By: Judson L. Jeffries, PhD
Four years and two NBA championships later LeBron has reportedly decided to leave South Florida and take his talents back to Cleveland where he spent seven years not only as the Cavaliers’ main attraction, but the star attraction across all Cleveland sports. And to play for a man in Dan Gilbert who, like a scorned lover called him a coward and a quitter in a letter that was posted on the team’s website. I’d be naïve if I didn’t believe much worse was said behind closed doors. Wow!
Gilbert who was so enraged at LBJ for taking advantage of a system (free agency) that former St. Louis Cardinal Curt Flood helped put in place many years earlier that he made the ridiculous public declaration that the Cavs would win an NBA championship, before Miami would, a team comprised of three of the top NBA players of their generation. Yeah, Ok. The Reverend Jessie L. Jackson was so repulsed by Gilbert’s behavior that he likened him to an overseer who had suffered enormous economic loss due to the escape of his prized buck.
When the Miami Heat lost to the Dallas Mavericks the year after he left Cleveland, Gilbert reveled in LBJ’s failure as did many others given the comments posted on twitter and other social media. For some demented reason, many derived some sort of perverse pleasure from seeing LeBron fail.
In the days leading up to today, some African American analysts wondered understandably why and/or how LeBron could consider a return to Cleveland with Gilbert as owner. Recently, Hall of Famer and former Cleveland Brown Jim Brown chimed in on the matter stating that there would have to be a strong public apology on the part of Gilbert to LeBron before any return could be seriously considered.
I should note that the letter to which I referred earlier was coincidently edited just days ago, not rewritten, but edited, tracks included. No attempt whatsoever was made to craft a new letter. This is the owner to whom LeBron has elected to return. Reportedly Ms. Harriet Tubman once said “I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”
To view the letter click on link