Mon. June 25
Does Leaving Cleveland Still Haunt LeBron?
LeBron James’ first reaction to winning the NBA championship last Thursday: ”It’s about damn time.”
Well, humility’s not exactly the virtue we’ve come to expect from King James. But something about his words nagged me all weekend: There’s reason to believe he still can’t let go of Cleveland. Despite all the talk of him starting anew, turning over a leaf, and whatever else his move to Miami meant, the ghost of Cleveland still follows him. Moments after putting away the Oklahoma City Thunder and winning his first championship, he brings up the past, unprovoked. ”I made a difficult decision to leave Cleveland . . . ” he started, his victory speech tainted by an effort to justify his sins of two years ago.
He’s never explicitly apologized to the city he dumped and humiliated live on TV. Though, as a native Clevelander myself, I couldn’t help but notice from the post-game comment that it would seem the guilt of leaving his hometown still haunts him.
Now all of his dreams have come true, but it feels like the wedding night of a second marriage — his celebration tempered by the knowledge he left his first wife.
Mary Rose Somarriba is culture editor of Verily Magazine.