Dear Mr. James-
You broke our hearts. There’s really no other way to say it. I’m not the first and I probably wasn’t the most affected. But it happened. No rational person could blame you for chasing your dream, but it was the way it happened – that’s what put us in tatters.
People reacted badly. You know this better than anyone. Horrible things were said, jerseys were burned and silly, shortsighted letters were written.
This you know.
You may know why this is all so personal. Allow me to explain anyway. In most times and places, sports are about competition and heart and statistics and streaks. They are about the spectacle and the celebration. But every now and again, it is about more than that. You will witness it firsthand this weekend when you go to watch the World Cup.
Watch as the Argentinian fans embrace Messi. His story is much like yours. He grew up in Argentina and was hailed as heir to the throne of Maradonna. The savior of Argentinian football. Then he left. And a country mourned. Would he really play for Spain and devastate a nation?
But he came back. And his return is about more than futbol. It’s about redemption and sacrifice and loyalty. It’s about his home.
And so it is with you. This has always been about more than basketball. For me, it’s about being able to look my kids in the eye and tell them that home is important. That loyalty maters above money or fame or championships. We take care of our own. We give back to those who have given so much to us.
You have that opportunity. You could play in Miami or New York or Los Angeles. Your fame is secure. Your bank account balances just fine. A major media market can give you stardom. A return home will make you a legend!
This decision is about so much more than The Decision. In Miami you will be an All-Star and MVP and part of the Big Three. Only in Cleveland can you be the King. Honorable and good Kings return and lead their kingdoms to a glorious inheritance.
This is a story that normally only happens in fantasy books. You have a chance to write it in life. It’s time for the Return of the King!