sports culture

Say It Aint So, Say It Aint So LeBron
By: Isnel Othello

Four years ago on July 8, 2010, like any sport fan, I tentatively watched ESPN’s broadcast of LeBron James’ Decision. With my heart pounding at my chest and my fingers in a tight grip, I sat on my couch and daydreamed about the possibilities of LeBron coming to Miami. We sucked that previous season; a 47–35 mediocre regular season record, placing third in the southeast division but fifth in the conference and lost in the first round to the Boston Celtics 1-4. 2009 was not just bad year for Heat basketball, it was a tragedy for everyone living in Miami! So as I sat on my couch and painstakingly waited through the commercials, I kept telling myself, the Heat was going to get their revenge on Boston. The King was going to come to Miami. And when LeBron finally got to the point of saying he was taking to talents to South Beach, I jumped up and screamed like a little girl. Everyone in Miami jumped up and screamed like little girls. Every bar in Miami was in an uproar but every person in Cleveland was crying like those little babies. They were burning LeBron’s jersey in the streets and Cleveland immediately took down that huge LeBron poster they hung outside the arena.

But as soon as LeBron’s Heat jersey went on sale, I ran to the store and got one. And when the Heat had the coming out party for the Big Three and LeBron promised us, not just one, two or three championships rings, tears of joy almost came out of my eyes. Though we got our revenge on the Celtics that following season, we did not get the championship title LeBron promised us for the 2010-2011 basketball season. The Heat was the most hated sports team in the world and talk radio enjoyed blasting every game the Heat lost that season. Instead of dunks, ESPN highlighted every argument or glitch the Big Three displayed on the court. Too good to be this bad, they kept on saying. We lost to the Dallas freaking Mavericks but I wore my LeBron James jersey that entire summer with my head up high. I wanted climb a latter to pat LeBron on the back and tell him, “Good effort kid, we’ll get it next year.” I loved that guy. And in the following 2011- 2012 season, the Heat kicked some serious butt. LeBron’s jersey became the number one top seller. The Heat ended the season with a 46-20 regular season record. We kicked Oklahoma Thunder’s butt in the NBA finals and won the championship. I ended up buying another LeBron jersey. And when the 2012-2013 basketball season began, the Heat was playing like they had a two-peat championship already in sight. They blazed through the regular season with an amazing 66-16 record and capped off that great season with another title: a two-peat. To celebrate, I bought another LeBron Jersey, the white hot color to go with the burring red one.

By the beginning of the 2013- 2014 basketball season, everyone was chanting three-peat. But everyone was worried LeBron opting out of his contract. Cleveland wanted LeBron back. And those Cleveland fans who kept their LeBron jersey were all of a sudden wearing them again, hoping when or lose, LeBron was coming back. And when we lost to San Antonio and LeBron did in fact opt out of his contract, like every Heat fan, I was not worried. LeBron was just eyeing for more money from the organization. He deserved it. But for those three long weeks LeBron took his damn sweet time to pick a team, I started to get worried. The news reports were stating LeBron was deciding between staying in Miami and going back to Cleveland. Through the nervous ordeal, even if LeBron left for another team, I did not think he was going back to Cleveland and be under a team’s owner that had ridiculed him in the press.
And when Decision II came around and LeBron decided to go back to Cleveland, I was heartbroken. Everyone in Miami was heartbroken. I went inside my closet and gave my two LeBron jerseys a long look. Yeah, at first I thought about burning them, or giving the jerseys away to the homeless. I paid $275 for two authentic jerseys. That’s $550 before taxes and not to mention the few thousands I had paid on Heat tickets over the years LeBron played for the team. Sure I seriously thought about burning those jerseys but then I thought about the joy I experienced watching LeBron kicked butt for the Heat. I thought about those awesome ducks he made and those acrobatic maneuvers he dawned upon every opponent. I could not see myself as a LeBron hater. So I took those jerseys and put them in the back of the closet where they were surely going to accumulate dust for those two years LeBron is under contract for Cleveland. And when LeBron hopefully opts out of his contract next season, I’ll be ready to dust those jerseys off and proudly wear them again.


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