Nearly 24 hours after the “return of the king” to Cleveland, I’ve been noodling on my thoughts all day. From the outset, I looked at yesterday as a ridiculous spectacle driven by the media to once again frame Cleveland in a foolish position. I’m proud of Cleveland, the city, last night. The Cavaliers team…not so much. Look, Lebron is going to be Lebron. If you thought he was going to walk into “the Q” last night and break down in tears, you haven’t seen him the last few years. Lebron is a talent and talents rise to the occasion. They feed off of the moment (negative or positive). Which raises all of the questions about the Celtics playoff series last year, but that is an entirely different post…
What I am still a little unsettled about was the reaction of the team. There were hugs at mid-court, laughs off to the side, playful gestures with his headband and I’m sure other things the camera never caught. It was as if the team rolled out the red carpet and invited Lebron to get comfortable…so he did. His new team spoke after the game about “family” and how “their brother” was going into a hostile environment. While they haven’t played to expectation this year, for this night, they played as a unit and a family.
This is where I struggle with last nights display in Cleveland. If I am a Cavalier (which I am not), Lebron doesn’t stand in front of the bench and get comfortable. I’m going to stand up and let him know there’s a whole lot of other places on the court he can go stand. I might even throw in a “why don’t you take your talents over to the south beach bench too”.
If I’m Byron Scott, I’m going to take a few steps outside the coaching box to remind Lebron that he dressed in the visitors locker room and apparently he’s forgotten which team he plays for. Fines might come later but A) these guys can afford it and B) that didn’t stop Scott from ripping refs last week.
Last night will prove to have solidified the Miami Heat and derailed the Cleveland Cavaliers. It will be interesting to chart the course of the teams over the next few months. Safe money would say they go in opposite directions….which is what a Cavalier or two should have told Lebron to do last night too.