LeBron Was Drowning In Sea Of Unhappy Decisions

LeBron James

Here’s another drop to add to a bucket overflowing with so many LeBron James story lines: The King was biding his time, which was irking the masses,  because he was drowning in a sea of unhappy and unfortunate decisions.

His options were A) stay in Miami on a roster that’s going to showcase many of the same weaknesses that cost him his third title and, in the process, let down a Midwest city desperate for some good news B) return to a place that disowned you, burned your likeness, and looks to be in the same disarray you left it in, all while playing the part of prodigal son, or C) play up the mercenary angle and link up with a Houston, a Chicago, a Phoenix, a Dallas that promise easier pickings but little guarantees.

All three scenarios presented dubious qualities. All three, given the kind of hate LeBron gets (and, yes, attracts), had the possibility of most likely ending with James getting some sort of vile. If he stayed in Miami, he’d take on a max contract and, so, stunt the Heat’s competitiveness. If he returned to Cleveland, he’d be allowing a whole city of Dan Gilberts to get away with poison of the deepest kind. If he went the third route, he’d seal his fate as a championship chaser—the kind you don’t want to be associated with.

But, at the end of the day, it wasn’t basketball decisions that made up LeBron’s mind. As he exclusively told Sports Illustrated, it was a decision “bigger than basketball.”

As his hurtful departure showed in tears and flames, sports figures mean to a people perhaps more than they should, but not more than can rightly be understood. Northeast Ohio remains an important part of LeBron’s identity even after South Beach, after the championship runs, the champagne celebrations, life as the game’s greatest active player. It remains a good place to grow up. So, when LeBron told many proud residents of Northeast Ohio that their place of residence wasn’t good enough, didn’t stack up to a Miami, he did more than jump franchises.

Though LeBron had no easy basketball decision this offseason, he was able to side with Cleveland because he finally sees how he fits in to the bigger picture. Of course, it could all be an ingenious marketing scheme. Or, it could just be a man finally understanding that the Decision 1.0 was a matter of basketball only to 25-year-old- LeBron. To Cleveland fans, to countless other basketball fanbases, and to the future LeBrons hoping to take over where James departs, it’s always been about more than just basketball. For millions, drowning in their own sea of unhappy decisions, James’ newfound understanding might just be enough to win him back into their graces.

As James himself acknowledged, Cleveland won’t be a contender next year. As far as basketball decisions go, it might well be a disaster. But, it’s good to see James back home.

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Bogar Alonso
Bogar Alonso is a dedicated student of the hardwood, soccer pitch, boxing ring, and tennis court. He is a regular NBA contributor to XN Sports. His work, involving more than just sports, has appeared on The Creators Project, A&E Networks, XXL Magazine, and others. Follow Bogar on Twitter @blacktiles