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Crew fans get more on your favorite team
By Matt McCoy
Other than the Dallas Mavericks title over Miami in 2011, LeBron James keeps sticking it to Cleveland. The one-time Cleveland hero who led the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals once and had the Cavs in contention every year, is still persona non grata for many on the shores of Lake Erie.
James is the world's best basketball player and at times seems likeable...but the nationally televised "Decision" three years ago is still an open wound for many in Cleveland and all over Ohio. But now the LeBron haters have to deal with the fact that James is a champion--not once, but twice. The Heat have gone back to back after surviving a grueling seven game series with San Antonio.
"I came here to win championships," James said after Miami's 95-88 game seven win over the Spurs. "The vision I had when I decided to come here is all coming true...To win back-to-back championships is an unbelieveable feeling."
An unbelieveable feeling for James maybe...but for the city of Cleveland, it's something else.
"I think last year was the reality of him being gone and (Miami) winning. I think this year a lot of people have moved on, but it still hurts," said Mike Snyder, sports director for our sister station WTAM in Cleveland. "I don't know how you could erase (The Decision)...I think there will always overall be something there about the way he dissed Cleveland."
They say time heals all wounds, but Snyder, part of the Cavs radio network and as plugged into the pulse of the Cleveland sports fan as anyone, isn't so sure much has changed since James sat next to Jim Gray in July of 2010 and famously took his talents to South Beach.
"I don't think there were any parties last night in Cleveland," Snyder said of James 37 point performance that led Miami to the game seven win over the Spurs. "Everyone thought going into (the finals) that Miami was going to win it but then as the series went along and the Spurs showed they might be able to pull off the upset, people got a little more interested and were very hopeful the Spurs might get it done."
Instead, Miami got a miracle in game six and grinded out the championship in game seven, with James leading the way both times to earn the Finals MVP award. When you combine that with his championship last year and an Olympic gold medal, it's been a pretty good year for James.
The Cavs meanwhile, finished with the third worst record in the league and fired their head coach but did snag the top pick in the NBA draft lottery for the second time in three years. Cleveland also has a bona fide up and coming star in guard Kyrie Irving and other promising young players like Dion Waiters, Tristan Thompson and Tyler Zeller.
With Miami getting older and James with one year remaining on his contract, the rumors have circulated that LeBron could be eyeing a return to the Cavs to try to bring Cleveland its elusive sports championship. Sounds crazy doesn't it?
"Two years ago I would have said no chance...Now I say I think it's possible," Snyder said. "I don't know if it's likely. I'm not sure what him winning titles in Miami and maybe another one next year will actually mean but I've heard those rumblings... Anything is possible in this league and I know his ties back to the Akron area are very strong."
I for one, doubt that it will happen, but what if it did? If you're a Cavs fan, would it be 'forgive and forget' or would 'The Decision' still stick in your craw?
"If that would happen and the Cavs have (LeBron James with) Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters and they started winning, I would think a lot of people would say 'Hey, let's go...it could be a championship for Cleveland.' I think a lot of people though will still have a hard time dealing with that."
It probably will never happen...but boy it would be interesting to see.
To listen to all of my conversation with Mike Snyder click HERE: