The greatest day in October isn’t Halloween. It’s something that already happened. Yesterday, October 28th, marked the beginning of the regular season of the NBA. Defending NBA champs, the San Antonio Spurs, defeated the Dallas Mavericks with a close 101-100 victory at home.
It was an exciting game and it’s always great to see another season kick off with the ring ceremony as is tradition. But what I’m really interested to see this season is how things will play out for the Miami Heat with the loss of LeBron James, and of course for the Cleveland Cavaliers, with the return of their hometown star. LeBron is a bit of a polarizing figure- people tend to either think highly of him, or not. At this point in his career I think he has proven that he is one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA.
The Cavs’ season officially kicks off with a home game against the New York Knicks tomorrow night. Kevin Love was taken out of practice yesterday, will he be back in the game? The report says he was removed as a precaution, so I imagine he’ll return by tomorrow. The even bigger question is, how will this new Cleveland lineup perform? They’re off to a good start with a strong pre-season, but the regular season games will only bring more pressure to this team as they figure out how to balance each other.
As for Miami, their season kicks off tonight at 7:30 EST in a match against the Washington Wizards. Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh will pick up the pieces of what is left of the ‘Big Three’ without LeBron. Stay tuned.
Remember when LeBron James made his decision to go to Miami, broadcasted live nationally on ESPN on that July summer night? In just 16 words, James would ruin something that he had built up for almost his whole life and that was his legacy in the eyes of the Cleveland fans.
“In this fall I’m going to take my talents to south beach and join the Miami Heat,” James said during is ESPN Decision.
The hate of LeBron would become even worse after they hosted a type of pep rally honoring the new “big three” of Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and himself in the Miami Heat’s American Airlines Arena.
While hosting it, LeBron would guarantee Heat fans not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven but multiple championships. However in their first season together LeBron would stay true to his word…well some of it, as they wouldn’t win “not one” Championship as they would lose to the Dallas Mavericks 4-2 giving the LeBron “haters” exactly what they wanted; failure.
The LeBron drama would continue as right after the game six NBA Finals loss to the Mavericks, James would respond to a question from the press, who asked him “Does it bother you that so many people are happy to see you fail?”
James would reply saying “Absolutely Not, cause at the end of the day, all the people who are rooting for me to fail, at the end of the day, they have to wake up tomorrow and have the same life that they had before they woke up today, they got the same personal problems they had, today. You know, and I’m gonna continue to live the way I want to live, and continue to do the things I wannna do with me and my family …they gotta get back to the real world at some point.”
James’ post game comments would headline atop the sports world and the man once proclaimed as the “King” was now appearing to most as the “villain.”
Fast forwarding to the 2011-12 NBA season James’ would sit down with ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols where he told her that his days of being the “villain” were over.
“I got to this point by playing this game a certain way, (I’m) getting back to loving the game and having fun with the game,” James told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols.
“I play the game fun, joyful, and I let my game do all of the talking and I got away from that. That’s what I lost last year. Going through my first seven years in the NBA I was always the “liked one” and to be on the other side — they call it the dark side or the villain or whatever they call it — it was definitely challenging for myself. It was a situation I had never been in before, and it took awhile … it took a long time to adjust to it,” said James.
James’ would stay true to his word as he continued his annual trips to his hometown of Akron, Ohio where he would visit the University of Akron to play flag football and other sorts of things.
Building his popularity back up, the hometown kid who once was the star and then overnight became the most hated player of the Cleveland community, has flipped the script again as he told reporters after practice that a return to Cleveland is something that he won’t rule out.
“I think it would be great, it would be fun to play in front of these fans again,” James said after practice Thursday at Quicken Loans Arena.
“I had a lot of fun times here. You can’t predict the future. Hopefully you continue to stay healthy. I’m here as a Miami player and I’m happy where I am now but I don’t rule that out in any sense. If I decide to come back, hopefully the fans will accept me.”
Decision part two?
“I don’t hold grudges, I hold them a little bit but I don’t hold them that long,” James said. “He [Dan Gilbert] said what he said out of anger. He [Gilbert] probably would want to take that back, but I made a mistake, too. There’s some things I’d want to take back as well. You learn from your mistakes and move on.”