LeBron Better Win Titles as Jilted Cleveland Weeps
In the same cruel swoop, though, he left his home region in tears, deepening the agony of a socioeconomically depressed northeast Ohio by fleeing the Cleveland Cavaliers. Not only does the move contradict his supposed life priorities of family and allegiance, right down to the "Loyalty" and Akron area code of "330" tattooed on his body, it plunges the coldest dagger yet into a cursed, gloomy area defined by sports ignominy as diabolical as "The Shot," "The Drive" and "The Fumble." To that evil triangle, add "The Escape Hatch," the departure of a native son who doesn't think he can win at home and, thus, feeds a fatalism from which Cleveland can't recover.
There were the heartbroken fans, burning his No. 23 jerseys in the streets, cursing him with such anger that riot squads were summoned throughout the region to quell unrest. And there was James, at a Boys & Girls Club in the safe and faraway shelter of Greenwich, Conn., looking at the videos of the flames with stony, watery eyes. Still just 25, he has learned a lesson about pledging loyalty to a city when he can't back up the claim. Clearly, James made this decision to please himself and a legacy that demands he win championships to be considered among the greatest.