An Open Letter to Lebron James

By: T.J. Zuppe

Does Lebron James Even Care?

Dear Lebron,

Now that you have come clean on your intentions of leaving the city of Cleveland, and northeast Ohio high and dry, and you have bolted for greener pastures in Miami, there are a few things you need to realize.

Despite your reasons for leaving your hometown city, despite being good ones or bad ones, no one cares anymore. The perception of you leaving the city of Cleveland will trump those every day, over and over until the end of time.

We know you wanted your name to be uttered with the greats. Well here is a news flash.

You can officially wave goodbye to Michael Jordan status. You will never be considered in the same breath as Jordan, and your legacy is now forever tarnished.

What you can say hello to, are endless criticisms.

Welcome to Art Modell status, Lebron.

You will forever be known as a traitor and a backstabber in your hometown and beyond. Not saying you are deserving of such harsh words, but that will not cause it to be any less relevant and on people’s minds, and tongues.

You will also forever be known as the guy who could not get it done by himself.

You had to rely on other alpha-dog Dwayne Wade. You had to go to his hometown and beg for his help to get you over the top.

You had to conspire with free-agent forward Chris Bosh, and after he turned down your alleged pleas to play in Cleveland, you gave in, and took the easy road to join the next “Big Three”.

Hey, do not get us wrong, we get it. Some people will give you credit for seemingly putting winning in front of the money.

No one will debate your move from a basketball standpoint, but that is not what this whole process is about. It is about your name being dragged through the mud by the very people that loved you endlessly.

It is about you turning your back on your home, no matter what your reasoning, no matter how many titles you win in South Beach.

No one will care about the seven years you spent giving your all on the court at Quicken Loans arena. The Most Valuable Player awards, the back-to-back beyond 60 win teams. No those will be easily forgotten.

Instead everyone will remember you pulling up lame with an elbow injury. Everyone will remember Game Five against Boston in the 2010 playoffs.

Everyone will remember you leaving the Cavs high and dry.

You may say this is unfair. You may think this is wrong.

You are probably right on both counts.

However, that will not change it in people’s mind, and that will forever be more important than what actually was, and is. Quite frankly, you made your bed, and now it is time to lay in it.

Quite possibly, you just do not care what the naysayers think. That is just fine.

We will be just fine. This city has seen and been through far worse and lived to tell about it. After all, you are just a man who happens to play basketball really well.

Heck, maybe this letter does not speak for everyone, so that is why we leave you with this;

Enjoy Florida, Lebron. Good luck with your championships, and we hope you thrive on villain status.

Formerly yours, The City of Cleveland.

Follow T.J. Zuppe on Twitter: @TJZuppe

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