Five Ways to Get Over Your LeBron Heartbreak (According to a Clevelander)
As your resident Clevelander living and working now in South Florida, let me just say that I'm glad this roller-coaster has finally hit the breaks. A couple weeks back, when someone told me LeBron might re-sign with the Cavs, I brushed it off as homer, pipe-dream BS. After one shirtless trainer's tweets, a Himalayan range of bullshit, and many nail-biter hours, the greatest basketball player of his generation is going home. Miami, I know you're heartbroken. I'm bummed, too - the Big Three were a special part of basketball history, and now they're done-zo. But back in 2010, I watched LeBron gut the city of Cleveland before a live TV audience, so I've eaten the whole buffet of LBJ related emotional damage. Here are some tips for getting through the long night ahead.
Craig Hatfield via Flickr cc
5. Stop listening sports talk radio. Just twist the knob, cut out that white noise. Of all the industry people who we can blame for the last hellish week - from chatty agents and executives who felt they needed to get their two cents in, to big money outlet reporters scrambling to make it seem like they're four steps ahead of even rumor that splashes down on the web (3:30 announcement, trainer bro, Riley meeting, etc. etc.) - sports talk radio folks top the list. It's not just that they've been gargling up every rumor, then vomiting up every nugget on air. It's the relentless - and ultimately transparent - sense of arrogance they bring to the job: No fucking way, LeBron would leave Miami for a shit hole like Cleveland, etc. etc. (I would say the exception to this has been Dan Le Batard, who's handled this thing with class). Keep in mind, that what is fueling the opinions of the AM and FM noisemakers isn't objective journalistic inquiry or knowledge-driven deep dives into the issues: it's self-preservation. When the best player in the world leaves town, the town's sports scene suffers. And when the sports scene suffers, the job security of local talking heads is less sturdy. JUST. TURN. THEM. OFF.
4. Go ahead burn that jersey. If that's going to help you get through the day, go head, fire that sucker up. When LeBron left Cleveland, I didn't get pyrotechnic, but I did trash some merch. I had a LeBron hoodie with his face on it, right over the heart. So I took a black sharpie, and ran an "X" across his beaming pucker. It was stupid. I was stupid. I still have the hoodie. Now every time I'm looking through closet, I see it and think about how stupid I was back in 2010 when I drew on an expensive piece of clothing with a marker because I was mad a grown adult made a decision I didn't agree with. It's good to keep reminders like that around. So if you burn anything, keep the ashes.
3. Buy a ticket to the Cavs first game in Miami. Screaming at LeBron when he comes back to town for the first time in wine and gold isn't going to cure you're heartbreak, but it will feel good. But don't uh . . . bring batteries to the arena or anything like that . . . maybe that's just a Cleveland thing . . . yeah, forget I mentioned that part.
2. Think about February. You live in Miami, which is pretty awesome. It's even more awesome in February, when they officially shut down happiness in the city of Cleveland due to weather conditions. Think about it.
1. Accept that this was just bigger than you, Miami. Go read, LeBron's Sports Illustrated piece. As he makes clear, under the mega-famous exterior, he's still a dude from Northeast Ohio with a complicated relationship with his hometown, a dynamic that brawls inside everybody who's from a fiercely prideful part of the country that gets shit on for reasons both real and overblown. LeBron said it best: "My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn't realize that four years ago. I do now." More than money, or Wade's bum knees, this was about bringing one home for the 216/440/330. Keep in mind that unlike other struggling patches of the Rust Belt (Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Milwaukee, etc.) Cleveland hasn't won a sporting championship since 1964. Forty years. LeBron knows this, and said as much in words that send tears to the eyes of anyone from blasted and beautiful piece of dirt on the peaceful banks of a contaminated lake. "Our city hasn't had that feeling in a long, long, long time." Not one "long," not two, but three. That's how long it's been for Northeast Ohioans.
BONUS TIP: Don't be this guy. This is from a real Facebook post:
This is how I see it, we were the college girl at the college party passed out from a night of hard drinking, Lebron James #6 creeps inside a room and rapes the city of miami to oblivion!!!!! You un loyal piece of human feces you fucked this team and dismantled it to hell!!!!, We gave you our cuban coffee, our cuban grandmother making pan con bistec for you on calle 8, our beautiful women our beaches EVERYTHING!!!!!!! Words and the feelings and the mix emotions are indescribable , Lebron James you fucked us out of 2 NBA championship 2010-2011/2013-2014....You choked on 1 and the other you GAVE UP!!!! LEBRON JAMES THERE IS A CAUSE AND AN EFFECT, THERE IS A REASON WHY THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS HAVE 5 CHAMPIONSHIPS and its called LOYALTY!!!!!! You will never and I mean EVER!!!! be as great as MJ or KOBE or BILL RUSSEL or MAJIC or LARRY.... UD has more NBA rings than you LEBRON JAMES!!!!!! No one disrespects the City of miami not even the president of the united states!! You fucking scum bag of a circus clown you fucked us
Don't be this guy.