Well, well, well. Rumor has it the milk has begun to sour in good old Believeland. LeBron James was already bothered by the Cavaliers' lack of free-agent signings and the inexplicable decision by owner Dan Gilbert to let go of the team's universally respected general manager, David Griffin. But then came Kyrie Irving's shocking demand for a trade.
It only stands to reason that LBJ has to be regretting some things, such as, you know, leaving the Miami Heat four years ago. Yeah, we're still bitter about it. The pain and anger
1. In Miami, the only thing LeBron had to worry about was playing basketball. He thought all he needed to take from the Heat to Cleveland was James Jones and his barber. Fact check: Pants on fire. Playing for the Heat might have been a "college experience" for LeBron, but the thing about college is that your parents aren't there. LeBron has quickly realized what he should have known all along: Dan Gilbert isn't Micky Arison, and he's not Pat Riley.
In Cleveland, LeBron is expected to be the GM, coach, and franchise player. They want him to recruit players, make them better, and still be better than Jordan on the court. In Miami, LeBron could be just a player.
2. Kyrie Irving wants out of Cleveland for the exact reasons LeBron James went there. "I'm coming home," my ass. LeBron went back to Cleveland because he wants to own an NBA team, and emasculating Gilbert into turning over the keys to his franchise was the closest thing he was going to get to
Irving was obviously sick of being treated like a little brother or, worse, LeBron's son. In Miami, none of this would have been an issue because the Heat doesn't let a single player highjack a franchise even if that player is LeBron James.
3. Heat fans never acted like LeBron James owed them anything. In Cleveland, fans seem to believe that because LeBron was born in Ohio, he is indebted to them for his entire life. They will probably bitch when he buys the Orlando Magic instead of the Cavs in 15 years. It's never enough for those people. In Miami, we welcomed LeBron with a freaking smoke machine and a Justin Beiber-like concert entrance and then defended his shortcomings every chance we got for four seasons.
In Miami, we knew we were lucky to have LeBron James. In Cleveland, the environment is that he owes them something forever. It's never enough or good enough.
4. LeBron could have had career stability in Miami. LeBron will do just fine wherever he goes, but in Miami, he could have had everything come to him. Should the GOAT NBA player be skipping town, spending a year or four with a bunch of teams? Shouldn't the players be coming to him? In Miami, that would have happened. In Cleveland, he's going to get Derrick Rose on his last leg, literally.
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In Miami, LeBron could have set up shop and called it a career when it came to free agency. It would have been an annual race to see who got onto the roster to join him. In Cleveland, the Cavs have been able to sign only C-list veteran free agents to help LeBron, or make trades for washed-up players like Kyle Korver.
5. Obviously, Cleveland isn't Miami. Yeah, we went there. Do we really have to explain that Miami is a better place to live than Cleveland? No. No, we do not. Miami is already an amazing place for us average joes, but it's an infinitely more awesome place when you have about a billion dollars to your name. Need more proof? Check out LeBron's Instagram feed. We'll wait. You back? Uh-huh. What the hell, man?
LeBron has openly said that his family didn't want to leave Miami at first and that he had to sell them on moving back to Cleveland. Every chance he gets he travels back to Miami. He could have just kept living here. It makes no sense. We are still trying to figure it out.
LeBron had a wonderful well-oiled machine in Miami that just needed a bit of tinkering, but he chose to leave it. Be careful what you wish for.