Uggghh. Listening to Mike and Mike on ESPN this morning and of course all the talk is about the Heats clinching of the NBA Title, and more importantly LeBron’s first championship.
Cleveland Fans Reaction
I watched every minute of Game 1-4 in the Finals and then the first 3 quarters of Game 5, the last game before the ‘coronation of the king’ and the outcome was a final punch in the gut after a long, drawn out street fight between LeBron and the city of Cleveland. As a loyal fan of Filipino boxer, Manny Pacquiao, I was extremely disappointed when he lost his last bout against American fighter, Tim Bradley (it was fixed i tell ya! and if I was in the Philippines, I would’ve looted the streets!), but that is a mosquito bite compared to the all-over body shingles this outcome gave me.
I initially assumed ALL Clevelanders felt the same I do. Still feeling as venomously towards LeBron beginning the second he announced ‘the Decision’ and still pumping thru my veins as the Thunder rolled over in the 3rd quarter and fell behind 25 points. I couldn’t watch the game anymore but the hate didn’t subside, perhaps simmered even more with the heartbreaking acceptance that he was going to hoist that trophy. Still seething and passionately focusing all my most negative feelings toward LeBron, the quitter, the coward that dumped us on National TV, the traitor. I prayed with all my might before every Finals game that the Heat would not win.
Could Care Less
So this morning, while writing this I asked my Cleveland sports expert, Tye Aaron Brown (TAB) for his thoughts on LeBron’s championship. “I think a lot of people don’t care”, Brown mused. “I thought LeBron was eventually going to win a championship and now its done and we can all move on and next year there wont be any more hype. We all hoped he wouldn’t win because we were hurt.” Those are the words of a very level-headed individual that has as much passion, knowledge and love for Cleveland sports history as any other person scouring the PD sports section, ESPN and Cleveland sports blogs on a multi-daily basis. But some of us arent wired that way and hold grudges to the grave, right wrong or indifferent.
Cleveland reporters are describing the mood in our city today as ‘relief’. Really? I don’t feel relief, any closure…there was no big sigh coming from me.
The LeBron Fans
Which brings us to the other end of the spectrum. This week we watched game 4 with a couple 13 year olds from Cleveland that clearly love and admire LeBron. One boy said he didn’t have a problem with LeBron leaving. That was like putting salt in my wound but being almost thrice their age, I had to act like an adult and bite my tongue.
There are people that are going to love LeBron regardless because of one and or all of the following reasons:
1) He’s just an awesome athlete
2) He’s the superstar for this generation. We had Michael Jordan. They have LeBron.
3) He’s overcome adversity throughout his personal life and an amazing amount of scrutiny throughout his professional career.
TAB mentioned that a reader of Cleveland Frowns commented that as a minority/person/group that may feel oppressed by society, you feel an affinity and may blindly root for someone of your own that has risen up, beat the system and claimed victory while playing for your hometown team or even another. I myself have observed some people that don’t regularly read or watch sports, but supported LeBron’s decision to leave, finding no fault with what nor how he announced it. And I genuinely respect that.
The Day After
Which brings me to a different perspective today. I have accepted that he’s won…but did he do it the right way, as LeBron described his journey? LeBron didn’t do it the right way. LeBron’s play was the epitome of excellence in every statistical aspect of the game and with his teaming up of other All-Stars, but of course he would win. I was amazed by his sheer strength in the low post and appreciated his vastly improved free throw shooting (although he periodically at times reverted back to waiting til the clock dwindled to a few mere seconds before trying to sink a jumper).
I noticed while proofreading this before hitting the ‘post’ button that I use the word ‘still’ 3 times to describe my animosity towards LeBron. And it takes a lot of energy to ‘still’ despise someone. Using the word ‘still’ to describe something is typically not used in a positive fashion. I’m still waiting. You’re still on hold? They’re still dating? I am starting to think this negativity I am still harboring is not worth it.
If you put Clark Kent against Lex Luther, then thrown in The Joker, The Penguin and bathe them in Kryptonite, of course the bad guys will win. Game over even before the battle begins. But that’s why they do sequels.
Lil C says, “get over it Mom”.