LOS ANGELES, July 11, 2014 — July 11 is nationally celebrated as 7-11 day and everyone gets free Slurpees. Not only did the people of Cleveland get free Slurpees today, but they also got LeBron James back. A free Slurpee in Cleveland has never tasted sweeter.
In a letter posted on SI.com, James announced that his talents will be returning to Cleveland.
It was a letter from a humbled man, who four years earlier decided to take his talents to South Beach on a televised news conference called, The Decision. The Decision was then followed by The Introduction of the big three, James, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade, where they descended on a platform through smoke and flashing neon lights.
This decision came with no smoke machines, neon lights or even a handful of confetti. James did not even set up and invite the media to film him and broadcast his next move on live television. It came almost as a memo.
The Memo shows LeBron has grown and learned from the way he did things in the past. James has acknowledged these mistakes. James said he still would have left Cleveland in 2010, but he would not do it the same way.
The best part of the letter, aside from James saying he was going back to Cleveland, was that he said, “I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.”
The Memo has given Cleveland renewed hope. Fans were crushed when James left in 2010. Now, James wants to not only bring championships to the area, but also a sense of civic pride.
Cavs fans can look forward to a young team that is bursting now with four of the last 12 number one draft picks. This core of young talent will be led by one of the best players in the league. While LeBron was busy winning two championships in Miami, Cleveland was busy winning three draft lotteries.
Time will tell how many of those young players are still around by the time training camp opens. Will the Cavs stay with their youngsters or will they give up some youth for some experienced talent, such as a Kevin Love from Minnesota?
One thing is certain. The Miami Heat have instantly become the new Los Angeles Lakers, minus the championship tradition and storied history. No, the Lakers have not gotten any better. They are still bad and in a terrible place right now, but Los Angeles is no longer alone. The Heat have lost LeBron and Chris Bosh will probably now take Houston’s offer.
What had the makings of a potential dynasty in Miami has now flamed out after just two championships. While the situation looks bleak right now in Miami, things are not completely messed up for Heat fans. It is still July 11, after all, and at least you can still get free Slurpees. Things could be worse. LeBron James could have waited until July 12 to release The Memo and you would have to bear it without a free Slurpee.
Kevin J. Wells is the Sports Editor for Communities Digital News. He also writes about Major League Baseball, punk rock music and food. Kevin plays guitar in the Los Angeles punk band Emmer Effer. Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball