Whenever breaking news affects the Cleveland Cavaliers landscape, the Right Down Euclid staff has you covered from all fronts. With a wide variety of staff members – not all being cut from the same cloth — RDE always wants to showcase the opinions of their writers whenever a story carries a lot of weight and debate. For this specific post, the RDE crew reacts to LeBron James’ decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Zak Kolesar, Editor:
This was the most up-and-down week I’ve had in my life; well, at least as a journalist. Between hearing the words sources and airplane and cupcake owner, it was just all too much. I was pretty certain that the King would be returning to his rightful throne, but I didn’t want to believe anyone who didn’t seem sure or who was seeking attention. Journalism is my profession, so I could every bit of LeBron news I heard this week very seriously and carefully. I didn’t trust any of Chris Broussard’s reports — reports that even ended in tweets with a smiley-face emoji — and instead looked to trusted insiders like Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports or Cleveland’s own Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio. If you weren’t an accredited blogger/journo, I didn’t even bother with your report. The whole experience of waiting for LeBron to make a decision this time around caused more chaos in my eyes than what he did four summers ago when he announced he’d be taking his talents to Miami on ESPN. “The decision is going to come via his website at 6 or 7 p.m. on Wednesday.” “Now we’re looking at a 3:30 p.m. announcement, so let’s gather outside of the King’s house in Bath, Ohio.”
Then finally, BAM, like Sam Amico said would happen. Out of the blue, LeBron made his decision to return to the Cavs. Not that the team he chose was out of the blue, but the way in which is was reported. Sports Illustrated had been quiet all week in regards to reporting on any hint that LeBron would be returning to Miami or making a trip back home. Then, just before noon on Friday, Lee Jenkins of SI posted a letter, mostly penned by James, stating that he’d be returning to his hometown to finish his basketball career. No championship promises were made, and by the tone of the letter, it seems as if LeBron has matured tenfold from the person who received a lot of backlash from announcing his choice to join Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in Miami in an attempt to win multiple championships. He made a grown-man decision this time around, and I’m more than happy to welcome back a matured LeBron. I’m extremely happy for the city of Cleveland, and I can’t wait until things get started.
Mike Schreiner, Senior Staff Writer:
How did I feel when I heard the news of LeBron James’ return to the Cleveland Cavaliers? Surprised? Elated? Relieved? How about all of the above? I’m 36-years old, and with the exception of four years of college and one year of teaching, I’ve lived my entire life in Cleveland. I’m old enough to remember The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot and every other piece of Cleveland sports misery that’s been played on ESPN over and over. I was a freshman in college during the 1997 World Series, and I remember being so upset after game seven that I wasn’t able to go to class the next day. What’ I’m not old enough to remember is a major Cleveland sports team winning a championship, as the last time that happened was 14 years before I was born. I’ve seen Cleveland sports teams and their fans (myself definitely included) endure one terrible season after another, and even the great seasons ended in heartbreak. I still remember The Decision and how I felt that night and in the days afterward. I wasn’t worried that the Cavaliers would be terrible, I was worried that the team would eventually leave and become the new Seattle Supersonics. When I heard the rumors of a potential reunion between James and the Cavaliers, I downplayed it in my head. Not because I didn’t believe Chris Sheridan or any of the other men who reported the reunion as likely, but because I didn’t want to get my hopes up only to get burned again. Now that it’s finally happened, I feel surprised that James has picked Cleveland over a Miami team where he had won multiple titles, relief that the fans of Cleveland didn’t get their hopes up for nothing and elation because the best basketball player in the history of the Cleveland Cavaliers has returned to the team while still in his prime. However, with all that being said, my greatest feeling is one of hope. Hope that the pairing of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving can lead this team to the one thing I have never seen in a lifetime as a fan of Cleveland sports: a championship. Whatever happens now, whether the team adds a player like Kevin Love or not, today is a great feeling in Cleveland because our hope has been renewed.
P.S. The one other feeling I have was best summed up by my buddy Nick who sent me a text that simply said, “Chris Sheridan should be standing on a corner in Bristol, Connecticut swinging his d$#k around right now.”
Kevin Stankiewicz, Senior Staff Writer:
I felt like I was setting myself up for disappointment. I could not get enough of the LeBron talk the last few days, constantly refreshing twitter just hoping to see some concrete answer to where The King would play. I hoped it was Cleveland, but I figured that my heart would be broken in typical Cleveland sports fashion again. But this time, the city of Cleveland came out on top…for now. Once the season starts, I will be thrilled to watch one of the greatest athletes on the planet play for my team once more. I know the Cavs will be exponentially better than last year and The Q will house some of the world’s finest hoops. LeBron’s essay was splendid and a classy, professional way to handle the situation. Welcome home LBJ, I’m glad you’re back.
Hiroki Witt, Staff Writer:
OHMAHGAWSH, THIS IS AMAZING. LeBron was one of the very first players I ever really paid attention to as a youngster, so this is quite wonderful. I mean, I don’t want to beat a dead horse because I feel like we all feel the same great feelings, but wow, I am really excited. Not only to have the services of the most talented basketball player on the planet, but also because of how he’ll impact the city AND the other talent on the team. I’m getting giddy just thinking of him playing alongside Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins.
I am extremely happy for the entire Cavs fan base, that they finally get to experience some true happiness after four years of futility. This should be a great year, Cavs fans!
Marlowe Alter, Staff Writer:
This is a shocking, monumental decision by LeBron James to go home to Cleveland, the city he deserted four years ago. As James said in his short essay on SI.com announcing his return, “my relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball.” This isn’t about basketball; this decision is about finishing what he started 11 years ago and bringing hope back to the city of Cleveland. This move home is about halting the city’s 50-year championship drought.
From a basketball standpoint, James immediately hoists the young Cavaliers from a perennial lottery team to a championship contender in the weak Eastern Conference. Vegas has already gone overboard by placing the Cavaliers as the favorite to win the NBA title next season ahead of the Spurs, Thunder, Rockets and Clippers. However, James himself said “it will be a long process…my patience will get tested.” Outside of Anderson Varejao and James, nobody on the roster has sniffed the playoffs. This team is one of the youngest in the league. As currently constructed, the Cavaliers have FOUR former No. 1 overall draft picks (James, Irving, Bennett and Wiggins) along with Waiters and Thompson, both of whom were picked fourth in their respective draft classes. Cavs GM David Griffin likely has more moves on the horizon. The team lacks outside shooting and is clogged on the wings with James, Wiggins, Bennett and Waiters. James mentioned that he was excited to play with Waiters and Thompson but mysteriously left out Wiggins and Bennett, indicating there could be another move coming. Kevin Love may just be that guy. The Timberwolves have been fielding offers for Love, who wants to play for a contender. He’d be a great fit next to James and Irving because of his ability to score from anywhere on the court along with excellent rebounding and passing skills. Amidst all the rumors that will surely swirl around the Cavs over the coming days and weeks, there is one clear fact: LeBron James has made the Cleveland Cavaliers relevant once more.
Colin Zvosec, Staff Writer:
My first thought after digesting the LeBron news? I really hope they don’t trade Wiggins. I realize that we should all just be celebrating James’ return, but I can’t help but think about this team next year. Kevin Love seems like the prime target now, and given all the noise surrounding him, he very well could be on his way to Cleveland soon. However, the idea of being able to put LeBron and Wiggins on the perimeter together feels like something that is too good to pass up. Who better to mentor Wiggins than LeBron? I know Kevin Love is the better player right now, and probably will be for the next two to three years, but after that? Wiggins could be special. Wiggins could bridge the gap between LeBron and the franchise post-LeBron. Besides, Kevin Love could simply mandate that he will only sign an extension in Cleveland, thus forcing Minnesota’s hand (I don’t know why he would, just know that he could). Clearly, I’ve gone off-topic, but none of this is possible without James returning. The home opener is going to be incredible.
Ian Flickinger, Staff Writer:
When we look back through the annals of history, people are going to talk about three things: discovery of fire, invention of the submarine and LeBron coming home. No matter your personal feelings on LeBron, the act of leaving, the poorly “fonted” and often-mocked letter written by Dan Gilbert that followed, or his subsequent return home…this is a monumental moment for Cleveland. There is a Flint Tropics MegaBowl-level of excitement right now in Ohio.
Seriously, though! GET EXCITED!
This has basketball implications for the Cavaliers as well, you know. LeBron may be four years older, but he’s still the best player in the NBA, and his game has grown and changed considerably since his time in Wine and Gold. This is not the Baby Bron-Bron who battled the Celtics Big Three; this is the LeBron that formed his own Big Three and made Ray Allen the Benedict Arnold of Boston for coming to play with him. A team that was three or four years from really contending is now on the cusp — any team with LeBron will be. A Kyrie-Wiggins-James-Thompson-Varejao lineup is nothing to scoff. Or read deeper: Where were Wiggins and Bennett’s names in the “Coming Home” letter? Is James hinting at an in-the-works acquisition? It doesn’t matter right now. Put aside the hysteria and you see this was the best possible result for all parties involved. Or simply enjoy the hoopla surrounding his miraculous return…it’s up to you. Either way, remember where you were when Lee Jenkins sent out that link. This is moment you don’t want to ever forget.
Collin O’Connor, Future Staff Writer:
It’s still a little surreal to me to see someone who was just recently hated by this community be so celebrated and welcomed now, but it is so much fun to watch. As he said in his letter, “this is bigger than basketball.” LeBron is bigger than basketball. He almost broke the Internet with a countless number of rumors and sources going 1,000 miles per hour for the last week. Everyone wanted a part of the madness. His handling of the situation, though, was a blueprint for future stars to follow. His letter was emotional, mature and really showed how much this city means to him.
Now it’s time to watch The King go back to work in the place he belongs. It’s going to be one heck of a ride this season and moving into the future, and I can’t wait to see one of the best players of all-time blending with all of the young talent already here. Welcome home, LeBron. I can’t wait to watch you bring this city a title.
Jimmy Cook, FanSided Heat: