The NBA: The Prodigal Son Has Returned

LeBron James decides to go back home to Ohio.
(image from

Back in June, after the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the Miami Heat in the Finals, I wondered if that was the end of an era. It was very possible but I did not believe that LeBron James or the others would leave South Florida. Even with all the rumors coming in earlier this week about LBJ going back to Cleveland, in my gut I still believed that he would choose to stay in Miami. Why would he leave a winning environment? Why go to a wild and messy situation? The Heat still offered him the best chance of reaching the Finals for a 5th straight season. His buddies (Wade and Bosh) were willing to absorb another pay cut to play with him in Miami while LBJ sought a max contract. Nah, no way he is leaving for another team.

Oh boy, I was dead wrong. Painfully wrong.

 July 11, 2014: LeBron announced, in an essay posted on, that he's coming home to play again for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The same team he left 4 years ago and the same owner who acted like a jilted lover were preparing to welcome back the Prodigal Son. Actually, it was more like rejoicing, celebrating, and partying. Now, who wouldn't be like that after getting the best player in the NBA while he's still at the peak of his powers?

The King is coming home.
(image from
Am I mad that LBJ left my team, the Miami Heat (been a fan since the Eddie Jones and Alonzo Mourning tandem)? Not really, but I am very disappointed, frustrated, and hurt. I hoped he'd stay, and I wanted him to stay. He came 4 years ago and transformed the Heat into instant title contenders. Those were my best times as a basketball fan! Who does not want exciting and entertaining basketball that results in banners and rings?

Unfortunately, LBJ decided that Miami and its aging and declining cast were not what he wanted for the future. He ached to go back home. He needed to be wanted and loved again in his hometown. He wanted to make things right in Cleveland. It also helps a LOT that the Cavs have a young team that can develop into a title contender with LBJ, Kyrie Irving, and Andrew Wiggins (maybe Kevin Love too) in town. Maybe it was not a hard decision for him at all.

I get that. I understand his emotional and psychological decision. I can even see the basketball shrewdness of this decision. LBJ felt that the Cavs have a brighter future and probably more years to contend while Miami is in decline, specifically Dwyane Wade. Imagine this, the Heat failed to impress me with their off-season moves for 2013-2014, and I'm certain that LBJ felt the same way. That, however, doesn't mean that I have to support and agree with him.

LeBron in Miami made me a big fan of his game. He is truly the best player of his generation. Of that, I have no doubt. I am thankful and grateful for the 4 years he gave us. However, I cannot root for him and his team when they play against the Heat, but I will continue to be entertained when he plays. Furthermore, I will not be a hater (like Mr. Hoop Nut who now has been turned to a lover again) but simply a non-supporter of other teams.

So, what's next for the defunct Heatles? Chris Bosh is their current max player and D-Wade is expected to stay. Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger have verbally committed to play in Miami, but that might change due to LBJ leaving. Miami is still looking for other players (Deng, Ariza) to fill up the roster spot vacated by James. This team will still probably make the Playoffs if Wade is relatively healthy (65 games at least), but reaching the Finals will be a stretch as presently constructed.

Meanwhile, the Cavs will be instant locks to make the Playoffs after 4 years of futility. They might be able to attract a couple of players (Miller, Allen) willing to take less money just to play with LeBron, too. Can they reach the Finals? Absolutely, but winning it all will be highly unlikely. The West is still better and stronger. In any case, the Cavs are in a much better place today and in the next 4 years than they were the past 4 years. Adding the best player to your team does wonders, right? See Miami Heat 2011-2014.

Im excited for the season to start already, and I cannot wait for the first game between Miami and Cleveland. Even the NBA season does not stop during the offseason. Truly, basketball never stops, and hating on LeBron will never stop regardless of his chosen team. Stay classy, Heat fans. No need to hate him. Let's thank him for the memories and move on. Maybe the Heat and Cavs will meet in the Playoffs and just maybe Miami can defeat LBJ. That will be okay. Who am I kidding? I'd LOVE that! Let's go Heat!

You ready for LBJ + Wiggins + Kyrie?
(image from @Around_The_NBA)

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1 Comment

LeBron has taken control of his career like nobody else has done, by crafting the perfect storybook homecoming twist.