SI.com: The day after LeBron James' return to Cleveland
December 3rd, 2010
07:30 PM ET

SI.com: The day after LeBron James' return to Cleveland

It’s been five months since LeBron James made his infamous “Decision,” and no one can deny the Heat’s young season is exactly going as planned. especially after Thursday night.

In the most anticipated game of the NBA season, the Heat played arguably its most sound game so far this year, cruising to a 118-90 victory over the Cavaliers.

LeBron’s return to Cleveland was greeted by Cavaliers fans with enough angst to warm the bitter-cold city. Unfortunately for them, LeBron’s night couldn’t have gone much better. From his pre-game rituatl chalk routine – to which he did to no avail – to his season-high 38 points, LeBron shook off the boos and the chants. He played so well he was able to sit out the entire fourth quarter, victory in hand.

Though the superstar could not have asked for a better homecoming given the circumstances, SI.com’s Michael Rosenberg wonders if LeBron realizes what he's missing by having gone to South Beach in chase of titles.

“The Heat may win championships, but their fans will never pack their arena simply to boo,” writes Rosenberg. “The team will never be ingrained in the city's fabric like every Cleveland team is. There are passionate fans in Miami, of course, but not as many... Any town can celebrate championships. Cleveland celebrates heartache.”

Cleveland’s distaste for its lost son has been well chronicled lately, but LeBron stayed positive when speaking about the city’s fan base, which heckled him every time he touched the ball. He said he never held a grudge against Cavaliers fans and that they were never “on his list.”

Rosenberg highlights the many reasons LeBron decided to leave Cleveland for Miami, but concludes the star is chasing hollow victories in a city that will never fully appreciate him like the one he left after his first seven seasons.

“He has left them for a land where there is no winter, for teammates who were stars before he joined them, for fans who care passionately about their basketball team for every bit of the final two minutes of playoff games. Someday, he'll miss those crazy fans and those winter nights. Someday, he'll miss all those witnesses.”

Here’s the action going on around the sporting world (all times Eastern):

No. 25 Northern Illinois at Miami (OH) (7:00 p.m., ESPN2) The Huskies (10-2) snuck into the top 25 for the first time in seven years this week – can they beat the RedHawks (8-4) and win their first MAC title in nearly three decades?

Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics (8:00 p.m., ESPN) Two division-leading foes duke it out in a battle of the Eastern Conference’s finest. Boston has won its last five games and lost only once at home this season. The Bulls are boosted by the return of Carlos Boozer, who is playing in his second game back.

BY THE NUMBERS

2022 – Year the World Cup will be hosted by Qatar after the United States’ bid for soccer event fell short. SI.com’s Grant Wahl chimes in with a strong opinion on the pick.

8 – Seasons in a row Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been named NASCAR’s most popular driver. Junior is winless over the past two years and finished 21st in the 2010 standings.

2 – Times this season Tiger Woods has led a PGA golf tournament after shooting a 7-under 65 to top the leaderboard at the Chevron World Challenge on Thursday.

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. BRS

    Exactly. You can see it in his eyes and in his game. Lebron is learning the lessons he should have learned in college if he would have gone. You have to earn it. You dont choose it, as in his so called decision. Winning is earned, not purchased.

    December 3, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Renee

      Are you SERIOUS? Its a JOB and Lebron plays for a PAYCHECK, not people...No athlete does... This response to an employee choosing to leave a job, AFTER his contract ended is SAD.

      December 4, 2010 at 2:51 am | Report abuse |
  2. christy

    Yeah im a very concerend citizen about global warning but ive been getting side tracked, Nothing but dead. I forgot this saying if u whant something done rite u have to do it yourself but i am a slow learner and filling paperwork is the only thing thats wrong. Thats why i havent moved forward. i was so much underpressure this passed year that ive lost track of myself and i have a lot of work to do still and learning the effort of my goals is understanding myself again it is like i had a stroke and i have to learn myself again and i have to give my all and i no that i need winter tape ive been telling my father he needs to upgrade his house but he dont understand and dont listen to me his house is outdated. i do need help with assistance with money management but im a better listener than a reader and also there is to many big words to learn i have never owned a house but im still tring to become independent.

    December 4, 2010 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  3. bizprof

    My interest is in the FIFA decision. Russia and Qutar? My own research shows that large global events like these are giant money makers for the insiders, the grafters, the pay to play companies and the kleptocrats who run these things. So the picks of /Russia and Qutar are obviously functions. Choose the most corrupt and least transparent countries for the games and you will make the most in kickbacks, payoffs and perqs.

    As the USA becomes more transparent all the time, we become less desirable for the crooks and granfters that control these crime sprees. Good riddance.

    December 4, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. kim

    I doubt lebron miss that place and probably glad he kicked there azz!

    December 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Narrator

      I doubt Lebron miss(es) that place and (is) probably glad he kicked (their) @$$(es). It looks like Lebron is not the only one who could have benefited from a little more schooling. You're right though. Cleveland was never able to build around him during the 7 years he spent there. It was a sound decision if he cares more about winning than he does about money, or being the man.

      December 4, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Spartacaus

    Most likey Lebron will get to the Hall of Fame, but with no championship ring.

    December 4, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Avon Barksdale

    LeBron should have played in the 4th quarter. That's the only thing that I would have done differently. I HATE CLEVELAND. It's the worst city in America. Cleveland 'fans' showed their true colors Thursday night. It's one thing to boo but to try and hurt LeBron and others in the arena because your mad is pathetic. Cleveland u got off lucky. If I was LeBron I would have scored 105 points on u. The said thing is he could've easily done it. CLEVELAND SUCKS!

    December 4, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Michael Rae

    So what mr rosenberg fails to mention is that florida has no state taxes.so any money he left on the table in cleveland going to miami he will get some back in the fact that he doesnt have to pay any state tax to the state of ohio unless he plays there. I always amazes me when someone makes a choice that is in there interest nd then folks complain but them same folks would not lift a finger to help you Lets be honest as a player do you really care about the fans? its about the money and would you rather live in cleveland in december with its lake effect snow, bitter cold and ice on your caddy truck or in miami beach with your beach shirt and house shoes with the windows down in your caddy truck 75 and sunny.

    December 4, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cesar

    Lebron is something huh? And those Florida taxes, gee. Do any of you people drink cold milk when you eat M&M's? I think they go together. Does anyone else do this? Please don't tell me that I am the only one in the universe that does this.

    December 4, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Walt

    Its so obvious LBJ is one sic pup, D. Wade reeled him in, yet controlling his every move! I wish his punk @ grow some balls and dominate like we know he can!

    December 5, 2010 at 5:07 am | Report abuse |
  10. Larry

    Well when its all said and done abot Lebron James he will win a championship but he could not do it being the star by himself and that's real how bout yah Kobe

    December 5, 2010 at 5:20 am | Report abuse |
  11. Bradley

    This is a classic irony of professional sports. Atheltes are expected to show loyalty to thier teams and their fans but they have now real loyalty towards them. If LeBron had blown is knee earlier in hos career or been anything less than what he was. He would have been cast aside without a second thought. Gilbert did nothing to try to biuld a team around James except prehaps to pair him with a past his prime Shaq. Gilbertt only carried about riding the King JamesGravy Train til it broke. And when his boy ran off the plantation he threw a tantrum and the rest of Cleveland joined him.

    Pro Sports is a buisness people LeBron did what was best for LeBron. Free Agents do what he did all the time

    DEAL WITH IT

    http://bradleyparanial.blogspot.com'

    December 6, 2010 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  12. sam

    Lebron is just doing what's best for his career and if anyone hates him for that well then their kind of stupid

    December 6, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |