Today is a whirlwind. People are bringing up the fact that Clevelanders burned LeBron jerseys, cursed his name on July 8, 2010. The Decision. It was a day everything changed for my city. Whether you are from Cleveland or not, you know, sports is the passion that runs through our veins.
Heartbreak on the court, the field, the diamond haunts us and follows us. But it doesn’t make us any less proud or hopeful. The day our King announced he was leaving, my city was crushed. For the first time, all that hope was sucked right out of our sails. We were mad. Hurt. Blindsided.
My friend Robyn and I have shed our fair share of tears inside stadiums and bars. OK, maybe more than our fair share. We live and breath it, that Cleveland passion. Some of my MOST cherished memories of my home have Robyn by my side, wearing our Cleveland gear, and cheering our brains out. Talking on the phone with her, minutes after LeBron announced he’s coming home, we were both taken back to those days. We remember vividly walking down the streets of Cleveland, a massive Witness sign for all to see, a pride in the air you just don’t find any place else. So many amazing memories from years ago. They all came flooding back for us today.
Yes, the words “LeBron isn’t welcome back” have come out of my mouth, more that once. I didn’t want him back. Not because he left. Because of the WAY he left. How hurtful it was to us. But time heals wounds. It’s been amazing to see Cleveland’s hope come rushing back this week, as talk began that LeBron may really be coming back to us. That hate is gone. Why? Because it never really was hate. It was passion.