The Prodigal Son Returns

The day that many in Northeast Ohio have hoped for, expected and believed in for four years has come. The “King” has returned to his original throne, thus bringing a “New Hope” to a city desperate for a championship.

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It’s all smiles in Northeast Ohio again.

In the book of Luke in New Testament of the Bible, where the parable of the Prodigal Son originates from, the younger of two sons begs his father for his inheritance because he couldn’t wait until his father’s death to get it. Once he received it, he traveled to a distant country and blew his riches. He ended up poor and working tending to pigs once a famine struck. This led him to long to live like the pigs he cared for so he’d have anything. This revelation led him to return to his home, where even his father’s workers lived well. When he returned his father immediately welcomed him and threw a celebratory feast for him. All was forgiven.

How does this relate to the best player in the game? LeBron is returning home, hoping to be forgiven and receive the love of his family (Cavs fans), he left behind chasing riches (the Larry O’Brien Trophy). The key difference in the Biblical parable and real life, James isn’t returning a broken man or financially depleted, but like the Prodigal Son, he returns more humble, mature and wise. More importantly, better prepared to give this winner starved city what they always thought and hope he could give them.

This truly is the best “Decision” for LeBron James’ legacy. In the eyes of many, he can never surpass Michael Jordan—his idol—even if at the end of his career he had more rings. It will always be held against him that he’s already lost in three of five NBA Finals appearances, while MJ never loss in six appearances. Many hold that against Kobe too, he’s lost twice. Then there is the whole “he had to team up with two other Superstars” to get the two he did win.

So the quest to surpass Michael Jordan has ended—even though LeBron would probably publicly deny there ever was one. But, where LeBron could raise his stature higher in the annals of history, is by winning a title for a city that hasn’t won since 1964. Oh, and it happens to be his home area/market. If LeBron were to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to championship glory, that one title and how ever many others he could win, would be equally worth more than the titles he’s lost or could ever win anywhere else.

But there’s a few things that need to happen before the ball is tipped on this new era.

The first thing that NEEDS to happen is Cavs owner Dan Gilbert should sit next to his prized acquisition at a public press conference announcing his return, and give an impassioned apology opposite of the letter he wrote four years ago. His words and tone were a disgrace and could’ve cost him and this city this moment.

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I hope to see more of this in a public presser side by side with LeBron.

The second thing that should happen, is LeBron should give a heartfelt apology to Clevelanders for the way he left (not that he left) in 2010 and express many thanks for being welcomed back home. This letter is a great start.

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This is a start. Courtesy: SI.com

The third thing he should do or rather not do, is guarantee he will deliver the city a championship and throw a parade along with it. As much as people were turned off by “The Decision” telecast, the show he, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and the Heat threw is what really made them such an easy target to root against. I can bet my entire savings that nothing like that will be happening in Cleveland. Well maybe Cleveland fans will storm through the streets in excitement, but don’t they deserve to?

For Cleveland and LeBron’s sake, I hope he does eventually end the city’s dubious streak. But if it doesn’t happen quickly or at all, I hope you fans don’t vilify him every offseason like you did when he led the team to the organizations first and only NBA Finals, then followed it up with a couple 60 plus win seasons while winning MVP.

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In order for this reunion to flourish, there will be a need for a large dose of forgiveness poured out by EVERYONE. Star, Owner and Fans. But, that’s no different from any relationship, personal, professional or romantic. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, in the past four years I hope Cleveland has better learned how to appreciate LBJ for the once in a generation talent he is. I hope he too appreciates what he left behind when he took his “talents” for greener pastures. Not ever one gets a second chance with their first love, don’t blow it Believelanders and Bron Bron. The Prodigal Son has returned.

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