LeBron v. Cleveland: Let the Dysfunction Begin

I can't wait until Thursday night when the Miami Heat come into Quicken Loans Arena, bringing with them a former Cleveland Cavalier who took off during the summer for a free agent deal in South Beach.

I wonder how the fans will react to Zydrunas Ilgauskas?

Actually, it's fitting that LeBron comes back to Cleveland during the holidays. After all, what says holiday season more than family dysfunction? And that's the reason this game will draw huge ratings. People have been awaiting this from the moment James decided to "take his talents to South Beach". The prodigal son returning home to a not-so-forgiving family.

It's understandable. It's dramatic. It's compelling. It's also worn me out. It's like being invited to someone else's family gathering only to watch a huge family fight break out. Awkward.

Oddly, it's not like I feel bombarded with promos and stories about what's could happen on Thursday night at Quicken Loans Arena. Yes, they're out there, but I've managed to mostly avoid them - reading mostly headlines. What's really to say? LeBron bailed on Cleveland. They're pissed. It's gonna get ugly.

It went from Cleveland Rocks to Cleveland Might Throw Rocks.

So I guess I'm left with a feeling of "let's get this over with". The LeBron/Heat hype this season has been nearly intolerable. The fact that they're 10-8 is amusing to me less because it's humbled the new Big 3, but more because it makes ESPN's Heat Index look even sillier than when they first proposed it.

But I've grown equally tired of the Cleveland venom coming back at him. It all started with Dan Gilbert's grenade-launching open letter to Cavs fans. Then it spread to angry (yet sometimes hilarious) fan sites. Then we had dueling commercials - LeBron's Rise leading to Cleveland's Response and a whole slew of spoofs. 

Since I'm not from Cleveland, I can't imagine the depth of your sports pain. It's admittedly been pretty ugly. I have no idea what it's like when your best and brightest championship hope decides he wants to break your heart on national television...especially when he was literally one of your own. 

For awhile, you had the nation's sympathy. LeBron was the bad guy. A cross between Judas Iscariot and Kanye West. He couldn't have handled the situation worse. 

Through it all, Cleveland couldn't be the bigger person. The constant sniping has turned me off. We get it, you're pissed. Yet when it comes to the point where the Heat feel like they can't release their travel itinerary and the NBA is adding extra security, it's time to tone it down.

Besides, the cameras may be better served to focus on the fans and the benches. The biggest story in Cleveland has been how the fans will react to LeBron. Meanwhile the biggest story in Miami has been whether LeBron bumping Erik Spoelstra was a sign to management that the head coach should get StanVanGundy'd.

As for the game itself, well...what's really to watch? I'll just cut a big slice of sweet potato pie and settle in for some good ol' family dysfunction.

You can also find this post at Sportsalert.com

No comments:

Post a Comment