After listening to radio shows, reading articles, hearing from Clevelanders and watching clips from The Decision, I think I understand why Cleveland hates LeBron.
It’s not that he left; on some level, everyone understands that he had the right to make his decision about where to play.
It’s not that he left on national television; everyone understands the hype.
It’s not that he dissed his teammates and told them they’ll never win; lots of people thought that.
It’s not disappointment in his tacit admission that he lacks the Jordanesque talent to carry a team to the championship; he isn’t Michael Jordan, or Kobe Bryant, or Magic or Bird. He's just not that good or he's just not that tough, MVP or not.
It’s not the economic impact on Cleveland; everyone knows that if they want to point a finger for their economic woes, it should be at politicians, bankers and businessmen rather than the Cavaliers’ star forward.
I think it’s that LeBron’s radiating satisfaction with the decision. He seems so comfortable with his choice, so happy to be playing with his buddies, that he gives a sense that he made this decision long ago, that this was rigged from the start, and everything since the end of May was just playing out the string, leading Cleveland on, making fans look silly for stunts like this. Despite his statement that the verdict was not in until Thursday morning, a lot of people think he led them on.
Especially with his one-hour ESPN special, it feels like he led them on like Lucy talking Charlie Brown into taking a kick at the football (starts 36 seconds in):
Or it’s a girl leading a guy to think he can propose at halfcourt during an NBA game, only to reject him:
It's one thing to lose; it's another to be humiliated.
Is this really true? Did he make up his mind long ago? I don’t know. But I can’t see how he’s ever going to walk the streets in that town again. I’d lay odds he sits out the Heat’s games in Cleveland this year.