and Gold, he is back home again with his new team the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now approaching 34-years of age on December 30, it’s time for Cleveland and especially the Cavaliers to do something it should have done a long time ago…Say Thanks!
He gave this city his heart and soul, not to mention a relevance and economic resource stream that could not be duplicated, and then he launched the LeBron James I Promise School in Akron.
Who will ever forget 2016, ‘The Shot’ by Kyrie Irving and ‘The Block’ by LeBron that lifted Cleveland to the top of the world, the Cavs first NBA title, and the first for a title starved city in more than five decades.
It was the most unified Cleveland and Northeast Ohio had ever been, millions basking in the championship glory, Blacks and whites, rich and poor all felt the same joy during that downtown parade.
That happened in only his second season back from The Decision, and it was the fueling of a four year run of the NBA Finals and Eastern Conference Championships that finally soured in June when the Cavs were swept into no man’s land by the dynamic Golden State Warriors.
It was indeed the end of all title aspirations, but most significantly it was the end of LeBron James career as a basketball player in Cleveland.
The clock had struck midnight, and Cinderella disappeared and the ugly sister would replace her. There would be long gloomy days ahead and there would be no disguising it this time.
The team with relatively the same players and the same coach could not win a game.
The championship coach Tyronn Lue blown out before the winter storms came. Kevin Love hurt again. This time LeBron James cannot save them; they are left to figure it out on their own.
Let’s see if Dan Gilbert can buy his way out of this.
So, as LeBron comes home, for this one night in November, the feeling of ‘Believeland’ will return at Quicken Loans Arena.
There will be sublime and applause when he is introduced as a member of the world famous Lakers franchise.
It will be a moment to reflect on the 849 regular season games he played for the Cavs, the 152-playoff games, and that remarkable 82 game regular season he gave Cleveland in his final season. LeBron James had never played a complete 82 game regular season before that.
He gave it everything he had.
Now is the time for Cleveland to give him everything it has in the form of genuine appreciation.
Retire his damn jersey now, don’t wait! Put in motion plans to erect a statute of him when The Q renovation plans are complete.
After all that’s the least you can do.
Say Thank You! To The King!
His twilight years as a player will be greater than your highlights as a franchise going forward, but no one can take away that for 11 years you were together as one and the kid from Akron gave you all he had.