Before I type a single word let's all agree on this. The way Lebron James left this city 4 years ago was terrible, horrible, humiliating, tasteless, classless, unprofessional and undeserved by all of us. If I missed your favorite I am sorry. But I think we all can agree on that.
And can we please get past all the big money talk? Yes, Lebron is stinking rich. But so is Kim Kardashian, Johnny Manziel, Justin Bieber, Tom Hanks, George Clooney, Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, The Beatles, Michael Jordan, and trillions of other big stars and athletes who are the best in the world at what they do in a mass appeal industry. The point is mute.
But now, Lebron is back where he probably belongs, and where he will do the most good for the NBA, the Cavs and to the people of Northeast Ohio. This has spawned the huge debate again, do you love him or hate him? I never begrudged him for leaving 4 years ago, because I, and more than likely a ton of people you know, have done the exact same thing. No, we are not Lebron, and the impact of our move somewhere else didn't spur a national debate. But it's still exactly the same.
Lebron left 4 years ago because of intangibles. Officially defined: "not made of physical substance : not able to be touched" Lebron was a young man, who wanted at that time what this area could not offer him. He wanted South Beach, glitz, glamor, warmth, and to play basketball with his best buddies who wouldn't move to Cleveland. Let's not forget the Cavs won 60 plus games his last year or two. The best team in the NBA with an owner that had deep pockets. It wasn't that the Cav's couldn't win it. Lebron wanted different things at the time, many that were outside of basketball. And Miami had them all.
The whole thing reminded me of - me. (No, I am not saying I was Lebron) but I moved away from my home here where I grew up, for over 18 years as a young man. Why? I wanted to see different places. I too had Florida on my radar, and eventually got there and worked there for 10 years. Nothing could have stopped me then, and nothing could have stopped Lebron 4 years ago. You may have done the same thing as a young person, or are thinking of doing so now. And you may, or may not have come back home. When the nomadic bug hits a young person, it's tough to stop. It's intangible.
Only Lebron did it differently than we did. Most of us hoped for money from home to help pay the bills when starting out. We also asked family members and friends to spend their money and vacation time on visiting us, because we were lonely and still getting a foothold in our new place. And when we moved, we didn't send home thousands of dollars to help kids and people that we never met, because we missed home. From my chair, all that anger 4 years ago was misplaced. Although, the area deserved light years better than The Decision on TV. Lebron's intangibles were just too strong then, and like his drive to the hoop, could not be stopped.
And today, the exact same, more mature, and better thought out intangibles have brought him back to the Cav's and to our area. He could literally play for any team in the NBA, but he wants to be here. And if you are still angry, maybe it's time to reconsider. Or if you say, "who cares?" Maybe the same.
Whether the naysayers like it or not, Lebron is a windfall for this area. He is a one man economy. He brings with him 30,000 every night in attendance to The Q, and to bars, eateries, parking lots, RTA, The Casino's, Cabbies, vendors, security, T-shirt makers and sellers, countless other businesses, all who employ people and pay taxes. He also puts the area on National TV 3 nights a week, and you can't buy that kind of publicity. He makes people discover downtown, and reignites the fire in Cav's fans. There are hundreds, if not thousands of people out there who will find a job in one way or another with him a Cavalier. You may not like that fact,... but that is the fact. And that must be acknowledged as such, even by the most jaded or hardened of heart.
If you like Lebron or not, be glad for an area, our area, that needs good news about as much as any area in recent memory. The spotlight is back on Northeast Ohio again, and even if basketball isn't your thing, be glad that it is for some. Because the powerful energy that has been slowly building just got a huge surge with the return of Lebron.
Be happy for those who will benefit directly as fans and as beneficiaries. And, be happy for those who will benefit indirectly - all of us - when pride builds at playoff time. You won't be able to put your finger directly on it then.
It too, will be, intangible.