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Open Letter from a Cleveland Sports Fan

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Written by Warren Schorr

Is he really coming home?

This can’t really be happening right now; LeBron James really is coming home and rejoining the Cleveland Cavaliers. When Sports Illustrated released their exclusive piece, I’m Coming Home words of LeBron James written by Lee Jenkins, I didn’t know what to feel. I thought it was a prank at first that’s just the Cleveland mindset. When you go through that much heartbreak from Elway’s drive, to the Fumble, to Jordan’s shot over Ehlo, to the move, to the two Indians World Series losses and the Decision—throw that in with a 50 year championship drought in major sports—that’s the way we think.

Cleveland isn’t that same city it was in the 1940s and 50s when there was a booming economy. It was the 10th largest city in America; Cleveland was the place to be. Then the factories started to close and people moved away because jobs became scarce.

While those people may have left Cleveland, the city never left their heart. The city is always in your blood, people around the nation don’t understand us and we like it like that. I try to explain it to people, but it’s just something that can’t be explained. You have to live there to understand it. The people that move away do miss Cleveland every day and wish they can go back, but they can’t. We take sports very seriously, probably more seriously than we should, but that’s us so be it.

We want to win so badly and experience that championship feeling everyone else has.

When LeBron left in 2010 in hurt really bad. He was supposed to bring us our title, but left for Miami to go chase something we wanted to badly. We made him a villain, and crucified him whenever we got a chance. When the Mavs beat the Heat in 2011 it felt like we won the title. Then 2012 came around and LeBron won his first title. We accepted it. We didn’t like it, but we accepted it. Then apathy set in and we, yes, missed LeBron. Reports started to surface in 2013 that there was a chance that LeBron would return when he was a free agent in 2014 and everyone scoffed at the notion that he would come back. We didn’t want to get our hopes up just to get left at the altar again.

On Friday morning when he made his decision to return home we could not believe it. The best basketball player in the world chose to go to Cleveland. That just doesn’t happen to us. Home is the reason why LeBron’s coming back, he misses his hometown. While the glitz and glam of Miami is nice it’s not home and that is where the heart is.

While this essay is written for everyone, it is meant for the people of Northeastern, OH. We know him better than anyone and he knows us better than anyone. People have started crying reading this. This is what we have wanted the entire time; an apology for The Decision and for him to come home. We got that all in one and it even made me tear up as embarrassing as that is. The final line in this essay really hits me, “In Northeastern Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.” This describes everything about us hardworking, blue-collar town that never gives up.

I’m happy, excited and I just don’t know what to think or feel. Does this mean we will finally get to experience what winning a championship is? I sure hope so, but winning a title is hard. The one thing I do know, LeBron James is a Cleveland Cavalier and I couldn’t be happier.

Welcome home, LeBron.

Link to LeBron’s full Sports Illustrated article here.

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