The Prodigal Son Returns Home

Jeremiah Short, Feature Columnist

“I’m coming home.”

With that simple statement, LeBron James announced his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s a startling reversal for a player who jilted his home-state team just four years ago…taking his talents to South Beach.

Great players have returned to the cities where they made their name before. Allen Iverson. Jason Kidd. Shannon Sharpe. Scottie Pippen. But none of those players were at their peak and darn sure weren’t the best player in their league. James is 29 and has four to five years left in his prime. And he’s returned to lead the Cavaliers to the promise land.

It’s the sports story of the year and possibly decade. The only story that compares is, well, The Decision. The original Decision led to the formation of the “Big 3”: James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

The threesome did what they joined forces to accomplish–making four NBA Finals appearances in four years and taking home two NBA titles.

That era has come to an end, though, with the Decision 2.0. James’ deciding to return to Cleveland is surprising, but it’s the right move for several reasons.

LeBronandKyrie

Kyrie Irving and LeBron James/ Google Images

1. Basketball: James is being viewed as noble for returning to Cleveland. But his return to the team that drafted him makes the most basketball sense.

The Miami Heat made it to the NBA Finals but were an aging team with limited avenues to improve a roster in much need of improvement.

The Cavaliers are young, but they give him something he started to have little of with the Heat: help.

He has an All-Star wing-man: Kyrie Irving.

He has several young pieces around him: Tristan Thompson, Anthony Bennett, Dion Waiters and Andrew Wiggins, the top pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Not to mention Anderson Varejao, one the holdovers from his first Cavs run. Ray Allen, Chris Anderson and Mike Miller could be on the way, as well.

James will lead this team the next five years and will be able to ease into a secondary role as Kyrie Irving takes the reigns from him.

2. Restores Competitive Balance: The East was the Heat and everyone else the past four years. With LeBron returning to Cleveland, that’s no longer the case.

The East will now break into three tiers.

The Contenders: Cleveland, Chicago and Indiana

The On The Verge Teams: Miami, Washington, New Jersey

The Young Guns: Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Boston

The West has dominated the East for close to a decade. But I foresee the East returning to its glory years of the late 90’s in a few years with James now in Cleveland.

3. Branding: When James made the original Decision his “Q Score”, which measures the popularity of public figures, took a major hit. Likability is a major factor in an athlete’s off-the field and court endeavors. Returning to the Cavaliers makes James likable again and gives him the derived credibility he lost after deciding to break up with his team on national TV.

For an athlete who’s planning on becoming the first Billionaire athlete, this move was crucial. He’s no longer viewed as the villain who turned on his friends and family to join up with rivals. He’s now the conquering hero who’s returned to vanquish all that oppose him.

4. Legacy: James stated before last season that he wanted to become the greatest to ever play the game of basketball. That was never going to happen in Miami. He’d always hav
e that asterisk: LeBron not as good as Jordan, Magic or Bird. They never joined up with each other to win rings.

No one cares that they didn’t have to join up with anyone because their teams were loaded in a pre-Salary Cap Era. Jordan had Pippen and Rodman. Magic had Kareem and Big Game James. And Bird had The Chief, McHale and Dennis Johnson.

James now has an opportunity to win a few rings with the team that he started with and put his face on the NBA Mount Rushmore.

5. Redemption: Not only does James have a chance at redemption but Dan Gilbert has a chance at redemption, too.

Gilbert overreacted and got all in his feelings when James departed four years ago–writing a scathing letter excoriating James. He’s stated that he regrets letting his emotions spill over–as he’s known more for the letter than for his philanthropy now. With his apology to James and the superstar’s return, Gilbert gets a rare chance to rebuild his public image. If James has forgiven him, then everyone else will follow suit. It won’t make him more money, but he’ll regain respect that he had lost.

Cleveland fans rejoicing over LeBron’s return.

James return to Cleveland reminds me of the “ The Parable of the Prodigal Son” (Luke 15:11-32). In the parable, the son decides to take his share of the inheritance and travel to a land far away. The son subsequently loses everything and returns home to submit to his father. Instead of admonishing his son, the father embraced him and cooks a feast for him.

When his brother complains about the adulation the father is showing the returning son, the father says: “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.”

James narrative doesn’t directly parallel the parable but has similarities. He didn’t know himself when he took his talents to South Beach. He hit bottom after his first year there. After some soul searching, he became a better player and man. He got married. He became a leader of his team and NBA brethren.

The four-time MVP referred to his time in Miami as a college-like experience. What do children go to college for? They go to find themselves and then they return home.

Cleveland’s prodigal son has returned home for not one, not two, not three years but forever. Embrace him. He was lost but now he’s found.

Catch me on the “SportsKrib” on Wednesday’s 8-9 Central and Thursday’s 8-10 Central. Follow me on social media @DaRealJShort or check out my facebook page JShortJournalist or my Google Plus page J.Short- Journalist

33 Comments

  1. qiuqiu99

    982180 223471Thanks for your time so considerably for your impressive and amazing guide. I will not be reluctant to endorse your web internet sites to any individual who should receive direction on this dilemma. 735567

  2. pasar poker

    54566 905608Howdy! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? Theres a lot of men and women that I think would actually enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks 398692

  3. Klik Dokter

    935591 210441Hello DropshipDragon provides dropping for quality, affordable products direct from China to your customers. Perfect for eBay sellers and website owners alike! 537943

  4. Stars

    810009 875841just couldnt leave your web site before suggesting that I actually loved the standard info a person provide for your visitors? Is gonna be again ceaselessly to check up on new posts 31821

  5. elangqq

    793518 173945This will be an excellent site, might you be interested in doing an interview about how you developed it? If so e-mail me! 781858

  6. elangqq

    429257 279611Visiting begin a business venture about the web typically means exposing your products or services moreover provider not only to some individuals inside your town, but yet to a great deal of future prospects who might be over the web numerous times. easy internet business 384959

  7. http://www.intanqq1.site/

    586623 18419We dont trust this amazing submit. Nevertheless, I saw it gazed for Digg along with Ive determined you can be appropriate so i ended up being imagining within the completely wrong way. Persist with writing top quality stuff along these lines. 382019

  8. cross borders all weather

    847946 903784Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this topic. realy thank you for starting this up. this web site is something that is necessary on the internet, someone with slightly originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet! 977049

  9. http://www.warnetqq1.site/

    530845 81371Thoughts talk within just around the web control console video clip games have stimulated pretty specialist to own on microphone as effectively as , resemble the perfect tough guy to positively the mediocre ones. Basically fundamental difficulties in picture gaming titles. Drug Recovery 436808

  10. youtu.be/Ye6juuKewEo

    75813 220745Heya just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures arent loading properly. Im not confident why but I think its a linking issue. Ive tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results. 422956

  11. www.meja3651.site

    35441 287449Id ought to seek advice from you here. Which is not something I do! I really like reading an write-up that could make folks feel. Also, several thanks permitting me to comment! 787790

  12. đăng ký đại lý w88

    107514 216448I dont believe Ive scan anything like this before. So great to discover somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. thank for starting this up. This website is something that is necessary on the web, someone with a little originality. Very good job for bringing something new towards the internet! 831600

  13. 바카라사이트

    410824 394939Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Appear advanced to far more added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate? 68510

  14. porn

    33555 213516There several fascinating points in time in this post but I dont know if I see these center to heart. There could be some validity but Ill take hold opinion until I explore it further. Exceptional write-up , thanks and then we want a good deal far more! Put into FeedBurner too 273849

  15. porn

    181819 405007I like the valuable information you give inside your articles. Ill bookmark your weblog and check once again here regularly. Im quite certain Ill learn several new stuff proper here! Very good luck for the next! 609416

  16. 바카라

    841833 663971This sort of wanting to come to a difference in her or his lifestyle, initial generally Los angeles Excess weight weightloss scheme is really a large running in as it reached that strive. weight loss 165838

  17. dang nhap letou

    801551 420474Oh my goodness! an excellent post dude. A lot of thanks Even so We are experiencing difficulty with ur rss . Dont know why Not able to sign up to it. Could there be anybody acquiring identical rss dilemma? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx 836117

  18. college decals for wood

    53263 347449Wonderful beat ! I wish to apprentice even though you amend your internet web site, how can i subscribe for a blog internet site? The account aided me a appropriate deal. I had been a bit bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept 704993

9 Pings & Trackbacks

  1. Pingback: Christmas Decor Shopping at Target + Vlogmas

  2. Pingback: ty le ca cuoc bong da

  3. Pingback: make your own car decals

  4. Pingback: poker99

  5. Pingback: rajaqq

  6. Pingback: LED

  7. Pingback: cbd oil

  8. Pingback: porn

  9. Pingback: 바카라

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FOLLOW @lockerreport100 INSTAGRAM