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Cleveland To LeBron James: Goodbye

MIAMI - JULY 09:  LeBron James #6, of the Miami Heat smiles during a press conference after a welcome party at American Airlines Arena on July 9, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images
Jim BertschContributor IJuly 10, 2010

LeBron James, you gave a lot to Cleveland. You worked hard and developed your talents here and became the best in the NBA.

That is no small matter, and you deserve the highest accolades.

Your strength and desire have given us, your die-hard Cleveland fans, much joy and excitement. We are witnesses to you, making deft moves to the basket, hammering down power dunks, and swishing 30 foot baskets. Your unbelievable performances make you a human highlight reel. For that, we crowned you our King James.

You gave us so much, and in return we gave you everything we could.

Somehow it wasn't enough. We are your lovers who have been dumped for another without any explanation. We are bitter and angry. Don't even think that we can forgive you any time soon.

In the world of sports you are now the enemy.

Why did you leave us? You know as well as we do, there wasn’t a good reason.

It is so much more painful to be betrayed, spurned by the one you love than those you simply adore.

It was our hope, our dream, you loved and wanted us as much as we loved and wanted you. Our wounds are deep and will be long lasting.

We will continue to be the greatest sports fans on the planet without you. We haven't won a major sports championship since 1964, but we continue to spend money on wonderful teams that come close but never quite get there.

In the free agent world of sports, our greatest players always find a way to leave.

Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird won their championships and built their legacy in one place. Never did they cut and run from their teams. It is incredibly disappointing and disheartening to have you turn your back and run away from us like so many others.

Art Modell took our beloved Browns to Baltimore, CC Sabathia spurned us for New York, and Manny Ramirez went to Boston. Albert Belle ended up in Chicago; he even refused to play for the American League when Cleveland hosted the All-Star game.

With them, it always hurt, but with you a part of us died as did your Cleveland legacy. Our hometown hero stuck a knife in our hearts and twisted it. Then he threw us on a funeral pyre to be burned and beaten by the Heat. To ease the searing pain, the grief we feel, we need a funeral down Euclid Avenue with your image over a coffin.

Somehow the bright lights, the gaudy stars, and the sensual pleasures mean more to you than your hometown fans, friends, and family. You are right to go to Miami (no one can argue with your decision), but you will soon realize the price you paid.

Never again will you feel the love you had in Cleveland.

We will move on, and you deserve everything you get there.

Every time we see you win another championship, our wounds, our deep festering sores, will be re-opened, knowing it could have been with us in your hometown.

You gave us so much. Now that you are gone, we can't forgive you, and we don't wish you well.

Goodbye.

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