I have no problem with LeBron James going back to Cleveland, just like I have no problem with LeBron James as a person. I will never say that “LeBron did it right this time,” because I think that’s one of the most narcissistic, arrogant mindsets a sports fan can have. People may not have liked The Decision, and I didn’t either, but judging someone for how he announced which team he was going to play for in a sports league is beyond stupid. Remember, LeBron donated his entire earnings from The Decision to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, while ESPN kept their share. Everyone on ESPN couldn’t stop calling him selfish afterwards, which seems a little hypocritical. Fans and media members all over think it’s fair to question an athlete’s own personal decisions from an armchair, despite probably never working as hard on anything as an athlete has to reach the peaks that they’ve reached.
So no, I don’t have a problem with LeBron doing what he wanted to do this time, either. He seems happy, and then I’m happy for him.
But I’m not happy for Dan Gilbert. Not with this letter still on the books. I’ve said it before on this site, but I’m a white, christian, straight male, meaning that I belong to probably the least discriminated-against demographic in history. And even when reading that letter, I felt that there was a huge racial undertone to the bullshit letter.
LeBron is a big man to forgive, and he admitted in his own essay, which was the opposite of Gilbert’s in terms of rationale, even-temperament, and overall maturity, that he understands that everyone makes mistakes.
I am very impressed by LeBron’s maturity and willingness to forgive, but, if there’s one aspect of his free agency process in 2014 that I wish I could change, it would be that Dan Gilbert should have to issue a public apology for that sad joke of a letter in 2010.
Gilbert is the same guy who only started crying poverty once LeBron James left, writing to David Stern about how 25 of the 30 teams in the NBA should change their name to the Washington Generals after Chris Paul was momentarily traded to the Lakers. Now, he’ll go back to crying about why the salary cap isn’t high enough for all of his stars or some bullshit like that. LeBron is happy to go back to Ohio, where his family calls home, and I’m just as happy for him as I am disappointed that Dan Gilbert gets what he wants without publicly saying he’s sorry for the racist letter.
And if you think I’m being too hard on Dan Gilbert, well, the letter was only taken down from the Cavaliers’ website in the past week, and he still hasn’t apologized. That’s because the letter is who he is, at least when a player that he thinks he owns leaves in a way that doesn’t make him happy. But now, he’s also the owner who got LeBron back. Too bad it didn’t come with a public apology first.